Take This and Run With It

Here’s a GREAT business idea which anyone with a moderate level of computer knowledge can do in a reasonable amount of time, and I’d say make pretty damn good money with.

Truth is I tried this with Max from HowToBePoor.com over a year ago, but we were both too busy and the project fell off the charts. Just yesterday I got a notice from the hosting company we used that our hosting plan was cancelled due to non-payment, and it reminded me of this little gem of an idea: Selling Blogger Templates.

You can go to TemplateMonster.com and other websites to buy professional looking WordPress templates, but try buying Blogger templates…………go ahead, Google it. Find any? Neither did I.

All the offerings out there are free templates, and most of them look pretty bad. Compare these to the level of professional WordPress templates at TemplateMonster.com. Someone needs to fill in the gap and make a website selling Blogger templates.

When we tried doing this, we got the website up and running within a day, I believe this was the template we originally used:

Of course we changed all the images/text to a Blogger Template selling site. We posted the site at BloggerTemplateWorld.com (now a dead link). Somehow neither of us have the original files, so I can’t even put up a sample of exactly what it looked like.

Well since I’m no longer running with this idea, I hope someone else can, it seems like a very lucrative idea.

HOW TO SET IT UP:
This was my exact plan to make money off Blogger templates:

1.) Buy a decent looking, fully functioning OScommerce store from TemplateMonster. Price: $140. (You could even download a free one if you choose).

2.) Install the system. Hosting cost: approx. $5/month.

3.) Start making some templates! The cost here varies. If you can do this by yourself, it’s free, but will take at least a week or two to get 5-10 templates made. Blogger templates are extremely easy since there’s only one template to work with, not multiple like in WordPress. You can also mockup several Photoshopped versions of what you want the template to look like, then outsource the work to a designer for around $100/template.

4.) Add screenshots and preferably working demos of the templates to your site.

5.) Buy some Google AdWords with the term “Blogger Templates” to start promoting the site at first. Proper SEO will play an important role in the future success of the site, and OScommerce pretty much takes care of most of it for you. Perhaps even have a “free templates” section to lure people in and see the quality of your work.

6.) Start selling! Open up a Google Checkout account or PayPal account to accept credit cards, these integrate right in with OScommerce and most other shopping cart softwares.

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The beauty of getting this business setup is once you have a good selection of templates, there’s little to no overhead to run the business. You don’t even do anything, because when someone orders and pays, the OScommerce system automatically delivers the digital product package to their email!

There are literally millions of blogs on Blogger.com, and most of them use the same 30 or so plain-old templates…even NevBlog.com still uses the same old, ugly (but functional) Blogger template it started out with. Mainly because there’s no really attractive looking alternatives.


TARGET MARKET:

1,000,000’s+ blogs on Blogger.com.

PRICE RANGE:
$10 – $40 per template

PAID COMPETITION:
None.

STARTUP COSTS:
Between Free and $500

I figured there would be two ways to make money from this:

1.) Direct sales of the templates. This involves sending the buyer the template text file (which they just copy and paste) and uploading the template images to their own hosting service.

2.) If they are too technologically challenged to upload their own photos to a free service, you can always charge them a recurring $5/month for hosting them on your server. This way all they have to do is copy and paste ONE text file into their Blogger template. This is a good way to start building some recurring income.

The optimal person to run this idea would be a web designer, since they can create their own highly professional and unique templates for free in the beginning. Once the site starts making money, you can then hire someone to help keep adding templates.

I’d really love to see someone bring this idea to fruition, if you do, make sure to send me a link so I can see it! Best of luck.

Blog posted on: September 21, 2007

12 comments on “Take This and Run With It

  1. Neville

    Garth,

    Re-read the post. I am fully aware there are free ones on the web already, as there are many free WordPress templates available.

    The site you gave as an example has a grand total of SEVEN free templates, and they all look worse than the free ones Blogger itself already gives out.

    I’d say there’s still a huge market for professionally designed Blogger templates.

    -Nev

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Gosh, Nev, another original and creative idea….

    Does the name Ashley Qualls ring a bell? You know, the 17 year old girl who has a site, whateverlife.com, and gives away myspace templates. I mean, she only makes $70K a month in ad revenue.

    Still don’t see the forest for the trees, do you?

    Reply
  3. Kristofer

    I like that Idea, last night I was choosing my blogger template, and well, the decisions was tough, mainly because the lack of decision. lol. great blog by the way!

    Reply
  4. Carlin

    after a few hours of mulling, i decided against the idea =X

    the reason being is, there are already many “free blogger templates” that look decent

    with all of the resources of the free ones, i dont think a consumer would spend the extra $20 to get one.

    p.s. im 16 years old and UT Austin is one of my top 3 picks, and words of encouragement :-D?

    Reply
  5. Modesty

    Hey Nev,

    Great blog and great idea.

    I was just wondering how you could implement a new template into blogger.com anyway? It seems pretty proprietary unlike wordpress where you get to the nuts & bolts of the blog.

    How could I implement the new template into blogger.com? When I go to blogger.com and go to my blog’s settings, it lets me select one of blogger.com pre-defined templates. How could I add the new one. i.e. the $40 template idea. It lets me add one of the ones that blogger has available but how would I add a new one? How would I upload it to blogger?

    Thanks again for the idea. I like it.

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    Thanks so much for this advice. I recently got an Obopay account for free through my citi account and I’ve been using through a widget they provide when I sell things on Craigslist. It’s gotten me my funds a lot faster than PayPal ever did. If I start an online business, I’m pretty sure I’m going to imbed Obopay into my homepage just to give consumers an additional option.

    Reply

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