We all know there’s a fair share of WordPress theme shops out the that feed our everyday need for excellence when it comes to blogging and design. Every day there is a new theme released that is supposedly way better than anything out there prior to its existence. Possibly so, but there aren’t that many that pack the same punch that the themes from the MOJO Themes marketplace do. Just the name itself speaks (in a true Britain accent) of a promise that there will be some kind of fancy Austin Powers awesomeness on the slate once you upload your new theme or disco mojo from the 70’s, striking a pose worthy of the legendary John Travolta. Well, wherever you feel like you want your mojo to come, MOJO Themes is the place to spot it.
I had the pleasure to connect with the guys behind it and their MOJO is surely the main ingredient running their empire from a very humble, yet inspiring office fitted with a lounge and all. What can we expect from these guys? Will there be a revolution on the horizon where these guys play the lead role? That remains to be seen, but their motivation is spot on and they don’t shy away from sharing their success recipe, quite the contrary. They would rather take you behind the scenes and make you a part of it. Actually, they want you to use them and their service to help build the next theme empire of tomorrow, complete with mojo and all.
I took up their time with 10 questions and got away with some pretty useful information that I think could speak to all designers and theme creators that are searching for that inspiration that will motivate them to put the pedal to the metal until the finish line appears in front of them. Here’s where you will get your mojo.
1. “MOJO Themes” is a rad name on a kickass service. When and how did you come up with it and what started the idea of creating a marketplace for themes of various publishing platforms?
First off, we just wanted to say thanks for interviewing us on your site. It’s extremely humbling.
The name “Mojo” comes from a site/company that was started back in 2008. I think everyone has their own Mojo. It’s your brand. It’s what makes you unique. We love the idea of it.
Plus add on the fat, furry and cuddly monsters that surround our site and to us it just seems to click.
In all seriousness though, Mojo themes was suppose to originally be a marketplace strictly for WordPress selling GPL themes. That was also back in 2008. I actually owned the domain WordPressThemeMarketplace.com but the idea never came to life and fell flat.
With some new found motivation, we decided rather than worrying so much about having the perfect product, let’s just get this thing launched and make changes from the feedback we receive.
Instead of just WordPress, we like many others have witnessed the huge growth with Tumblr/Magento, etc. We took the same WordPress Marketplace idea and decided to combine the various publishing platforms.
2. There are a few other theme marketplaces out there making the competition quite hard. What was your initial idea on how to make Mojo Themes the top one to go to and how are you guys profiling yourselves?
I think the way we position ourselves is what’s on our minds most and we probably won’t ever stop looking for ways to differentiate ourselves.
To jump right into it… We’ve actually come up with new ideas that we’ll unveil right out of the gate and some we’re still working out the details.
These ideas are actually what we found by simply contacting designers/developers and asking them what they would like to see in a marketplace setting. I mean after all, our goal is to build a marketplace for them.
- Offering a Copyright solution on items uploaded. The seller would own a copyright of their work.
- Requesting Payouts. It’s your money, take it when you want it. We’d like to give our sellers the ability to request payouts at anytime during the month. Rather than having to wait until the 15th of every month, you could receive payment at anytime. They would have to have a minimum balance and there would be a fee associated to this.
- Partnership Program – Splitting commissions on items with designers and developers.
3. Not too long ago the business of starting to sell themes for WordPress and other publishing platforms boomed. Where lies the biggest hurdle to become successful in selling your themes and how can Mojo Themes help to level that hurdle?
Yes, it seems like everyday there are new theme shops so to say the competition is a bit watered down might even be an understatement.
On the flip side, I’ve personally been using WordPress since 2006 and I’ve seen theme companies come out of nowhere who are now the leaders today.
Ultimately, to us, it’s all about delivering a quality product, paying attention to the small things and really caring about your customers. In the words of Gary Vaynerchuk, who has brought back the ancient ninja art of actually caring about people when it comes to business, we are here for you, and we are here to “Crush It!”
4. Mojo themes online service is currently in Beta and you guys are awaiting people to come to your service and submit their work. What do you think the Beta will prove and what are the main submissions you are seeing at the moment?
Beta has proven to be an interesting phase. In just a short amount of time we’ve learned quite a bit. We also feel like we’ve found some gaps that need to be filled.
We’ve realized that people want more than a service that just “sells” items. Our most prominent feedback has been directed towards the quality of our customer service and the promotion of platforms outside of the usual WordPress. Currently, we have been open for uploads and have seen a surprising response to selling Tumblr themes.
5. There are free WordPress themes and there are premium WordPress themes for which you pay for. How come we haven’t seen any marketplaces for WordPress plugins yet and do you think there is a future in that? Would Mojo Themes be prepared to try that market out?
