I make my living as a digital marketing consultant (I mostly work with ecommerce stores). While I enjoy being a consultant, it is my goal to build out some product-based revenue streams.
Software products in particular have caught my interest. SaaS apps are by far the best software business model, but getting them of the ground takes forever (also known as the “long, slow, SaaS ramp of death”).
Rob Walling from StartupsForTheRestOfUs (excellent podcast) recommends starting with a “single-feature” app like a WordPress plugin. These apps are easier, faster and cheaper to get off the ground.
So, What Are You Working On?
Easy Pricing Tables allows you to create beautiful, responsive and highly converting pricing tables in less than 5 minutes.
This is an example of what a pricing table created with my plugin might look:
Scratching My Own Itch
In the past I’ve purchased a premium WordPress plugin to help me set up pricing tables on my website. The plugin sucked: the user interface was terrible, the pricing tables were not responsive and the design was mediocre.
Rip, Pivot, Jam
The last thing you should do is to rip something that doesn’t make money.
How I’ve assessed market opportunity:
- Multiple friends of mine previously spent money on pricing table plugins.
- Download stats of existing plugins gave me hope that there is at least some amount of money to be made.
- There’s a good amount of people searching for related keywords on Google.
I don’t expect this plugin to make me rich, but I’ll have reason to believe that this plugin will make at least some money.
I’m all about providing value. Creating a meek copy of an existing plugin wasn’t an option.
Thankfully, market research revealed that all existing plugins had issues, eg:
- Terrible user interface
- Mediocre design
- Not responsive
I’ve set out with the goal of building the best pricing table plugin in the market.
When it came to building the product I had two options:
- Outsource development
- Build the plugin myself
I have some non-technical friends that are successfully building software companies, but I believe that being able to read and write code will make managing developers a lot easier in the future.
Furthermore, I have spent a couple years in school programming C# and Java and liked the idea of getting back into coding. Between my existing programming knowledge, the WordPress Codex, StackOverflow and some great tutorials by Pippin Williamson, building the plugin wasn’t that difficult.
My biggest challenge wasn’t of technical nature. Being busy with client work and procrastinating both delayed this project quite a bit. I have a sad history of giving up on personal projects halfway through, so I’m glad I got it done.
What about revenue?
While Freemium doesn’t seem to be a great model for bootstrapped SaaS apps, this does not necessarily seem to be the case for WordPress plugin. Why?
In order to be listed in the WordPress plugin directory, you have to publish a free plugin. The WordPress directory is a powerful source of traffic. My free plugin has already gotten a good amount of downloads from the WordPress directory which is pretty cool – I have done zero marketing so far.
The plan is to get a small percentage of free users (power users!) to upgrade to the premium version of the plugin (coming soon!).
;TLDR - I’ve published a WordPress plugin. Check it out.
Do you have any thoughts on this plugin? Do you have experience selling software products? Leave a comment below.