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vamtam says

Here is some data below. The conversion rate of my entire portfolio for the last 7 weeks. Themeforest integration with Google Analytics was introduced recently so I don’t have date before that period.

The conversion rate is pretty constant and yet my sales vary based on the traffic I got. I am sure that every author has similar pattern.

In order to keep the traffic up ( outside marketing is irrelevant) I have to do one of these things:

1. Release a new item every 48 hours ( based on the current number of item submission)

2. The item must appear in one of the following pages:

- Last Week’s Top WordPress Sellers – must be released on sunday and have conversion rate of at least 2 %. If you want to compete with number 1 in that chart you need conversion rate of 10 % if you rely solely on Themeforest traffic. ( I think 10 % is impossible in competitive category )

- Category listing sorted by date – see point number 1

- Category listing sorted by sales – no way to get there in the first few months

- Search – sorted by relevance – no way – it is almost identical with sorted by sales.

- search – sorted by sales – no way to get there in the first few months.

- search – sorted by date – see point 1

So from my point of way, you have much better chances of surviving by releasing themes often, instead of chasing ghosts. Many authors have come to that conclusion already :) and the increase of new items will continue….

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pixelgrade says

In under 20 hours our Bucket theme is out of the front page :(

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VF says

In under 20 hours our Bucket theme is out of the front page :(

The latest record mentioned by someone in this thread is 9 hours.

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ThemeBeans says

In under 20 hours our Bucket theme is out of the front page :(

That’s insane really. Items are getting buried faster and faster… I’m tracking the following from my last 30 days of sales and current TF portfolio/uploaded dates:

  • 36% of sales are from my latest theme
  • 21% from my second newest
  • 15% from the third newest
  • The whopping remainder (28%) from the other 7 themes
Basically I’m seeing a four month window (conservative) where an item is selling profitably. With this kind of attrition we’re having to focus more on new themes than updating previous items with new features – which ultimately does no good for the buyers. The cost/benefit is barely cutting it.

I know much of this stems from the fact that older themes are “less desirable”, though all of my items were released within 12 months, with 9 out of 10 of them within the last 8 months.

Is anyone else experiencing this type of trend? Currently, it seems the only other way to get the numbers higher is to nail a spot on the weekly top sellers list and camp.

Tl;Dr: Unless a theme gets in the top sellers list and stays there (or something else changes with search possibly) then themes (from my account data) have a four month window before they are almost obsolete in terms of number of sales/profitability – thus lowering the time I would invest to continue adding features/updates in lieu of building more themes. You too?

Rich

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jonathan01 says

I haven’t joined in on this thread (or many others lately) but I find ThemeBeans info and also the analysis from vamtam quite interesting.

Some of you may of seen me doing some number crunching last week, spitting out some stats on Twitter – if not then it doesn’t matter because a lot of what I was doing was a broader look at things such as return on investment dependent on the item category – I’m fortunate enough to have items in PSD, WP, HTML, Landing Page and emails – so I get a nice broad look at things – however, saying that I’m still running reports and collecting data trying to find the most profitable categories, right now initially WP is taking a hit on profitability because of dev time, tweaking, updates, support VS sales and competition – quite interesting and we’ll see where it goes.

I believe ThemeBeans analysis is probably about right – however, and here’s the thing, with the marketplace there are far too many variables in place to really be able to get some definitive conclusions. I have a few older files that still sell consistently – mainly because of outside MP exposure on blogs and design sites which is really where I feel the best leads come from.

In the end here’s my take – hard truths but…

  • There are more items from more authors and this will only increase
  • There are not enough original items and too many copies
  • The copying issue produces 2 problems, buyers tire of the same old stuff, one person who made the original might not be the one catching the gold, hence the copying, it’s proven in the past many times that the 3rd or more copy gains the highest sales.. not very rewarding for those trying to be original unfortunately.
  • The balance of buyers VS product count is way off balance>
  • You need to do your own promotions, there are some that work, many that do not
  • Do not rely on exposure at theme forest for sales, it’s going to decrease
  • Until the site becomes search orientated (something I brought up about 3 years ago now) the current format of funneling sales using techniques like charts for best sellers etc and defaults on search queries will ultimately stop growth of new items becoming large sellers – we already see this
  • You will get gold hits every now and again – always
  • I liken the theme / marketplace eco system to that of the music industry and app marketplaces (I think someone mentioned this) – you will get a small percentage of authors that seem to consistently get hits, the rest are scraping through, many will realize it doesn’t make sense and leave
  • Those from some countries where the av. earnings are lower than say Europe or US will continue to see it as a viable business opportunity even with lower than expected sales
  • There is literally nothing in place (apart from buyers) to encourage constant updates to items for improvement and compatibility – this is VERY bad as it’s a lose-lose situation for each and every person involved in the marketplaces

I’m not really sure I’m adding to the conversation here but wanted to just drop by and add in some points to see if we can all collectively work out some stuff together :) I’ll continue to keep an eye on the thread and follow along.

