Themeforest Affiliate Program – You Lost Me

That Intro

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.

Low 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.


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  1. Funkylife says

    The only way that someone could make a huge amount with website ads is by making use of direct advertising with a fixed price. Affiliate programs never worked for me.

    • says

      I think there’s a place for every kind of advertising, depending on what kind of blog you run. But I would agree that getting a good direct advertising deal with a fixed price is the ultimate goal if you’re looking for a steady income. If you have the time and the energy then that’s the way to go.

  2. byn says

    Only first purchase is accounted and only newly registered user is accounted. Commission is 30% It’s tooooo low. If you have 4993 clicks on amazon affiliate links, you can earn much more.

    • icdee says

      I totally agree. It’s unfortunate and hopefully someone like Mojo Themes will see the opportunity there and offer better rates with their affiliate program. I’ve never been a big fan of reviewing Amazon products, but with those amount of clicks the earnings would definitely be higher.

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