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Adriaan Pienaar Interview – Making Money Selling WordPress Themes

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Could you describe what you do and how you earn your living Adii?

Well, I’m the owner of a boutique design agency – Radiiate – as well as a co-founder of WooThemes (along with Magnus & Mark). I currently spend about 90% of my time on WooThemes-related work and have decided to put Radiiate on the backburner to focus on WooThemes instead.

I thus earn my income from doing custom design & development work on Radiiate, whilst selling WordPress themes on WooThemes.

You currently run Woothemes with Magnus Jepson and Mark Forrester, how did you guys get together and how has having three founders helped WooThemes?

We met online, realized we had similar ideas about design & business and then pursued a collaborative project, which eventually resulted in WooThemes. I’ve only met Mark (in person) and neither of us has met Magnus, but we’ll all be hooking up at FOWD London in April.


And I think it has helped immensely to have 3 ambitious guys contributing to WooThemes at the same time, because not only do we get to share the workload; but we also get 3 different perspectives and in the process we keep challenging each other. I also think it’s boring to do exciting stuff on your own! πŸ™‚

You run an affiliate program where your affiliates promote your themes on a commission basis, how has this effect the growth of your site? Also, what’s your top tip for running a success affiliate program?

I think it contributes to our success a great deal, as about a third of our monthly revenue is generated by our affiliates. This also allows us to “passively” market to new groups of people at a very efficient cost (in that we only pay for successful leads). To be a successful WooThemes affiliate, I just think that one needs to ensure that your users will actually find value in clicking on that affiliate ad and ultimately buying a theme; not gonna help if your users don’t have any interest in WordPress or website templates at all.

What advice would you offer a blogger trying to start make more money from their blog?

Content is always king. So your first objective should be to create great content to attract a userbase. Then you can start to think about monetizing that contentΒ  / traffic.

You are known as one of the authority websites in the, WordPress Themes. What advice would you give a new blogger to dominating their niche?

Really work hard at pushing that niche, since it’s much easier to established oneself within an industry if you have a focused approach. I find that the scatter-gun approach rarely works, as you’re only splitting your ideas and energy.

In your opinion what is the most important aspect of a WordPress Theme and why?

The coding most definitely. If the code is useless, the ultimate product (irrespective of the design) will be useless in the hands of the user as well.

What advice would you give to people just starting out with an online business?

Work damn hard and trust your gut feel & ideas. Also make the decision to stick with your ideas and run with them; don’t jump ship if there isn’t an immediate response (i.e. sales) to your new product / service.

You are currently living the “Internet Lifestyle”, what does the internet lifestyle mean to you?

I wouldn’t really call it that, as I could have been working in another industry and had lead the same lifestyle as well. I think the fact that I’m my own boss allows me a lot of freedom personally, as well as a business sense where I can explore new ideas / ventures at will.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what advice would you give yourself regarding making money online?

Not to be arrogant, but I probably wouldn’t change a thing. I started out at the bottom and I worked my self up the “ladder”. All of those experiences (good & bad) have contributed to the person I am today and I probably wouldn’t be as successful or happy now if I didn’t have that basis to work from.

Interested in getting a Wootheme? Click Here!


  1. Scott :: says:

    Couldn’t agree more about working alone, I’d get bored very fast and very easily, no matter the topic. You’ve gotta be able to work with someone to bounce ideas off otherwise you get no ideas of how those ideas will work. . .

    Did that make any sense at all?! :S

    Another great interview none-the-less!

  2. James Cunningham says:

    Very interesting Read. Actually kind of got me in the mood to design a theme for some reason although he will probably want me to go to woo themes instead of designing my own. Thanks for the motivation.

  3. Scott, couldn’t agee any more πŸ™‚

    James, I bought this theme from Woothemes and got my designer to edit it, worked so well as Woothemes provide such a great base and everything is well thought out!

  4. Shane Hudson says:

    ” All of those experiences (good & bad) have contributed to the person I am today ”

    I completely agree! We all have times when we moan about failures, but usually they lead to success as it gives knowledge of how not to fail in that area.

  5. Ashish Lohorung Rai says:

    I have been watching Adii for a long time now .. He is just great guy…. I have to learn many things from him.. great to read your post… cheers..

  6. Nishan Sothilingam says:

    Good interview with Adi, he knows his stuff.

