This is a guest post by Jeff Chandler of Jeffro2pt0.com
During my interview with Small Potato, I realized that this man was very smart. As I dove into the reasoning behind why his theme club was setup in the way that it had been, a number of light bulbs went off in my head. These are just some of the pros and cons I have discovered when looking into the SP theme club.
Pro – The Price
For one, the price to get into the club is cheap. At $5.00 per year, how could anyone not think this is a deal? You get 12, so called “premium themes” for only $5.00. Sure, everyone will have their opinion as to whether or not the themes can be called premium, but considering no one will be able to access these themes unless your a member of the club will be a perk of not seeing a million other blogs with the same theme.
Con – Not Expensive Enough
As I write this post, there are 1,320 members in the SP Theme Club. With each member being worth $5.00, this puts the annual amount of revenue to $6,600.00 I’m not sure if the payments are situated so that any payments made during the year end up recurring on the first day of January of the following year or if the payments are simply made on the same day of the following year.
If it’s the first option, the annual amount of revenue is tiny. I don’t know of anyone who can make a living on that amount of money. Also keep in mind that as it stands, the theme club has initially been filled with free memberships. Will these memberships turn into paid subscriptions? That’s a question I can’t answer but surely, the previous years themes will determine that.
Pro – Awesome Support
The real beauty behind the theme club is that the more members that join, the more people that will be using the same themes. This means that the community of club members will be able to support themselves within their own little community. This really takes the burden of theme support off of the theme authors giving them more free time to devote to the next theme to be released.
Con – Who Knows The Theme Best
SP has said this himself, who knows themes better than the theme author themselves. The quality of support you will receive from the other club members will vary and at times will be disappointing.
Pro – Multiple Theme Authors
It’s been announced by WPDesigner’s new owner that he is actively pursuing some well known WP Theme authors to join the club. If this happens, this will be great for the club as it will provide a variety of theme styles, colors, layouts, you name it. Sure, the themes released by SP were good, and he did experiment with different techniques but having multiple theme authors solidifies the deal.
Con – No More Small Potato
Small Potato can not be replaced and for some, was the main reason why they joined the theme club. Small Potato had a sense of passion for the community he built, people trusted him, and people know that what SP produced would be of good quality. Now with the possibility of multiple authors, you really don’t know what you are going to get. This could be good and bad depending on who you ask.
I think the theme club and the way it’s been managed thus far has been of pure genius. However, as I’ve outlined already, the theme club is not perfect but it sure as hell provides an excellent base from which to start your own theme club. I would of loved to have seen how this theme club would of progressed had SP decided to stick through it all but alas, that won’t happen.
What I would like to know from you is what would you consider to be the pros and cons of the way Small Potato has shaped his theme club? Are you a member? Has SP paved the way for better theme clubs in the future? I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback and watching where you take this conversation.