First of all, I just wanted to give a brief update. Since its my blog, I figure I can do that. I have been working from home full-time now since March 11th and it has been AMAZING! I love being at home and working on projects that I enjoy. I look forward to getting up every morning and building niche websites or working on other projects.
As far as earnings, the month of March was by far the best month I have ever had. So, leaving my full-time job and essentially negating the MBA I spent tons of money on, has actually been better than expected so far. Its only been a few weeks, but I look forward to the next several years of building and enjoying my business!
So, one way in which I am considering growing my business is by developing a premium WordPress plugin. I do have a couple of different ideas, but right now I just want to discuss the feasibility and opportunity of developing and selling a plugin. A WordPress plugin could be a number of different ideas that helps you run your blog better, track stats, posts content, builds an email lists, sells products, automates tasks, or any number of other functions.
The WordPress Market
First of all, lets take a look at the size of the potential market. By developing a “WordPress” plugin, I am obviously limiting the product to only WordPress users. However, there are many millions of WordPress users. I wanted to find a better or more exact stat on how many WordPress blogs are out there, but I couldn’t really find anything. I did find how many WordPress.com users (not self-hosted users) there are – that’s 18,914,826. In my estimation, there would be many more than 20,000,000 users of self-hosted WordPress blogs. Either way, we have a pretty healthy market.
Now I wanted to take a quick look at some of the premium WordPress Plugins that have sold well. This will give you an idea of the types of plugins that can be developed for profit:
- Wishlist Member – Membership software to turn your WordPress site into a membership site quickly and easily.
- WP Robot – Autoblogging software to add content, Amazon listings, pictures, videos, and other items hands free to your blog.
- Formidable Pro – Quickly add forms, polls, surveys to your site. Track stats and manage other data from your contacts.
- WP Review Engine – Set up product reviews with ratings and customize listings.
- Pop-up Domination – A premium pop up to collect names and email list.
- PhpPro – Quickly turn your blog into a eBay affiliate website with listings and automated postings.
Okay, there are thousands of other premium WordPress plugins that I could have listed here, but I just wanted to give you an idea of the type of products that are selling. So, I could literally think of any number of areas to target – whether that be tracking stats, optimizing ads, enhancing shopping experience, managing comments, or anything else having to do with WordPress.
I actually do have a couple of ideas that I could pursue here, but I don’t want to dive into too much depth into that right now. Of course I will if this is chosen as the winning idea for my niche pursuit. I actually do plan on getting voting started before the end of the month here.
My Failed WordPress Plugin
I have actually tried once before to develop a premium WordPress plugin, but failed miserably. I actually hired a developer and got most of the plugin developed. It was a plugin that would take your posts and allow you to “spin” them, and then automatically post them to about 50 of the top article directories – all from within WordPress. I actually spent over $1,500 getting this developed. However, for a number of reasons, including the fact that the programmer was not really delivering the quality product I had in mind – I cut my losses.
So, I ended up with a semi-working product that looked terrible and a bill for $1,500. It hurt to cut my losses like that, but it was the right decision as it allowed me to focus on other projects which have been much more successful. Never mind the fact that I would have had to spend much more than that to get the plugin done right.
Anyway, so if I jump into this project again – I will be a bit less naive this time. I will be aware that it takes hiring the best possible programmer (which is probably more expensive) to get the best product. I wish I knew how to program myself sometimes, but I have confidence in the fact that I can find a great programmer to outsource this type of project too. Since that original failed plugin, I have outsourced a number of successful projects including Long Tail Pro (my keyword research tool).
So, there you have it. I am considering developing a premium WordPress Plugin. What do you think? If you vote this to be the project I focus on, I will be blogging step by step how I come up with an idea, how I hire a programmer, how I manage the project, and how I sell the product, and everything else involved. So, go ahead and leave your comments below in regards to this idea so I can get a sense of interest.