This is going to be a very special topic of discussion. I’ve decided to finally jump in and write a story about how you can start your own business using WordPress. There are quite a number of different steps that you need to undertake to start a fantastic, successful and long-lasting business using WordPress. It’s not as if WordPress has been around forever and who knows what the future holds, but I’m betting that you can build something that is quite sustainable in the world of Warcraft web development and design thanks to the open-source nature and the sheer amount of functionality that WordPress gives you.
now, it’s starting to freelance business, building a little digital agency, finding new clients and providing them what they need, none of that is a simple task. It’s not simply something that you can miracle into existence. Of course, not just saying you’re a freelancer and saying that you are a business owner, that’s enough to get you started, but it’s not going to make a living. Unfortunately, things are never that easy.
This post is going to assume that you already know quite a bit about web development. We’re not going to start from absolute scratch in terms of learning how to create a WordPress theme or plug-in from the ground up. Of course, some of this will cover topics like that, but that is not the ultimate goal of this post. This is more about the business end. this is thinking about the little details that make your business successful instead of the day-to-day process of WordPress development. after all, you’re a business owner now, it’s time to start thinking about the big picture.
fortunately, it doesn’t really require a ton of money to get your business off the ground. But, there are a few different steps that you can undertake that I think you’re going to be quite helpful to you.
So, let’s get down to the details and show you the steps that you need to build an effective WordPress business.
Step one, you’re going to need a plan.
A business plan isn’t just for when you need to go to the bank to get a loan to pay for your business. The business loan isn’t even necessarily something that you’re going to need. But, a good guideline and roadmap for how to make your business successful, all businesses need that. Well a business plan isn’t absolutely essential, I think that it is a very important part of creating a successful online business. I’ve done it with everything that I have ever attempted. I find that it gives me a very good starting point and it allows me to keep in mind my goals as I build a new website or online business.
Part of a good business plan is figuring out who your target audience is. Are you thinking of creating very specific niche websites? Are you going to try to appeal to beginners? Are you looking for more advanced users who want fully functional WordPress websites?
going a step further, how are you going to market your products? Are you going to use an existing platform like Theme Forest or creative market? Or, are you going to do it completely alone and only sell your products on your own website? Perhaps it’s going to be some combination of both of those cases? What if you’re going completely off the reservation and all you want to do is create completely custom projects from the ground up for one client at a time? no matter what option you choose, you really need to think about the various strengths and weaknesses of each option.
A strong business plan should address all of these different cases. Once you have created your business plan, it’s time to move on to the second step.
Step 2, addressing your financial situation and knowing your needs.
one thing that a lot of small business owners overlook, the financial side of things. Of course everybody likes to get paid and that’s not what I’m talking about really.
a lot of business startups and entrepreneurs struggle with this aspect of running a business. It’s difficult to set prices for your design services and your expertise when starting out. You certainly don’t want to undercharge people, that way you won’t be scraping to get by with your first few projects. Then again, setting your prices too high I might scare away some potential clients. It’s a really razor-thin balancing act. A high-wire act of pricing your goods and services. There are several ways to overcome this that I’m going to recommend, but I’ll save that for a bit later in this right up.
For now, you need to consider a few things about your financial situation. Does your business have any upfront costs? Will you require business licenses and insurance? are you planning for your retirement and how much can your company afford to set aside each month for that purpose? How many hours will you be working a week? how many projects can you juggle at one time without dropping the ball? do you have any ongoing expenses for licensing, software, hardware, rent? Are you going to hire somebody to help you out right at the very beginning? Do you have any other sources of income that can provide a steady stream to help you overcome the rough spots at the very beginning of starting your WordPress theme shop?
These are all questions that I think that you should probably have the answer to before getting started. it shouldn’t take too long to work yourself through most of these questions and the brainstorm on other things that might crop up that are unique to your situation. Once you have consider your financial situation, it’s time to do some of the fun stuff.
Step 3 building your brand and your website. So, your web designer. You already create amazing looking websites that look fantastic have tons of functionality. But, each of these themes or web templates that you’ve created might look a little bit different. The companies who use these themes have different logos, they appeal to a different audience and they have different strengths and weaknesses. So what about your website and your business? who do you want to appeal to? What is your Target demographic? Do you want the clean, simple and minimalist style presentation? Do you want your products to be a little bit more fun and whimsical? Are you appealing to men or women? Young people or old people? We’re press savvy experts or absolute beginners? The answer to all of these questions is going to inform what your website’s branding looks like. Once you’ve figured out what the brand is that you want to portray, you’re going to want to find the right web template to accentuate your content and to help you build that brand. Having steady, consistent brand is very important. Using the same fonts, colors, layout patterns, images, this is all part of branding and they can really help build familiarity with what you’ve created. Of course, you don’t want your end products to all look the same, but I’m going to assume that that’s not going to happen.
Since you’re a web developer, you may have your own pre-made template that you favor for setting up your online shop. If that’s the case, you can basically skip the rest of this section. However, it can sometimes be a good idea to think outside the box and to actually use somebody else’s web template to help build your online theme shop. there’s no shame in taking an existing theme from some other theme maker and adapting it to fit your needs. But, personally, I do use my own creation so that I have absolute familiarity with all of the code and I know when updates need to be made. That’s my choice, but it might not be the right choice for everybody. In fact, many people don’t have WooCommerce available for the themes that they create. In that case, you’re absolutely going to need somebody else’s design to start with. none of that means that you can’t completely brand your site to fit your needs, that’s why WordPress is so great. Pure flexibility.
