I’ve been working with WordPress for several years now and at the beginning, being a novice blogger and a student with little cash, I only used free themes. I spent my days finding, testing and hacking themes that wasn’t built to do what I wanted it to do. As the years passed I got a job, made a few bucks and eventually came to the realization that I wasn’t a coder or a designer, but I’ll most likely still spend my days working and making money with WordPress. The inevitable logical next move was premium WordPress themes.
This was like a magical new world for me. Decide what you want to do, find the theme which does it and off you go. I sifted through countless premium themes and as a natural blogger move I started sharing and reviewing thesee premium WordPress themes all over the interwebs. At the same time I was also looking into the affiliate marketing. So… next logical step, COMBINE. Take what you write about anyway and add a few affiliate links. I started off with Sitemile themes, which at that time was pretty successful in terms of affiliate earnings. Unfortunately they had a very limited amount of products I could promote.
In steps Themeforest. Simple affiliate setup with a massive amount of always fresh affiliate products I could promote. So I did. I started off publishing top ten lists and “specific features” lists on some of my blogs and… I waited. In terms of click throughs I was pretty impressed. If I got this amount of clicksson my Infolinks account, with so little effort, I might even still be using Infolinks. Unfortunately as impressed as I was with the clicks, it doesn’t come close to how disappointed I was with the earnings.
In the six and a half months of promoting Themeforest products, I received 4993 clicks of which 4 converted into registrations and 2 converted into deposits. Earning me a whopping $16.20. (See Screenshot).
Why I think it’s so low
In all honesty I think the program is setup incorrectly. Affiliates should earn based on products sold, not on who they referred to the marketplace when. A marketplace is not a shop, as the affiliate marketer you’re not promoting Themeforest, you’re promoting individual products, where each individual product should be seen as a completely new referral. If John shows Jess theme A on Themeforest and she doesn’t like it and does not spend any money, John does not earn. If Dave then shows Jess theme C , which she likes and proceeds to buy it, it’s thanks to Dave, not John. Dave should earn.
It’s irrelevant if Jess was referred to Themeforest before that, or if she found the marketplace herself. If she doesn’t buy anything, no-one is earning until Dave shows her theme C.
Now the point of this post is not so I can rant and/or shoot down the Themeforest program, it’s just so I can put it out there and get some of your thoughts.. I know that if I try harder and put more of my time and real estate into promoting these products, I will make more money. I know, that there’s plenty of people who do actually make money with the Themeforest affiliate program, but I just don’t think that’s going to be me.
Hopefully the way I see the Themeforest Affiliate program is correct and that some of you can shine a light on the way it is setup.