WordPress plugin profitability

My setup wizard is finally ready. I’m not 100% satisfied yet, a few little things still bother me, but you should act according to the 80/20 rule, right?. And with that it should be fine for now.

I had a closer look at the user and sales figures. And in this blogpost I would like to answer a few questions from this and other previous posts.

As a reminder, articles like this one come about because I want to double my traffic within 6 months according to the book Traffic Secrets by Russell Brunson. The initial blog post can be found here.

No mastermind for me

Since I couldn’t ask my mastermind buddies yet, because I couldn’t participate in the last session due to private circumstances, I’m trying to answer some questions and make some decisions for myself. In the end, it’s my decision anyway, isn’t it?

Increase revenue without increasing traffic

There are several ways I could increase my revenue without increasing traffic. This is a bit off topic now, since it’s actually about traffic increase, but the ultimate goal is for me to generate additional revenue.

My options are:

  1. Leave CodeCanyon completely and sell the plugin myself.
  2. Change my author status with CodeCanyon and no longer sell exclusively.
  3. Build a SaaS model.
  4. Go two-track: Leave everything as it is and build a SaaS model on the side.
  5. Do nothing at all and leave everything as it is.

Can I increase revenue by selling the plugin myself?
I don’t really think so. Because:

  • As an exclusive author with elite status, I “only” pay 12% royalties. That’s what other systems charge as well.
  • Only Stripe would be cheaper. But I would have to set up an affiliate system as well as a billing and store system myself. Which of course would be a lot of work.
  • Basically, my revenue would have been only 5% higher in the last two years as a result. Because 50% of the sales (probably) come directly from other traffic sources (not from my website).

What I don’t know is to what extent the sales figures would change. Into the positive as well as into the negative. Many people do not trust CodeCanyon. Would they then trust me and buy faster?
Or: Is the current sales route (via CodeCanyon) too long? All facts I don’t know. In the end I might only get 10% more instead of 5%. Is it worth it?

Can I increase revenue if I no longer sell exclusively?
I don’t think so either. Because:

  • I would only earn 5% more, as described above.
  • I would have to raise the price on CodeCanyon by 200%, because CodeCanyon would then also take a full 50% instead of the 12%. Would the sales remain stable? I don’t think so.
  • I think the sales on CodeCanyon would only remain stable if I would change to a subscription model in general. Because then I could explain the increased price with a lifetime license. Nevertheless, I would not earn more on these lifetime licenses. The customer only pays more.

Can I increase revenue if I switch to a SaaS model?
That would be imaginable. Especially if I go two-track.

  • Assuming people continue to pay for at least three years, I would have additional revenue of about 62%, which is obviously a lot.
  • CodeCanyon’s business should remain stable because, generally speaking, nothing changes.
  • However, you don’t know if people will then jump on the SaaS model because they are actually looking for a WordPress plugin.

Can I increase revenue if I leave everything as it is?
That’s what I’m assuming. Because I’m trying it right now about traffic building according to Brunson. Although, of course, that’s not something I really enjoy (who likes asking for backlinks, for example?).

Conclusion

Leaving Envato makes no sense at the moment. The disadvantages outweigh the benefits: I would need my own store, my own payment methods, and various integrations, which should also be cheaper than Envato’s 12%. Other payment service providers are not cheaper and probably charge the same. What would still make sense, however, would be my own affiliate program with more lucrative payouts.

Nevertheless, I can understand that some people don’t like Envato (ThemeForest, CodeCanyon, etc.). Proof came in an email from a user who bought my plugin at some point.

One of my mastermind buddies recently asked, “What does your heart say?”. And the question fits quite well here. Personally, I’m leaning towards a SaaS model because I can leave the rest as is.

What next?

I could definitely look at how many plugins are currently still active and when they were purchased. That should at least give an indication of how many buyers would end up paying longer.

In addition, I’m currently thinking about a possible “auto-checker” (from the feature request page).

Stay tuned!