How To Market Your WordPress Theme For More Sales

The process of designing and building a WordPress theme is really enjoyable for aspiring coders. The same thing cannot be said about promoting the theme since the entire process can be really frustrating. That is especially the case in the event that you do not get to see the results that you surely want.

Believe it or not, absolutely all of the really successful theme designers out there had problems when they started out. You can create that really special product that could be incredibly useful for many site owners and still not get sales since the customers that could be interested do not get to see the results of your work.

While there are many ways in which you can promote WordPress themes, we are sure that you will end up feeling a little overwhelmed, especially if this is your first promoted product. With this in mind, here are some methods that you do have to consider.

Give Away Free Stuff

The best thing that you can do is give something away for free. Most people out there are attracted by such deals and they love freebies. You can give away icon sets, themes, plugins and basically everything that you could design. Posts that talk about giveaways usually get the most attention and people are a lot more likely to link to product sites or blogs when there is something that is offered for free, including eBooks and free downloads.

One of the most effective ways in which you can promote your WordPress theme is to release a version of it that is free. The person that uses the theme can then upgrade to gain access to more features and get support. The pro version of the theme would be paid. In the event that your free theme is really good, upgrading is possible and attractive.

An extra advantage that comes with designing a free WordPress theme is that you can add it to the official directory. You can easily add links there to the paid version or to your main site, allowing free links and extra coverage from niched sites. Obviously, you will also add footer links to the free themes. They will not work for SEO purposes but when the free theme is good, interested webmasters will click on them as they want to learn more about who designed the theme.

Extra Tip: Make sure that you keep the free theme updated as often as necessary when you release it to the directory. That is because when you perform an update, it will appear in the Updated section of the site. This will instantly gather new downloads, which is what you want the most. All freebies that you offer have to be updated whenever necessary.

Using Dashboard Upsells

WordPress evolved a lot in the past few years and the designer can now create a really useful extra upsell page that will appear right in the CMS dashboard. In the event that you offer a free version of the theme, this is something that you have to seriously consider. You can add information about how to set up the theme and a whole lot more on this upsell page, together with links towards other themes and the upgrade button.

The only problem is that there are many designers that simply overdo it. You have to be sure that this upsell page is not intrusive since this is a quick turn-off. The trick is to basically make that upsell page look as useful as possible. It needs to offer valuable information about the theme, help in setting up some parts of the theme or if you just use a landing page, make sure that it is as simple as possible.

Extra Tip: You do not necessarily need to promote just the main paid version of the theme. You can also advertise some other related products that you may have available. Just make sure that they are related and that the quality you offer is as high as possible.

Using Newsletters

Make sure that you build a mailing list before launching a new WordPress theme. That can help you much more than you may believe. You can easily announce the launch of new features, the actual product and anything related through the use of a carefully drafted email.

A holding page can be created in order to act as an address for your initial promotion campaign. Use social networks in order to create that initial buzz. As the product goes live, continue working on the list through signup forms on your websites. Whenever there is a product that is launched, free or paid, send an email to the clients and ask them if they are interested in joining your newsletter. Use an incentive or a freebie in order to increase signup rates.

Extra Tip: You can add signup forms to all your web properties, ranging from the dashboard inside WordPress when the theme is installed to the Facebook pages that you currently use.

Press Releases

This does not mean that you should use PRWeb or similar services. What you have to do is contact relevant sites and blogs. It is not at all difficult to locate them. As soon as the theme is created and launched, write a good press release and send it to the big publications. Always consider the following when you contact:

  • Do not use marketing lingo. Write an email that is simple and that explains what the product does and reasons why it should be covered by the publication.
  • Make sure that the email is personal. Never use a generic template with subjects like “To Whom It May Concern”. Use the real name of the receiver. One error that many make is using the site name in the subject of the email. That is completely useless. Make everything as personal as possible.
  • Never be offended in the event that the product is not covered. Hundreds of brand new WordPress related products are launched every single day.

Extra Tip: Most people do not actually know how to write a press release that would be effective. If you want to get the best possible results, make sure that you hire a PR professional to write the release. The results would be a lot better.

