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I've always avoided wordpress plugins as generally people are expecting free in my opinion.

 

If your talking not just about wordpress plugins. I've done stuff for third party software to add functionality and sold it, I first created a free plugins that people seemed to like and then paid that I sold via the main products forum.

Made just under 5 figures with a couple of products so not worth it as a project but as I needed the extra functionality it was worth my time and I was more interested in helping people in that products community rather than profits.

 

From the point of view of using addons/plugins to generate decent income from a project. I plan to use a few browser/visual studio plugins, i'm going to make to promote a paid product for programmers, never have been created yet. Its more of a experiment as its a market I've never really worked but seems a good entry point to test the waters before throwing money at traffic sources.

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I am monetizing a wordpress plugin. It did not started with a plan. My advice is that if you have an idea that can be implemented outside wordpress too, try to build that instead, not because you can reach a broader market, but because you can really market it. 

 

It is true that wordpress users expect stuff to be free. I built a plugin, free at first because I had an idea. I left the plugin to float around and noticed that it got some traction. There was an opportunity. I made the plugin better, nice interface, etc, and started to get some users. I was getting 100-300 new downloads every day. Thinking how to enhance the plugin I had an idea that needed to request something from my server. Since connecting to my server means that there are other costs involved, it seemed natural to ask for a fee for this advanced feature. 

 

First I made a "PRO" version, I had a few sales but created a lot of confusion because there were always 2 versions. Then I implemented an API key system to the free one. The user enter the API key and he get that feature. The plugin is still at 100-300 downloads per day, I don't do any other kind of promotion. The only traffic that goes to my site where they need to go to buy the subscription. 

 

Right now I haven't started to promote it hard because I thought that making a wordpress independent version of that feature is better and right now I finished building it. 

 

I think good plugin developers can make money from wordpress plugins if they offer some extra features paid. 

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