Just today I’m at a point again where I’m thinking to myself, “Why are you doing this?”. The reason is the next negative review of my free plugin on WordPress.org. But read on…
As a reminder, my articles in the “The Journey With My Plugin” category are solely about traffic building. The trigger for these articles was the book Traffic Secrets by Russell Brunson who wrote in one of the chapters that you should share your journey with your product with your (future) customers. And that’s ultimately what I’m doing here.
But now back to the main topic, which is about negative comments. But how does this actually fit in with the traffic building for my plugin? That’s simple. The free plugin should of course at some point also help to increase my sales at CodeCanyon. Only if I earn money with it, I can continue to develop the plugin. It’s not like I would generate thousands of sales every month. Not yet. That’s why my plan was to offer a free structured data and schema plugin at wordpress.org.
Negative comments at w.org
I have always known that there are more bad reviews than good ones. Reason being is that people (myself included) tend to get more upset about things that go bad. Actually, it should be the other way around, because many people in this world are doing really well. And there are a many good plugins that – and that’s really what it’s all about – are absolutely free. Installing a plugin costs you nothing. Nada! 0€! But the appreciation for it unfortunately also goes towards zero!
Is it really true that products that cost nothing are also worth nothing? I don’t even want to philosophize about that now, because it’s wasted energy. Instead, I want to think about what I can do to avoid bad reviews.
But now a short word about CodeCanyon:
Positive reviews at CodeCanyon
It’s interesting that CodeCanyon is teeming with positive reviews. Of course, it’s like I tell people to leave a good review. Because – as described above – it’s often the case that while they are willing to post bad news right away. Good news, on the other hand, is less likely to be shared. So a hint is at least mandatory. I don’t have that with my free WordPress plugin.
Idea 1: Include a hint for a good review!
Get feedback beforehand?
I have another idea for this now. Maybe I should give the user the opportunity to share their feedback in advance. This could have the following advantages:
- Less bad ratings, because feedback has already been given.
- I generally get more feedback than usual (because only the bad news gets through to me).
Yes, I should definitely do that!
Idea 2: Integrate a feedback tool!
Extend functions of the free version?
What is of course very noticeable is that people only complain about the fact that the range of functionality is limited. That’s obvious: It’s only the free version! But nobody is interested in that.
My first thought after such comments is always: Should I extend the functionality of the free plugin? Yes, that would probably be a quick and easy solution. The downside is that the feature set of the free version leans closer and closer to the paid version. This will eventually make the PRO version obsolete and I won’t earn anything at all. Boom! Closed in my own leg! And of course into the leg of my customers, because without money there is nothing. Without money no further development. It’s as simple as that.
Idea 3: Extending the functionality of the free version makes no sense. Because someday the next user will complain that there is no support for plugin abc and additional function xyz.
The completely different way: Software-as-a-Service
In my mastermind group I then asked what they would think of a SaaS model. SNIP as Software-as-a-Service, so to speak. This means that the plugin would only run on my web server and all users would have to set their schemas there. The plugin on the user side would then only include a small code that makes sure that all schemas are delivered correctly.
This would immediately have several advantages for me:
- I could bill monthly or by volume and hopefully earn more as a result.
- The maintenance effort is limited to my own server and not to the thousands of different WordPress installations.
- I could also target non-WordPress sites.
But what is clearly more important to me are the benefits to the customer:
- Set it up once (or have it set up) and you’re good to go!
- No plugin updates to manage.
- No worrying about the plugin “crashing.”
- I could send alerts if a schema is no longer valid because I know exactly what is on the client’s site.
- Data could be tapped that not in the database (but in the content area, for example).
Disadvantages would be of course the monthly charges. But this could certainly be done with a humane price.
Nevertheless I noted, the idea 4: SNIP as a possible SaaS.
Well… as you can see: I have no clue how to proceed. Currently I want to finish the setup wizard first. Then I will see.