Plugin Blueprint

Copyright Derrick VanDyke. All rights reserved. No part of this course may be reproduced or transmitted in any form whatsoever, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any informational storage or retrieval system without expressed written, dated and signed permission from the author.
Contents
Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3
Step 1: Decide on an Idea ………………………………………………………………………………… 3
Open Source Plugins …………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
License a Plugin ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 6
Replicate a Plugin …………………………………………………………………………………………. 7
Keep it Simple ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9
Step 2: Create the Project Description ……………………………………………………………… 9
The User Interface …………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
Step 3: Post Your Project ………………………………………………………………………………. 12
Step 4: Choose a Programmer ……………………………………………………………………….. 14
Working with the Programmer ……………………………………………………………………….. 15
Project Milestones ……………………………………………………………………………………. 15
Beta Testing ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 16
Step 5: Create Video Tutorials ……………………………………………………………………….. 16
Step 6: Create a Sales Page …………………………………………………………………………… 17
The Key Elements of Your Sales Letter ………………………………………………………….. 18
1. The Big Promise ………………………………………………………………………………….. 18
2. Proof of Your Claim ………………………………………………………………………………. 18
3. Social Proof …………………………………………………………………………………………. 19
4. Video Proof …………………………………………………………………………………………. 19
5. Features and Benefits …………………………………………………………………………… 19
6. A Risk-Free Guarantee …………………………………………………………………………. 20
7. The Pricing Structure ……………………………………………………………………………. 21
Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 21
Resources …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 22
Introduction
You’re about to discover the secrets to designing and creating your own WordPress plugins. This report will show you how to come up with a profitable idea, outsource the work, and get your plugin on the market in the shortest time possible.
First I’ll show you three methods for generating ideas for your plugin and how to make sure it will sell before you even get started. Then I’ll help you drill down your target customer and develop the marketing plan.
Next, I’ll show you how to design your plugin to make it super simple and user friendly to avoid or eliminate most customer support.
Then I’ll show you how to create a project description, submit it to Freelancer.com, analyze bids, and select a programmer.
Once your plugin is developed, it’s time to test it, work out any bugs, and get some reviews to use in your sales copy.
Finally, I’ll give you a few ideas for selling your plugin and show you how to write the sales copy.
Are you ready? Let’s get started…
Step 1: Decide on an Idea
Coming up with ideas is easy. There are thousands of free plugins in the WordPress plugin directory that you can modify and sell. You can also license plugins at Code Canyon and use the code in derivative works. Finally, you can find a plugin at JV Zoo or Warrior Plus that’s already selling well and put your own spin on it.
Open Source Plugins
First, let’s look in the plugin directory: http://WordPress.org/extend/plugins/
At the time of this writing, there are 33,209 free plugins that have a General Public License (GPL), which means the code is “open source” and can be used in derivative works (i.e. your plugin).
I’m not an attorney and this isn’t legal advice. But it’s my understanding that you have the right to distribute and/or sell any WordPress software that is released with the GPLv2 (or later) from the Free Software Foundation. And if you use any of the code, you are required to include the original GPL license with your software.
When looking for ideas (or plugins to modify and sell), I browse the Most Popular plugins. But I don’t start at page one because those plugins are too well known and general in application. Instead, I start on page 20 and work my way down.
Tip: add the page number to the end of the URL in your address bar to skip to any page. http://wordpress.org/plugins/browse/popular/page/20
Here’s something interesting on page 25:
The plugin allows you to export your database, media files, plugins, and themes. So now we have an idea.
Next, we validate our idea by finding similar plugins that are already being sold. Just go to Google and search for keywords like backup, restore, clone, migrate WordPress site.
A quick search reveals several sites with a wide range of prices:
 Backup Creator: $47 to $147 per year
 WP Back it Up: $39 to $199
 Backup Buddy: $80 to $150 per year
 WP Twin: $97 to $297
 Press Backup: $8 to $25 per month
That’s enough to indicate there is a market for a similar plugin. But the key is to create something that is specifically designed to help your target buyer solve a problem, save time, save money, or just make their life easier.
A quick search on JV Zoo reveals that a basic backup plugin sold less than 10 copies. So we would have to position this plugin differently.
Who is our target customer?
How about developers who want to clone a WordPress site including the theme, plugins, media and settings to save time when deploying the site for a client?
