By Cory Miller
Jon Christopher wrote about how he’s rethinking the pricing model for his OrganizeWP product and got some good conversation going in Slack. I know first-hand the uphill battle it seemed building a healthy revenue model as a WP product company. For the first 7-8 years we didn’t have automatic subscriptions and then after we did it felt much more sustainable.
He mentions “subscription fatigue” which is a growing issue I’m sensing as a customer now. It goes against the grain of the overall WP product space for sure, but we’re eager to see how the experiment goes.
# On The Web Publishing Tool Race
Our job at Post Status is to help our members think ahead, get ahead, stay ahead. Thus, I’ve been eager to write more about the Web Publishing Tool Race as it’s one of the keys I see to ensuring a healthy economy for WordPress.
So I keep asking myself: How are we doing in relation to other tools like WordPress?
This week John O’Nolan tweeted that Ghost is now at $5M ARR, and it took them 5 years to get to $1M ARR. That spurred me to make a quick look at Ghost again and reflect more deeply on this question. How is WordPress doing by comparison?
Ghost caught my attention in relation to two areas I’m watching closely: (1) the growth of the “Creator Economy, which Ghost seems to cater directly to, and (2) keeping up with innovations in other web publishing tools.
First, WordPress is the veteran of what is now called the “Creator Economy.” But Ghost’s Twitter byline says, “turn your audience into a business.” It’s looking to be a one-stop shop for “publishing, newsletters, memberships and subscriptions — all in one place.”
Those are all things where historically WordPress has been dominant, but the “all in one place” speaks to a growing challenge for WP in our “assemble all the pieces” model. It points toward to customer friction and frustration as more and more individual creators try to find easy ways to monetize and build their businesses.
Second, I want to know how we’re keeping up as a vital web workflow tool so I keep my eye on other publishing platforms like Webflow. I also constantly experiment with tools/features comparable to Gutenberg. (This week it was ConvertKit’s landing page mini-builder.)
Two themes seem to be standing out for me in my rough anecdotal review: Great modern design “headstarts” and uber-simplicity in creating and publishing content.
Our focus, I believe, as a web publishing workflow tool (and ecosystem) should be our answers/solutions to this question:
How easy are we making it to help our users get to the results they want?