Matt Alexander has sold themes on ThemeForest for 2 years now, under the username digitonik. He’s ready to break free and start out on his own.
Matt decided to focus on the business side of themes, and offer them in a bundled fashion just like Elegant Themes is doing.
I caught up with Matt and asked him why he made the move.
I can’t say it any better than he can, so here’s what he had to say.
- Older themes that do not sell thousands in the first few weeks do not really get the exposure I feel they deserve. I hate putting in hours or months of work on a theme only to see it barely being used. Creating my own store allows me to highlight older themes and bring them back to life. I never liked the fact that a beautiful theme barely gets used after a few weeks once it is bumped off the first or second page.
- With so many people joining in on the TF bandwagon it’s harder to compete with some of the ones who really have big exposure. I did fairly well on TF but I though I just could do better on my own.
- I do not like how they pay affiliates. A one time payment only on the first deposit is great for TF but not that great for the affiliate. I chose a subscription model. This way affiliates will get paid for the initial signup and also every month for the life of that customer. This I feel rewards the affiliate more and also keeps them promoting my theme shop for the long term. My affiliate program is not live but will be soon.
- Financially it was not making sense. Some people don’t mind it but I feel providing lifetime support for a $35 theme was just not a viable option and is kind of crazy. With a subscription model I only provide support to members who have an active subscription. I believe Elegant Themes does this as well. It is also kind of annoying to deal with support on TF. You have to deal with emails, a different thread for each theme, do I have a support forum or not? Just a lot of ways for support questions to fall through the cracks. With one focused support area I rarely miss a thing. Currently using TenderApp and it rocks!
- Back to the old debate from a few months back on theme prices. I like having the option to control the prices and also keep my themes and plugins all in one store. Just being able to control that aspect and also change things from customer feedback is great!
- One more thing to add. I think they (TF) completely under value the price of a great and functional plugin. With standalone plugin shops like Gravity Forms selling licenses anywhere from $39-$199. Authors could totally make sites for their plugins alone and do 10 times more sales with the higher prices.
- Overall my reason was just the entrepreneurial drive to try new things. I also like building a brand up from nothing and the excitement of growing it and having loyal customers is a great feeling.
All that to say, he is still likes ThemeForest and thinks they have a great service, but he had outgrown the need for the service. In fact, his website actually uses a theme purchased from ThemeForest, at least until he gets off the ground running and has time to develop his own theme for the shop.