Sunday, March 12, 2017

Road to 10k - Prologue - Thoughts of an author

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What is "Road to 10k"?

This is the first post from a new blog series called "Road to 10k" in which you can follow my thoughts, hopes, progress, disappointments and cool solutions for problems encountered while creating and updating multiple web applications in order to reach 10,000 sales on CodeCanyon. My intention is to reach 10,000 sales by the end of this year (2017).

In other words you will read about Web Dev, JavaScript, algorithms, app performance, marketing and some occassional cursing.

Initial state

As you may or may not know, my main income source is my userTrack script that I have created in 2013 and updated regularly ever since. I have recently reached 1000 sales in my 5 years of being an author on CodeCanyon, meaning that making another 9000 sales in the 9 months left in this year would be an increase of 60 times the amount of sales I do each month.

So, what's the plan?

In order to increase my sales I have planned to do the following:
  • Create more items. I plan on creating a new product at least once every month, so by the end of the year I should have at least 10 different items in my portfolio.
  • Marketing. Although userTrack is a great script and offers good value for money, not many have heard of it because I have failed reaching out to enough webmasters, even though I tried anything from paid advertising to contacting bloggers. I suck at marketing. So, my plan in this direction is to either find someone who is really good at marketing or take more time doing content marketing (creating tutorials on how to use my items, creating guest posts explaining why they make your life easier or why are they a great piece of software).
  • Be more professional. As of now, every customer who has an issue can either contact me via the comment section of my items or via e-mail. Although this works good enough for now this is not scalable. Not only I can not keep track of opened issues if there are more than 2-3 customers complaining at once but also I can not verify their support period. On CodeCanyon the price of the item is actually composed of two things: item price and support price. When you purchase an item you get 6 months of support from the author, after this period you have to extend it (which costs about 50% of the item list price) or the author is no longer required to answer your support questions. This means that at the moment there are many customers who get support from me for free, even though their support period expired. To solve this issue I will switch from using the mail-support I do today with a web ticket system that requires the customer to verify their support period before creating a new ticket. This will not only increase a bit my revenue by making sure customers have valid support but will also help with scalability, organizing the support tickets and making sure each and every customer has his issue resolved (no more spam folder e-mails, no more accidentally marking an e-mail as read).
I start today: I have already submitted a new item for review on CodeCanyon. I will write a post about it and some cool Web Dev tricks I used to create a smooth UX a few weeks after it will be accepted and up for sale (so that I can also provide some sales numbers).

Let me know if you have any questions about me, my very ambitious plan, userTrack or any Web Dev related question in the comment section below.

So our journey begins, make sure to check the blog once or twice a month to see how my progress goes and whether I am heading in the right direction or went crying in a corner while re-thinking my life.

Author: Cristian Buleandră
Date: 12th March 2017

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