Four months and a few days ago, I wanted to try out $free and open signups at Theme Hybrid. The idea was to see if I could bring in greater numbers of signups while gaining more (or at least the same amount) of paid signups.
This was a complete and utter disaster.
There’s really no way to sugar-coat it. After the first couple of weeks of rising paid signups (typical of something new/different), numbers dropped. Now, after a few months, paid signups are at about 1/4 the rate that they were previously.
Suffice it to say, that program is getting the ax. 🙂
During this time, I’ve gotten to know several awesome people who signed up under a free account. Many even upgraded to one of the higher-level accounts.
The best thing about all of this has just been seeing some new faces. So, I want to thank you all for joining me on this adventure.
There are two important takeaways from this experience:
- People are less willing to donate.
- People are more willing to pay.
The former group seems to be shrinking while the latter group is growing. As someone who needs to make enough money to put food on the table, I don’t have much of an issue with that.
However, as someone who likes the idea of being able to share knowledge and cool-stuff with others, I’m a bit saddened.
The important thing for me is to continue balancing those two things. I think that just maybe I had some of it right the first time around. The rest, I’m learning.
As a side note: I’m also going to be launching more commercial add-on plugins in the future. So, keep an eye out for those.