Challenges of Monetizing a Free Plugin


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A presentation on some of the challenges I have faced while trying to monetizing a free plugin for WordPress.

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Challenges of Monetizing a Free Plugin

  1. 1. Challenges of Monetizing a Free Plugin @pippinsplugins
  2. 2. Example
  3. 3. The scenario
  4. 4. A free plugin full featured plugin given away for free
  5. 5. 100% Open Source free to use, modify, fork, and even redistribute
  6. 6. Sustainable business A successful business based on the plugin
  7. 7. Problems
  8. 8. 1. It is free $0.00 price tag isn't good for direct revenue
  9. 9. 2. Users expect free They are used to using plugins from
  10. 10. 3. Free is free 500,000 free downloads doesn't pay the bills
  11. 11. 4. Free is expensive Users may not pay to use it, but we pay to build it
  12. 12. 5. Support is costly Investing time in support is expensive
  13. 13. 6. Time is money
  14. 14. Possible answers to how we build a business on a free plugin
  15. 15. Use ads Advertising is a huge business
  16. 16. Charge for support The plugin is free, support doesn't need to be
  17. 17. Sell a pro version Up sell for improved functionality
  18. 18. Sell paid upgrades Let users purchase individual feature upgrades
  19. 19. All are viable options but each has problems
  20. 20. Ads Users hate ads
  21. 21. Charge for support do you require users to pay to answer simple questions?
  22. 22. Sell a pro version many users will only ever use the free version
  23. 23. Sell paid upgrades users hate feeling like they are being nickle and dimed
  24. 24. Variations that work based on my experience building successful plugins
  25. 25. Sell priority support allow paying customers to get priority support offer basic support for free
  26. 26. Sell specialized feature upgrades customers will pay for features that are instrumental to the setup they need
  27. 27. Give away lite and sell a Pro version never underestimate the traffic on
  28. 28. Sell annual licenses yearly renewals for continued support and updates
  29. 29. Installation services many users will pay you to configure the plugin
  30. 30. Offer amazing support happy customers make customers for life