A date that will live in infamy… we certainly hope not anyway.
It is the date however that we released the alpha version of what we hope will one day be a successful premium WordPress Plugin.
We are calling it story|ftw.
Its a full screen mobile first storytelling plugin.
While we have that name sorted for the time being, we have yet to come up with a catchy name for what this particular section of our blog is going to be called.
So let me start by describing what we want it to be. In short, a chronicle of the process, from day one, with radical transparency, on attempting to take a premium WordPress plugin to market.
How to do it, what software we used, the alpha process, the beta process, product / market fit, the mvp, marketing, support, growth, etc.
What to do, perhaps more likely, what not to do. The ups the downs, the full monty, the whole enchilada of the whole process.
We are doing it for three reasons
- Blogging is the best marketing channel out there
- The hope that others can benefit from the mistakes we make along the way
- As a way to keep us honest,focused, and personally leaning along the journey
So what is certain is that we are going to be pumping out posts detailing everything, that we are going to make a ton of mistakes, and lastly that I should have never installed Clash of Clans on my phone.
The Good News
Feedback: Thus far we have been getting some great feedback from our early testers and those that have checked it out.
— Cameron Campbell (@bezierer) November 8, 2014
Moreover, we feel like the plugin is properly set up to capitalize on a number of rising trends in the publishing / marketing world
Forget mobile first, it’s a mobile only world!
The plugin, with its thumb swiping mobile functionality,comes really close to a native app like feel with WordPress.
- Attention Span:
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, at the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the average attention span of a human being has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013. This is one second less than the attention span of a goldfish.
story|ftw, with its full screen functionality completely eliminates distractions. By eliminating the header and the footer, and the menu, you focus your reader on your story. Not sure if thats enough to keep a Gold fish focused but we think it makes a great effort towards that end.
Recently I setup a @mention account for the term “storytelling.” It returns about ~4500 results per 24 hour period. Storytelling is a rising buzzword for publishing right now and the best of the best marketers out there are all talking about it
We are still not sure what problem it directly solves. Who wakes up in the morning and works feverishly to attempt to solve their raging storytelling problem?
I originally partnered with Justin (co-founder) to create this plugin as I wanted a better solution to capitalize and convert all the mobile traffic I was getting from running paid Facebook ads.
Lesson Learned: What I should of done is call up a bunch of Facebook advertisers and see if they had the same problem I did and if the solution I had in mind was something they would pay for.
What I did instead is focus on this new shiny thing and chase after it, Justin and I spent months developing it, and now have arrived at a plugin that is definetly shiny and cool, but I am not sure directly solves a major problem.
We are completely aware we can’t boil the ocean. That we need to get laser focused on a niche and attack it so we can gain some early traction and give us the resources and time we need to further develop the plugin.
So the plan is to take a bunch of little shots.
To back things up and sort the empathy stage; where you figure out what problem you are solving and whether or not its worth it.
We might have a working product already which is great, but its still putting the cart before the horse. We need to figure out what problem it can potentially solve and make sure people are willing to pay money to solve it.
So we plan to start with some quick hits, analyze the data for traction and double down on whats working.
So far we have been playing around with some of the following niches.
So what kind of stories can you tell with story|ftw?
- IT CAN COOK: A native app like experience for the ipad of iphone in the kitchen while cooking.
- IT CAN SELL REAL ESTATE: Give a better home preview than redfin or zillo. Let Realtors introduce themselves via video.
- IT CAN DO LIST POSTS: Keep the reader focused!
- IT CAN DO QUOTES: Everybody loves quotes.
- IT CAN DO ART: Amazing way to display ones work.
- OF COURSE IT CAN TELL STORIES: Focus your reader on your story.
- YEP, PRESENTATIONS TOO: Justin's presentation from #wcraleigh.
First things first we need to get enough alpha testers using the product to try and get a sense of what problem this plugin best solves. We are hoping that if we get enough creative heads using it and trying various different applications we might arrive at an early winner to focus on.
Btw how does one get enough alpha testers in the first place? That post is coming soon as we report back on the tactics we have been using to find users to alpha test.
Interested in the rest of the story?
Signup below to get emailed each time we release a new post.
(Catchy Name TBD)
Get Email Updates: How to make, market,
and sell a WordPress Plugin