A while back, I was working on one of my projects and went in search of a Word Press Blog Theme.
Choosing a theme is probably the toughest part of the whole “blog launch” experience. However, as I tell my clients… unlike the process of choosing a “look” for your HTML web presence… a blog theme can be changed as easily as you can change your clothes.
I’ve always loved the work of a designer who goes by the moniker of Small Potatoes and was pleased to discover he’s come up with an interesting method of packaging and promoting his services. Back in February, he launched a promotion Wpdesigner 20,000 Accounts Giveaway
It was brilliant… it was inspired. For $5 you can join a club to get a new premium theme every month. From the support materials:
You can use each theme under multiple domain names. Whether it’s one site, one hundred sites, or more, you do not need to pay any more than $5. Also, feel free to use Wpdesigner club themes for client projects without a developer license.
According to his blog he’s already at 1300+ members…. yet last week he announced that he’s selling WPDesigner.
I’m saddened by the announcement. I’m not sure I buy the story of his planned extensive travel plans for the year as the reason for the sale. I suspect the “real” reason is the third stated reason on the blog post where he says he “hates providing theme support”. Unfortunately, this is something he offers using the $5 membership system.
I knew the $5 yearly club membership was “too good to be true” and I get it. Support is a HUGE issue when it comes to any business but most certainly a web based one.
Perhaps one reason for the sale is he’s disappointed with the response to his $5 membership club. According to the information on the auction, he has 400 paying members in the club. That means there are 900 who won a free membership and will (hopefully) pay next year. I’m one who GLADLY paid $5 and even if he doesn’t offer another theme consider the three offered so far to be well worth the investment! I’m surprised that only 399 other people saw the bargain of the offer.
By the way, I am his IDEAL client. His themes are incredibly well coded and I don’t EVER have to contact him about “support”. IMHO…. pricing the service at $5 per month is no where NEAR enough to deal with the support requests I imagine he gets. As a result, I’ll pass on making a bid to buy this blog.
Which reminds me of Liz Strauss’ blog post “Wendy Didn’t Wait. Will You?”
A blog isn’t a business any more than a building is a company. We can work our hearts out in the name of our blogs — reading feeds, writing posts, commenting, and social networking — but without a plan, those things won’t get us what we need to pay the rent.
WPDesigner.com has a lot of things going for it:
- Page views/month: 896,000
- Monthly Revenue: 890
- Google Pagerank: 7
- Uniques/Month: 70,000
With all of that going for it, I think the blog would have been more “attractive” to buyers without the existing membership site and the promise of 9 more themes with support.
Liz is right (she always is, by the way). A blog is NOT a business…. think of it more as an advertisement for your business that lives on the web.