How to create and sell HTML templates is a guide for web developers to earn recurrent revenue while doing what they love. It’s one of the few online hustles where you can literally get paid to learn. There is no fixed schedule for building your own digital products. You can put in the time after school, after work or the entire day if you want.
The beauty of revenue from digital products is that sales happen at any given time without your involvement. Build once and sell many times. You can literally earn money while sleeping, while working your day job or even on holidays. Of course that requires creating useful HTML templates which people love so much they will even pay for.
Don’t worry. You don’t need full stack development skills to create useful website templates. Good HTML, CSS and design knowledge are enough to get you started. What’s more important is to find the right motivation, set your objectives and be consistent until you achieve them. The beauty of this endeavor is that it you get to choose how much time you invest.
Why start selling HTML templates
The main reason is obviously the recurrent revenue. And depending on your determination it can be a small or larger amount. But it’s not the only benefit as you can see below.
- Learn by building. The wonderful feeling of building your own product with complete creative freedom will make newly acquired information stick better
- Better developer job. The templates you build make for great portfolio items. It’s a great solution when you don’t have many freelance or personal projects
- Active income. Some template users will ask for customizations. It’s up to you if you want to serve them and offer custom web development services
- Lucrative partnerships. Developers which work on WordPress themes or build new CMS apps could inquire for paid partnerships to use your templates
- Project buyout. If you build an over the top templates resource you will attract attention. The right people can make you a life changing buyout offer
How to create HTML templates
You are required to master HTML and CSS which shouldn’t be rocket science for a developer. And to have decent design skills in one of the following: Photoshop, Figma, Sketch, XD.
- Research the niche. Use Google Keyword Planner, filter by “templates” and analyze what’s in demand. Corelate that with your own learning path
- Build the templates. Sketch out the idea first. Then take it through a design app. Code it with best practices in mind and ease of customization
- Test your work. Always check that responsiveness is all right on small, medium and large screens. It’s a deal breaker for potential users
- Documentation. Create at least a Readme file detailing what plugins and resources you used. Provide some essential help and credit 3rd party assets
How to sell on popular marketplaces
The huge advantage of selling on dedicated marketplaces is the exposure. Which means that once you are in you can enjoy sales even without doing marketing yourself. That comes with a high marketplace fee. You usually get to keep around 50% of the sale with some exceptions.
- Creative Market. It’s easy to get in based on a portfolio evaluation. Doesn’t review the items you submit. Brings in sales but not many
- ThemeForest. The biggest HTML templates marketplace. Very hard to get in. Reviews each item. Brings in the most sales
How to sell on your own website
You can create a basic HTML website to present your templates and use Gumroad as a nocode tool for payment and item delivery. Upload your templates on Gumroad as digital products and use those links for your “Buy template” buttons on your website. No backend stack required.
- Lowest possible fee. You get to keep more than 90% !!! from your sale price. Gumroad handles all payments and item delivery via email.
- Marketing. Gumroad gives you access to all buyers email addresses which marketplaces usually don’t. This allows for marketing communication
- Easy money back. Gumroad provides an easy to use feature for money back guarantee. If the customer is not happy you can return their money
- No comparisons. On your own website visitors can’t instantly compare your templates with the ones from authors with >10 years experience
- Needs your exposure. Gumroad provides close to no exposure. You are responsible for bringing traffic to your website to get any sales
There are 2 ways of bringing traffic to your own templates website. First one is to build an audience on social media and use it to raise awareness for your project. It can be on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube… Keep posts in English language for a global reach.
Second one is publishing articles on your own blog or 3rd party publications. Subjects can be related to web development, marketing, startups. Anything that makes sense to plug your templates site. This one will put more pressure on your writing skills.
Both ways require time and effort. On the upside they will help you far beyond template sales. Especially building and maintaining a social audience. It helps directly with freelancing, jobs, partnerships, affiliate marketing and opportunities you can’t even foresee.
Selling HTML templates is a great way of practicing web development skills while building your own basic products. Not just for the money but for the entire experience that comes with it. The worst you can do is end up with nice portfolio items and improved skills.
How to create and sell HTML templates ebook
Learn how to create and sell HTML templates from an actual maker (Lucian owner of Devreso.com) with +5 years experience of doing this full time.