I am not marketed enough

For the last few months I discovered my weakest point and that is communication through this blog. Not being a native English speaker moved all my attention to design and design only. I thought this is enough but it isn’t so and this is my conclusion …I am not marketed enough (See other Blog Designers) …and this is all my fault.

Are you agree with me on this? Should I start selling Premium Themes? I would like to know what do you think about my work and if you theme lovers have any advices for me.

Here is my report for 2007.

  • InSense | 11th Oct 2007 | 2634 Downloads
  • Gossip City | 11th Oct 2007 | 5642 Downloads
  • Smashing Theme | 19th Oct 2007 | 2268 Downloads
  • Illacrimo | 5th Nov 2007 | 3572 Downloads
  • Christmas Days | 12th Nov 2007 | 4137 Downloads
  • Dilectio | 9th Dec 2007 | 6297 Downloads
  • More then 25 Unique Blog Designs for my clients and many more.

Just that.

About The Author: Vlad Scanteie

Vlad is the founder and creator of DesignDisease. He's a skilled designer and developer with a love for all things WordPress. Check out his resume here.

85 responses to “I am not marketed enough”

  1. jojo says:

    “Should I start selling Premium Themes?”

    YES! You must create a cool premium themes and sell it. (and I think you can do it easily.) I love all your designs.

    Suggestions :
    – Magazine themes
    – Designed with beautiful art and business minds (125×125 ads, maximize Clickthrough Rate for Google Adsense)

  2. Jorge Andres says:

    Perhaps it’s not that you’re not marketed enough… Remember that there’s a lot of other people trying to outstand in the net, so it gets pretty competitive…
    Sometimes, we’re just one more lemming ;)

  3. R.Bhavesh says:

    Wt? You are asking? I bet, if you start selling premium themes, you will be number one in the paid theme market. Honestly.

    The most best thing about you is attention to details that tops all other designers out there. I would only say, “go for it!”.

  4. Darren White says:

    Definitely it is something I have thought myself but my design is not a patch on yours.

  5. So long as you don’t make just another plain white newspaper layout, then definitely. You make some of the best and most creative designs around, and you would definitely be able to sell that quality of design!

    Marketing can be just as important as quality sometimes. A high profile blog is a great way of achieving that, but other firms do it all without the blog (e.g. Unique Blog Designs redesigned John Chow for free and got a ridiculous level of attention from that. xD )

    Or what about guest posting? If you could make a (good!) post on Smashing, it would help a lot. :) (And of course, you’re welcome to post on Pro Blog Design if you ever want to, though it’s nothing like the size of Smashing!)

    The last thing is that you don’t have an actual “Services” page. You have a Portfolio, but you don’t really sell yourself there, and you About page is blank. One good services page to provide as much info as possible could work really well for you. :)

  6. KHUI says:


  7. JimmY says:

    It is a good ideea! Also you cand make new themes, with more colors and structural ideeas! ;)

  8. Leigh says:

    You themes are by far the best free themes out there, they are amazing! I have used them all and look forward to seeing new releases.

    I think for sure you should be doing premium themes.

  9. The benefit of the free theme is that it is great marketing and you’ll find that they will spread all over (and your name with it). It can be a great way to get new business for design work. Many will see the themes that you do and want a custom one of their own. On the other hand…if you don’t want to spend a lot of time doing design work…then you could do premium paid themes and just let them sell since it doesn’t require more work. However…you might make more money in doing custom work then selling themes.

    I think it is harder to promote yourself if you are selling the theme…but much easier if it is free and you get promotion because of that.

    I hope this was helpfull.

  10. A3lyphe says:

    Well, i’m stayin in line with the other commentors: make some premium kits available.