How about marketers who create and flip sites?
What if you created a plugin that allowed marketers to set up and clone a reseller site in WordPress. Then sell a deployment plugin that re-creates the reseller site. The end-user would just add their name and payment link and be ready to sell.
With any of these ideas, your challenge is to give your prospects an idea, paint a picture in their head that illustrates how they can use your plugin to make money, save time, or just make their life easier.
You’d also need to make step-by-step video tutorials to show them how to do it (or you can easily outsource that on Fiverr).
License a Plugin
The second place to get ideas is at: http://codecanyon.net
Just click on WordPress in the main menu to browse nearly 3,000 commercial plugins that you can buy rights to.
Here’s one on the first page that is a potential hot seller. And you can buy an extended license for just $70, which allows you to use the code in a single product that can be sold as your own.
We already know that Facebook is a hot topic, so it wouldn’t take long to validate this idea with a few diligent searches. And it already has a marketing hook, “Increase Facebook Page Likes by 1000%”.
Replicate a Plugin
Another easy way to get an idea for a plugin is to look at what’s already selling well and figure out how you can make it better or easier to use.
Ask yourself these questions…
 Are there features you could add to make it better?
 Are there unnecessary features that make it too complicated?
 Is there one feature you could extrapolate and turn into a new plugin?
 Can you create a new design, templates, graphics, etc.?
Just to show you the massive potential WordPress plugins have, here’s a screen shot of the top-selling plugins on JV Zoo.
However, I wouldn’t recommend that you attempt to compete at this level – especially when you’re first getting started. High-end plugins can take months to develop and thousands of dollars to outsource the work.
Look at plugins that have 100 to 500+ sales. If the conversion rate is over 5% and the EPC is over $1, then you have a potential hot seller. Any of the plugins below could be easily replicated with a new twist and a different marketing hook.
Keep it Simple
I had this BIG IDEA to create a plugin that had everything you need to create sales funnels including sales pages, squeeze pages, download page, exit popups, countdown timers, video players, and dozens of additional features that I thought were super cool.
The only problem…It took me two years to complete!
I’m glad it’s finished because it’s a high-end plugin that I can sell at a premium price. But as with any complex software (even Microsoft Word), there is a bit of a learning curve.
The more features you have…
 The more likely it is for bugs to occur
 The more confusion you’ll cause your customers
 The more support questions you’ll have to answer
Step 2: Create the Project Description
The next step is to create a project description. You want to be as clear and concise as possible when you create your project description.
The User Interface
For the user interface, you can do a mock up in Photoshop, use an HTML editor, or simply include screen shots of an interface that you like from another plugin.
I use an HTML editor called Kompozer to create the forms and tables for the admin and/or user interface. Then I take screen shots and add them to a PDF file with detailed instructions.
Below is a screen shot of the document I submitted for a simple plugin I had created for just $25.
Notice that I also took the time to illustrate what the short code might look and provided the code that you would normally place on a web page to show the Plus One button, which saves him time and me money.
If you want to replicate a plugin, you can simply take screenshots and explain each feature to the programmer.
Here’s an example description for my +1 plugin…
I need a WordPress plugin that makes it easy for someone to insert short code into any post that will display a Google Plus button. Options are size, target URL, redirect URL, or locked content
1. The GPlus icon will appear in the WP post editor.
(you can find free icons at http://iconfinder.com or http://findicons.com)
2. Clicking the icon will open a dialogue box.
Button size is required. Default is Medium.
Show count shows the number of +1s
Target URL is optional. Default is the current WP page.
Redirect URL is optional. Visitor will be redirected to the URL entered 1 second after clicking the +1 button.
Locked content is optional. Content entered will be hidden initially and revealed after the visitor clicks the +1 button. User can enter any HTML code. Below is a screenshot of the dialogue box from a similar plugin.
Step 3: Post Your Project
Freelancer.com recently acquired VWorker.com and scriptlance.com. So it’s really the only place you need to post your project.
If you’re looking for a part or full time programmer, Odesk.com is a good choice. They even have an app that you can install on your computer to track your worker’s hours and progress.
First, select a category for the work you require. For plugins, I select “Websites IT & Software” and then “Write Some Software” as the Job.
Next, enter a description. You should clearly describe what you need in as few words as possible. Workers will see your description when browsing through jobs.
