Why Switching To Thesis Gives Me 3 Surprises

I launched a party invitation site called PartyInvitationsHQ.com about a year ago after quitting my job to spend more quality time with my children. The site is designed to showcase my favorite party invitations and party supplies by theme.

I have been a loyal reader of Pat Flynn and have been implementing many of his ideas and suggestions on my blog. From the use of pretty links to the hiring of VAs, the tips have greatly increased the performance of my blog and so I can’t wait to give the next suggestion a try.

After Christmas of 2011, I decided to switch my WordPress theme to Thesis.

The Original Reason Of The Switch

I have been using the wordpress theme Neoclassical created by Chris Pearson, the same guy behind Thesis. Because of this there has been little incentive to switch.

The decision on Thesis was finally made because I wanted a wider middle column for my Youtube videos, but the switch has created some pleasant surprises.

Surprise #1

I changed from a 3-column to a 2-column theme and the site immediately looks cleaner and “breathable” with more white space. Since this site is very “visual” (people mostly come to look at the cards vs read the text), a pleasant viewing experience
is important in my opinion.

It is probably a result of many factors but the conversion page has increased from a typical 2.4% to 3.0% since the launch of the the new theme. When compared to the same month in different years, Feb 2012 recorded a 3.0% conversion rate vs 2.6% in Feb 2011.

Suprise #2

In the previous theme, the non-invitation pages (mostly referred to the party supplies pages) were rarely clicked because they were not properly featured, and they got little SEO traffic given the intense competition of related keywords.

I tried side bars, header images, discount codes and as related content at the end of each party invitation post but it just didn’t work.

Then, with the new Thesis theme, there is this horizontal navigation menu where I can easily pick and choose the pages that I want to feature. I quickly created a simple page to link up all existing party supplies pages.

A month later, at the end of January 2012, I looked at the party supplies statistics and was surprised to see the number of sales jumped from an average of 8 to 21, and actual sales increased from an average of $65 to $207.

Surprise #3

You may have noticed the image box on the upper right side of the blog. Did you know that this box can be customized for each page? It is a big discovery for me because I can now, on each of my party invitations page, feature the party supplies of the same theme above the fold instead of way at the bottom of each page. You can find an example here (pirate) and here (robot).

Some of you may wonder whether there is a cannibalization — am I competing with myself with two products on one page?

My take is that the products cater to different types of customers. For the cards, they are more personalized and more high-end, while the party supplies tend to target the mass market.

Anyway, the statistics speaks for itself — with the new, customized image boxes on about 1/3 of the pages, the number of party supplies sales in February went further from 21 to 33 despite the fact that February is a shorter month.

What Does It Mean?

1. An Additional Revenue Stream With Minimal Extra Work

The party supplies sale is still way lower than the hundreds of sales I got from the party invitations each month, but it is significant because I’ve got an additional revenue stream that rides on the existing party invitation pages.

I am slowly branching out by building stand-alone party supplies pages (such as this one on Max & Ruby); but for now, most sales come from the existing party invitation pages instead of these new stand-alone pages.

2. Thesis Helps Bring Out The Complimentary Nature Of The Two Products

The two products help each other out too!

Without the party invitation pages, I would never be able to get the party supplies sales given the competition among the big party supplies affiliates.

At the same time, for some invitation pages with low click-through rate, I was able to get quite a bit of sales on the party supplies so those pages have become more valuable.

For example, on this mermaid page, there are only 2 cards available and understandably the page didn’t generate much sales. Now that the mermaid party supplies is featured, I have got multiple sales and the amount exceeded what I got from the cards for the entire year.

Are You Ready For The Swtich?

There is a 30-day money-back guarantee. Try Thesis and get pleasantly surprised yourself!

What’s Next?

Remember the reason to swtich to Thesis was for the Youtube videos? My VA is helping me make simple and fun video clips using my existing content. You can take a look at a sample here on this Dora page. With this intriguing suggestion fromĀ Gregory Ciotti I have started to upload the powerpoint version to Slideshare as well.

I have just set up a Facebook page as well to feature these video clips as well sa to offer party invitation wording suggestions for those who choose to make DIY invites. During my research at Yahoo Answers, this is the #1 question when it comes to anything related to party invitations and supplies.

It’s too early for me to share my findings with you but I look forward to an opportunity to do so. Thank you Pat for making my site fun and profit-making at the same time!