Are you wondering how to earn extra money as a web developer?
Today we are going to discuss starting a website template business. We’ll cover:
- Why sell website templates online?
- How to build a website templates business.
- Best marketplaces for selling website templates.
Want to create more financial stability in your life?
Why Sell Website Templates Online?
Selling website templates online is probably the most straightforward way to build a legitimate business as a web developer.
Think about it:
- There’s proven demand. People are willing to pay for Shopify themes, WordPress themes, Bootstrap templates, etc.
- There are existing marketplaces. You don’t need to go out and find customers. You already know where they are, you just need to put your products in front of them.
- You already have the skills to create website templates.
These three factors mean that getting a website template business off-the-ground is realistic provided that you are willing to put in the work.
How To Build a Website Template Business
So how can you build a website template business when you already have a full-time job?
#1 Have Realistic Expectations
You need to know what you are getting into:
- Building a side-business is difficult, especially if you also have familial obligations (spouse, children, etc.).
- You will have to sacrifice something to make time for your business. You may need to give up a hobby, go out less often, etc. You must be prepared to do that.
- You probably won’t become a millionaire by selling website templates, but you can create a respectable income stream that will give you additional financial security.
- Your website templates probably won’t get accepted immediately. Marketplaces often have a review process where you have to meet certain requirements before your product is approved. Be prepared for several rounds of revisions.
- You will have to spend a significant amount of time on customer support. This is something that people often don’t realize beforehand. As your sales grow, so will the number of customer support inquiries.
Having realistic expectations from the start will help you to keep going and not get discouraged by the inevitable setbacks.
#2 Create a Work Schedule
The biggest challenge of building a side-business is staying consistent.
You may be super excited about the idea now, but this excitement will inevitably wear off, so you can’t rely on it.
That is why it’s so important to create a work schedule:
- Set a certain number of hours per week that you’ll use to work on your business.
- Figure out which time slots work best for you. This will probably be either early mornings or late evenings on weekdays plus a few hours on the weekend.
- Keep a calendar where you track this schedule. Once you get a streak going, you will not want to break it.
Once you have a schedule in place, focus on following it no matter what.
#3 Pick a Niche
You don’t want to make website templates for everyone.
Here’s what you should do instead:
- Pick a niche.
- Identify problems that your target audience is struggling with.
- Create website templates that offer solutions to those problems.
For example, e-commerce entrepreneurs want to increase their revenue, so you could create a Shopify theme that is optimized for conversions.
Remember, you are not in the business of creating pretty websites, you are in the business of solving problems.
#4 Learn To Write Compelling Copy
When people look at your website template, they see not only the template itself but also the description you have provided.
You will have a much easier time getting sales if you learn copywriting.
Get started with free resources such as Copyhackers, then move on to books.
#5 Provide Excellent Customer Support
Invest in customer support software, answer support tickets in less than 24 hours, and always be polite.
That being said, you should also take time to figure out what your boundaries are, then enforce them unapologetically.
Put limits on free support, don’t tolerate inappropriate behavior from customers, etc.
#6 Learn From Those Who Have Gone Before You
It’s always a good idea to seek out people who have already done what you want to do and see what they have to say.
You can start with Chris Wharton, who launched his WordPress theme business in 2012 and handed it over to another developer in 2017.
His post “What I wish I’d done when I set up my Commercial WordPress Theme Business” is immensely valuable to anyone who wants to sell WordPress themes online.
#7 Don’t Burn Out!
It’s important to understand that building a business that generates substantial revenue will probably take at least a few years.
That’s why you need to make sure that you don’t burn out before you get to the point where all that work starts paying off.
Never sacrifice sleep, nutrition, and exercise to get ahead because staying healthy is absolutely crucial for building a side-business.
Best Marketplaces for Selling Website Templates
Here are some great online marketplaces for selling website templates online:
ThemeForest. This is the most popular marketplace for website templates. As such, it gets a massive amount of traffic, but is also extremely competitive. Commission for non-exclusive products is 45%, commissions for exclusive products are 62.5 to 87.5% depending on the sales volume.
Coded Market. Our marketplace is still relatively small compared to the others mentioned here. However, we offer a 90% commission regardless of exclusivity, which is the highest of any creative marketplace.
Mojo Marketplace is the main ThemeForest competitor. It’s also huge, boasting 5.34 million users. Commission is 50% for non-exclusive products, it can go up to 70% depending on sales volume and exclusivity.
Creative Market is another big marketplace. Commission is 70% whether the product is exclusive or not.
Selling website templates online can help you achieve greater financial stability.
Create a work schedule, dedicate a set number of hours to your business every week, and stay at it for a few years.
With a lot of hard work, some business savvy, and a bit of luck, you should be able to create a more secure future for yourself and your family.