Matt Lambert

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Publishing Your Theme Is Only Half The Battle

By admin on June 24th, 2014 in Selling

You’ve coded up an awesome Bootstrap theme, published it on a marketplace and sat back waiting for the dollars to roll in. Problem is they haven’t and you don’t know why. The reality is there’s a ton of themes and marketplaces out there, which makes it hard for your work to stand out. As an author you need to realize that creating and releasing your theme is only half the battle. The other half is promoting your work and yourself so that potential customers can find you.

Personal Branding

Before you even consider designing and coding up your first Bootstrap theme, you need to get a few things in place. Namely a foundation personal brand that you can use to build out your profile online. The first thing I would recommend doing is building a personal website. It needs to include things like:

  • Portfolio of your themes
  • Blog with content related to what you are selling
  • Short personal bio

Theme Portfolio

If you’re just starting out, you may not have a portfolio of products to feature yet. If that’s the case, start with the blog while you’re developing themes at the same time. If you do have themes then create a simple portfolio of your work. Each theme should have a dedicated page that includes content like:

  • Preview images
  • Live demo of the theme
  • Short description of the theme
  • Bullet point list of the key features
  • Link to the file marketplace(s) where it can be purchased

Think of your portfolio as your own online store. The only difference is that you’re linking people off to another location to make the actual purchase. It can be hard to stand out on the theme marketplaces, so you need to create a personal hub for your work that can be found through search and then drive sales to the actual web stores. Check out as an example of a good product portfolio website.

Personal Blog

This one is key because this is how you are going to drive traffic to your personal website. You need to blog about topics that are releated to the products you are selling. For example, I’ve started writing eBooks on Bootstrap and CSS3 this year. You’re currently visiting my eBook website and reading my blog where I post about Bootstrap and CSS3. The blog posts get picked up by search engines, other blogs, and get shared on social media which drives traffic to my website. Many of the users that come to my website for the blog, will then check out the eBooks.

The reverse situation also helps eBook or theme sales. If a user has come to my personal website to check out one of my products but is unsure if they should purchase it, reading some blog posts will build trust with them that I actually know what I’m talking about. This can often be the tipping point between making a purchase or abandoning it.

The great thing about blogging is that if you write good content on a regular basis, it will only improve your traffic over time. Just make sure you are writing good content that is valuable to your users. Stay away from things like round ups and top 10 lists that quickly become dated and don’t have a ton of real value.


It’s a good idea to have a short bio on your website to build trust with your users. Let them know there is a real person behind the website and list a few of your accomplishments. This also shows that you are proficient in your field and not another eCommerce snake oil salesman.

Within your bio you should include links to all your social media and marketplace profiles which will help drive traffic to them. The key with the personal website is that you want to raise your personal profile, build trust with your users, and direct customers to where they can buy your products.

If you’re interested in learning more about promoting your themes, I go deeper into depth on the subject in my new eBook Mastering Bootstrap. It will be released on July 8th and you can sign up for the newsletter to be notified when it’s available.

Like what you read? Check out my store over at Creative Market to support the blog and help keep the lights on. Files starting from only $2.