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How to Improve Your Website Link Popularity Through WordPress Theme Sponsorship

10th December 2008

Your website link popularity determine your placement in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). The premise is, the more sites or pages linking to your website (a.k.a. backlinks), the higher your link popularity, and the more exposure you will receive.

Now, link building involves many methods – directory submission, article submission, RSS submission, link exchange, getting reviewed, etc. But doing those methods take a lot of time – something that can’t be measured by money.

Outsourcing those link building activities is an option, but too often, the cost is blinding.

One, effective, method that people often overlook in link building is WordPress theme sponsorship.

What is WordPress theme sponsorship?

WordPress theme sponsorship is basically sponsoring a WordPress theme, that is usually will be distributed as a free WordPress theme. In exchange for the sponsorship money, sponsors will receive a link on the footer of the WordPress theme, linking to the sponsor’s site.

The ‘norm’ – the link must be ‘dofollow’ (allowing the search engine to ‘count’ the link as one backlink), and permanently placed, as long as the theme is available to download.

Your link is usually encrypted, so that if someone download the theme for free and he/she tried to delete your link in the footer, he/she will end up with non-functioning theme.

Usually, sponsor a WordPress theme will cost you $25 to $70, depending on the theme owner and the method of acquiring sponsorship – fix prices or float prices through auction.

The number of links available is also varies – usually, a good theme always have three to four links available to be sponsored, which one of them is usually a designer link (includes the ‘designed by…’ – increasing your link exposure even more). However, a designer link always cost you more than the other link types.

Why sponsor a WordPress theme?

Viral link building. Period.

You only need to sponsor one time, and your link will be permanently embedded to the theme, and will follow wherever the theme go.

Of course, the key is on how to choose the right WordPress theme that people will want to download and use it as their blog’s theme – the more people use the theme, the more your link exposed.

Let’s do some math – Think about it:

Suppose you sponsor a link in a good WordPress theme. In the first week the theme launched, there are 100 bloggers download and use the theme on their blogs.

This means, you are getting 100 backlinks minimum. And this is just the beginning.

Suppose the 100 bloggers using your sponsored WordPress theme has 20 blog posts and growing, you will end up with 100 x 20 = 2000 backlinks. And bloggers will always write blog posts somehow.

Suppose the bloggers using your sponsored WordPress theme are writing exceptional blog posts – they will get a lot of attention and eventually getting people link to them – this will eventually increase the Pagerank and link popularity of the blog posts.

What this means to you? What if those blog posts are getting indexed high and having good PageRank? You will end up with thousands of quality backlinks that will increase your link popularity.

Interesting isn’t it?

But take heed – all the benefits is gone if the bloggers decided to change their theme to another WordPress theme – there goes the benefit.

Nevertheless, as long as you choose quality WordPress theme design, the overall result has always been outstanding – I know this is true, because I use this strategy to some of my web properties 🙂

How to choose a good WordPress theme to sponsor

First of all, you can look sponsorship opportunities in many marketplaces, but I always look for them in Marketplace and Forums.

Here’s some tips on how to choose a good theme to sponsor:

  • Obviously, you will want an excellent-designed theme – nobody want a mediocre WordPress theme, even if it’s free.
  • You will want your link to be encrypted.
  • You will want you sponsored theme to be promoted well in theme showcase sites.
  • If you found an excellent theme to sponsor, consider negotiate with the theme owner to sell all links to you at a discount – usually, they will offer you interesting offer that is difficult to reject.

Things to consider

Doing this, just like in any other link building strategy, will have some caveats.

One biggest caveat is: you can’t control who is using the theme you sponsor.

What if the blogger used the WordPress theme you sponsor for gambling or adult sites? Your link will receive backlinks from ‘bad neighbourhood’ – this will somewhat affects your site backlink quality, or even will cause Google to penalised your site’s PageRank.

But as in everything in life, there are certain negativity in every positive thing you do – so, I’ll say, go for it.

Image by aromano.

Ivan Widjaya is the owner of, as well as the founder of several online businesses:, and He runs his business from anywhere, anytime he wants.

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  • Kenneth
    Posted at 6:34 am December 12, 2008

    Interesting. I’ve tried using custom themes in the past, and thought that whoever had their links built into the theme must be getting a ton of backlinks. Now I can see how even someone who doesn’t know how to design these things can make use of them. Cool.

  • Asep Onde
    Posted at 6:50 am December 12, 2008
    Asep Onde


    Yes – especially if the theme is very popular 🙂 – TONS of backlinks!

  • markjonsonus
    Posted at 5:07 pm November 12, 2014

    Nice post I REALLY LOVE this. Keep It up