I’m again sharing the results from the latest survey of Founding Members (both for input, and in case it’s useful to someoneelse). I previously shared Survey 1’s results, but didn’t bother with survey 2 as it was mostly primarily bug reports from users’ first tests.
I’m going to refrain from explaining the results or saying what pricing plans I will make available. This is just presenting what respondents said. We can think about action plan next.
This survey was primarily about pricing.
Almost all of the survey respondents used the free version of Print My Blog, and saw the banner inviting them to basically become BETA testers in exchange for a lifetime license for the then-non-existent Pro version of the plugin. So they might have been interested in participating in the process of making new software that would meet their needs, or were looking for a deal, or maybe a mix of the two.
Print My Blog Pro currently doesn’t add anything to your existing website; it’s for making PDFs from WordPress content (with extra features like advanced page numbering, table of contents, automatically replacing hyperlinks with footnotes and page references, etc.) Many users wanted to use it for archival of old blog content, so it’s often just used once.
How many paid PDFs do you expect to make each month, on average?
Most respondents plan to only use Print My Blog Pro periodically, and many just once. It doesn’t yet look like it would become part of their regular workflow.
What billing cycle would you be willing to use?
One-time and yearly payment options were the most sought-after. Two respondents also mentioned preferring pay-per-use in the comments (so more might have answered that had it been specified as an option.)
How much would you guess it would cost you to hire a professional to format an eBook from your website’s content?
|Estimated Cost||# of Respondents|
|$0 (they’d do it themselves)||2|
|$100 or less||2|
|$1001 or more||4|
I asked this to try and get an estimate of what people thought the alternative price would be to just outsource formatting a book to professional. My personal guess is around $100-$500 from upwork.com (where the skill level is dubious) or $1000 for someone with a reputation.
I realize this question wasn’t that clear because most users said they wouldn’t consider a monthly subscription. So not surprising most chose the cheapest option available, and some said they wouldn’t accept any of these.
Given Print My Blog Proâs current features, what is the maximum amount you would be willing to pay each month you use it?
I could re-ask the question to be “What is the maximum amount you would be willing to pay each year to use it?” but I get the sense the results will be about 10x monthly, so about $100 (when they chose “yearly” before, I did indicate it would cost about 10x monthly).
But overall, those surveyed generally didn’t have very deep pockets.
Is there any critical feature Print My Blog Pro is still missing that would make it significantly more valuable to you?
These items were mentioned (🟢 means can be done now but it’s not obvious how, 🟡I could add this option but haven’t yet, 🟠 will require some development work
- 🟢choose font title font size
- 🟢automatically add padding around images
- 🟢remove paragraph indents (they’re automatically added for print designs)
- 🟢select font
- 🟢customizing first and last page of PDFs
- 🟡licenses for multiple sites
- 🟡more PDFs per month (right now the initial founding members are getting 2 free PDFs per month)
- 🟠add a page and all child pages to a project in one step
- 🟠”add-to-read-later-PDF” (users would add posts/pages to something like a cart, and then download a PDF with all those posts/pages combined into one PDF)
- 🟠automatically add posts to projects (when publishing)
If Print My Blog Pro had all those features, what is the maximum amount you would then be willing to pay each month you use it?
Respondents indicated they’d pay almost the same amount even with these added features (although there were a couple more who said they’d move up to $19.99 per month). So it doesn’t seem they would increase the plugin’s value too much (they’d probably just help in retention of users, and possibly acquiring more users, but they wouldn’t pay much more for the plugin.)
What methods would you use to learn about Print My Blog Pro?
The most sought-after way to learn about how to use Print My Blog is reading online instructions (outside of the plugin) and video tutorials. In-plugin instructions are next up, and actual books trailing pretty far behind (which is a bit funny, seeing how these people all want to make books from their website content.) So I think it is important to have online instructions in both written and video formats.
One users mentioned that they received live help using a plugin through its chat, and they really appreciated that. I can how that would be really nice but having someone available for instant chat would be difficult to organize (unless it were a bot, which seems to be the annoying norm these days.)
How many WordPress websites do you maintain or work with?
It seems about a third of users have one or two sites; a third have a handful of sites; and a third have “a lot” of sites. However, as you recall earlier, most users indicated they would only pay $10/month, so there doesn’t seem to be any relation between “number of sites” and “willingness to pay”…
I realize now my questions about price were unclear as to whether that was per-site or not. One respondent insisted they wouldn’t be interested in a per-site payment plan (they would only want to pay for a license that granted them use on unlimited sites.)
What related services are you seeking help with and considering paying for?
I asked this to get ideas about potential related revenue streams (not to specifically try to sell to respondents). Getting someone to edit their manuscript was the most popular, which what I had expected. Of course, this brings up a difficulty with writing in WordPress: editing content is hard in WordPress. Sure there are revisions, but there’s no built-in way to add comments about a specific sentence or paragraph, and suggest changes like you can with Google Docs. Also, one respondent said they are already sending their content to an editor who will only accept editing a Word document (this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this.) There’s a plugin that tries to add Google Docs-style inline commenting but it doesn’t seem too well-developed yet (or adopted, there seems to be a chicken-and-egg problem here).
The second most sought-after related service is cover design, followed closely by website design and printing services. So there’s a variety of related services folks are interested in.
I realized some ambiguities in my questions that make the data less useful. Like the following:
- all the questions failed to specify if prices/payment schedules would be for a single site or for any number of sites.
- I only asked for anticipated monthly usage of the plugin; I realize many users expect to only use it once to make a PDF of their blog and then shut it down. There’s a big difference between using PMB to make 1 PDF ever and making 1-2 PDFS every month. My survey didn’t differentiate between the two.
- When I asked for the maximum amount users would be willing to pay monthly, but most users said they wouldn’t be willing to pay a monthly amount. They indicated they’d rather pay yearly (for about 10x monthly) or for lifetime (for about 40x monthly). So if a respondent answered they’d be willing to pay $9.99 per month, that implies they’d be willing to pay $99.99 yearly, or $399.99 for a lifetime. While I think that makes sense, it’s not obvious and certainly not explicit.
This means many users may have been thinking “I only want to make one PDF, from my entire site, and turn off my site. So I just want to pay once and probably never use PMB again.” So they answered they’d only want to pay once, not realizing that that’s probably the opposite of what they intended: they were saying they’d want to pay at least $399.99 for a lifetime license to software they’d only use once! 😖 I think they meant to say they’d rather pay monthly, for a single month and then discontinue paying, and probably be willing to pay a bit more than $9.99 for it.
Does This Sound Right?
I’ll save interpreting these results and prescribing what I think I’ll do for pricing on a later post. I admit these results were a bit underwhelming, but better to be aware of the reality of what potential users want and what they’re willing to pay than be ignorant of it.
Got any insights about these results? Or contrary info suggesting the results are misleading? Please comment or reach out on Twitter (cmljnelson). Thanks!