Blogigs makes a modest average of $600 monthly through affiliate commissions from the combined sales of WordPress Themes which I promote in my sidebar. The bulk of it comes from sales of the Thesis Theme which I average of about 10 sales per month. The figure though encouraging, considering the traffic this blog gets, is way far from enough to sustain as a full time income. However, it does prove that you can make money selling WordPress Themes.
From my affiliate account, I also have a number of sub-affiliates who have signed up via my links. Sad to say, their sales are not encouraging judging from reports in my account. Unfortunately, their sites are not revealed to me because I would love to see how they are going about promoting their Themes.
Promoting an affiliate product and not just WordPress Themes per se, works a little bit differently from other forms of making money online like Adsense. Though both needs targeted traffic, selling affiliate products like Blog Themes or ebooks needs social traffic even more and you have to build up a certain level of trust with them. The fact that people like Problogger or Shoemoney can be so successful whenever that launch a product is because they have gained the trust of their tens of thousands loyal followers and their sheer ingenuity to brand themselves as such. When you have that in you and your blog, you can even sell a piece of moon rock to your loyal readers. Though I am not saying you should, many I believe, would.
The reason organic traffic do not perform too well for affiliate products is because organic traffic are usually traffic that are looking for information. Though there may be traffic looking specifically to buy a certain product, which in this case I don’t mean bicycles or motorcycles, but WordPress Themes, most will be searching for more info before making that final decision.
For a person wanting to buy a product or a blog Theme, they would have already have heard about the product. All they are looking for are further justifications to spend their money. If you could justify to them that the money will be well spent, they will clickthrough for the purchase. If you fail, they will go to someone else who can give them one.
Thus, if you are well respected and a trusted authority in your field, you would have won half the battle. Oprah Winfrey can make a passing remark that she has read a certain book and found it to be good and that book will sell a few million copies. Shoemoney can say sponsored tweets are good and thousands will sign up blindly. That’s authority. If you and I have that kind of power, we can say the Thesis Theme is the best and we will make hundreds of sales. That’s wishful thinking unless you can build up your social traffic to his level.
There are times when you can scorn at social traffic and there are times when you would want to digress. This blog gets organic traffic from long tails like, ‘how to change theme’s background color’ or ‘how to align images’ so on and so forth. All these are low traffic terms but the numbers add up. All these are also not ‘buying’ terms or terms used by people who are searching to buy a WordPress Theme. There is zero search for the term, “Buy WordPress Themes” but there are considerable searches for terms like ‘Where to buy the Thesis Theme’ or “Thesis Theme Review”. These are from people who have already heard of the Thesis Theme. These are the traffic that I believe can convert.
To convert such traffic, you will need a post for them to land and that post should be convincing enough for them to at least click on your affiliate link to get your affiliate cookies embeded in their browsers. Most cookies will last at least 60 days before expiring so if even if they buy one month after clicking your link, you will still get the commission. Just pray hard they don’t delete cookies after every surfing session. .
Unlike a post structured to make people clicked on your Adsense Ads, a post which you want to convince people to buy something is much more difficult to write. For one, clicking on an Ad cost nothing, buying a product means spending money. That makes a lot of difference. To describe something as good or bad is a very subjective matter. What may appear bad for you might in fact be good or vice versa for the guy reading it. If you oversell, people will get the impression that you are scamming. It’s really something that I have no advise to offer. I just depend of my gut feelings and give them my honest opinion.