It may seem at first sight that the only difference between free and premium themes is the price. However, if you want to make a living selling WordPress themes, there are a few things you will have to keep in mind in order to end up with a theme people will be willing to pay for. Read on to find out more about the design, features, and even marketing behind some of the best-selling premium themes.
Do Your Homework
Most buyers are looking for premium themes tailored to a certain type of content or a specific purpose. A theme that would appeal to a photographer would probably mean nothing to an online publisher. Before you even think about writing a single line of code, you have to do your research. By determining the niche you’re targeting, you’ll have a much better idea what your theme should look like, which features it should include, and how many competitors you’ll be competing with.
Most Premium Themes Are Responsive
While the look and feel of premium themes may vary, there are certain things most of them have in common. Responsive design is one of those things. No matter the niche, your potential buyer is more than likely to be looking for a responsive theme. This makes perfect sense, considering just how many people use mobile devices to access the internet. In today’s world, a stunning website that doesn’t look just as good on a smartphone as it does on a desktop computer is pretty much worthless. You might want to consider building your theme using one of mobile-first frameworks, such as Foundation or Bootstrap for optimal results and seamless performance across all devices.
Make Your Theme Easy To Customize
Another feature that instantly sets premium themes apart from their free counterparts is customizability. Make sure you include enough customization options to help your buyers set up a website that truly represents their brand and stands out from the crowd. Custom shortcodes, predefined pages and page elements, icons, even custom widgets will help you close the sale. Just make sure your theme is well documented and try to explain every feature you think your buyer might not know how to use or customize.
Market Or Die!
Once you’re finished coding your theme, it’s when the real work begins. What’s the point of a beautiful theme if no one ever hears about it? In order to actually make a decent living selling premium themes, you will have to become a great marketer. However, if you determined your niche and your ideal buyer before you started coding, you probably already have an idea how to reach them and grab their attention, be it on social media, theme markets, or your own online store. Figure out where they spend their time and get on their radar.