A little while ago, I had no idea how to sell a Google Chrome extension. I knew that it was possible, but I had not idea how to do it.
Now I've created a Chrome extension, listed it on the Google Chrome web store, and I've been selling it for about a week. The best part is that I've already made my investment back!
In fact, as of today I've had total sales for my brand new Chrome extension of $4,012 in 7 days. I'm VERY happy with the results I've seen so far, and I think I can continue to grow it even more.
So, what's the Chrome extension? It's called TexTrader and you can check it out right here.
Today I want to take you on the journey of why I created it, what I've done to sell it, and what my plans are for the future. In addition, I'll explain why you might want to consider creating a Chrome extension to monetize and grow your own audience.
Why I Created a Chrome Extension
As I recently shared, I just bought an Amazon FBA blog called FBAmaster.com. The previous owners were selling 3 Chrome extensions, but usually didn't make more than a few hundred dollars per month.
As I dug into the numbers, I found that just 1 of the Chrome extensions was making up nearly 100% of all the sales.
As I looked at the Chrome extension, I could see that it was a pretty cool idea, but it could be improved.
Yes, there was demand for the Chrome extension. Demand for the Chrome app you have an idea for is important. But I could also see that the product itself could be improved and that it could be marketed and sold much better.
For those reasons, I jumped in and decided to create a new chrome extension from scratch that would be a better version of the existing tool. At the end of the day, this is just one of my plans to grow the FBA Master business.
What Does TexTrader Do?
Before buying FBA Master, I knew nothing about the Amazon Trade-In program. As it turns out, Amazon will buy back (in gift cards) certain used textbooks.
What is even more interesting, is that many times 3rd party sellers will sell a used textbook for LESS than the Amazon Trade-In price. I don't know why they do this. Perhaps they are just unaware of the Amazon Trade-in program.
What this means is that you can buy a used textbook for say, $75. Then once you receive it, you just print a free shipping label using the Amazon Trade-In program and send it right back to Amazon for say, $100. You make a $25 profit just like that!
The only problem is that finding these profitable deals is a very manual process. You have to scroll through thousands of Amazon pages one at a time to check if the lowest selling price is lower than the Amazon Trade-in price.
TexTrader automates this process. You click the Chrome extension icon and it scans through the category of textbooks that you are on. No need to scroll through all the pages, Textrader scans through the pages for and calculates what is profitable and what is not.
You can watch of video of what it does here:
I only share this with you to give you an idea of the types of things you can do with Chrome extensions. If you visit the Chrome store, you can browse through thousands of other extensions and see what functions they serve.
You might be surprised at how many seemingly simple apps are in the Google Chrome web sotre.
How to Develop a Chrome Extension
I should clarify, I'm not a developer. So, my process was pretty simple: I went to Upwork.com and posted a job asking if someone could build what I was looking for. There were plenty of applicants and picked one after asking them a few questions.
So, if you are wondering how to actually code a Google Chrome extension, I'm not your guy. But the way I had it developed was simply outsourcing.
Do You Have to Sell it on the Google Chrome Store?
As you can see from the screenshot above, Google allows you 3 different payment options from the developer dashboard.
- Make the extension free.
- You can charge money for it using Chrome Web Store Payments
- You can charge money using a custom payment solution.
I went with option 3.
So, in a nutshell, people buy though my website here using PayPal. After payment, I send them to the Google Chrome Store to download (technically you can download for free). Finally, they get an email with a activation code.
The chrome extension won't work without a license key, so no one can use it unless they've paid.
So, while you do need to list your extension on the Chrome store, you still have the flexibility to sell it wherever you want. People can find my extension directly on the Chrome store. Ideally I would get some natural sales through there.
But it's too early to tell at this point.
How I Launched the Chrome Extension
The entire reason I launched TexTrader was to monetize the FBA Master audience. The business has a little over 12,000 on the email list, and the site already ranks #1 in Google for “Textbook Arbitrage.”
So, “launching” the product was about as simple as following these steps:
- Create the sales page and automated email sequence using Clickfunnels and ConvertKit.
