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Money money money

Questions related to the distribution, marketing and selling of applications created with NeoBook. (Formally titled: "Making Money with NeoBook")

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Money money money

Postby andybrock » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:15 am

I decided it might be worth making a post in this almost dead section of the forum. I've seen comments on the forum recently about how at best you can make 'beer money' with software created with Neobook.

In reality you can make a lot of money with Neobook but it seems whenever this topic comes up (having read through the other posts in this section) its almost a taboo subject.

So I am going to take a chance and post this and hope its taken in the spirit it is meant in. I am not posting this to brag but am posting this in the hope that it inspires others and demonstrates that you don't have to be an amazing programmer (I'm not) to make a good income from Neobook projects.

This is a screen shot from one of the channels I sell software through and is from the past six months approx (April 14th - Sept 19th 2011):

Image

The products highlighted in yellow are all written with Neobook (I sell other things like PHP, wordpress plugins,etc).

The figures are all gross so take off a few percent for merchant fees/paypal fees/etc and a few hundred dollars for promotion - its still a good income.

The most profitable product on that list took me a week to write, test, debug, etc. The ones that did $2000 - $5000 are all simple projects, most done start to finish in a couple of days.

I could also post screen shots from other sales channels like clickbank but the point here is not to say "look at how well I am doing" but rather to inspire fellow Neobookers to run with their ideas and believe in them.

People pay for results and for a finished product. Do not get hung up about stuff that only programmers think about. No one cares if your finished code is fully optimised and crunched down, no one really cares if the product you ship takes 500k of disk space or 20mb - so long as it does what they want it to do. They also don't care what language its written in, etc.

As a programmer I am not the best by a long way, I know Neobook, Basic and PHP (and I probably only know 10% of what PHP can actually do). But no one else knows that! I do not bill myself as a programmer (unless it suits me to do so from a marketing point of view), instead I see myself as a solutions provider.

When you stop "programming" and start "providing solutions" theres a good chance your earnings will rocket. Its all mindset.

Now go make some big bucks with this amazing tool that is "Neobook"

Andy
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Postby HPW » Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:29 am

Hello Andy,

Congrats to the numbers of your neobook apps sales!
Thanks for sharing such info with us.
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Postby cp4w » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:16 am

do you market your services in places like e-lance?
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Postby Neosoft Support » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:06 am

Great post!

People pay for results and for a finished product. Do not get hung up about stuff that only programmers think about. No one cares if your finished code is fully optimised and crunched down, no one really cares if the product you ship takes 500k of disk space or 20mb - so long as it does what they want it to do. They also don't care what language its written in, etc.


Excellent point.
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Postby Gaev » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:41 am

Andy:

Those are extremely impressive achievements ... congratulations and best wishes for continued success.

Perhaps you can assist/encourage those of us that are Marketing Challenged (myself included) by providing links to your web pages where people visit/purchase your NeoBook Creations.

Also, in the spirit of this forum (users helping users; not just with NeoBook scripts), perhaps you can post other articles that touch on areas relating to anti-piracy, packaging/installation, support channel ... and any other things we may not have considered.
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To Andy

Postby rcohen » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:03 pm

Hi Andy,

Yes, it is the marketing that is the hardest part for many of us, including myself. IF you are at all interested in sharing marketing strategy with those of us less knowledgeable, I would be more than happy to set up a hosting account for the purpose. I run a server with some room on it.

I am aware of a lot of these black hat methods that I think are not ethical, and so I'm hoping to learn something other. For sound advice and something that is actually in reach, I would gladly pay for this kind of thing. So, perhaps we can interest you in using your copy of NB to create an E-book on the subject ? Put a fair price on it, and consider me your first customer ?

Any which way, thanks for sharing your information with us. At the very least, you rekindled my belief that there is still some money out there to be made ;-)

Cheers

rcohen
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Postby smartmedia » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:58 pm

Hi..

When you stop "programming" and start "providing solutions" theres a good chance your earnings will rocket. Its all mindset.

This is so true. My incomes from NB are not even close to yours. I be happy to hear any experience you have on sales directions - channels and strategy.

Thanks
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Postby andybrock » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:12 am

I'm really glad the response to the post has been positive. If I can encourage and help others I am more than willing to do so, I know I've had a lot of help on the technical side from this forum.

I'm not going to disclose my exact methods or where I sell, but I am more than happy to discuss the general strategy and some of the other questions that have been raised. I'll write a little each day on this thread.

Marketing

I am not a great marketer, but I do invest time and money into learning how to market. The biggest thing you need to learn is how to write compelling sales copy if you are going to sell on the internet and if you don't want to learn it, or really can't get it then outsource it.

Don't waste money on expensive 'how to copy write' courses, you can learn most of what you need to know from "The Copy Writers Handbook" by Robert Bly. This is a book you can find on Amazon for under $20.

Most of my software sells from one page web sites, these are basically "sales letters". Here's an example: http://videoproductmagic.com/

Copy Protection

I sell products that range from $10 to $349, the more expensive ones I do take measures to protect. I have my own php scripts and databases and then use neobook to send and recieve information from those scripts to check customers licenses.

