Advertisement
Articles

Guide to Managing Premium WP Projects – Part 3: Marketing

by

If you're just coming into this series, be sure to read the first two parts on Planning and Building your project. Once you're all caught up, you should have a fully working product ready to release.

But wait - before throwing up a landing page and hoping to garner a few sales, it's worth giving some thought for how to get the word out about your release. And remember: we're trying to do this on the cheap, so the following strategies have everything to do with leveraging existing resources (excluding your wallet) to get the word out.


Get Social?

I know, in this day and age, it's almost cliche to recommend using social networks to publicize that you're releasing a project especially when it has such potential to be lost in the sea of other status updates.

But the point of taking advantage of the major social networks is to get as many relevant eyes on the note as possible. To do this, you have to consider who you're targeting: that is, users, fans, and other developers of WordPress.

After all, the bottom line is that you want to get them to retweet (or repost) your work.

Twitter

Assuming you're on Twitter (and if you're a developer in the WordPress space, you ought to be!), this should be one of the first places that you publicize your work. Of course, you don't want to spam people about your work. Instead, do some research for what people who may be potential customers (or potential retweeters) are talking about or are sharing.

  • Search. Quite simply, take advantage of search.twitter.com and do some cursory keyword research. See if there are any tweets related to WordPress and/or the target market of your plugin. Say you're working on a theme for new bloggers. Look for results that include those keywords. Tweet out something similar such that it appears in the results - others may be watching and see what you say.
  • Hashtags are one of the easiest ways to get a number of eyes on your tweets. For example, dropping a tweet that includes the #WordPress hashtag links to the homepage of your plugin can help. Repeating this a few times throughout the week is an effective strategy.
  • Lists. A large percentage of Twitterers take advantage of lists. It's worth taking a look at some of the most popular WordPress developers and bloggers on Twitter to see to what lists they belong. From there, you can see who follows a given list. I'm no fan of spam and don't recommend it, but you may discover someone - perhaps a blogger - that can help get the word out about your work.

Facebook

Personally, I've had mixed results with Facebook. Though I'll share a link to the homepage or blog post that refers to my project, I rarely get any clicks. The primary problem is that he majority of people that know me on Facebook aren't developers, bloggers, or have any idea as to what WordPress even is.

But remember: the ultimate goal is to get eyes on your work and getting even one set of eyes is considered a win. So don't discount Facebook - share a quick post or link about your work and let it sit.

Don't forget about Facebook Groups, either. Some of you may be members of a bloggers group or WordPress fan group that would be interested in your work. Don't forget to share your work on the wall of the group.

Google+

Though Google+ is the least popular social network, it's still widely used by certain groups of people not the least of which are developers. Additionally, since Google+'s circles have been so successful, you can find small communities of people (and you may already belong to some) that can really help in getting the word out.

If you opt to share your work on Google+, be strategic about the circles with which you publicize your work. Say you have your peers grouped in Family, Friends, Geeks, Bloggers, and Developers, it may not make sense to broadcast it out to Family and Friends (unless they're bloggers or developers) because they would be less likely to convert to a sale (or +1) than someone else of a common interest.

The bottom line of trying to get the word out via social networks is strategically sharing your work with relevant eyes. Let that be the grid through which you make your decisions when sharing your work.

And remember: this is not something that you do once and leave it alone. Do this several times throughout a given week (or month, even!) to maximize the number of views.


Get Some Press

A second option - and perhaps more viable option - is to have your work published via blogs. Obviously, one of the easiest ways to share your work is to throw up a quick blog post that talks about your project and references the project's homepage.

Your Blog

If you've got a subscriber base or a relatively consistent readership, you've nothing to lose by sharing what you've been working on. In fact, if they're subscribed to your blog then they're obviously interested in what you have to share. Additionally, having a link from one site to your project's homepage can also help with search engine optimization.

Regardless of what you do, remember to at least bring the social networking strategy into your blog post - provide a Twitter Share button, a Facebook Like button, and a Google +1 buttons on the post and homepage for the project.

Their Blog

Don't limit yourself to simply self-promotion on your own site. There has never been a better time to take advantage of various WordPress blogs - the community is growing, active, and engaged. There are a wide variety of blogs that cover WordPress-related news almost daily.

I can tell you from personal experience that simply emailing one of the editors (or contributing authors) can go a long way in having them cover your story. In fact, some sites want to be the first to 'break news' about a new product, service, or piece of news about WordPress - reaching out to these sites for coverage can be a big win.

Regardless of the route that you take, pick a site that you like, that has a large reader base, and that would provide the best coverage for the type of product you're releasing.

