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WordPress Guide to Livelihood Without Central Marketplace Dependency



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Out of the all the two cents already published about WordPress.com upcoming premium themes marketplace, my own thoughts are best described by the following:

You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on. – George W. Bush

What I think of WordPress.com marketplace:

It’s a brilliant idea and I can’t wait to work twice as hard for half of the money (50/50 split with WordPress.com) selling CSS only GPL licensed premium themes to uninformed WordPress.com users and give those themes to everyone else for free because I still wouldn’t be working hard enough to justify my above minimum wage income supported by the generous WordPress blog platform.

Coming up with a high-quality premium theme without breaking any law isn’t already hard enough. To all you lazy theme designers spending only a week on each theme, step your game up. If you get on WordPress.com’s good side, you’ll get the chance to sell GPL licensed CSS only themes to more than 1.7 million WordPress.com users. And that’s important because those uninformed WordPress.com users, making you work twice as hard to provide support, is definitely the crowd to cater.

And don’t worry about thieves stealing your theme by simply copy and pasting your GPL licensed CSS. WordPress.com will be there to protect you even when it can’t.

What you should know:

  • This is not about you. It’s about WordPress.com making money off of you. Don’t get it twisted.
  • You’ll work for exposure to the wrong crowd – people that need more support than you’re willing to give.
  • Even if you’re willing to sell your soul for cheap, you won’t get the exposure you’re dreaming of because you’re not allowed to credit yourself for the work by linking back to your site.
  • After a grueling week of design and development, you can look forward to splitting 50/50 with WordPress.com. Even if you net $2000 per theme, it isn’t worth it to split 50/50. On your own, you can EASILY make more than $2000 per theme. Just ask me or Brian Gardner. (Splitting 50/50 to sell text link ads might be the right thing to do because you don’t have to directly work for that money. But creating WordPress themes is no joke so don’t get wamboozled into splitting your hard-earned money.)

What you should do:

  • Stop dreaming of a central marketplace giving all designers (you) a fair chance to compete. You don’t need one.
  • Stop being lazy and build your own buzz. Release free WordPress themes, then advertise your services/products.
  • Stop thinking about working with WordPress.com and start thinking about working against WordPress.com. Start a similar service. Get designers on your side. Charge a flat fee instead of 50%. Don’t wait to see what happens with WordPress.com themes marketplace. While the WordPress.com team is working on their own system, you should be working on yours. Launch before them.
  • Stop jumping onto the bandwagon. Remember the last time you got wamboozled?


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