Jonathan

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QBKL says

vamtam, Rich and Jonathan, thanks guys for your posts. Good insight and thought provoking.

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VF says

Again, lots to respond to here, I will respond to as much as possible as quickly as possible, but please note that I will be dropping by each day, and perhaps multiple times per day, to ensure all the big questions here are answered. Keep the conversation coming. Thanks for understanding. :)

... Regarding specific upgrades/fixes that deal with the issues mentioned in this thread, I’m already in the process of finding out what more we can share with you. I will need to resolve that dilemma before I can report back, but already on it. I saw your questions here, great summary, thank you. :)

:|

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pixelgrade says

I haven’t joined in on this thread (or many others lately) but I find ThemeBeans info and also the analysis from vamtam quite interesting.

Some of you may of seen me doing some number crunching last week, spitting out some stats on Twitter – if not then it doesn’t matter because a lot of what I was doing was a broader look at things such as return on investment dependent on the item category – I’m fortunate enough to have items in PSD, WP, HTML, Landing Page and emails – so I get a nice broad look at things – however, saying that I’m still running reports and collecting data trying to find the most profitable categories, right now initially WP is taking a hit on profitability because of dev time, tweaking, updates, support VS sales and competition – quite interesting and we’ll see where it goes.

I believe ThemeBeans analysis is probably about right – however, and here’s the thing, with the marketplace there are far too many variables in place to really be able to get some definitive conclusions. I have a few older files that still sell consistently – mainly because of outside MP exposure on blogs and design sites which is really where I feel the best leads come from.

In the end here’s my take – hard truths but…

  • There are more items from more authors and this will only increase
  • There are not enough original items and too many copies
  • The copying issue produces 2 problems, buyers tire of the same old stuff, one person who made the original might not be the one catching the gold, hence the copying, it’s proven in the past many times that the 3rd or more copy gains the highest sales.. not very rewarding for those trying to be original unfortunately.
  • The balance of buyers VS product count is way off balance>
  • You need to do your own promotions, there are some that work, many that do not
  • Do not rely on exposure at theme forest for sales, it’s going to decrease
  • Until the site becomes search orientated (something I brought up about 3 years ago now) the current format of funneling sales using techniques like charts for best sellers etc and defaults on search queries will ultimately stop growth of new items becoming large sellers – we already see this
  • You will get gold hits every now and again – always
  • I liken the theme / marketplace eco system to that of the music industry and app marketplaces (I think someone mentioned this) – you will get a small percentage of authors that seem to consistently get hits, the rest are scraping through, many will realize it doesn’t make sense and leave
  • Those from some countries where the av. earnings are lower than say Europe or US will continue to see it as a viable business opportunity even with lower than expected sales
  • There is literally nothing in place (apart from buyers) to encourage constant updates to items for improvement and compatibility – this is VERY bad as it’s a lose-lose situation for each and every person involved in the marketplaces

I’m not really sure I’m adding to the conversation here but wanted to just drop by and add in some points to see if we can all collectively work out some stuff together :) I’ll continue to keep an eye on the thread and follow along.

Jonathan

Very much agree, except that we have tried and failed at external promotion. Can share some insights into this? How do we get that exposure except by buying articles and the likes?

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Anps says

But the question is, why do you need our own promotion, the purpose of themeforest is in question then?

Since you could go and sell your themes on your own or creat packaging or what ever and take par of that 30% you give to envato and promote your self and/or leave the themes here for non exclusive so you get additional exposure?

Or am I missing something?

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Pirenko says

But the question is, why do you need our own promotion, the purpose of themeforest is in question then?

Since you could go and sell your themes on your own or creat packaging or what ever and take par of that 30% you give to envato and promote your self and/or leave the themes here for non exclusive so you get additional exposure?

Or am I missing something?
I’m tired of reading this type posts/opinions… This is nothing personal Anps (actually I like your work), but in my opinion you guys are missing something :)
Whenever I release a file here I get over 10.000 visits just in the first days. At this moment I can’t get this type of exposure if I spend the 30% that I “give” to envato. We are free to advertise our products elsewhere and pay for it, but that’s just another option we have.
And back to topic: the number of items approved in the last days seems to be better now so it’s a good time again to release some new work ;)
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