Had a great plugin idea at start, spent hundreds of hours or dollars for its development and now when everything is ready for sale feel stuck when your goal is almost in your hands? Just make a pause and read this! Learn how you can promote new WordPress plugin properly reading our of steps listed below.
Highly effective methods
1. Offer a FREE trial version
Beleive us it is a good start to offer free version. Let people try before they buy and you will see it works! Include not so many features in free version, leave most remarkable ones in pro. This model are used by many successful companies, so be sure you will achieve the same results as well.
2. Submit plugin to WordPress repository
If you have some free limited version of your plugin (now you understand why it is crucial), this is a must! Despite that lot's of competitors are on the same page with high ratings and 5-stars reviews, you will get guaranteed downloads and potential customers for pro commercial version.
BTW, WordPress.org approved sign, that you can proudly place on your plugin website will be a proof that your plugin meets requirements and standards of WordPress.org community.
3. Submit plugin to other directories
Usually such directories are devoted not only to WordPress but other CMSes too. Sure that not all of them are worth to join but there are some great directories with millions of members. Let me single out some of them: codecanyon.net, ro2.biz, wpplugindirectory.org, codester.com. You need to become an author and upload your item. Once your plugin is tested, it is approved and available for directory users.
All sounds good except that these well promoted websites can charge you upto 50% of your earnings. Well it is better anyway than zero sales on your website with low traffic.
4. Use advertising
Well this costs money but it will bring you target audience to your plugin website and sales with them. Not all types of advertising work and we want you to try:
* Paid reviews - you pay most popular WordPress blogs for writing a review about your plugin and they do it. Pros: they do it professionally, it will be read by potential customers, review with the links it contains are permanent, i.e. it will be found and read regularly. Cons: it costs money - around $200. Most popular of WordPress blogs: wptavern.com, wpbeginner.com, wpexplorer.com, poststatus.us
* Paid submissions - the same as above but in this case you pay for placing your plugin information on their website: wplift.com, etc.
* Google AdWords is a pay per click advertising which can also help you achieve good results but it is desirable to have some experience or knowledge how to use it wisely. Otherwise you can waste your time and money.
It's said a great product needs no advertising and there is a grain of truth in it. If your plugin differs from others by design, features or useability, people will talk about it, will share it and recommend to others. This is the best advertising.
5. Social sharing
Sharing via Twitter, Facebook, Google + is another way to share your staff with people who might be interested. Do your best to write brief, bright and eye-catching messages and posts there it takes seconds to visit your page and decide whether to like or follow you.
More informative and wise information about social networks and how to use them properly, visit buffersocial blog.
Not so effective methods
1. Affiliate program
Affiliate program is a rather popular type of marketing but is often called 'a strategy of yesterday' now as link building becomes not so effective as top quality content on site.
However if you decide to promote plugin via your affiliate network, do it wisely. Keep communating with your affiliates, update them with new information about your plugin constantly. To keep your affiliates interested in sales, offer good commission and provide with all information and media they might need.
Newsletters can be highly successful method of turning your subscribers into buyers, if you have a big enough list of subscribers and can offer them something they didn't try before. It's obvious at start you do not possess it and you need to make efforts to collect at least a hundred of them. This method is good in consistent forming of your loyal customer base and will definitely bring you long-awaited results but when some time passed.
3. Participation in forums
This way also takes considerable amount of time and efforts. You have to find topics related to your plugin theme, take part in discussion and should be careful not to look like a spammer. This is a good way to earn reputation of a WordPress expert so forum members would listen to your replies and advice.
Certainly whether you choose this or that approach depends on many factors like availability of money and time, your personal preferences, etc. Any way do not forget about word of mouth method which doesn't need either of them and create something unique, new and beautiful. Then your plugin will become popular itself extremely soon!