- Email the FBA Master email list on 3 separate days.
- Add links to FBAmaster.com to existing articles and other locations that made sense.
The money really is in the email list. After simply emailing my own list, I've made my full investment back on the Chrome Extension development.
Textrader is currently selling for $59 and I've sold 68 copies. That's a total revenue of $4,012!
By comparison, the “old” Chrome extension had sold a total of about $1,500 worth in the first 4 months of the year. (In month 5 it sold about $2k worth because I promoted it). So, this a GREAT start.
Quick sidenote: I've been a little bit spoiled with the success that Long Tail Pro had. Obviously, a $4,000 week would be a terrible one for Long Tail Pro. But if I look back to when I first created Long Tail Pro, if my memory serves me correct, it sold about $2,500 in the first month.
So, in some ways $4,000 doesn't feel that amazing, but in other ways it feels like a great start. Where it will really matter is what I can do over the next 6 to 12 months.
Future Plans to Continuing Growing…
In addition to just launching it to my own list, I do have some additional plans to help my Chrome app continue selling.
First, I think it's important to emphasize that FBAmaster.com does already rank for things like Textbook arbitrage and other related keywords. So, adding mentions of Textrader on these pages should result in some “natural” sales on an ongoing basis.
Over the long term, I plan to produce additional articles that will hopefully rank in Google for related terms and will give me additional opportunities to mention the tool.
I also happen to have a few articles on NichePursuits.com where it will make sense to add mentions of Textrader, including on of the very first articles I ever wrote on my blog: How to buy and sell used books.
In addition, I've already spoken to a few people that are willing to be affiliates for Textrader. I'm hoping to form a few relationships that can generate ongoing sales, rather that just one-time sales through email promotions.
I also plan to do some outreach to websites that are already ranking in Google for related terms and ask if they want to add TexTrader to their articles to make some extra money. I've already had one person say yes.
I don't have the full plan for paid traffic fleshed out, but I do plan on testing some ads. This could be Facebook ads, Youtube ads, or Google Adwords.
However, my theory is that this is a low enough entry product that I should be able to develop a paid traffic funnel to a wider audience that might be willing to try buying and selling textbooks online.
I likely won't have anything running for a month or so, but I'll keep you posted to let you know how it goes!
Does Any of this Guarantee Success?
I'm happy with the start of the new Chrome Extension, but a quick start doesn't guarantee long term success.
The previous owner came up with a great idea and likely had bigger weeks than $4,000 with the old Chrome Extension. In fact, the previous owner did a great job overall with the site to help it grow from nothing to something significant!
So, I plan to continue to nurture this little chrome extension and possibly add others in the future so that this side of the business grows over the long term.
Should You Consider a Chrome Extension for Your Audience?
You might be able to create a Chrome extension for your audience to either make money, build an email list, or both. There are Chrome extensions for just about everything out there, not just the “make money online” niche.
Think about what's already out there. Extensions for the Chrome browser exist from well-known programs like Evernote, Jungle Scout, or other well known companies. You can find a Chrome browser extension for an FBA calculator, social media, keyword research, and more.
In other words, there are plenty of opportunities for paid extensions if you find an idea that resonates with an audience.
If you get creative enough, you might be able to find an extension that your audience might want in the gardening niche, the survival niche, or just about any niche out there. Get creative!
Although I do think the best opportunities lie in the shopping/deals, productivity, and digital marketing niches.
You can charge for the extension like I have, or perhaps you can give it away for free and try to build your audience. I haven't done this yet, but I imagine you can require an email address to access the Chrome extension. So, they might find you on the Chrome store, but just ask them for an email address before they can activate.
Who knows, maybe you could build a large email list that way. (I definitely might try this in the future if I come up with the right idea).
Overall, I think creating a Chrome extension is a viable idea to either make money or build an audience. What do you think?
If you have any questions or thoughts about TexTrader or creating a Chrome extension in general, let me know in the comments below.
And for extra inspiration if you need it, check out our list of the most popular Google apps on the market!