Sounds like a bold statement, right? I mean, how can something as simple as a WordPress theme allow your online business endeavors to succeed? It’s a big issue to consider when you want to make money online. A few years ago when I was first dipping my toes into the world of making money from blogging, I thought it was as simple as this:
- Start a free blog
- Write a few short blog posts
- Put Google Ads and Affiliate links throughout the site
- Sit back and watch the money roll on in
A few failed blogs later and I can confidently tell you that this is not the case. While there are options online that let you create a blog for free (I’ve tried quite a few…), it wasn’t until I invested in my blogs that I started to see results from my efforts online. Currently, I make money online through a few main ways:
- I sell my professional services
- I coach new writers and bloggers
- I offer consultations for those who need help with Social Media
- I make income from affiliate marketing
The first year I started seeing income was 2014 where I grossed just over $11,000. In 2015, I worked fewer hours every week, but I grossed more than $25k. And 2016 is shaping up to look like I’ll be on track for over $55k from working part-time. There is a lot of hard work on my end that I’ve put into getting my business to this point, but I finally started seeing consistent income when I did one thing: I committed to investing in my business. That included getting fast, reliable hosting and buying a Premium WordPress theme. If I skipped this part, if I used a free blogging platform and did everything possible not to spend a dime on my blog, I know I wouldn’t be making money. Why do I tell you all of this? Because if you’re someone who wants to start making money online then you need to start investing some money in your business if you want to see any income. That’s what worked for me and many others that I know of.
Can’t I Just Use a Free Theme?
I get it. When you’re just starting out online, you probably want to save some money until you have a handle on things. It’s smart to be frugal with the money you do have.
But if you’re serious about making money online, then free just ain’t gonna cut it. Everything in life proves this to be true. For instance, if you want to earn money with stocks then you need to invest money in starting out with before you’ll make anything back. Thus the saying, “it takes money to make money.” (I think that’s a saying. If not, it should be!) The same is true with a blog or online business. You need to put some money into it if you want to get money out of it. While a free WordPress theme can save you some money, it’s not the best platform for building your online empire. Here are a few reasons why that’s the case.
1. Free WordPress Themes Lack Support
This is a big one. If you ever run into an issue where you need help — like a feature stops working or something else starts to glitch — and you’re using a free theme, you’re usually on your own when it comes time to fix the problem. You never know when an issue like this can come up. But with premium themes, this problem is a little less stressful situation. Since you’re paying for a theme, you’re funding a business so that they can invest that in theme support. And while some theme providers that offer free themes may invest some support in them, it tends to be very limited.
When you’re bootstrapping your business, then starting with a free theme might be the best option. However, sticking with a free theme forever could put you in a pickle down the line. If you’re currently using a free theme for your business, then start doing a bit of research to find a premium theme by a theme shop with a good reputation. If you don’t know where to look, then start here at MyThemeShop. They have quite a few blogging and business themes that run fast and have excellent support. And I can say that honestly because I’m a customer too (*wink*).
2. When You Settle For Free, You’re Not Fully Committed To Your Blog’s Success
I say this from personal experience. While I wanted to make money working online, I found that trying to scrimp on every single angle was to my downfall. I thought, “Well, if I do this without spending anything and it fails, all I’ve lost is a bit of time.” That way of thinking really hurt my online endeavors. I wasn’t committed to the idea of success. I was expecting my efforts to not really come to fruition — and they didn’t.
It wasn’t until I bought hosting and a premium WordPress theme that my business started to really take off. I was fully determined to make a go at this online thing, so I hunkered down, changed my mentality and went for it. It was seriously the best thing I ever could have done. In reality, premium themes are not expensive. The average cost for a WordPress theme is about $30. I spend more money in my Starbucks run than that. (Don’t judge, I have a growing family.) When you look at all you get from a free theme versus what a small amount of money can get you for a premium theme, the premiums theme always comes out the winner. Buying a premium theme is not a risk for business; it’s an investment.
Fear of failure or expecting your business endeavors to fail can do a lot of harm. While it can be unnerving to put money into something like a website that could flop, you should remember that you’ll get out of it what you put in. But a WordPress theme is not a significant investment. One way you can invest in your site without spending money you don’t have is to use the money you make from your site and put it back into your business. So if you find a theme that’s $45, then wait until your site has brought you that income before you purchase a theme.
3. Successful Bloggers and Websites Don’t Use Free WordPress Themes
While it’s true that a few bloggers can skate by using a free theme, the large majority do not. Pat Flynn with Smart Passive Income had a theme custom designed for his site. John Lee Dumas with Entrepreneur on Fire has a custom theme. Same goes for Matthew Woodward. (You can purchase his theme right here.)
Another great example is Peg Fitzpatrick — an influencer in social media — who uses a very popular premium WordPress theme for her blog. I could seriously make this list a mile long, but I think you get my point: Professional bloggers that make thousands and even millions a year use premium or custom themes for their site. A solid theme built on WordPress has allowed these online entrepreneurs to launch their businesses on a reliable platform that makes them money. Finding and using a good WordPress theme may not seem like a big deal, but it really is. A premium theme gets constant updates for security and to keep up with WordPress core updates. They stand out and help people build a recognizable brand. They offer features and functions that most free themes don’t.
When building a business or a personal brand, your website is going to be part of your overall strategy to build authority and income. Using a premium theme and designing it to match your brand or getting one custom made can help you stand out online and impress upon others that you’re not just another come-and-go expert in the noisy online world. You can put off buying a premium theme for a while, but don’t wait too long.
How To Find The Premium WordPress Theme You’ll Love
In a word:
But you also need to know what you want out of your website and what you want your brand to represent.
- Do you need an online store?
- What about responsiveness so your site looks good on smaller screens.
- How fast is the theme you’re considering purchasing?
- Do you need something that’s easy to customize?
These are all important questions to think about, and it can take some time to come up with a list and things you need from your theme and website. But since you’re already here, why not check out MyThemeShop’s themes? They’re one of my favorite, go-to theme providers, and I’m not just saying that either. But don’t take my word for it. Just look at what others have to say about it: Here is what the guy from ShoeMoney has to say about it.
Jyoti is another successful blogger who uses MyThemeShop, and this is what she has to say:
“So far I have only used one theme from MyThemeShop and it is just perfect when you have a lot of content to show. It is SEO friendly, AdSense enabled, and has 6 layouts to experiment with – which is why I haven’t opted for another theme in a while. :)” ~ Source
And if you’re not sure if you’re going to like the theme after you’ve bought it, they have a 15-day money back guarantee so if you decide you don’t like the theme you chose, you can get your money back if it’s within that timeline.
Wrapping It Up
While it doesn’t trump hard work, diligence, and an action plan, using a premium WordPress theme and investing a bit of money in your online presence is a key ingredient to building your business. If you’re ready to get serious about making money online, then set aside a bit of money to use for your website.
Have you found yourself holding back from buying a theme? If so, why? I’d love to know in your comments below.