Before you jump into designing your first theme for sale, you need to spend some time choosing your commercial theme niche. While there is room for more theme companies, you won’t last long unless you design to your strengths so spend some time figuring out what you’re best at before you start.
What Type Of Design Do You Like Best?
It’s important to know yourself as a designer before you get started. What experiences do you have that make you unique in theme marketplace? What types of client projects do you enjoy doing? Have you made several sites that fall into one area already? What types of sites do I like to make? Answer these questions and see if you have a pattern. You want to be passionate about your niche as well as have experience working in it. These can be a great clue of where you fit in best.
Before beginning Organized Themes, I worked as an assistant pastor for six years. That experience of working in a church gave me fresh, up-close knowledge of what churches need in terms of a website. I also worked with several non-profit organizations as a freelancer. Those experiences were what led me to WordPress in the beginning anyway so I set out to create themes for churches and non-profits. I’ve developed beyond that niche, but those two groups are still my main customers.
What Niche Isn’t Being Addressed
It’s hard to imagine there isn’t a large niche is devoid of themes now, but I’ll let you in on a secret. Many niches don’t have a theme company focused on them, or very few. The larger theme companies may have a theme in your niche, but not a large selection for customers to choose from.
If you start your theme company by creating several themes to one niche, you’ll have a better selection in that niche than even the largest theme provider. You will become the the go-to source for people that need that product. By offering variety for one group, you’ll make your site a destination for people designing in that genre.
What About Blog Themes?
Since WordPress is a blogging platform, you may be thinking of designing blogs. Just be aware that blogs are the largest category with the greatest competition both in terms of sales volume and developer talent. The oldest and largest theme companies began by selling blog centric themes and they are good at it. If you are also quite good and have something useful and unique to add then by all means jump in here. Since it is the largest need, there is also the greatest potential for sales. Blog owners typically change their themes more often than WordPress users. It’s a market that won’t be drying up for many years to come. Companies that didn’t exist this time last year are doing great in this space now, so breaking in here can be done. Just be prepared.
Are You Developing One Theme Or Many?
Many developers, myself included, create lots of themes. Even if there is a common set of functionality and features, unique themes are developed to fit particular needs in the community. These companies may offer single theme purchases, or bundles and subscription models. Other developers like the Standard Theme or DIY Themes work only with one theme. They hone it until the theme gets ever closer to being exactly what they want it to be. You can do either, but deciding now will influence your site design and business plan.
So have you decided on a niche for your WordPress theme company? Let us know in the comments.