Nov 6, 2021
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By making digital products that sell as you sleep, you can start to build a recurring income that can scale almost infinitely.
The difference between a client project that gets you $5,000, or a product that gets you $50, is that the product can be sold again and again and again.
When I started building online products, which were first posters and then cv templates, nothing really sold that well. But now that I've been building Webflow templates for about 8 months, I've had interesting and varied results. I'm now up to 15 templates, so I'm going to share my numbers and what I’ve learnt from making and selling Webflow templates.
When you build your first template, you're essentially working at $0 an hour since you don't know how much money you're going to make until you release it, and since I was going through the process for the first time, the first template was both the one that took me the most time and had the most revisions to be done to it until it could be released.
It took me about 45 or so hours to design and build my first template, which was at $0 an hour since I hadn't been paid anything for it yet, and in the first month it generated around $1,100 USD.
With $1,100 generated out of 45 hours, that means my hourly rate for the work so far was about $24/h. This is quite low, but since the work is already put in, that number can now scale as much as it wants.
Doing the math, I thought if 1 template could get me $1,000 a month, then 10 templates would get me $10,000, but it hasn't scaled that way. With 15 templates, the monthly income from it is about $3,500 a month, which means the growth is not exponential, or even linear, it's more or less linear with a dip.
From what I've found, each time you build and release a template, there will be an initial surge of sales, and then it will dip off to being only a couple of sales a month, which means the name of the game for Webflow templates is volume.
If I were to stop making templates and just live off the ones that I’ve already built, I can probably expect the revenue from it to cap at about $2 to $3,000, because commissions from templates go from 80% of sales to 60% if you don't submit a template every month.
Creating and submitting a template every month isn't too difficult, but it's good to keep in mind that when you submit a bunch and then stop for months, your sales from templates won't stay consistent.
The time it takes to create each template varies for me, but I'll usually put aside at-least 40 hours a month to work on a new template, and if I finish one quicker than that then I will just start on the next one.
As a template designer, you aren’t given specific stats on your templates and what you are making month on month, so I had to make my own. In Notion I've charted my sales for each month, and also the amount of templates I have in total.
This way I can keep track and also forecast how much I might make months down the line. So based on my current numbers, I'm making about $200 a month per template, plus $800 from the sales of when a new one is initially released.
Since overall I've made about $18,000 in 8 months, and on average it takes about 30 - 40 hours to make a template, that means my current calculated hourly rate for all of my templates is actually only $35 an hour.
Even though having a source of recurring income is great, it doesn't actually come close to exceeding my hourly rate for clients. But, the positive is that I could stop working on templates, and that hourly rate would slowly increase over time without having to do anything.
Start with a Webflow template and have your new website up in no time.
If you want to become a Webflow template designer, you'll want to have a couple of good Webflow projects and your website portfolio ready.
For the Webflow projects you'll be sending read only links, so you'll want to make sure the structure and naming conventions are easy to understand and not too messy, because when you submit templates, you'll want it to be in the easiest format for the customers who buy the templates to understand.
You can actually preview any template inside the Webflow designer which will give you a good idea on the kind of class structure you want to use if you build your own templates.
Here's a couple of examples:
When you've got into the programme and started making Webflow templates, the submission process is super straightforward, and the team who manage Webflow templates are always a great help throughout the process if there are any updates to be made.
In terms of what makes a template more or less successful, I've found that when a template I've done is simplistic but unique, it sells the best.
Building complex templates makes it too difficult for customers to customise it, so building ones that are visually intriguing but still easy to edit and customise are the ones that have sold best for me.
As a template designer you also have to provide support for your templates for customers who need help, but I've found the amount of support inquiries from customers to be pretty low, so depending on how complex your templates are, you won't have to worry too much about this.
If anything, customers might contact you to do paid template customisation, or just reach out to give feedback, which has been super helpful for me to improve future templates.
So is making Webflow templates worth it?
If you keep in mind that some templates will do better than others, and that most of what you make in a template comes from when you first release it, then it may be worth it for you.
Just keep in mind that depending on the template, it might take longer than you think when going through the process of first designing something that is unique, then building it in Webflow, then working through any revisions to get it up to spec for customers.
Remember that you won't be making the same amount as you do from client projects, but recurring income is a fundamentally different type of income, and having some source of income that works as you sleep is always a positive.
Add in custom functionality with these simple code additions you can add to your website in just a couple of minutes.
Save your clients thousands of dollars down the line by adding these 3 steps into your Webflow projects.
I've worked with countless businesses around the world. Maybe you'll be next.