  7. this interview is fascinating.i was amazed at the fact that the founders havent met yet .

  8. Paul Morales says:

    Wow Great Interview. I think that’s a great idea for a business. They are providing a needed service there are tons of wordpress users. That’s $$$ for them.

  9. RaiulBaztepo says:

    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language πŸ˜‰
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  10. PiterKokoniz says:

    Hi ! πŸ™‚
    My name is Piter Kokoniz. oOnly want to tell, that I’v found your blog very interesting
    And want to ask you: is this blog your hobby?
    Sorry for my bad english:)
    Thank you!
    Your Piter Kokoniz, from Latvia

  11. Your info is very useful and your blog is excelent. thanks

  12. Muzi Mohale says:

    As a South African Adriaan, I would have thought you would consider local publishers and offer a cheque payment option as you know, PayPal doesn’t allow African based publishers to receive funds through their service.

    I for one am interested at joining your affiliate, however since you only offer PayPal option like the rest of them, its very discouraging.

  13. Build Your Own Webpage says:

    That interview was great, he knows his stuff really well!

  14. Jason@internetmarketing says:

    Great interview with Adi. Maybe I should give more thought to my blog designs. I seem to have ignored that part. So thanks for the pointers.

  15. Success Life says:

    Great interview. have learned a few thing. I was looking to make a site on my own, but to save time, I’ll go to “woo themes”
    Thanks Guys

  16. Road To Financial Success says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for such a great post. I’ll be visiting your blog again and adding you to my reader ! Thank you again πŸ™‚

  17. WebKnix says:

    Great post … any figures for how much WooThemes is earning $$$ πŸ™‚

  18. I’m very interested to see you give more detail about what you have in mind. Surely things like assessment details and timetables should be published. What a great site for info, I am a novice, The info gained here I can put in my log and reuse in time.Thank you

  19. Good Post. I signed up for a Woo themes design from your recommendation. There are a lot of built in features that make it easy to customize. I would like to do a bit more tweaking and was curious how/where you found the designer that worked with you on this design? Thanks in advance!

  20. Marketing Success says:

    I’ve been browsing through your site, and it is very interesting and very informative. I enjoed reading it thanks for posting πŸ™‚

  21. profit lance says:

    The interview is very informative. Adriaan has been clear and honest – I think. This helped a lot of WP users that are trying to make money selling WP themes: I’m one of them.

    Good post – keep us up-to-date!

  22. Finsofts Design says:

    Thank you for the tips and information provided in the post and am trying selling wordpress themes good.. so many things to promote online business and make money, this will help a lot of people to find the best of the industry.

  23. It is very informative. Thanks for sharing it.
    I’m new to the blogging business and looking forwards to learning how to make money via selling wordpress themes.
    What you’ve offered in your post is very helpful. I’d love to learn more about this topic. I’ve bookmarked your blog. Looking forwards for your new posts.
    Keep working.

  24. LifePath Unlimited says:

    i will definently be checking out Woothemes and their affiliate program…Good advice on what it takes to succeed online. I have bookmarked this site now.

  25. Archie A Rhodes says:

    I know some people that eran good money selling wordpress themes. Such a business seems to be quite profitable.

  26. serial entrepreneur says:

    Wow! It’s a magnificent work. It offers plenty of worthwhile information that every reader needs. Thanks for the post.

  27. I have bought an Aperture theme from WooTheme and it’s really great.

    I’m a web developer myself so I can say from the proffesional poin of view – it’s really good and quality is high.

  28. Great interview!
    Great insight!

    thank you!
    I'”ll be back for more!

  29. dean bennett says:

    I’ve not tried wordpress as i’m a blogger at the moment! But after reading this i’m going to give it a whirl – thank you!

  30. WordPress is the best CMS in my opinion , there’s almost limitless things you can do with it.. from running a freelance marketplace, classifieds, to penpal service. It’s truly amazing.

    I use two of the woothemes on two of my blogs, and they’re the two most popular. I run alot of blogs so I went ahead and purchased the developers themes from woothemes.. I highly recommend them.

  31. Awesome job !!! keep it up.

  32. Name (required) says:

    Good to see the succes story of John Chow and also Michael.

    My hearty Congrats to boh of them

  33. Minneapolis Electrician says:

    Thank you for writing this awesome post. Keep up the great work.

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