I’ve always liked the idea of offering something of value for free that sets out to advertise your other offerings. It’s not a new concept and sure isn’t new online. It’s such a brilliant concept that I’m certain it will never get played out either.
I created a premium plugin for WordPress in the past that had a great set of features. I knew that there would be people looking for more, and others looking for less. I decided to dial it down slightly and create a free version, and eventually I created another version with more features. The “advertising” from the free plugin worked wonders. A good section of the people wanted to upgrade.
Sell Premium Extensions for Awesome Free WordPress Plugins
Well, recently I decided to buy an extension for a free plugin that I started using. I haven’t bought anything premium (besides a theme or two) for WordPress in many years. In fact, if I recall correctly the last premium plugin I bought was phpBay back when we were getting $50 referral fees for new eBay users. Remember those days? I CASHED IN with New Kids on the Block fans I’ll tell ya haha.
Anyways, my point is, in this case the “free” plugin offered phenomenal value, so I think if we go this route we have to really be willing to give something awesome away for free to see the rewards later on.
Or just find an awesome free plugin that could use a good decent premium extension.
I Started With the Free WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast
All WordPress users probably know about the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. It is advertised as “the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today for WordPress.org users.” I have been trying to manage my own SEO over the years with hacks to my functions.php theme file until a recent switch. Yoast’s plugins are just awesome, what can I say?
I publish content on big name sites and they use the Yoast SEO plugin so I’ve grown fond of it, and in some cases, dependent on it. Use it, in fact, use the heck out of it. It does so much that it’s really easy to take it for granted.
Tip: Don’t feel sad if you don’t get 100% green lights in the Page Analysis though because remember it is still an algorithm rating you, but overall the plugin has got your back.
WordPress SEO Takes Care of Sitemaps and Breadcrumbs Too, So Delete Those Extraneous Plugins
I just switched from the default XML Sitemaps plugin that I have been using for years to the “Best” XML Sitemap plugin, right to using the one built in with Yoast’s, all in the span of two days.
Plus it handles breadcrumbs too for more in-line SEO value.
I Bought the Video SEO Extension from Yoast, But There are More Available
Plus, for my site, it wasn’t a difficult decision to scoop up the $69 Video SEO add on. I could see behind the scenes (in the source code) what it does and with a few PHP functions or a custom plugin I could probably accomplish the same but I don’t want to always have to keep on top of that stuff. And this one talks right to WordPress SEO with ease (obviously) and creates a Video sitemap too. Can’t be that!
I want to be able to click a couple update links when the need arises. I always know that Yoast (yeah, I know it’s Joost) is on it. I hope that he’s a healthy man and sticks to maintaining those plugins for years to come.
My friend just quickly grabbed the WooCommerce SEO add on which instantly made his products ready for Pinterest Rich Pins using OpenGraph. I’m glad the News SEO add on is free, and I’m hoping he comes out with Review SEO and Recipe SEO add ons in the very near future. And for those interested, he has a Local SEO add on as well.
The point of this whole article was not really to tell you about the offerings at Yoast, or to act as a review. It was to drive home that offering something of significant value for free, can, and does, provide a great opportunity to sell something Premium on the back end.
Who pays $69 for an add-on to a free plugin?! Apparently I do.