    Though i just clicked through ya site to get in touch with some themes i honestly have to underline the fact: you’re talented, you’re wit, but in the end you’re not selling yourself…

    Do it as you did it already. But don’t complicate your promotion. Try to give it a try like it is usable in the classical kind of publishing; use your leftover time and fix that rate, so that you can get into a turnus depending on that. Means, if you need a week to design such a good theme for nothing and want to make it visible to the public, take a turn in time of 1 to 2 months. If it is more time-expensive to do such, you should take a regular turnus of 3 month or even a half year. Just maintain the quality and think of it: If you’re getting better, stay better…

    So, i hope this might could have give you a lead; i hope to see more of your work for free and for sure i hope you’re making your business, too.

    With best regards,

    Claudius Raphael Paeth, A3lyphe.

  11. Dem says:

    Oh yes you are marketer enough! c’mon!

    You have very cool designs. That’s the very first thing that a designer and marketer should have! CREATIVITY…and you rulz in it.

    but… if you wanna be like the other designers that are selling premium themes… that’s on you my friend. But if you want to be different, don’t sell premium themes. Sell your service as a web designer or blog designer.

    Be clean, simple and elegant. I prefer to pay 1.000 dols for a custom blog design, than 80 dols for a blog design that 1.000 bloggers have.

    Sorry ’bout my english too. You’re good. Keep on rocking! :)

  12. Abhishek says:

    Start the premium themes without anything else in mind… you would really suceed… I am sure :) ur theme design and coding is just perfect as per my experience…

  13. justin says:

    sure you could sell premium themes, though you have some competition with wpdesigner.com small potato coming out with a theme subscription service in the next few days.

    as for not being marketed enough maybe you should check your spam folder. I personally tried to contact you for a project in the past and received no answer… eventually another designer was chosen.

  14. luc says:

    Except for Michael Martin most respondents focused on either your design skills or on selling premium themes as a way to increase your visibility.

    I don’t think that helps you much. You already know how to design and slapping a price on your themes is not going to catapult you to the top of the SRPs in the search engines. That’s not saying that you shouldn’t sell premium themes, I think your themes are certainly of a quality level that they would sell.

    But “being marketed” involves other things. Michael had some very valid suggestions. I would look into those very seriously. The most important aspect of “being well marketed” imho is visibility, the next one — which contributes to the first one — is “connectedness”.

    In short, if you think that “blog designers” is a target keyword for you, you should have this keyword spread all over you web pages. That’s the way the search engines determine if the content of your web pages are relevant to a particular search term. Forget keyword stuffing in meta tags, it’s a myth that won’t die, but it doesn’t work. Don’t overdo it with the “spreading” either, make sure that it sounds natural, repeating “blog designers” 12 times in a single paragraph does NOT sound natural. Look at the text of each single page as a whole and then aim for a word frequency of between 2% and 4% of this target keyword. Don’t write for the search engines, write for your audience, they are looking for “blog designers”, aren’t they? So tell them that you are into “blog design” by using these explicit words. Hammer through the message. Make sure they understand. If _they_ understand, the search engines will understand it to, you can be sure of that. Oh, and don’t use “tricks”, any tricks will be picked up by the search engines sooner or later and you will be penalized for it. Remember to “write for your visitors” and you won’t cross the line.

    So that takes care of the visibility.

    Now the connectedness. Again Michael had a good suggestion: guest posting on other high visibility web sites is an excellent way of getting links to your own website. And that’s what connectedness is about: get as many as possible websites (preferably high profile ones) to mention you and to link to your site. Of course you can’t write articles for all of them, so you have to refer to other means to get as many links as possible. Directories (Yahoo, Google) are a good source for links to your site. You’re doing all right already by having a link to your website in the themes that people download and install. In 2007 alone that could have created 14550 new links to your site. Not shabby at all. You could increase the value of these links by incorporating the target keyword text in the link’s anchor text, like “Blog design solutions by Design Disease“. Don’t underestimate the power of this: USE YOUR TARGET KEYWORD IN THE LINK’S ANCHOR TEXT. It’s very important. You have already two of the most used search phrase in one go there: “blog design” and “blog design solutions”, according to Google Suggest (the 2 other ones being “blog designers” and “blog design help”).

