13 Jan 3 Ways to Market Your WordPress Themes and Plugins
3 Ways to Market Your WordPress Themes and Plugins
For years now you have honed your skills as a developer, tweaking and modifying until you have created the perfect plugin or theme. While your skills as a developer may leave nothing to be desired, your work becomes useless if no one purchases it. As unfortunate as it may be, a good product alone cannot sell itself. Instead, it needs a little help.
By help I am simply referring to marketing, advertising, promotion, or whatever you would like to call it. I realize that the term “marketing” can be scary; especially since you hear about top-level marketing executives clearing six-figure salaries. Believe it or not though, do-it-yourself marketing isn’t as daunting as it seems.
As a WordPress developer, you have most likely witness just how vicious the WordPress community can be. The development market is oversaturated (to say the least) resulting in overwhelming competition. This fact alone is a good reason to switch roles and tap into the unseen marketer hidden deep down inside you.
While the list of marketing tactics is quite long, take a look at these strategies that many WordPress developers have found success with:
Content, content, and more content!
If the heading didn’t give it away already, one of the top marketing tactics involves an abundance of content. First and foremost, you need to head over to the WordPress directory and list your theme or plugin there. When you list your product, don’t skimp on the details. Make sure every single tab on the listing is filled out. If you want to go a step further (which I know you do), include a FAQ or a few screenshots of your plugin or theme.
Speaking of FAQs, have you considered your website? Most WordPress developers have their own websites, but what separates the successful developer from the hordes of mundane ones is the abundance of helpful content present on their site. Your website should be a resource for potential customers, users, and enthusiasts alike. The WordPress directory listing we talked about previously is just a stepping stone. Your website is where you can truly elaborate.
Weekly posts, monthly newsletters, entire screenshot albums, and a complete FAQ are just a few components that can transform your website into a valuable resource for users. Moreover, it is this type of content not only keeps people coming back, but also allows search engines to find you. I’m sure I don’t need to go over what it means to have a high ranking in Google, right?
Social media—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.—has quickly transformed the marketing landscape, creating a lucrative connection between business- and personal-life. The very same outlet that manages your friend requests is also a powerful marketing tool that can reach thousands upon thousands of people the world over.
As a developer, you know better than anyone else that your product lineup is almost always based online. In other words, you’re not selling a tangible product that people can touch and/or hold. Therefore, a lot of your marketing efforts should be focused online where it can reach a bigger audience.
Treat your social media profiles just like your website by making regular postings, announcements, and press releases. This builds a presence of sorts that let your audience know that you’re a real person; someone who can provide troubleshooting advice, answer support-related queries, and provide insight into the plugin or theme.
Give the people what they want….free stuff!
If there is one thing I’ve learned throughout my career, it’s that people—young, old, and everywhere in between—love free stuff. Yes I’m aware that what might be free for the person on receiving end isn’t free for the giver, but it does go a long way in regards to marketing. There are many different types of “free stuff,” but for marketing purposes, two types stand out.
First, is a free version of your plugin, theme, etc. That doesn’t mean giving out full versions of your product though; otherwise there would be no reason for folks to buy it. Instead, create a limited version of your plugin or theme that features the same basic foundation as the full version, but lacks all the bells-and-whistles. In doing so, you’re allowing potential customers to test your product before committing to the full purchase.
The second type of free stuff I’d like to discuss is swag. To put it simply, swag typically refers to any type of branded merchandise used to market or advertise a particular company, product or service. With that being said, just think of swag simply as promotional products. This can be anything from stress balls and colorful can coolers, to t-shirts, hats, and other apparel, all branded with your logo, contact details, mission statement, etc. These can be used as contest prizes, thank-you gifts, or just given away at random if your budget allows for it.