Transparency Reports

Transparency Report of March 2021

PMB Pro Released with 70% discount! Added filtering by categories, and shared books made with PMB Pro.
Lastly, some thoughts on selling

This is the 24th monthly report for Print My Blog (PMB) WordPress plugin.

What Happened This Month

Biggest spike yet at the start of this month with a small release. (Minor releases are the least troubling to install so seems folks upgrade to them the quickest.)
Consistent growth still!

Business Stats

  • Hours:
    • 97.75(+2) support
    • 119.25 (+8) marketing
    • 342 (+11) development
    • 59.5 (+7.5) management
  • Expenses (Opportunity Cost): $23,180.90 (+$1,079.93)
  • Expenses (Out-of-pocket) $60(+$15)
  • Income: $1,142.53 USD (+216)

Plugin Stats

Overview of What’s New

The Details

Founding Members Early Access Release and Promotion

I finally released PMB Pro to everyone on my potential Founding Members email list early this month. I emailed them all saying PMB Pro is ready for download and purchase, and to use the promocode “founding_member” to get a 70% discount on any plan at any billing period (monthly, annually, one-time). Note the promotion will continue until the end of April 2021.

Here’s some stats:

  • email list: 160 subscribers
  • opens of first email: 65
  • clicks from first email: 32
  • purchases after first email: 3
  • opens of second email: 62
  • clicks from second email: 12
  • purchases after second email: 1

One of the purchases was by someone who had previously donated more than the current discounted cost of the lifetime business plan, so I refunded them and instead gave it to them for free.

So for this first month sales totalled $216 USD.

Although I have monthly, annual and lifetime licenses available, everyone bought the annual license. I’m not too surprised no one bought a monthly plan (survey respondents indicated most wouldn’t want this, and Vova Feldman from Freemius suggested having it primarily just to encourage purchases of the annual license). Survey respondents had, however, indicated more interest in a lifetime license. Maybe the demand for that wasn’t as high once they realized it had the same cost as three annual licenses.

There was a pretty even distribution of plans purchased, though:

  • 1 purchase of “Hobbyist” license
  • 2 purchases of “Professional” license (I refunded one of these)
  • 1 purchase of “Business” license

So it seems the conversion rate of my email-list was about 2%.

Books made with PMB Pro

There were a couple examples of books made with PMB Pro worth sharing.

A Year of Running a WordPress Meetup, by me, Mike Nelson, is most of compiled into a book showing my experience with the Cowichan Valley WordPress Meetup.
Why it’s cool: slick table of contents; content from posts, events, and even print-only materials; automatically replaced hyperlinks with page references and footnotes.
Download the Print-Ready PDF
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, by member Robert Hamill, is both a paperback and eBook derived from writings on his website
Why it’s cool: the paperback was created directly in PMB Pro, the eBook was created from PMB Pro’s generated HTML and then Amazon converted it into an eBook.
Take a peek inside or buy on Amazon

Filter by Categories/Tags in PMB Pro

I finally added the ability for PMB Pro to filter by category, terms, and other taxonomies added by other plugins or themes.

In this screenshot, I’m about to show everything with the category “Data Preservation”. Some other plugin or theme added “Pattern Type” and “Pattern Category” taxonomies which can also be used.

Thinking Out Loud

Hardly 100k Product Launch

Given the first month’s sales, it isn’t looking like a 100k+ product launch like Veto shared. I have a few thoughts about why that has been:

  • The 70% discount applied to all license periods and renewals, not just the lifetime license. I could have done like Vito and only had it for the lifetime license, but he shared that most people actually still wanted to pay that in stages which I wasn’t going to be able to support. And I was indifferent towards having recurring revenue or up-front revenue.
  • I ended up taking nearly a year to get to this point, instead of a couple months. I think a lot of email subscribers lost interest in that time.
  • I’ve hardly achieved “ubiquity” in the WordPress ecosystem by guest posting everywhere. I haven’t found time for that.

A Free Trial Isn’t so Important Afterall

When I announced PMB Pro to my email list, I had an assumption that has proven mostly wrong: folks want to try the software before they buy it.

PMB Pro is setup so you can use every feature for free, but only need to pay to remove the watermarks. So I suggested folks try it first, then purchase in-app.

It turns out most purchasers just bought it right away, without really trying it much, if at all. They were sold by my (admittedly pretty sparse) marketing copy, without needing to try it at all.

In fact, I probably would have had more sales had my instructions to them just provided a link to “buy now”, rather than instructing them to download the plugin first and then buy. I know this because one actual purchaser ended up needing direct links to purchase, and requested it after getting frustrated trying to purchase in-app (but haven’t yet purchased.)

I suppose that’s because if folks with a budget are going to invest the time into learning the software, they’d prefer investing their money into having the full version, because they value their time more than the relatively small amount of money.

My next followup email to them will include direct links to buy, so we’ll see what effect that has.

Discussion around Renaming

One initial buyer suggested the name “Print My Blog” might be scaring potential buyers away. “Blog” has a connotation of hobbyists shared opinions, rather than a company sharing important news or updates. And “my” implies a personal project, rather than a company-wide endeavour. So when someone from a company is looking for software, seeing “Print My Blog” initially indicates to them it won’t meet their needs.

I think Print My Blog has a good name two years ago, as it reflected the plugin’s original purpose. But now it’s evolving into more of a competitor with Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign. And the original users of the plugin aren’t necessarily the type who will have a budget to spend on the pro features.

So the new name would ideally:

  • imply it’s a replacement for Microsoft Word
  • imply its integration with WordPress
  • be short but catchy
  • have keywords like “Print”, “Document”, “Publishing” in it

Changing the name will also be quite a bit of work, so it might not happen right away.

Getting a Local Partner?

I contacted a local friend who’s ran a business to suggest they might like to partner with me on Print My Blog. They’re brick-and-mortar business-skills and people skills could compliment my online tech-wizard skills well. But it starts to involve talking to banks and lawyers and the like. And I’m not even sure if they’ll like working in this space. So while I’d really like to have someone else helping out (there’s so much to do!) there’s a certain amount of work and commitment required to get a partner to sign-on.

What’s Next?

I hope to release PMB Pro on at the start of May.

Right now it will continue to have all the same features, plus a demo of PMB Pro’s new features. I’m a bit worried some folks won’t like the pro trial, but then again, given how often free users are having the problems it solves, I want them to be aware that Pro is an option.

Oh and if you’re interested in trying PMB Pro out right now, here’s the link to download it:

3 replies on “Transparency Report of March 2021”

Going to be honest – the reason I did not purchase is the cost which in my opinion is way too high

Compare it with something like Generatepress (premium)

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