    Speaking of Google Suggest, use the available tools to help you determine what to do. Google Suggest is a good way, Google Trends also gives you a metric of the relative popularity of one keyword over another. Use those tools. I would also suggest you use a good log analysis program to study the behavior of the visitors to your website. Google (again!) Analytics might be a good start. This will give you an idea amongst other which search term made visitors land on which page of your site and adjust your strategy accordingly. All these tools are free to use.

    You might wonder why especially Google gives you all these tools. Well, Google has an agenda, and it’s both a very simple and a very smart one: in order to make money from advertising, Google must stay on top, and in order to stay on top Google must maintain its reputation to deliver (the most) relevant results, so that people keep coming back to Google, so that they see and potentially click on those ads. How can they do that? By giving site owners the best tools available that help them promote relevant sites to the top of the search results. It all makes sense.

    P.S. I did an analysis of the 4 key phrases mentioned above in Google, Yahoo and Live (MSN). I only checked as far as the first 100 results in each. Right now you are in position 55 in Google for “blog design” and in positions 48 and 57 in Live for “blog designers”. Nothing for the other 2 key phrases. With the above suggestions you should be able to improve on that.

    Good luck! And hope to see you in Crete the next time you visit ;-)

  15. luc says:

    I dug a bit deeper still, and I would conclude that “blog design” is definitely the target keyword phrase for you. Google Trends doesn’t even have enough data for the other 3 search terms, so that’s telling.

    Go with “blog design” as your target keyword, make sure it is present (as readable text, SE don’t do graphics) in the content of your pages, and incorporate it in the anchor text of your links.

    And finally, your landing page is https://www.designdisease.com, but you don’t have anything there for the SE’s to index. Your sub-domain “wp-themes” is where all your real content is. That’s is not a good set-up. You should have your external links point to where the SE’s can find content. Since your landing page is “www.designdisease.com” and you have already 1435 verified external links to that page, you will need to make some re-structuring decisions. Mail me if you want to hear my suggestions, it would lead too far to discuss this here.


  16. Bruna says:

    I think the same about my work, but I don’t know, I believe I am doing everything wrong, you know? but I don’t really know how to fix it =/
    you are doing pretty well as I see, you are an amazing designer and should make the premium themes maybe some more free ones too, cause well, more links to your site is always something good, and people who like your work won’t mind to pay you for a costumized theme

  17. Stalyn says:

    Do it baby!

    BTW: Any thoughts on releasing this theme?

  18. Nicole Simon says:

    Rather than market yourself, perhaps think of a product for you first?

    I came to the site because I love the swirly Dilectio theme, but not being on WordPress, I am rather looking for some designer magic I can buy and adapt it to my needs for my blogsoftware.

    I would assume that many people come here with the same thought: Oh! Like that! What else is there?!

    So before you go into marketing, why not show me what you can do for me? Where is your about page with “this is what I like to do and would sell to you?”

    Also, please add big thumbnails to your themes so I do not need to guess what is with your themes – which most people will not do, but react on a graphical trigger.

    Of course the other points above are valid as well but rather than going into deep SEO i suggest you start with basic business first. ;)

    Being a non native speaker is not a problem, as this can be taken care of and over time you will increase your english. The attention you get from existing links (I would assume Smashing magazine referrers are already a lot which you should be able to see in your analytics) can be build upon.

    There are services out there where you can buy unique / non unique licences plus do customizing, which could work for you very well.


  19. gombez says:

    yes..you are not marketed enough, but you realy sucses on theme builder right?

  20. Fubiz says:

    The Smashing Theme is gorgeous. Good work guys!

  21. Scyfox says:


    I really think as everybody here said, you should start selling some wp themes. But (there’s always a but) you should start thinking about new layouts.

    I like the way you mix up colors and shapes, but now that personal blogging is an antique, now different types of media are changing to the blogging style but keeping some “portal” looks.

    As someone said, you should find a way to do “magazine like” themes. I haven’t found any that makes me say “Wow, that’s cool”.

    It would be really nice, for example, a blog that doesn’t look like one keeping the flexibility of one.

