The days when you made mediocre WordPress theme, uploaded it to the ThemeForest and earned thousands is gone.
Nowadays more and more WordPress theme authors informed us about a dramatic drop in sales and start to search for ThemeForest alternatives.
What was the reason for the drop in sales? In my opinion, it was more a set of circumstances:
- oversaturated market. On ThemeForest marketplace was published 7 to 10 new themes every day. Then imagine the total monthly volume and the volume of the year and the day when supply exceeds demand has arrived. OK, there has had and will have a customer that wants to switch from free to premium themes and will be willing to pay for it, but it no longer held a mass as it was before.
- Themeforest slowly raise prices for WordPress themes. If in the past the price was very competitive (with outside marketplace theme traders), then right now the price is not so friendly anymore. This causes the customer to think whether the theme, what he's going to buy really be helpful and better than the existing one which he uses.
- Themeforest limited support time, previous all theme support was lifetime, now it is limited to 6 month and for additional 6 month support you must pay extra. Therefore, using the theme for 3 years, the final price will be, theme price + additional 5 payments for support and the final price for your theme will be very unfriendly.
- The rich get richer, the poor will remain poor, or customers choose WordPress themes according to their sales and authors with the new themes is getting harder to start. Customers don't trust to themes which have only a few sales, in ThemeForest search, they sort themes by their sales and browse only a few pages. Compiling all these factors, it is clear that nothing will be as before and it is time to look for alternatives.
This is a very new market that occurred in the year 2012 and is like an “Etsy" for WordPress themes. To start selling, you need to sign up for your store and wait for approval. If your style meets CreativeMarket criteria, then you get accepted, if not, then rejected and you must improve your design skills before resending the request. Runs through their catalog is obvious that most selling themes are a lifestyle, crafts, fashion, or blogs.
Magazine and business portfolio are not popular on CreativeMarket you must try MojoMarketplace for these themes. But, if your WordPress themes are with a creative touch, then CreativeMarket is a great alternative. True, you can’t expect sales similar to the best years of selling in ThemeForest, but better to be the first guy in the village than the last city. Working closely with customers you will create a stand-alone client base and sales will come. In Creativemarket the customers like it, "butik" style and individual approach that is not in ThemeForest. The main advantages for CreativeMarket are availability to set your own prices, you don’t need to wait months for approval (or reject), you can sell your themes immediately after upload. And there are no exclusive rights, you can sell your themes anywhere and still receive 70% from each sale. Definitely, CreativeMarket is the best place where you can sell your themes, and we can only hope, as it will become more and more popular. Btw. Even SoloPine is using CreativeMarket as alternative to ThemeForest, and WordPress developer Automattic sell themes on CreativeMarket as well.
This is where WordPress themes published those ThemeForest has refused, but whose themes are still high quality. A Very perspective market, but a bit clumsily navigation and everything, in general, is clumsy. And also sales are not as brilliantly as ThemeForest, but the alternative is and you can try. If CreativeMarket started with developers friendly rules and do all opposite Themeforest, then MojoMarketplace made something very similar to ThemeForest, so there is no significant difference between Themeforest and MojoMarketplace.
Sell WordPress themes on your website
The most serious alternative is to sell WordPress themes on your website. As positive examples can be WPZoom, TeslaThemes, ThemeFurnace and many more.
WPZoom and TeslaThem have tried to sell on ThemeForest, but thankfully realized that sell outside website is not promising to himself and decided to continue the safe way.
While Orange Themes switched from selling themes on ThemeForest to sell on their own website and it was the right decision. Of course, sell on your site will be the hardest path, but in the long run, it will pay off.
As a positive element I want to mention that you will be able to set your own prices for your themes, and there wouldn’t be extra fees and after theme development, you can sell it immediately. Of course, your first few months the sales numbers will be ridiculously low, but in the meantime, actively working on marketing, you may be able to earn a very serious number.