The answer is – absolutely!
Selling WordPress plugins can be a very profitable business. In fact, starting a WordPress product business can help you build a sustainable recurring revenue stream, in addition to being extremely fun and rewarding.
However, in order to get to the stage of building a successful WordPress product business, you should plan your product development and marketing strategically. There are a number of important strategies to consider and decisions to make before starting the development of your first product:
- Should you be selling plugins?
- Is it better to go with a niche or mass market product?
- What business model should you choose?
- How should you price your WordPress product?
- Should you offer free trial periods?
- How do you constantly monitor user data and gain insights on how to improve your product?
- What platform should you use to monetize your product?
To keep it brief, I’ll touch on the italicized items above, which are some of the most important, and I’ll reference some other useful articles for you throughout.
How should you price your WordPress product?
When coming up with your plugin or theme idea, think about how you want to price your product. There are a variety of ways to make money selling plugins, but it’s important to note that you should focus on building a large user base in the early stages of your business. You want a large user base because then you can get feedback on the User Experience (UX) and features of your product to see how you can improve, so keep that in mind when coming up with your pricing.
One of the best ways to get free feedback for your product is to create a free version with limited features and put it on the WordPress.org repository, where there are thousands of plugins and themes listed. By putting a free version of your plugin on the repo, downloads of your free product will happen almost instantly, but (if you don’t want to work with Plugin Jungle) it’s up to you do the marketing for your WordPress product in creative ways and keep the downloads going.
You may get an initial boost of downloads when you first get listed, but you should still focus on the SEO of your WordPress.org listing so you can get consistent traffic. The goal is to eventually convert the free users from the repository into paid subscribers when you release a premium version of your plugin.
How do you constantly monitor your user data and gain insights on how to improve your product?
By listening to your customers, you can better hone in on your target market’s needs and build the specific features your customers are asking for. One of the best ways to learn how your customers are using your product is by integrating Plugin Jungle analitics, which among many other things, offer a great analytics and usage-tracking solution that is totally free for start-up plugin businesses. With this tool, you can start to track your installs, activations, deactivations, uninstalls, upgrades, and much more. You’ll be able to see the domains where your product is installed as well as the email addresses of the admins who installed it.
What platform should you use to monetize your product?
There are many ways to sell WordPress products, including marketplaces, eCommerce solutions, and managed eCommerce platforms.
eCommerce platforms are wonderful if you can set them up yourself. WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads are a few of the best eCommerce platforms based in WordPress for licensing WordPress products. If you move forward with one of these, you’ll probably have quite a few things to set up and manage on an ongoing basis. The flexibility and customization options of these platforms is fantastic if you can take full advantage of them. You’ll need to be a web developer, hire a web developer, or have a lot of extra time on your hands to set up all the useful features you’ll need to have a proper WordPress plugin or theme business. Additionally, you will have to manually configure your payment gateway, whether it’s Stripe, PayPal, or another. eCommerce platforms won’t charge you a revenue share, but they usually have an annual or monthly fee associated with them.
The best way of monetizing your product, in our subjective opinion, is working with Plugin Jungle. Despite other platforms, Plugin Jungle takes responsibility for marketing and sales. Moreover, we guarantee that if we approved your plugin you will get a lot of sales! If you are interested contact us to get more details.