In the cheaper products (under $50) I generally don't bother with any protection (other than the occasional fake out where the software tells them its checking with the online licensing system but really is doing nada).

As its often been said, if a hacker really wants to crack security they will. Look at the 'blackhat' forums and you'll see people have successfully cracked some of the biggest software in the world, even that which has very expensive protection. The guys who are using ripped off versions would never have bought from you anyway, even if what you had was uncrackable.

I tend to do things like release updates, provide support, etc.. all of which those using cracked versions have to go without. I've even put deadlock date switches in that make a piece of software throw bizarre errors after a specific date. Before that date I've already sent updates out to paying customers and if any of them fail to install its obvious to me when the error gets triggered and an easy support issue to say "install the update". Its actually fun to watch forum posts appear asking what "an overflow in the upper mantissa" is. :twisted:

E-Lance

Someone asked if I find work on e-lance.

No.

Its too competitive and there are guys in India who are far better programmers than I am who will do a massive coding job for $50. I use e-lance to outsource but not to find work.

But e-lance has another use...

Remember you are looking for ideas that solve problems. If you look at e-lance and other freelance sites (vworker, etc) and look at the posted job requests, you can quite often spot things that get asked for time and time again (by different people). If this is the case then there MIGHT be a market for it. Ooops now I am giving away specific ways I operate lol.

OK... I'll write more tomorrow! Hope this stuff is useful. I can only write based on what works for me, not everything I share will work for everyone but I hope it inspires.

Andy[/u]
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Postby asawyer13 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:15 am

Andy,
Thank so much for sharing.

This helps me a lot.

Alan
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Postby TechMediaPlugins2010 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:20 am

Cool Topic
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Some more food for thought.

Postby andybrock » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:16 am

I'm just going to post extra tips and ideas here and there, so these are in no particular order, its just as they occur to me I'll share them.

"You Don't Have to be a Pioneer... and often its best not to be."

One school of thought says that we should come up with brand new ideas and put out software that solves a problem that no one else has done a solution for.

This is fine if your a massive big software house who can afford to throw hundreds of thousands at market research and be sure there is a market for the product and then have a team work out the best possible way it can work, etc.

For the rest of us this can be a dangerous and costly in terms of both time and money.

Usually if a problem exists someone somewhere has already produced a solution and if that solution is making sales its worth looking at to see if you can do it either 1) Better, 2) With more features, 3) With the addition of something in demand or 4) Cheaper.

Don't assume doing it cheaper is best, in my experience I have found being the cheapest in a market doesn't mean more sales and in many cases it can mean less just because people assume that cheaper is lower quality, not as fully featured, etc.

I spend quite a bit of time surfing the shareware directories looking at what the top downloads are, that is the files that have the higher number of downloads. If something is getting downloaded, regardless of whether that program is good or bad, there must be some kind of interest or demand in it.

I look for something that I know I could do with Neobook (or Neobook plus a plugin or two) and then check out as many similar programs as I can.

Now I ask myself - can I make something as good or better? Are there features missing from A that are in B and visa-versa? Could I come up with a solution that has ALL the features? Are there features that could work better? Be more user-friendly?

A lot of these products have forums or blogs associated with them, go check what people are getting stuck on, what they ask questions about the most. Could you do a solution that made those things easier, that took away the frustration users are having with xyz?

Not being first into a market has massive advantages.

Now lets say you create something that does those things, you already have found the forums frustrated users hang out on. Don't go advertising on those places blatently, but why not PM the users who have had the issue. Invite them to beta test in exhange for a free or cheap copy? You can even get a written testimonial from them that will help you get more sales.

I personally don't release shareware. But I do make 'lite' versions or 'commercial demo' versions, all of which can get listed on download sites. But more often than not I find forums about the topic in question and many of them have a paid advertising section or "market place". Its usually a great way to kick start a sales campaign and is a low cost way of getting your offer directly in front of people it will interest.

If you've done a lite version why not sell it and give people the rights to resell it and keep all the profits? There are marketers out there who make their living selling products they've aquired the rights to resell.

It doesn't matter that your not making much from the lite version because...

You build into your software some kind of auto version checker and after a few weeks put out a new version. The updater tells them "there is a new version, click here to download" and that of course takes them to your web site where they can download the latest version for free but at the same time they see your ad for the upgrade to the "pro" or "full" version and a special discount, etc.

This is just one of many ways that I've done things and its worked out pretty good. You have to be confident the features in the full version are worth paying for and they are features people want. The lite version doesn't want to appear as if its crippleware, but like its a full product in its own right.

I'll post more in a few days :-)

Andy
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Postby Neosoft Support » Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:11 am

Another excellent post. Thank you.
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Postby Harakiri » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:43 pm

Amazing thread! thanks for sharing all this!
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Postby CN_Iceman » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:39 pm

Thanks for sharing your information with us Andy.
Very useful. Of course, waiting for more info :P

Greetings.
Greetings/Saludos, Jose.
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