    Tag clouds are great. It mashes up all the content of a site on the front page without having you to start searching for anything.

    a way to make the categories available no matter how down you scroll a page. (it might take some dhtml or javascript to render. maybe ajax)

    RSS and social networks available at first hand. It annoys me having to find the Subscribe button in a theme. it takes all the good out of a site when the damn button is lost somewhere.

    Picture resize. I know not everybody has a widescreen but 1024 its almost a standard now. I really hate fixed themes that are really beautyful but really really skinny.

    Well thats about it. I’m starting to learn CSS to be able to make my own site one day and stop complaining in blog designers’sites xD

    Best of luck.


    PD: btw, it is possible to have a static layer floating around that won’t get refreshed if i hit “page2”? I’m having issues with my frameset (’cause its deprecated)

    PD2: El problema no es el idioma. Quizá es la forma en que te diriges a tu publico por asi decirlo. O a lo mejor no estás haciendo uso correcto de las herramientas de SEO que hay tanto para wordpress como para el xhtml en general. (I speak spanish. a little advice for you. Use google translator if you wish to know)

  22. Andrew says:

    Well from what I have seen your very good at designing themes. Although 1 suggestion just in this post is to have somebody proof read your posts before you post them because sentence structure and spelling should be right up. Like in this post
    “I would like to know what do you think about my work and if you theme lovers have any advices for me.” it would be advice not advices. just my thought of the whole thing. Sorry if its a little harsh but I thought you might want to know.

  23. argie says:

    Not marketed enough? Seeing your works is enough mouth-of-the-word here in the Internet and gives you stats and I already bookmarked your site.

  24. KNizam says:

    i like your design :) u should sell it too. make more money and become famous :)

  25. Laarni says:

    Premium themes? I would buy them. When is this happening? hehehe. I love your themes. I used gossipcity on my group blog.

  26. Gavin says:

    This site is amazing. I’d say you could do with some more text on your home page. Text is the thing search engines are looking for.. and if you have words like website design, you’ll probably get more hits.

  27. Theo says:

    Elena, I think most advice from people in here is sound, but coming from a business background, the first think I would say to you is, what is your goal? It might sound like your goal is obvious, but the answer is not as simple as “make more money”.

    To echo everybody else in here, your designs are great. I personally visit your site every couple of weeks to see what’s new but also to look at your cool portfolio. I am really picky when it comes to designers and you are definitely talented. I use two of your WP themes in a couple of hobby blogs I have. But hobby blogs may not necessarily be your market.

    Unfortunately, what I see every day, in pretty much every industry, is that the person who makes the most money and has the most clients is not the person who is best but the one who can scream louder (and by that I mean, sell better or draw more attention).

    There are several things you can do to increase visibility and revenue, but again, it all depends on what it is that you want to achieve and how you would like to get there. Unless that question is answered clearly and in detail in your mind, any advice or path that you take, might just confuse you.

    I can keep writing in here with more of my views and ideas but it would take way to much space! If you want, shoot me an email and I’d be happy to talk more.


  28. For selling a premium WP theme, that theme should be unique and unusual, that people are hardly do the same. You have the talent and creative ideas in design. I guess your premium themes will be sold successfully. I mean people will purchase them. :)

  29. Jessica says:

    Yes I think you should. Just surfed on btw.

  30. enozinho says:

    Before you start selling your themes, can i steal this one?


  31. CD says:

    Your themes are beautiful! There is definitely a market for your talent.

  32. Gary Taylor says:

    Yes you should start selling.

    Not just because you’re a good designer, but also because the files you produce are excellent, too. I’m steadily adapting Dilectio to my needs, and I’m finding it very easy to spot which bits I need to change to get the desired effects.

    To me, that is the sign of a professional; you’ve taken the time to ensure beauty ‘under the hood’ too.

  33. jez says:

    the reason why you are marketeered badly is that you have virtually no exposure on themes.wordpress.net

    this again is not your fault, but those maintaining the site.
    for over seven months it has been down to updates;

    and people are doing shit at all to help this.

    if you want to join me and start and initiative to revive the themes.wordpress.net, drop me a line.

