I talked the other day about making money using WordPress and one of the most common ways at the moment is to sell commercial themes. There are two routes to this currently, you can open your own theme shop or you can use a theme marketplace and sell your themes on there for a commission.
Theme marketplaces are becoming more common as not everyone wants to take on the responsibility of running their own website, with a marketplace they handle all the promotion and marketing for you. Your responsibility is to just create themes and support your customers.
More and more theme marketplaces are opening lately so I thought now is a good time to look at the options open to you as a theme seller ...
Themeforest is a site by Envato and is really the one which started off as the first marketplace for WordPress themes. It has a huge audience and currently has over 5000 templates and themes listed. If you can become a popular author here the rewards are good, their top-selling author Kriesi just passed a million dollars in sales. If you are an exclusive author with them, you can earn commission rates of 50% to 70% depending on sales volume.
- Commission Rate: 50% - 70%
Mojo Themes probably occupy the second spot in terms of members and sales but still lag a long way behind ThemeForest with 500 marketplace items and 25,000 members. I have noticed the quality of themes here is not always as high but I believe that presents someone with an opportunity to go on and release really high quality products and try and become one of the top authors on there. They use the same 50% - 70% payment structure.
- Commission Rate: 50% - 70%
Themes.com just recently opened their doors to the public and they have a couple of policies which stand them apart from other sites. You don't have to be an exclusive author with them and you can set your own prices. If you can stand the font, you can read their manifesto here. Their payment rates are 55% - 75% but worryingly they dont disclose how many sales to reach the top payment tier, it just says "at our descretion" - it would be nice to know this up front.
- Commission Rate: 55% - 75%
This is a marketplace of child themes for the WordPress framework Genesis, there are not too many details on how you can submit themes or payment rates but according to their announcement post for this marketplace they have 54,000 customers which is a healthy base to sell themes from. The themes on their look like typical Genesis themes, a limitation I suppose of all using the same framework but an opportunity to offer something unique.
- Commission Rate: Currently Unknown
Superhug is a marketplace which sells all types of digital products: PSDs, Stock Images, HTML Templates and themes for various CMSs including WordPress. There is not a lot of information for authors, they simply state that you will receive at least 75% commission. I even signed up as an author and went to the submit an item page but no further information was there which is a concern. I also dont like their refferal system, instead of giving you a link to sign people up with it simply says "To earn referral commission, ask people to sign up for Superhug, entering your username in the "Referred by user" box. " which I cant see happening in a million years.
The site looks like it has potential but is way behind others in terms of features and just general information.
- Commission Rate: 75%+
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MoozThemes looks really similar to ThemeForest which is understandable as I suspect they are using the CloneForest script to power the site which as it suggests, provides a clone of the ThemeForest site. They offer 60% as a starting payment rate and move up to 70% when you sell over $10k of products. There are currently 52 themes listed but only 124 marketplace members and their top author has just 72 sales. This is very much a small marketplace and from what I can see its just another generic offering trying to compete with ThemeForest - I cant see any real reason to choose this one to sell your themes on.
- Commission Rate: 60% - 70%
Buy Sell WordPress
This marketplace has a pretty uninspiring design - looks like one of those sites that list free themes, I would expect them to invest a bit more in the design of the site. Commission rates go from 50% - 70% if you sell over $75k woth of product. You have the choice of suggesting a price when submitting your files but the final choice is down to them. Site doesnt have too many products listed and again, I cant see why someone would choose this over a marketplace with a bigger audience.
Have I missed any? Let me know in the comments ...