Here’s a fill-in-the-blank example:
I need a WordPress plugin created that makes it easy for someone to _____. The user must also have the ability to 1) _____, 2) _____, and 3) _______.
I want a simple and intuitive user interface. See the attached PDF document for more details.
If you bid on this project, I need you to answer the following questions:
Will you be available for bug fixes and future updates?
What is your estimated time to completion of a beta version?
Why do you think you’re qualified for this job?
Are you willing to post updates on your progress at least 3 times per week?
Enter keywords for the skills required for the job such as PHP, WordPress, HTML, and Software Development.
Next, enter your description that we discussed earlier. Below is the description I used for the +1 plugin.
I need a WordPress plugin created that makes it easy for someone to Insert short code into any post that will display a Google Plus button. Options are size, target URL, redirect URL, or locked content.
Finally, select “fixed price”, select your budget, and submit your project for approval. Your listing will go live as soon as it’s approved.
You can also select “Custom Budget” and enter a price range.
Step 4: Choose a Programmer
You should have several bids within hours of posting your project. I usually wait 2 days before accepting a bid.
Some workers will answer your questions and may have a few of their own. That’s good. It means they actually read your description and are interested.
Others will simply place a bid without any comments. Be skeptical because they probably didn’t read your project description.
If you get a bid from someone who simply pastes their company’s credentials in the comments, that’s usually a project manager. I delete those because they obviously didn’t even look at the description.
Don’t just take the lowest bid. Look at work history, ratings and reviews. In the screen shot below, you can see this developer was rated 5 stars on all his projects. He has 24 reviews. Click that link to see his client’s feedback.
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few programmers, make your selection based on the amount of their bid and the answers to these questions:
 Did they answer your questions in the project description?
 Were the answers satisfactory?
 Do they have good ratings and reviews?
Once you make a selection, you will be prompted to transfer money from credit card or PayPal into an escrow account. The money will not be released to the programmer until either a milestone is reached or the project is complete, which is subject to your approval.
Working with the Programmer
For simple projects like my +1 plugin that take less than a week, you should follow up in a few days after settling the bid to get an update on the estimated time of delivery and answer any questions that might come up.
For more complicated projects, you may need to require regular updates (at least 3 times per week) so you can keep the programmer on track. You could also meet periodically on Skype to discuss any sticking points that could be holding up progress.
Note: always correspond with your programmer inside Freelancer.com so you have a record just in case there is a dispute.
Project Milestones
If you submit a project that will take three weeks or more, consider breaking it into three phases and pay the programmer after each milestone.
For example, if your project bid is $600, you could pay $200 when they complete the admin interface, $200 when they complete the user interface, and then the remaining $200 when the project is complete.
You can also add milestones to pay for additional work that was not in the original description. You simply negotiate a new bid price.
Note: make sure to negotiate any changes inside Freelancer.com so you have a record.
Milestones remain in escrow until the work for that phase is complete and you release the payment to the worker.
Beta Testing
Before you release the remaining funds, you need to install and test the plugin for bugs. It’s also a good idea to have a few friends test it after your programmer fixes any bugs you may find.
Once you’re satisfied with the plugin, you can release the remaining funds. Make sure to leave a good review. If your programmer did an excellent job, you can also give him a bonus that’s tracked through the system. That’s a good incentive for him to be around for updates or future projects.
Step 5: Create Video Tutorials
If you already know how to create video, you can do this part yourself. If not, I would recommend hiring someone at http://Odesk.com. Just search for “video tutorials”, “web tutorials” or “software demos”.
In the screenshot below, notice that prices vary from $18 to $35 per hour.
Step 6: Create a Sales Page
Selling a plugin or any software is a little different than selling an information product. You don’t really need to connect with your audience or tell your “rags to riches” story. You just need to demonstrate what your plugin does, how it can benefit the customer, and why they should buy.
If you don’t know how to write compelling sales copy, I would recommend hiring someone on the Warrior Forum. Go to Advanced Search and enter “copywriting” the keyword box. Select the “Warriors for Hire” forum under Warrior Special Offers.
In the screenshot below, you can see there are 98 results with prices as low as $100 for a sales letter.
The Key Elements of Your Sales Letter
Now I’ll list the 7 key elements that you’ll need to give your copywriter or include in your sales letter if you write it yourself.
