Wordcamp 2012 riaan knoetze - how to hijack a themeshop

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Starting a WordPress theme shop is tough these days. The sheer number of competitors in the market are immense. This talk explores skills and practical considerations required to successfully distribute commercial themes and other ways to profit from child theme development.

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Wordcamp 2012 riaan knoetze - how to hijack a themeshop

  1. 1. Background & History● No formal web dev/design training● Brief educational background● What Im NOT: ○ Programming Ninja ○ Marketing Guru ○ Graphic Designer● What I AM: ○ Decent Front End Dev ○ Know what I like ○ Chaser of Passive Income
  2. 2. Premium Theme Market Issues● Crowded● High Barrier to Entry ○ Skills ○ Support Infrastructure ○ Cost to get help● Getting feet to your website
  3. 3. Possible Solution: Hijacking● No actual crime involved● Build of childthemes / plugins● Leveraging existing themeshop infrastructure
  4. 4. What is a Child Theme?● Wordpress hierarchy - how things fit together● Opinion: ○ Childthemes = look & feel change ○ Plugins = adds / removes functionality ○ Affects support requirements● Why I chose child theme product development? Skills
  5. 5. Examples - Classipress● Gumtree on Wordpress
  6. 6. http://demos.appthemes.com/classipress/
  7. 7. http://classipress-child.tinygiantstudios.co.uk/
  8. 8. http://classipress-child.tinygiantstudios.co.uk/
  9. 9. Examples - Jobroller● Wordpress Job Board
  10. 10. Prima Screenshotshttp://demos.appthemes.com/jobroller/
  11. 11. Prima Screenshotshttp://jrchild.tinygiantstudios.co.uk
  12. 12. http://eva.tinygiantstudios.co.uk
  13. 13. Hijack 101 - Tools / Skills / Knowledge Resources● Skills ● lynda.com ○ Basic PHP ● teamtreehouse.com ○ WP theme file hierarchy ● ● Digging into Wordpress Wordpress Tutsplus ○ HTML / CSS / jQuery ● Nettuts ● Web Design Tuts● Tools ● ● Themeforest Code Canyon ○ Text Editor ● WP Codex ● PHP Novice to Ninja ○ Graphic Design thingamabob ● jQuery Novice to Ninja ○ A website to showcase (and sell) ● ● Sublime Text 2 Notepad++● Knowledge ● ● Photoshop Fireworks ○ What is happening in WP Market ● pixlr.com ○ Top tier themeshops
  14. 14. Hijack 101 - Pick a Target● How to select a themeshop to hijack ○ Poor theme design ○ Poor theme functions Personal Experience ○ Poor theme support ○ Unanswered User Requests ○ Active user base / showcase Research ○ Themeshops by Size ○ Themeshop support
  15. 15. Hijack 101 - Execute Your Plan Resources● The Legwork ● Designshack ○ Handcoding HTML/CSS/jQuery ● CSSWizardry ○ Use existing CSS files from parent ● ● Supportpress Github ○ Use CSS3 ● Google Docs ● Bugherd ○ Add spice to CORE theme features ○ Keeps things as modular as possible ○ Advanced: Learn Hooks / Filters● Testing ○ Find trusted users with field experience ○ Bug logging system ○ Reward testers
  16. 16. Hijack 101 - Get Cash for your Stash● Demo Setup (With Google Analytics) Remember● Product Screenshots / Box Cover ● ● Currency Tax Laws● Get a Marketplace ● ● Privacy Policy Terms & Conditions ○ Own Website ● Hosting & Bandwidth ○ Official Marketplace ○ 3rd Party Marketplace● Start Marketing ○ Support forum / forum signature ○ Blog comments ○ Email Newsletters ○ Asking official recommendation ○ "Buy Now" links on demos ○ Social Media stuff ○ Listen to / contact the experts
  17. 17. Hijack 202 - Aftersales Support● Develop your own support system (e.g. forum / ticket based / email)● Why? ○ Key to future sales ○ Key to user driven marketing
  18. 18. Hijack 202 - Making it LegitHijackers (child theme developers)● Getting themeshop backing● Joining themeshop marketplace ○ Reduces infrastructure requirements● Becoming certified partner● Drawback: Revenue splitHijackees (themeshops)● Expanded product offering● Passive income● Employee screener
  19. 19. My Own Experience with AppThemes● 1st premium child theme early 2011● Marketing = Forum signatures● AppThemes Stalker● Currently 8 Products total● Joined AppTheme marketplace in Aug 2012
  20. 20. Making it Official - Joining AppThemes● Front End Developer● Inside access to upcoming AppThemes products● Still based in South Africa● Still earning in USD = Passive Income
  21. 21. Questionshttp://tinygiantstudios.co.uk/
  22. 22. Example - Vantage● Wordpress - Business Directory Listings
  23. 23. http://demos.appthemes.com/vantage/
  24. 24. http://vantage-child.tinygiantstudios.co.uk/

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