You’ve spent ten thousand hours (the rule of the success by Malcolm Gladwell) to develop a great plugin. All WordPress standards were followed and were taken into account all feature requests. You’ve made a great work but it’s only the beginning of your road to first achievements.
Now the main questionis how to get started to sell you product. I’m sure that you’ve already shared news about it on all your social accounts and get a good feedback from your friends, but it’s not enough to earn profit. Most talented developers face with this problem and there is no right answer, but there are approved ways to set the good strategy. We’ve collected some tested good tips and are ready to share them with you.
The main idea of a brand name is not only about making your target audience to choose you among competitors, it’s most about making them to see your product as the only one that gives a solution to customers’ needs. Promotion is a foundation for your profitable business and the best branding is based on a strong powerful idea. To deliver it to your customers is a really challengeable task as the selling is much easier when clients have an understanding that your product is “the must have” for them.
What are the simplest methods to build your brand name?
Paid plugin reviews don’t work anymore, even if you post them on the well-promoted websites. Each of them has a little inscription – “sponsored” under or below the post which scares away potential customers. Even if the reviewer shares his honest thoughts and fair feedback WordPress community won’t undoubtedly believe him. By showcasing all aspects of your plugin the author anyway tries to advertise its cons to make readers buy your tool and moreover all consumers’confidence can escape when they notice the affiliate links. So, this kind of promotion is not the trusted one.
WordPress clients prefer looking through plugin roundups, learning statistics in developers’ researches. And this data is really trustworthy as the developer (to be more specific – his brand name) recommends the product, so he tested it and give customer an approvement. This approvement is unobtrusive and looks more like a friendly advice, so doesn’t evoke a distrust feeling and vice versa “help” you to choose the most appropriate tool for the website.
One great trick that experienced marketing specialists like to use is to promote not the product itself but the importance of its usage and then show the plugin at the most appropriate moment, so users really want it.
These platforms will not only make a good reputation for your product, but also can help you to earn money.Of course they set prices lower than your plugin costs and you have to split the revenue, but consider this spending as an investment to an advertisement. Usually, the main traffic sources to your website and users from deals websites are completely differ from each other. So, the results can be really surprising and bring you a good rise of sessions in GA. Limited time offers engage customers and make them spread the word about cheap quality products with friends and colleagues. It’s simple and efficient way of branding.
The most popular deals platforms are:
Your own website as a marketplace
To put all eggs in one basket is a really disputable question. You concentrate all your efforts on one project. Write posts which link to the site, arrange giveaways and make promotion. You should understand that your website will take all your time, as admin, uploading, tagging, support and etc are now your main job options. Yes, it’s hard work but the result is really worth it – you are independent.
You and only you set the plugin price. That’s the main reason why so many developers choose to sell products on their own website. You can test what price gives you the highest revenue and change it anytime you like. You haven’t split the commission with the reseller. Selling via your website also gives you an opportunity to build some loyalty program with the discounts for permanent consumers.
One more point to the “My own website” team. You can recruit people to sell your product and earn extra money doing nothing special. Resellers will get their commission, you’ll have additional income. Looks like a perfect scheme. Not all marketplaces offer affiliate programs to their customers and partners, so it’s a great advantage of having your own site.
Join the plugin marketplace
There are many ponds to fish but really very few have fish. You can earn profit from your product via the marketplace only in case if this sale platform is really well promoted and hundreds of users come there to search for WordPress tools. Nowadays it is CodeCanyon. There are also other marketplaces worth checking but not many, so you have to choose wisely where to place your product:
CodeCanyon is the most popular place to sell your WordPress item. It’s a huge marketplace with an extremely wide choice of different plugins. But! Here is a really big ‘But’. Inspite of its popularity, it won’t promote your product for you, only if it comes to the ‘popular items’ section, users notice it and buy. Otherwise it’s really easy to be lost among more than ten thousand plugins.
Let’s consider if it really be on the first page where the majority of buyers is concentrated. If you are an exclusive author on CodeCanyon, your fee will be 12.5%-37.5% of the product price and will rise depending on the quantity of products you sell. Great! But let’s look at the other side of the coin.
You can’t set prices.
Guys behind Envato look through your code (a good way to receive feedback about your item) and set the price for your plugin based on their thoughts and you have nothing to do with this. There is also needless to say that you are impossible to change their decision.
If you sell as a non-exclusive author your fee will be 55% of the item price, sometimes it can run up to 70%. The more copies you sell the higher percentage you’ll get. Selling non-exclusively also means you can market your product via the personal website. So it’s easy to compare the profit from these two sources.
The decision to be exclusive or non-exclusive author also depends on how you want your product work for you. If you have limited time to spend on your plugin it will be better to place it on the marketplace and remain exclusive.
If your WordPress product brings you the main income it’s better to spread the word about it on many other marketplaces and websites, use the affiliate program and in such a way gain a wider ‘catchment field’.
WordPress.org repository is great to test the idea and present your plugin to the WordPress community. Put the basic/lite version that solves only the part of the problem area to the wordpress.org and add the link to the Pro version which is on your site. It will surely bring you a good traffic and tells users about your plugin.
If you are working with WordPress for a living, it’s important to build your reputation, influence and advertise yourself as an expert in your niche (WordPress plugins). All these are possible only by producing great products and selling them. It’s only up to you what source to choose to distribute your plugin. You can use the existing traffic base of the marketplace or you can build your brand awareness and sell via your site. You can even start selling on the marketplace and then take away your item and go for independent sale.
Where do you prefer to sell your WordPress plugins? Share your thoughts and experience in the comments section.
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