And The Newsletters

Over the past year or so, there has been a resurgence in newsletters. As far as the WordPress community is concerned, WpMail.me is the most popular newsletter in the WordPress-community at the time of writing this article.

The guys behind the newsletter typically do an excellent job of aggregating all of the weekly WordPress news into a single digest so if you've been covered on one of the major sites, then you'll likely show up in the newsletter; otherwise, it never hurts to contact the team and give them a heads up about your project, its details, and its website.

Again, it's all about getting as many relevant eyes on your work as possible. Leverage your resources!


A Freemium Plugin

Finally, a quick note to those of you writing premium plugins: don't forget about the WordPress Plugins Repository.

Although theme authors are exempt from this option (as the Theme Marketplace is invite-only), plugin authors can always submit a plugin to the WordPress Marketplace. Assuming that you've followed strategies we've mentioned throughout this series - such as strategically naming your plugin - then creating a scaled back, limited version of the plugin for free release can also help with converting sales.

If you opt to do this, consider the following:

  • Provide value with the free version, but limit the feature set in such a way that leaves users wanting more. That is, create a felt need in your plugin such that users will want to pay for the additional feature set.
  • I'm no fan of nag screens or nag dialogs, but strategically place a notice someone in the admin screen of your plugin that calls attention to a note that links them to the premium version's homepage.

At the end of the day, you're likely to convert sales - I've witness this strategy work firsthand - but even if you don't, you'll have others using your work. You're building trust and this can go along way for future projects.

Assuming that your project takes off and becomes successful, you're likely going to want to patch bugs, add new features, and support your users through its lifetime. In the final post in this series, we'll take a look at some free strategies for managing a successful WordPress project.

Related Posts
  • Code
    WordPress
    A Guide to Using FeedPress with WordPressA guide to using feedpress with wordpress
    FeedBurner still works great, but it hasn't been updated much in the last few years, and people are worried that Google, owner of FeedBurner, may close it down especially with the track record they've had over the past few years. So for those of us who want to continue tracking statistics about our subscribers, what options do we have available?Read More…
  • Code
    Plugins
    The Beginner’s Guide to WordPress SEO by Yoast: Social SettingsThe beginners guide to wordpress seo by yoast 400
    We discussed very basic configuration of the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast in part one of this tutorial series. Today, we're going to continue the series, and I intend to demonstrate how to configure the following: Social configuration of Yoast SEO Facebook - Open Graph tags Twitter - Twitter cards Google Plus - Google+ author and Google+ publisher Read More…
  • Business
    Marketing
    Leverage Your Next Big Launch with Email OutreachEmail outreach
    In 2013 the barriers of entry to media and business are arguably lower than at any other point in modern history. The ease with which one can establish a platform with a potential audience of millions is astounding. But despite the opportunities available to each and every one of us, those same low barriers to entry make it remarkably difficult to make yourself heard above all the noise. To put it another way, speaking is easy, whether or not you are heard is another matter altogether.Read More…
  • Business
    Marketing
    How to Use Facebook to Launch Your Next Big Project With a BangLaunching with facebook
    The toughest part about launching your project online is attracting attention. Whether you are trying to launch a blog, service, product, or something entirely different, making yourself heard above the cacophony of noise and distraction that is the Internet can be extremely difficult.Read More…
  • Business
    Marketing
    How to Build a Social Media Empire For Your Authority Blog8 authority blog social media
    There are many ways to attract people to your blog, but few that you are in more control of than social media. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a game of chance and word of mouth is a wild beast that cannot be tamed, but you can control social media. If you are prepared to put the hard yards in and work smart, you can build a considerable social media presence in a relatively short space of time. In this post, I focus on strategies for social media and offer tips specific to the two most important social networks for most bloggers: Facebook and Twitter. Yet, many of the principles I discuss in this post are equally applicable to the likes of Google+ and Pinterest. If you're ready to build social media "outposts" that drive traffic to your authority blog consistently, over the long-term, read on.Read More…
  • Business
    Freelance
    The Top WordPress Plugins You Need for Your Authority Blog5 preview authority blog wordpress plugins
    In the last post we got your blog setup with a unique-looking design courtesy of the Canvas theme framework. But aesthetics are just one piece of the puzzle -- in reality, any successful blog needs to function well in order to succeed. Although WordPress has great functionality out the box, its true power lies in its extensibility, which is exactly what we're going to cover today. I'm going to take you through the top WordPress plugins you can use to elevate your authority site to another level. We're going to cover everything from backups, to security, to search engine optimization, to post promotion and more. This step-by-step guide will show you how to install and setup each of the WordPress plugins I consider to be must-haves for authority site owners. Enjoy!Read More…