Absolutely. The amount of time that plugin creators put into developing plugins is amazing and the quality of some of the paid plugins make it worth the money. Having a place for them to be compensated for their hard work would be great.
Take Gravity Forms for example, they are killing it with a simple yet sophisticated solution and showing you how valuable paid plugins can be. Not saying they would sell on our plugin marketplace but they’ve created a solid path for plugin developers.
We don’t want to spill the beans too soon, but the MOJO team has been kicking this idea around for a while now. Don’t be shocked if you see a marketplace for plugins that feature all types of platforms.
6. To look deeper into what goes on behind the scenes of Mojo Themes, can you tell us if you have any in-house designers or if you simply rely on people’s submissions?
Since Mojo Themes was created initially as a site selling Premium WordPress themes from us, we have assembled a collection of our own designs. Through this we now have been able to create a marketplace highlighting our creative vision mixed with some of the top designers among the industry.
We anticipate Mojo’s designs being a leading inspiration to other designers who upload. To be direct, we rely on both.
7. Often in the community of computer software development there are some fun and sometimes inspirational competition going on between companies. Who do you feel is your closest competitor and what do you guys do to beat them at their own game so to speak?
We see where you’re going with this ;)
First off, we have nothing but respect for our competitors but yes at the same time we’re very competitive ourselves. We’re not going to be shy to innovate and make what we offer better.
But that’s what having competition is all about. Without competition in the marketplace we would never see innovation. I would go far as to say that the evolution of WordPress from a blog to more of CMS comes from the constant innovation of all the awesome WordPress designers and developers.
8. Low fees, affiliate programs, featured themes, and designers are all old tricks to get people to pick that particular service. If you look beyond this, what can Mojo Themes bring to the table and what out of the box thinking are you guys doing?
To put it bluntly, we are not built on tricks. What you see is what you get.
Our industry is built for those who love design and we feel what we have built into our design is amazing. Through the help of innovative designers we have designed our site to not only be truly functional, but also fun to look at.
Our first “trick” if you will, is that we actually care about people. Yes, we know everyone is going to say that, but we have built a business that will last because we are here to listen to our sellers and buyers.
Second to this, is we have developed and are still developing much more than financial gain for our sellers, we will be offering security. What I mean by security is that regardless of the ever-constant pirating occurring, we have real solutions that help our designers find answers and solutions.
All of the sellers on Mojo Themes will be able to have access to their cash immediately. Despite any accounting head aches, we feel the cash is the seller’s and they deserve to have it whenever they like. In terms of selling on our marketplace, we offer our sellers even more choices. Rather than choosing to sell exclusive or non-exclusive and that’s it — you have a choice on each item you upload.
In addition, Mojo Themes will be unveiling a partnership program where designers can partner with programmers and split commissions on items sold. We feel this will offer choices to our sellers and keep them happy. Despite these we have other solutions being explored so stay tuned to see many more innovations being released.
9. Estimating success is a hard thing to do but what is the key ingredients in a successful theme and how come we don’t see many ubber successful themes? Is it because there are too many free and premium themes or is it because designers and developers rush it when they create them?
I think it’s a mix of both but I would say mostly the fact there’s actually some fantastic free themes that offer comparable design and functionality to the premium ones. This is where the argument comes in about calling paid themes “premium” rather than “commercial” themes.
Also, there are different types of themes. Some are geared towards a specific niche while other generic themes can be used in various ways. With that being said, we feel the success of a theme doesn’t come from how popular or the total number of sales but how well it serves it’s unique purpose.
10. To wrap up our interview, what do you guys do to keep focus on the competition and what do you think is the future of online publishing which will define the next generation themes?
We have our competition on our radar but I think it’s wrong to focus on your competition too much. Then you’re allowing them to dictate what you do.
In terms of what the next generation of themes are… It’s tough to say, yet we do know beyond WordPress we’re seeing great strides in other platforms like Tumblr and Magento. We plan to focus much more in those areas as well and bring what is missing in the industry.
Ultimately, we plan on stepping up with our own unique ideas. Some may fail and some may be game changers. Bottom line is, we’re not afraid to be different. After all, our site is surrounded with fat, furry monsters and called MOJO Themes ;)
1. Do MOJO monsters blog? As a matter of fact, they do.
2. A typical weekend for Mr. Mo Joe “AKA Green Monster” would consist of the following: Putting on his favorite Tuxedo T-Shirt, sporting a colorful eye-patch, topped off with a fresh hint of manly musk to get the ladies.
Onto number 3 please…
3. MOJO Monsters love them some hot MILF Monsters. It’s true.
4. This is more of a clarification than a fact but the MOJO crew was conned into writing fact #3.
5. Mo & Joe (AKA JR & Brady) grew up together and have a long history. From math class to motorcycles, hockey and the poor college kid days, these two have had one goal through it all: Get your Mojo on.