How a 17-Year-Old Built A Profitable Business Around The Thesis Theme

by Alex Mangini

Hey all, Alex Fraiser here. Over the past 18 months, I’ve made money online exclusively through the Thesis Theme for WordPress and I’m going to tell you how I did it.

You may think that Thesis is just a WordPress framework, but it’s much more than that. It’s a community of people who use premium software to improve their website.

What happens when you have a community of people with the same desire? It creates opportunities for us – bloggers, consultants, developers, and designers – to satisfy that desire.

So, keep reading and I’ll take you inside my business and show you how I make money online by helping Thesis users improve their website.

First off, You Need a Blog…

If you want to build a business around the Thesis Theme for WordPress, your blog is vital for lead generation because it showcases your abilities to potential customers.

Personally, I used my blog to kick-start my design business from “just another Thesis user” to someone who was recruited by DIYthemes.com as a “Certified Thesis Professional.”

How did I do it? I spent much time creating a Thesis design for my business blog, Blogussion.com, and it became a huge hit in the Thesis community.

Now, you may not want to be a Thesis designer and that’s okay. The key takeaway from my personal story is this:

Your blog is your ultimate case study. No matter what business you’re in, if you show off your skills, abilities, and results on your blog, people will trust you and consider your services for their Thesis needs.

So, You Have a Blog… Now What?

Personally, I built myself 3 income streams. Sure, they’re all common methods to making money online, but I focus solely on Thesis because the demand right now in this market is HUGE.

Let me give you an insider’s tip. When you want to start a business online, you should narrow down your niche. The trick is, you have to find the perfect niche — it can’t be too small or too big. It just so happens that Thesis is just right.

Now let me get down to the details…

1. Affiliate Marketing

The simplest, hands-off approach to making money online with the Thesis Theme for WordPress is their affiliate program. Let me explain.

The demand for Thesis right now is unmatched. They haven’t shared specific numbers with me, but in just the past few months, I’ve personally seen thousands of new people join the Thesis Community.

Since people want to buy Thesis anyway, you might as well promote it too. It will help you make some affiliate commissions.

What’s the best way to convince people to buy Thesis using your affiliate link?

When you start using Thesis, you can make an announcement about it. Also, you can write informative tutorials that show your readers how Thesis can help them. For example:

2. Freelance

The demand for quality Thesis designers and consultants is incredible. If you focused on creating your blog, you won’t even need to search for clients. Trust me…

As a matter of fact, I didn’t even willingly start my freelance business. The readers of my blog started it for me because they saw my work and wondered how much I charged customers for the same work.

The funny thing is, I didn’t have:

  • a portfolio
  • any freelancing experience
  • a freelance specific contact form
  • any advertising done for my service

Yep, zilch…

I didn’t have one typical thing freelancers use to get business, but I was still receiving many emails each day from readers wondering if I did freelance work.

What helped set me apart?

Well, as I mentioned earlier, I spent a lot of time using my blog to showcase my skills and the community took notice.

Do you know who else took notice? Chris Pearson. He saw my work, liked it, and promoted me a bunch on Twitter. That drove a ton of traffic and business. Thanks Chris 🙂

Now you may think it sounds impossible to start a freelance business, but if you show off your skills, the clients will find you.

The question is, how can you show off your work?

There’s a couple of ways…

If you’re a designer, customize your site with Thesis and you won’t need a showcase. Your site can be your showcase. Also, you could write detailed tutorials that teach people how to use Thesis. This will showcase your ability and chances are, they’ll hire you to avoid having to do it themselves.

If you’re a consultant, the same approach works. If you write tutorials, people will often want to hire you so they don’t have to do it themselves. You just need to demonstrate that you can get the results people want.

3. Products

Freelancing is awesome. It’s profitable and I get to meet new people. The problem is, I still felt like I was trading my time for money. To solve this, I started to launch products built around Thesis.

Why are products so great? In most cases, especially with digital products, it’s a one-time input of work and you get to distribute the same product several times. Personally, I think this is the most profitable business strategy if done right, so I pursued it.

What product did I release? Quite simply, a Thesis Skin.

Why did I choose a Thesis skin?

Again, my blog readers chose this for me. Everyone kept asking me if my Blogussion.com theme design was available for download. At the time it wasn’t, but I saw a huge opportunity. So I released it at the low price of $45.95 in January 2010.

I don’t want to brag, but to show you how successful this skin has been, I’ll share some general numbers. In the few months that it has been available, I’ve made a nice five figure income from the skin alone. Pretty cool, right?

Now, if you try to create a product for Thesis, don’t limit yourself to selling Thesis Skins. Remember, the whole Thesis Community has one thing in common… they have the desire to improve their website. So, any product that helps them do that will work.

For example:

  • eBook: Prepare an ebook that teaches people the power of Thesis. Include some great information that teaches general best practices for running a website and apply it specifically to Thesis.
  • Plugin: If you’re going the “coding and developing” route, you may want to prepare a custom plugin that will enhance Thesis.  There have already been a bunch of plugins created specifically for Thesis, but there hasn’t been many premium plugins yet.
  • Course: If an eBook doesn’t sound promising enough, why not try to take it a step further and create your own membership course based around Thesis? There are some novice bloggers out there , they need help and they’re willing to pay for it.

In Conclusion

You may think it’s impossible to create a business around Thesis, but trust me, it’s not! I mean, I’m a 17-year old and I’ve earned a decent income from Thesis alone. It has been great and kept me away from those dreaded minimum wage jobs, heh!

All you have to remember is this… people who use Thesis want to improve their website. If you want to make money online, help people do that and you’ll have an instant business online.

About the Author: Alex Mangini is the 18 year old founder of Kolakube. If you want to learn even more ways to boost your sites performance, you should check out his upcoming series called Beast Optimization.

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