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Share Your Kickstarter Story (Updates, Campaign Stats, Marketing Strategies Used)

How I'm campaigning for my WordPress plugin on Kickstarter

Treat this section like a blog for your Kickstarter journey. Feel free to share project stats and lessons learned. Hold yourself accountable to new weekly goals by sharing them with us!

by leonstafford » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:36 pm

I'm about to go live with my first Kickstarter campaign and will share some behind the scenes, Director's Cut moments of how I got here and update as it goes live, starts funding and hits the fundraising goal (let's be confident!).

The WP plugin that speeds up and secures your site - v3.0

^ there's even a story about the title. Gleamed from elsewhere on this site, I believe, the title includes the benefit to the user, vs my original title, just using the plugin's name, "WordPress Static HTML Output Plugin". Not quite as appealing, is it?

How did you end up on Kickstarter?

There's a bit more of the plugin's backstory on Reddit, but it's something I've been doing for over 7 years now. Launching a KS campaign for it is part of a greater effort to turn a personal passion into an income generator.

I've spent most of my life building things for other people or giving time to charitable causes. The former generates income, but can leave me feeling empty. The latter fulfills me, but without additional means, can make it hard to eat.

By focusing on my open source project development, I feel I can help people, and generate an income to live off.

What else are you doing besides Kickstarter?

I'm looking at the product as a whole and supporting ecosystems. Have started writing a book on the topic of using WordPress to create static websites, which will cover not only my plugin, but the myriad of other tools and options for achieving the same solution.

Personally, I still have ambitious goals for a charity with my partner, Beautiful Moalboal, but this is a whole other kettle of fish (sorry for non-native English speakers, that means "something completely different"!).

What are you unsure of regarding the KS campaign?

I'm happy with the initial wording of the campaign, but before going live, I'd like to work on the visuals - that header image screenshot, uggh. I realize that screencasting a video would be very useful and having some graphics to break up the long text on the page seems to work well for other campaigns.

I'll continue to read these forums and optimize the campaign as it launches.

What are you planning for marketing / attracting backers?

Having a 7 year old product helps in that I have a decent list of users I know of and who may benefit from the next release of the plugin coming sooner. There are also a slew of reviews online from people using the plugin, so I've compiled a list which continues to grow each day of people to contact when the campaign goes live.

In the plugin itself, I have some bug fixes/improvements ready for a minor release, so when the campaign goes live, I'll push that out, replacing the current Donate call to action with a link to the KS campaign. It will be interesting to see how many this brings in, with an active install base reported by WP to be over 7,000.

How can you get involved?

Feel free to add your comments to that preview link, reply here or PM me with your feedback. One has to develop thick skin in producing a product and learning to evaluate all feedback critically. Bring it!

For those of you considering to start your first campaign, please follow along with this story to see it happening and be encouraged. None of this is easy, but who said the good stuff would be easy?
Helping secure WordPress sites and optimizing them for speed
WP Static HTML Output - over 90,000 downloads
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Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:57 am

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by leonstafford » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:26 pm

Today's update - the review process has completed on Kickstarter, which took approximately 5 days (including a weekend).

There was no requirement to change anything from the draft I submitted, so that's awesome.

I would still prefer to do a screencast before launch and some prettier graphics. I also have a few busy days that I can't be online until this weekend, so I'd rather not rush in pushing the Go Live button until I'll be able to monitor it and be ready to execute my marketing strategy alongside.

So far, my list of people to notify includes people who:

- are actively using my plugin (~ 7,000 people)
- have directly reviewed my plugin on their website (~50 websites identified, some emails identified)
- run websites I know to have used the plugin at least once (a unique signature is sometimes Googlable if their uploads folder is indexed)
- have starred the plugin on GitHub
- have blogged about other methods to turn their WP site into a static site or related (list of 30 sites so far from a possible pool of too many for me to research before launch. I can continue finding more of these and contacting the authors while I'm monitoring the campaign post launch)
- have sent a support email or question on the forum for the plugin
- use WordPress? (an almost never-ending list which is quite easy to build contacts from)

I've also started drafting my book, tentatively titled "Optimizing WordPress for Speed and Security - Static Website Generation", which I'll add as a KS reward. I've outline the structure of the book/table of contents and am excited to write on this topic I'm passionate about.

I'll continue the updates here as I go through the Kickstarter campaign flow as a newbie.


Helping secure WordPress sites and optimizing them for speed
WP Static HTML Output - over 90,000 downloads
-- New Member --
-- New Member --
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:57 am

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