This is the 40th monthly report for Print My Blog (PMB) WordPress plugin, documenting my journey to be fairly compensated for my time and reach 10,000 active installs.
💰 $6,114.49/$35,262.28 (fairly compensated for time)
🖥5,2173/10,000 active installs (on-par with other print button plugins)
What Happened This Month
Mailing List Stats
Stats from my MailChimp mailing list.
Stats from my site’s Koko analytics (don’t need no Google Analytics, thank you!)
Freemius gathers other stats about sales and sites using the plugin.
Finances and More Plugin Stats
PMB can now create Word documents from WordPress posts which can be opened with Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, etc. This feature is only available for Professional license-holders, as there is, by default, no attribution to PMB in the generated-document (documents generated for Hobbyist license-holders always have a line saying “Powered by Print My Blog” in exchange for the much lower price.)
The big question, of course, is: why not just copy-and-paste from WordPress into Word? Why use a plugin to create the document?
First off, yes you can copy-and-paste still, and PMB makes that so much better. Instead of opening each post one-and-a-time and copying them, you can create a project in PMB, assemble the posts in the desired order, select what info to show in the design (eg do you include author, date, featured image, custom fields, etc?), and then PMB dumps all the info onto a single page, ripe for copy-and-pasting.
While you can do that for free, and it’s pretty good from my testing, using PMB to generate the Word document has a few other improvements, too, including:
- adding the table of contents
- optionally remove all hyperlinks, replace with bookmark-like links to other posts included in the project, or leave them as regular hyperlinks
- add pagebreaks at the start of each article
- automatically adjust image resolution to save space
- automatically change YouTube videos to screenshots and URLs
- while not all CSS styles are respected by Microsoft Word, some are (like centering text)
And more is possible, subject to users’ feedback.
I haven’t yet created a walkthrough video or a big announcement post, as it’s been a bit of a “soft launch” (I’ve quietly made the feature available, and it’s been using by at least one author I’m working with, before making a big announcement.) But I have updated my documentation, sales pages, and feature comparisons. Stay tuned…
I discovered a significant bug this month: if a user new opted IN to Freemius data tracking, Pro Print didn’t work until they confirmed their email address.
I don’t recall anyone else bringing this to my attention, and it kinda kills me that probably lots of new users were being turned off because of it.
The fix for this issue was only released on June 28th, so I have yet to see what effect it will have.
My 3-year discounted hosting plan with Dreamhost expired, so I had the choice: stick with them (I was fairly content) for about 3x higher price than what I was paying before, or look for a new hosting company.
I tweeted about my decision, and was leaning towards using Digital Ocean but realized they basically give no support unless you’re a million-dollar company, and I’d have to set up my own email server (or pay extra to do it in addition to hosting). Setra Host tweeted at me, suggesting their services, and I found their pre-sales support very helpful (part of my evaluation process was to always contact pre-sales with a question, and evaluate how helpful they were… knowing that pre-sales is always more responsive than post-sales technical support.)
SetraHost took care of migrating my 4 sites, (printmy.blog, cmljnelson.blog, heritagehillfarm.ca, and deadeasyfamilyhistory.org) as part of the cheap hosting plan. It went quite well, there was just an hour of downtime or so while the SSL certificate updated, and there were some settings from my old site’s
wp-config.php file that I needed to re-add. Otherwise, it went perfect.
I especially like that when I ask for support with Setra Host, I usually get the same person who’s prompt, knowledgeable, and pleasant (no need to battle through tier 1 and 2 support before getting to someone who knows their way around WordPress.)
Soooo… sales dropped like 90% this month? Two months ago sales were almost $1,000, and this month sales were almost $100.
I blame the summer (everyone’s enjoying themselves outside, myself included), and a little bit the slowing economy (especially WordPress economy). It may also be the effects of not doing as much content marketing the past few months.
Although other numbers were consistent with previous months (new installs, email list growth), and website visits were a bit down too (although not as bad as the chart technically shows, because my analytics plugin stopped working for about a week after the migration.)
I’m going to keep at it, of course. I’m wanting to up my content marketing and improve the plugin’s user experience, but I’m halfway through the summer vacation and the kids get big so fast.
Admittedly I haven’t had as much time to do any work (PMB, or my other job supporting the online college my wife manages). But I’ve been enjoying the summer with our little family. We’ve barely left the house at all, but we’ve got a bit of property where land is relatively cheap, so we’ve got space. I installed Linux on my old laptop and am trying to teach my girls a bit about being a sys admin. Fun times. But in September they’ll all be in school and I’ll have more time.
Content marketing about the new Word Doc format, and creating tutorials for using it I think. I’m also often thinking about how to utilize Pro Print for Print Buttons, in order to align apply my most technically-advanced features (in Pro Print) to the most widely used use-case (adding print buttons to a blog).