Using Paid Reviews

There are so many blogs out there that offer paid review services. The money that you are about to pay is not so much and coverage is almost always a lot higher than when dealing with the free promotional methods available.

Paid reviews can easily lead towards thousands in profits. However, you still need to be a little careful since it is not as easy as you may believe to get coverage even through a paid review. You have to be sure that the paid reviews are completely unbiased. Make a list of the different blogs that you can contact and think about the coverage you could obtain for the money you are about to pay. Paid advertising is really effective and paid reviews do remain published forever.

Extra Tip: You should never believe what site owners say about the traffic that they have and the audience that is present on a site. Since you are paying for a review, make sure that you always choose the best possible resources. There are many site owners out there that will ask a lot more than what the ad should be.

The Importance Of Patience

Most WordPress theme designers that are just starting out will hope that their products become viral in a really short period of time. That rarely happens. The truth is that you need to be patient and do all that you can in order to carefully promote what you created. It is difficult to build awareness and sales for a company. The entire process can be really slow, a lot slower than you initially though.

Many theme designers out there do not even think about building a blog to show off the themes that are created. That is because the process would be slow and it sometimes takes years for a blog to become really strong. Shortcuts can appear when you reinvest profits into marketing and advertising but since you are definitely going to work on the business for a long time, it does pay off to build your new blog. There will be a slow and steady growth that will appear, which is exactly what you want.

When you create your brand new blog, make sure that you use a theme that is designed by you. You cannot build a site that would eventually promote a WordPress theme if you do not use themes that are actually designed by you. That looks unprofessional.

Extra Tip: Use your new blog to grow your subscriber base. Getting new subscribers is always a lot easier when you have a blog as a base. Using splash pages and giving away free books, themes or plugins can help you.

Extra Tip 2: If you offer a free WordPress theme version on your blog, ask for a social media share for people to download it. That will create more online exposure and people are more than willing to “pay” for the download with a Tweet or a Facebook share/like.

Using Theme Niches

Creating a general WordPress theme that can be used for any type of site is always great but it will take some time until sales appear. It is a lot easier to promote anything when you think about using a niche. Design themes that are perfect for a specific niche when you first start promoting your business. For instance, some themes are better for musicians, non-profits, photographers, businesses or personal portfolios.

Start your promotion by researching the niche that is perfect for the theme that is to be created. That helps you to determine competition and how likely you are to succeed with what you create. As you choose the niche, you gain access to information about your target audience. The better you know your target audience, the more effective your marketing strategies will be!

Extra Tip: Always be sure that the theme is actually appropriate for the niche that you think about targeting. There are many situations in which theme designers promote the theme with one niche in mind when the truth is that the theme is better suited for another niche.

Using Specific Frameworks

You can build your new WordPress theme with the use of a specific framework. Most of the official sites of the frameworks will have example stores or galleries. Your new theme can easily be added to them. The first example that comes to mind is Genesis. Look for the various frameworks that can be used and simply create your first new themes with them. That will offer an initial boost that you will surely appreciate. After you get sales going and you manage to get the business running, you can move towards using any framework you want.


As any experienced marketer out there knows, one of the best ways to promote anything is to have the right people talk about what is promoted. The same thing goes for WordPress themes. As you start meeting new people in the industry and you do increase your awareness, make sure that you maintain contact with professionals that you met. When the products are launched, simply let them know.

You can easily offer free review copies for the network influencers. Let them talk about your WordPress theme and if it is good, you can be sure that such exposure will lead towards sales or free downloads, which is exactly what you want when a product is launched.


As we are sure you already figured out, it is really important that you are patient. Do not expect overnight results as this is really rare. You should be focused on delivering the highest possible quality. If you do that and you consider the methods that were mentioned above, you would definitely eventually end up with the sales that you want.

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One Comment

  1. that’s an important list but it seems one of the main things is still overlooked – it’s an option to give prospects an opportunity of customization test-drive of the backend. there are not many tools but the one of latest releases can do this job great – as it lets build demos and temporary trials for any Word Press products.

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