  34. Tyler says:

    I think your themes are great! One problem though… A lot of them don’t work in IE6 (the company I work for is really slow at updating software, so I’m stuck using IE6 for a while).

    I think that if people are going to be PAYING for a product like this, that it should be 100% functional in ALL browsers… ;) As should all websites… ;)

  35. Christy says:

    I think that you definitely have some great designs and could definitely do well selling themes, but I hope you will do that at affordable prices. I know there are some great designers out there who charge high fees – and they are worth it! But some of us bloggers are simple, hard working folk who need design on a budget, LOL.

    Good luck to you! I hope that using Delictio on my site has steered some action your way.

  36. Ehab says:

    Heres a tip from fan

    Make a theme, that would be loved by WordPress.com -)

  37. Matthew Lang says:

    You should definitely be selling premium themes. These wordpress themes are simply amazing and beautiful.

  38. Mary says:

    I really love your designs. I’m currently using the Gossip City theme that you made. Thanks!

  39. boioglu says:

    hi there,

    just wanna say thank you.

    i’m using InSense for a good while now. it doesn’t suit my kind of blogging but it is the best i could find.

    if u believe me, i can even enjoy the colors, even though i am color blind :)

    keep up the good work.

  40. chris says:

    maybe u should create design screencast and post them on youtube or other design friendly sites

  41. http://ff-raisenmarkt.at/

    I only reported this fraud to you cou’se i love your designs. Have a nice day.

  42. Jenny says:

    I’m actually tired of premium themes. They all look the same and anyone could make them (and they are). I think it’s time people started doing premium themes for free once in a while instead of making the poor people go “ooooo i wanna use that but i can afford it”

  43. AhmedF says:

    Jenny I suggest you buy a clue before commenting. Elena has released *fantastic* themes for free.

    I don’t know about you, but giving away stuff for free makes it tough to live off of. If only the pesky landlord would accept a freebie design.

  44. Hi Sure why not! Find a balance between sold items and freebies. Try buy 1 get 1. Have you tried selling on eBay?

  45. nomad-one says:

    I deifnitely think with your attention to detail and great design ability you could sell a ton of premium themes. There are guys out there who are not designers at all but are making a name for themselves because they have managed to market themeselves very well. Designers are not always the best business people, but unfortunately it doesn’t matter how good you are if you can’t sell.

    Some people manage to sell tons of badly designed themes. I think you should go for it and give the other premium theme guys a run for their money. Don’t stress about the language barrier. Keep it simple and it should be fine, it’s the work which will speak for itself.

    I do however think as others have suggested that you should do a combination of premium and free.

    All the best

  46. Jack says:

    I found your themes (and also this page’s design) very usefull. Additionally your themes are better from more of theme designers who called them blog theme designer.

    I think this is the time for you to generate premium designs.

    Keep on good work. If money can make your work continue then try to earn money from your job.

  47. Rebecca says:

    I found your blog by searching for themes and looking at the “themes compatible with wordpress 2.5” list. But I don’t find your themes on themes.wordpress.net, which is always my first search point. I like your work!

  48. Miss S says:

    I’m not sure how I found your site, but I love your Dilecto theme. I definitely think you should sell premium themes, but not at premium prices. I want a unique theme (with color) that represents me, but don’t want to pay the $200-$500 that some people seem to want. I just have a personal blog and can’t see paying lots of money for a theme when I don’t have revenue from my blog (nor do I want to).

    How about making premium themes with instructions for newbie about how to customize the theme. It would be more valuable to me if I learn something along the way.

    Thanks again for the themes!

  49. Cole Krawitz says:

    I have a question–I started using your dilectio theme, and a few days later, I’ve been having non-stop problems with my site being hacked. Of course, this can happen for a NUMBER of reasons, but I already did a clean sweap once of getting rid of all these files and then reuploading everything from scratch, and I was hacked again. Is there any chance there’s a security breach problem with this theme that you know about? If so, it’d be really helpful if you could let me know.