I’ve been working as a Web Developer for some time and I decided that it is about time for me to jump in the big ThemeForest see. I have read some articles to get ideas on how to become a successful author here but I just wanted to share my plan with you and get some opinions.
First of all I decided to hire two web designers with very different style and give them similar requirements – basically to design a multipurpose corporate template. Then I am going to code both designs and upload them to ThemeForest as HTML. I will see which one will get better sales and then make it into a WordPress theme. If they both sell well I will eventually intend to make both of them WordPress themes.
This is my general plan – I will be glad if experienced authors can share their opinion
Wouldn’t it be better to just make a partnership with author of already approved PSD/HTML with good sales? I think that it will be much less risky.
This is something that I haven’t considered but sounds like a good idea actually.
I work with top level web designers all the time and just thought that they will be good enough to create a competitive designs for ThemeFores but I do agree that it is probably a good idea to work with someone who already has experience in designing templates.
Thank you for your suggestion!
Keep in mind that an approved PSD or HTML template isn’t guaranteed to be approved as a WordPress theme, and even if approved, it might not be a top seller. The risk is there either way, so it might be better to get all the profits than to split it with an existing author. If you do go for a partnership, a flat rate for design rights or a time limit on percent split works better for you (e.g. 30/70 design/dev for 3 months, then 100% dev after).
Thank you for your thoughts, fillerspace! I will keep that in mind.
For now I will stick to working with my designers because I have already agreed all requirements, time-frames and financial aspects with them. Apart of that they have both started working on their tasks.
I wouldn’t botther with HTML templates any more. The real money is in WordPress. I started at the age of 17 and within releasing a just a couple of simple WordPress themes I was earning up to £6,000 a month which is madness. I think to be truly successful on Themeforest you need to be able to do everything (apart form support) on your own so you don’t have to split the money down the middle. Just a tip
I wouldn’t botther with HTML templates any more. The real money is in WordPress.
I would qualify that by saying that WordPress Themes will earn more revenue, but cost more in support time because buyers are a different audience from HTML templates. Many WordPress theme buyers are novices attracted by a one-click CMS install and 5 minute setup. These are the same people who will expect an easy button for all the advanced features you are expected to include in a premium WordPress theme these days. HTML template customers are more likely to be developers who just need a skin for their custom app or people looking to make a theme for a CMS. These buyers will have fewer basic questions. Also, you won’t have to update an HTML theme with every WordPress update or ensure compatibility with every popular plugin out there.
All things being equal, you’d be better off with a top HTML template than an average WordPress theme (currently the top HTML template earns more than the bottom half of the WordPress popular list). You would likely have the revenue, but fewer headaches.
That said, the royal flush would be to have the top PSD, the top HTML, and the top WordPress theme all at the same time, with a massive support staff to help you handle it all.
I’d suggest going with a designer that has experience here, ThemeForest is a different category for all the designers, very few of them can really make it through the review process here. I’d suspect less than 5% of the submitted items here are approved, if you want to take that risk, go ahead, but being new, you don’t want to work 1-2-3 months on an item and then be rejected. First, because you have to pay the designer for the work and you can’t do anything with it if you can’t sell it. Many designers think they’re really good and could easily make designs for ThemeForest, but the reality is harsh and probably one out of 50 such designers could make it here.
Trust me, it’s better to purchase rights for an already approved PSD or work with percentages, from the beginning, rather than hiring a designer, unless you’re 100% sure he does great work and you don’t have approval problems.
It shouldn’t be too hard to vet a designer for ThemeForest. Just take one of their existing designs and modify it to look like a stock template. Submit screen shots the forum to get feedback from the community. That will give you a rough idea of whether they are a match for ThemeForest.