Transparency in WordPress: Companies Who Publicly Share Income & Statistics
I love reading blog posts where companies and individuals share details that would otherwise remain secret – I used to do the same here on WPLift when I did a monthly income and statistics roundup, I have also done the same on ThemeFurnace where I shared how the launch went. Monthly income reports from bloggers continue to prove hugely popular, people like Pat Flynn have built huge audiences by using transparency and sharing everything about how they earn money online.
I think the reason these types of post are so popular are for two reasons – firstly, they share information that other people keep private so they can give you an insight into a business or niche you wouldn’t normally see. Secondly they serve as motivation – if you see someone blogging in the same niche as you or working within the WordPress community and they are generating a large income, that can become inspiration for yourself to attain that level of income as well.
In this post, Im going to take a look at a number of people and companies who have shared their statistics publicly, really interesting stuff that will hopefully motivate you to reach these levels of income!
This was the post that inspired this post, in “The CodeinWP Family in 2015 – Transparency Report #1” Ionut, the founder of theme company ThemeIsle shares his financial statistics for the site, there are some really interesting stats here. In the first year the site earned zero as they were working on developing it, the next 6 months brought in $2,742. Fast forward to the start of this year and they made $20k in January, $32k in February and $45k in March.
Really impressive and inspiring figures indeed. Some of the success is attributed to having a free version of their Zerif theme, hit the most popular list on WordPress.org generating 1000 downloads per day currently. They also have a number of other free themes on the directory and have recently purchased another free theme on there named “Flat”.
Great stats and a nice approach to generating business by offering free versions of their theme seems to be working well for the team, will be interesting to keep an eye on this post series and see how they progress.
Another company that publishes a monthly income and stats summary is WPRocket, last month they published the latest post where they revealed they had $41k in revenue, 409 support tickets, two new staff members joined and they put out 2 updates to the plugin.
Another interesting post they recently published was their “Salary Grid” where they reveal what different types of staff members are paid depending on experience, location, equity and whether they have children or not.
Envato incase you didn’t know, is the company behind marketplaces like ThemeForest and CodeCanyon and they regularly publish statistics about how their authors are doing. The latest one was published after the Pressnomics conference where they share some interesting stats such as :
- 50% of all WordPress themes on ThemeForest have made at least $1,000 in a month.
- 25% of all WordPress themes on ThemeForest have made at least $2,500 in a month.
- 15% of WordPress themes have made at least $5,000 in a month.
- 7% have made at least $7,500 in a month.
- 5% have made at least $10,000 in a month.
Another very inspiring set of posts is by Pippin Williamson, who runs Pippins Plugins, Easy Digital Downloads and AffiliateWP. Each year he posts a yearly review post which details income from the websites and other information. From 2012 where his plugins brought in $93k, to 2013 where they made $264k and finally 2014 where his company had revenues of $782k – truly amazing growth which is well deserved.
Pippin’s biggest site is Easy Digital Downloads which goes from strength to strength and runs on my favourite income model for WordPress – the main plugin is given away for free and income is made from the sale of add-ons. This seems to work amazingly well, it is also how WooCommerce earns money, another amazingly successful plugin.
WPCurve are a WordPress support company offering support packages from $79 per month for unlimited small WP jobs. Each month they publish a monthly report which details their income, customer numbers, response times and other metrics.
For their February report they showed monthly revenues of $64k.
While Buffer aren’t strictly a WordPress-based company, I have chosen to include them as they provide so much transparent information about their business including Monthly revenue reports, Salary breakdowns and their equity formula.
In a post last month, they shared a screenshot of their real-time revenue dashboard which showed they have monthly revenues of over $250k.
So you might wonder why would companies to choose to share this information when they are not required to, you would imagine it could even harm them if they are in a competitive niche, letting your competitors in on information like this has traditionally not been the done thing.
Any method you can use to build buzz around your product will be beneficial to you – it’s hard to build links to product websites on their own so this is why companies will blog about subjects close to their product offering. I have seen first-hand that these types of posts do extremely well on social media, people love to share inspiring stories of success and linking to them ( proof in this post! ) so I think that is a good reason for doing these types of statistics posts. Hacker News loves these types of posts and hitting the front page their can have a huge effect on your business – I have seen this with ThemeFurnace, we generated a lot of paying customers from one post becoming popular there, this was also seen recently with the Layers launch by Obox who hit the homepage on Hacker News and Product hunt.
This list is comprehensive so if you have any recommendations of other companies who share their stats – let me know in the comments.