Step 4, create your portfolio.
Having an awesome looking design portfolio is going to help you went over new clients and customers. Is very important to give people a visual look at what it is that you can do. Of course, part of this is setting up demo sites, that’s a post for another time I suppose. But, you also want to create fantastic-looking screenshots to help you set your portfolio out the right way to really game people’s interest and keep them coming back for more.
Step 5, all about theme design, creation, style and purpose.
Deciding on what type of theme to create, that’s one of the most important steps in this entire process. Are you creating personal, daily blogging templates? What about e-commerce websites? Are you exclusively building stuff that people can use to set up an online shop? perhaps you’re more of the creative type and you want to build photography portfolios specifically? Multi-purpose names? Food or travel blogs? this works hand-in-hand with determining who your target audience is, a very important step in setting up your own online theme shop. Some of the factors to consider are how big is the built-in audience for the type of theme that you want? If you’re building websites exclusively for canoe builders, that’s really cool, but there probably aren’t that many potential clients out there? Consider creating a well-rounded e-commerce theme and make the images about selling canoes or building canoes. That way, you can attract the same audience but the purpose is able to reach a wider audience. How will I be able to reach that target audience? what do I need to do to create the type of marketing and promotional plan that is going to make my job a whole lot easier in terms of getting the word out?
you should also think long and hard about the type of web development experience that you need to create a WordPress theme shop. Design experience goes hand-in-hand with that. These are things that you’ll have to consider and if you don’t have the ability to outsource any of the theme building process, it can be quite a Time investment for you to learn all of the ins and outs of theme making.
You should consider the amount of options that your themes will require and what those options will be. In terms of compatibility, are you going to try to make your theme compatible with all of the third party plugins and services on the market? What about supporting documentation? How do you plan to handle that? Are you going to provide support yourself or outsource it?
Perhaps most importantly, how much can I sell this theme for?
Of course, there are tons more questions out there that you could probably spend years thinking that. at some point, you simply have to jump in with both feet and get started.
of course, all of these questions lead to more. And just because you Decide on one thing doesn’t mean that you’re locked into it. That’s one of the great things about WordPress, the flexibility. Running around business should be flexible too. of course, you’ll always have to adapt to the market and that’s one of the challenges getting started.
Anyway, there’s a lot to think about.
Another thing you really need to consider, your development skill level. This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that there aren’t more than 24 hours in the day. And just try using them all to work, it doesn’t work. So, some of you may be developers by trade. Many of you may prefer the actual web design work. some of you might choose to do both. If so, you’re in that lucky group of multi-talented superstars who can do everything by himself. Congratulations. For me, I have to outsource some of the work to ensure that it looks great and works properly. There are a lot of different technical challenges out there and some people simply don’t have the prerequisite knowledge to get the job done.
That’s all something that you need to think about. Fortunately, there are plenty of different places where you can outsource design work or development work. Of course, it’s not going to be free, but if it can give you a leg up in the very challenging theme selling world, every little bit helps.
I’d say that the most important question to answer is how much you are going to sell your themes for and at what price point. there are a huge amount of marketplaces out there and it seems like new ones come online every day. These marketplaces, thank Theme Forest or creative market and the like, provide a built-in platform for theme sellers who want a quick hit of sales right off the bat. If you create a massive hit, you will have a lucrative income stream for years on end. The downside, there aren’t that many huge super mega hits anymore. and the amount of development time that it takes to create one is pretty staggering. The fact is, most themes on places like Theme Forest sell a few times per month for a year or two before they’re removed from the marketplace. That’s not really a tremendous ongoing income stream. but, every little bit helps. I would suggest that you take advantage of these platforms to help build your brand and to get a few sales under your belt. meanwhile, the heavy lifting is going to be done on your own website. Hopefully you have set up WooCommerce already and you’re ready to upload and being selling WordPress themes. But how do you get the word out there? That’s an all-important factor.
I recommend using affiliate programs to help lure in potential customers and affiliate marketers. Affiliate marketers like, well, me for an example, to help you get out the word about your theme business. there are hundreds of different bloggers out there who would love nothing more than to review your WordPress theme and recommend it to their readers. That’s how I feel that marketers make money after all. So, create an affiliate program that is easy to sign up for and that offers a decent return on the original investment. It’s a balancing act of splitting how much money you are willing to make with how much affiliate marketer is willing to take to write a post about your product. All too often, affiliate marketing platforms are not very reliable. I would recommend looking into something that is tested, not relying on a free WordPress plugin to get the job done. Check out something like impact radius. It’s a really good program and that is the affiliate program that Theme Forest uses in fact. Or, you can check out Share a Sale, quite a number of theme developers use it and I think that it’s quite simple to use.
Anyway, yeah, I highly recommend that you look into a quality affiliate program to help get your site of the ground the right way.
One last thing that you’re going to need to do, hustle. Selling WordPress themes is not easy. You’re not going to have a built-in audience right away, you’re not going to I have a huge list of potential customers right away, you’re going to have to absolutely hustle. Get your social networking on, make guest blog posts, talk to people at the grocery store, go to WordPress camps, do everything that you can to hustle your business into success. it’s a real grind, but it can be incredibly rewarding. I also recommend blogging on a daily basis, that’s a great way to help build your audience. In fact, that’s basically all I do. I don’t do anything in terms of off-page SEO and my traffic keeps going up. So, that’s my advice for today, get out there and start your WordPress theme of business and start enjoying the success that you deserve, or something.