Developers Need Help Marketing WordPress Themes

If you hang around the WordPress Community long enough (that is, those people who are involved in working on WordPress or building something on WordPress in some way), you’ll notice that we all have a tendency to aim to build the best thing possible – whatever that may be.

At least, that’s what we claim to be doing.

And I’m just as guilty of this as the next person.

But let’s face it: developers need help marketing WordPress themes. Perhaps designers do, too. And let’s not forget plugins or other add-ons.

Basically, I think that we get so involved with the community of which we’re a part, we forget about the market and the terms in which they think. We’re busy trying to help one another other, perhaps even impress one another, and even working to try to out-do each other (I mean, come on, that is competition, right?), that we end up marketing our products in the same way every single time.

And you know what I’m talking about.

Marketing WordPress Themes

Though plugins, and other similar products fall into this category as well, I’m talking specifically about themes in this post.

For example, how many times have we seen the following:

  • The Perfect Theme For X
  • The Best Theme on the Planet For X
  • X: The Only Choice For You
  • The X WordPress Theme – [Any Number of] Features, [Any Number of] Options To Select
  • …and so on

You get the idea.

know we’re more creative than that. Now, I know that marketing comes with a sense of sensationality (if that’s even a word). We’re supposed to be making our product sound so good to potential users.

The thing is, when you claim:

The best theme for doing X on the planet.

There are people who are going to stop and think: Wait. This is the best theme? Has it been compared to all other themes of this type and consistently come out on top? And it’s the best one on the planet? I did not know we blogged from anywhere else.

Maybe I’m being a bit facetious, but the thing is that I think we need to do a better job of marketing our work.

1. Explain The Why

The more I’ve thought I’ve about this, the more I’ve come to the conclusion that we don’t need to state that the product is the best option.

Instead, it’s important to explain why a theme is a person’s best option.

After all, I’d hate to promise that my theme is going to be the best theme for [whatever use case] only to have someone buy it and be let down by it because they bought into the idea that it really was the best.

Instead, I’d rather share why the theme is a good option for them.

Case in point: there are plenty of themes available for the videographer that are out there, as there are plenty of themes for writers that are out there, and so on – among all of the options that they potential customer has, why is your product the best option for them?

What does it offer that others don’t? How will it make their lives easier?

2. Explain The How

That last statement wasn’t meant to be a fleeting. Rather, it’s a sincere question: how does this product make a person’s life easier. What problem will it help solve as it relates to whatever their need is?

If they are a photographer, how will this theme make sharing their work easier? Why should your product be used rather than a competitors?

These are all questions that I think we intuitively know – that is, if we’ve been building our projects for the right reasons – and we have good answers to those questions, so why don’t we share them?

3. Leverage The Community

Ask anyone involved in the WordPress community: One of the nicest things about being involved with WordPress is the community.

That is, we’ve got people who are designers, developers, copywriters, marketers, advertisers, and so on. It’s a group of extremely talented people who have the ability to help convey a message that you aren’t able to do so on your own.

For example: Let’s say you’ve got a theme that’s going to be aimed at restaurants. Then talk with people who have done branding work with restaurant chains to get an idea as to what color palettes they prefer, work with the a copywriter to make sure your landing page hits all the high notes for what that market looks for, and perhaps even work with an advertiser to figure out how to showcase the theme across the web (or perhaps even locally) to garner business.

Case in point: One of my [many] weaknesses is determining pricing.

For me, it’s not enough to simply do competitive analysis on similar themes that are out there. I want to know what the best way is to price a product so that I can maximize profit – not for the sake of maximizing profit, of course – but to build a sustainable business that can continue to provide for my family and my customers.

To that end, I turn my attention to those who can help me out in that area.

Another example is design: I know enough to be dangerous, but I’d never claim to be a designer. There are some things that I’m capable of doing and am completely comfortable in working in that area; however, there are other times where I know I need to hire someone to help me out.

So I do.

And the work turns out to be all the better because of it.

But these are just two examples of many. The short of it is that we need to take advantage of those around us and delegate our weaknesses in order to continue building the best stuff that we possibly can.

Anything Else?

Honestly, I’m not a marketer. I’m not into advertising. This post – as well as others – likely demonstrate that.

But I’m okay with admitting that because I know it’s a weakness that requires that I take advantage of resources that are available to me, and partner with people who know more than me about the topic.

So with that said, I’d love to see a greater shift in this area as it relates to marketing WordPress themes.

Let’s stop describing our stuff as the best type of theme on the planet for whatever task, and actually start describing why and how our work is worth a person’s investment.

After all, our work is helping them put their work on the web. That shouldn’t be taken lightly especially given that it’s representing what they think, what they do, and/or who they are.

10 Replies to “Developers Need Help Marketing WordPress Themes”

  1. you probably could have cut the title after “marketing”. we as devs sometimes forget how a normal user / potential customer looks at what we do. they don’t need it dumbed down, rather, they need it in regular terms that mean something outside of the code world.

  2. Good stuff, you sound like a guy I could really get along with. I share many of the same desires expressed here. And likewise, over the years I’ve really tried to evaluate what I portray myself and my work as (i.e. – I’m great with photoshop but don’t advertise myself a designer).

    1. Thanks for the comment, Nick!

      And you’re right – just because some of us can use a certain set of tools doesn’t qualify us for a specific industry. For whatever unfortunate reason, that’s more accepted in computing.

  3. Great article sir it gives overview of Marketing and best strategy to attract human traffic with a digital product .I like most social networking sites they are have rich amount of traffic also provide you to reach lot of people with small budget.
    again thanks

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