Welcome to The Plugin Economy

My name is Brian J. Link and I’ve been a software developer for well over a decade with clients in a wide range of industries. In recent years I would do a sort of year end review where I would go over the projects I worked on and just write down my thoughts on what happened. A common pattern at the end of these write ups would always be a strong recommendation to my future self that I needed to diversify my income away from clients into something more recurring like a software product.

In the fall of 2016, a few months away from another year end review, I finally decided to take my own advice. I took a free WordPress plugin I had released on the directory years prior, called WP Word Count, and added a bunch of new features for a Pro version I planned to charge for.

I had low expectations (spoiler alert: that proved to be smart) and approached it as a learning experience just as much as a money making venture. Things like software licensing, checkouts and, most of all, sales and marketing were entirely foreign concepts to me.

To make a long story short, WP Word Count has been very successful in some areas and quite disappointing in others. But what I realized along the way is that I found the process of developing and selling a WordPress plugin just as fascinating as writing the actual code. There are so many things I don’t know about how to be successful in this area of software that I wanted to learn more.

And so I started The Plugin Economy. This site will be a collection of articles and resources for software developers trying to succeed at writing commercial plugins for platforms like WordPress, Shopify and any others that come up along the way.

I want to put a strong focus on interviews with plugin developers to learn what goes right, wrong and sideways throughout the process. With that in mind, if you have a plugin that you would like to discuss here on the site please contact me.

There are also big plans to build out resources for developers to help in their product research and marketing efforts. The first of which, a directory of WordPress websites you can use for your marketing outreach, should be available soon. If you’d like to be notified when it’s ready sign up to The Plugin Economy Newsletter using the form below.

Thanks for taking the time to check out the site. I hope you find it useful moving forward.

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