Updated Oct 24, 2013
If you’re actively selling premium WordPress plugins or looking to get into the plugin business, check out these videos of business owners sharing their advice. So far most are from various WordCamps hosted on WordPress TV.
Creating and Selling Premium WordPress Plugins
I had the opportunity to talk with Daniel Espinoza at length at Pressnomics 2013 about this very topic. The guy has a ton of experience and knowledge to share. Luckily for everyone one of his WordCamp talks on the subject is now available.
Description from the page on WordCamp.tv: Whether you have premium plugins in development or are just thinking about building them this talk shares valuable lessons on how to design, build, support and sell your plugins.
Lessons Learned Selling Plugins & Themes
Dave Donaldson, co-founder of Max Foundry, goes through trade-offs between selling themes and plugins and explains why they landed on selling mainly plugins.
- Why premium themes are so much harder to sell than premium plugins
- When competing with free you’re actually selling support, not code
- Non-development tasks: Building your sales site, support system, mailing list and ads
- User support strategies (email, forums, phone)
- Plugin pricing
- Avenues to drive traffic to your site
- Branding and consistency
- Auto-update options
Commercializing your plugin
Garth Koyle, co-founder of Event Espresso, an event management plugin for WordPress, has three recorded presentations from 2011.
- The $40,000 WordPress Business Plan [slides] (Chicago 2011)
- Can You Go Commercial? [slides] (Utah 2011)
- Can you commercialize your plugin? [slides] (Detroit 2011)
As these three talks were all in the same year, some information is repeated but there are added tidbits in each new presentation. Here are some key points Garth touched on:
- Analyzing the wordpress.org plugin repository to estimate the number of premium plugin customers for a specific market
- Calculating your fixed and variable costs to estimate profits per month you can make from your plugin
- Pricing your plugin
- How to use Google Trends, Google Keyword Tool and Alexa to analyze search and traffic volume for the market you want to reach
- Systems Event Espresso has put in place to manage the business: sales, support, hiring, affiliates, development, plugin updates, etc. You name it.
Decisions to make while running a premium plugin business
- Plugin marketplace vs. selling on your own
- Using wordpress.org to test your plugin ideas
- How a freemium model can work for plugins
- Finding ways to get recurring revenue
- Experimenting with advertising, landing pages, A/B split testing and using metrics
- Plugin pricing, plans and using an add-on model
- User support strategies
Side note: Isn’t it cool that two companies with multiple founders and competing products are both thriving in the WordPress premium plugin market?
More videos pop up occasionally, so I’ll update this post with any new ones I come across. Same goes for any existing videos I missed whether they’re on WordPress TV or elsewhere. Just let me know in the comments.