1. The Big Promise
What is the main thing that your plugin does and how will it benefit the user? What is the big promise that you can make?
For example, the plugin we discussed earlier creates viral contests on your WordPress blog. The biggest benefit is that it enables other people to build your list for free.
So your headline might read…
“New WordPress Plugin Creates Viral Contests that Build Your List at Lightning Speed for Free!”
2. Proof of Your Claim
If you make a claim that your plugin will generate traffic, make you money, or build your list, proof screen shots will definitely help conversions.
The best proof you can show is results that back your big promise. For example, if you used the plugin to run a contest and tracked your subscriptions, you could take a screenshot of your statistics.
Then your proof element would read, “431 Subscribers in 7 Days for Free”.
3. Social Proof
Testimonials or reviews are a great way to show social proof that your plugin works. Just give the plugin to your marketing buddies and ask for a rave review that you can add to the sales page.
You could also send it to your list or ask for a review in the Warrior Forum (limit the review copies to 24 hours and then shut it down).
If you run a WSO, you can ask your friends to post a review in the forum thread as soon as you launch.
4. Video Proof
Demonstrate that your plugin works by creating a video that shows people how it works, how easy it is to use, and how they will benefit from using it.
Paint a picture in the viewer’s mind of how it will produce the results that you claim it will.
Again, you can easily outsource a video demo for your sales copy at http://odesk.com.
5. Features and Benefits
You want to list each feature and its related benefit. These will be the bullet points for your sales copy.
Here’s an example for a viral contest plugin:
 Feature: enables you to run a contest
 Results: builds your list for free
 Feature: let’s contestants refer other people
 Benefit: creates a viral list building affect
So one of your bullet points might read…
 Easily set up a viral contest on your blog and get hundreds of people to share your page and refer their friends creating an unstoppable wave of fresh, new subscribers!
6. A Risk-Free Guarantee
People want to know three things before they purchase:
1. Will it work for me?
2. Can I get support if I have questions?
3. Can I get a refund if it doesn’t work for me?
Here’s how I answer these questions:
[Plugin Name] is Guaranteed to Work for You
This software has been thoroughly tested to ensure that it works under a variety of different circumstances including different hosting companies and different WordPress versions…
However, in the strange and highly unlikely event you encounter any problems or have any questions about this software…
You Get 24/7 Dedicated Support!
We have a dedicated support staff / help desk. If you need ANYTHING, you can contact us/me for assistance, day or night, any day of the week.
And of course, you’re totally protected by my…
100% Risk-Free, Money-Back Guarantee.
Try this plugin for 60 days. If for any reason, you want your money back, just let me know and I’ll promptly return every penny of your purchase.
7. The Pricing Structure
In general, software has a higher perceived value than information products. So you can and should charge more. For example, a simple 15-page report might sell for $7 to $10 where a simple plugin could sell for $17 to $27.
You can sell different types of licenses. For example, a 10-domain license for $17, unlimited domains for $27, and developer rights for $37.
For more robust plugins, you can charge $47 to $297. It just depends on the market demand and what your competition is charging.
You can sell PLR or MRR. You can charge even more for rights to resell your plugin. In fact, I sold a very limited number of rights to one of my plugins for $497.
But you have to be careful when you sell rights to others because, if your plugin is complicated to use, your resellers and your reseller’s customers will come to you for support.
Conclusion
I gave you three methods for generating plugin ideas and how to make sure it will sell by validating your idea.
Then I showed you how to create a project description, submit your project to Freelancer, and choose the right programmer.
Finally, I showed you how to write your sales copy and gave you several options for pricing and licensing your plugin.
So right now, you can do one of two things. You can close this document and let it collect virtual dust on your computer.
Or you can TAKE ACTION and complete the first step right now. You can come up with an idea today, submit the project tomorrow and have your first plugin ready to sell next week!
To your plugin success!
Derrick Van Dyke
Resources
WP Sales Copy – sales funnel creation plugin
WP Gold Member – membership site management plugin
WP License Code – plugin license management plugin
Freelancer – hire a programmer
Warriors Forum – hire a copywriter
Odesk – hire a video expert for tutorials and demo
WordPress Plugin Directory – open source plugins
Code Canyon – purchase a plugin license
JV Zoo / Warrior Plus – find successful plugins to replicate
Kompozer – free HTML editor
Find Icons / Icon Finder – free icons for your plugin

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