This is a question that many new blog owners ask.
What are the benefits of a custom wordpress theme? There are many. Especially if you are targeting only one niche. If you are for example in real estate niche, buying a professional WordPress theme along with professional real estate IDX plugins is amust. By doing so you are represnting yourself and your clients as an authority in your niche.
If your niche is a decidedly targeted niche, it would favor your blog to have a design that is catered exactly to that niche. Sometimes sites that do not accurately reflect its purpose can lose a lot of the traffic that it is working for simply because it does not look like what it is supposed to. If people click on a link expecting to see a sports site, yet it looks a bit feminine in style the likelihood is that the user will be clicking on the back button pretty quickly.
If you require special features or script enhancements that would otherwise not be available to the regular blogger you will definitely need to have a custom job done. You might thing that it would be a bit expensive but it is worth the extra money as the value that you will be adding to your site will return that cost many times over.
So when is it time to invest in a custom wordpress template? If you are at the point where you are making regular revenue from your blogging efforts, you should take a look into a custom theme. If you do not cash a regular check from your blogging efforts, you can probably get by with a free wordpress theme for a little longer. Once you start generating some revenue to pay for the site then it is time to start considering customizing.
Many people like the look and feel of a customized wordpress site. Added features could easily enhance it to the point of increased traffic. Increased traffic tends to lead to an increase in your revenue. I always consider that to be a very good thing.