The 5 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Plugin Business Profits
We all know that having a buggy plugin or dropping the ball on support is a quick way to kill off your plugin business, but what other, more subtle mistakes can leave you wondering if you’ll ever make a successful business out of your plugins? Or worse yet, put you onto the maintenance treadmill, leaving you without any time, or energy, to actually create a viable business at all.
This article is a result of 14 interviews I conducted with some of the most successful business owners in the WordPress space.
Mistake #1: Giving Free Unlimited Support for Life
Whether you have a purely free plugin, a freemium plugin or even a premium plugin, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is providing free unlimited support for life.
We’ve actually seen this with plugins we use in our business as well as being told this by some of the people we interviewed. Some businesses have gone down the road of completely free support for life, only to realize that it was draining all their resources and just wasn’t sustainable. They quickly realized they either had to change their pricing system or close their doors.
As Adam Warner from FooPlugins says, “One of the struggles about a plugin business specifically, especially when you create free and paid products, is setting expectations for your users. We do support our free plugins, but our premium plugins’ support has to take preference. So we usually set a schedule a couple of times a week where we attend to the free support forums and do what we can, but we can only do so much without it affecting our revenue stream and our work hours.”
We do support our free plugins, but our premium plugins’ support has to take preference. Tweet
To get round the problem they provide premium support even for their free plugins because it allows their free customers to get the best support, while letting them balance the time they spend doing support with the income they get.
Mistake #2: Having Multiple Unrelated Plugins
As Robert Abela from WP White Security pointed out, most plugin developers have a lot of ideas for new plugins. The key thing though is to have a single niche that you target all your plugins towards.
Your niche can either be a vertical niche of a group of people like photographers, or a horizontal niche with a specific topic like security. Both types of niche have their advantages and disadvantages. Vertical niches are easier to sell to because everyone in them has the same type of business and therefore you can very quickly learn about their issues and create plugins around those. Horizontal niches tend to give you a wider audience that you are the expert for.