2018 is around the corner, and as everyone reflects on 2017, you may be wondering how you can increase profits of your own business, or maybe start a new one revolving around WordPress technology. However, have you ever thought about the WordPress economy? Is it still a thing?
WordPress is Old
If WordPress was a person, it would be learning how to drive soon, and in the tech community, that is basically ancient. So you have to think with a platform existing THAT long, is there really an economy to be had still, or has it all been done and its now too late?
Selling WordPress Products
There is no way that I believe it is impossible to make money selling products (plugins & themes) to the WordPress community. New themes & plugins become popular all the time, with the rise of one comes another. I remember when Visual Composer was the hit rage with all the people who didn’t want to learn how to code, but wanted to sell websites for sub $1,000. Then things like Beaver Builder came in and crushed it to the point that even WordPress developers (like us!) are starting to love it because it can produce the basics of a very aesthetically pleasing site, but without any horrific code, so its easy to add functionality to.
Build something better
Every product that exists in the WordPress ecosystem has issues, as they grow they end up leaving behind a group of people that may be can’t keep up with the changes, or don’t evolve with the product.
As an example, we used to only use Gravity Forms, and while it is a great plugin, have since turned to Caldera Forms for most of the websites we produce for small businesses. Mainly because Caldera caters better to our needs building for small business while Gravity Forms is much more powerful, great for our enterprise clients who need very heavily customized functionality.
Build something more relevant
Another good way to enter the WordPress product market is to build something more niche. As consultants move into a race for small businesses, it becomes harder to sell a broad spectrum solution, so you have to come up with something hyper niche at times to showcase that you can build a website for that business for $X.
An example of this is WPDispensary, nothing really new to the WordPress ecosystem in that product, however it is hyper focused on the cannibus industry, and specifically dispensaries. As a growing economy emerges in cannibus, it will be a key player (if not already) in building websites for dispensaries as more and more become legalized across the United States & elsewhere.
Selling WordPress Services
Every business needs a website. Even the ones that don’t do anything online, and don’t even want an online presence, need to have SOMETHING online to showcase what they can do and help people find them. How annoying is it to even find a business on Yelp with great reviews, only to find they don’t have a website, or if they do it is something that doesn’t showcase their offering. This is an easy sell to a business, and any business can prosper from having even something online to showcase what they offer as far as services or products go.
This will be challenging, as more people learn how to use WordPress, they are going to sell services to other small businesses for it. This makes it harder for you to get clients or in front of clients, so you have to have something very competitive.
I’ve talked in the past about “The Race to the Bottom” when it comes to WordPress, where I fear that a majority of consultants or “WordPress implementors” are racing to get sub $1,000 website contracts and installing way too many plugins that do next to nothing in order to satisfy the customer needs. This is a real issue, but that is where most of the business lies, and its easier to swallow $1,000 for a website than $10,000 for one, right? Especially with all the tools out there now like Beaver Builder which make design and development such a breeze when it comes to WordPress.
I will followup with another article discussing advertising & marketing tactics, specifically focusing on competing against those with much lower price points and overseas teams.
As with creating and selling a WordPress product, finding a niche to service to is also a good way to stand out. Showcase what you can do for a specific industry, and then market that industry only. I will take Real Estate as an example. If you built a few websites for agents, even for a discounted rate to showcase what you can do, then you can put a product offering page together on your site to showcase just that niche, and then market specifically to real estate agents. There is potential there, however flooded these 2 industries both are.
The last piece of advice I can give is that if you want to create a brand to sell WordPress products or services, don’t forget that you are a brand. You may have a brand like I have ARC CTRL, but Roy is also a brand, its my brand. I talk at WordCamps, I (attempt to) regularly blog on sites like this one or The WP Crowd, and I am constantly hustling my name because I want people to know I am capable of not just working on their project, but crushing their project.
It is not too late to make money with WordPress
My main TL;DR is that 2018 isn’t the year WordPress becomes stale and useless as an economy, with enough creativity and hustle, you can still make money as WordPress as a platform is still growing in use. It isn’t as easy as it used to be, but that doesn’t really matter, the potential is still there.