We covered selling WordPress maintenance in detail in an earlier blog post, and as a result we heard from several freelance developers who offer on-going WordPress maintenance. We thought it would help to share their input.
What pushed you to get into selling WordPress maintenance plans?
Dan King: As I was launching Fistbump Media, I wanted to be a resource for bloggers (and other brands) using my experience both as a writer and a technical expert. I knew that most bloggers get into blogging because they love to write, not because they want to be a webmaster. So offering a service where I would essentially become the webmaster for them, would take that stress off their plate and just allow them to focus on the piece they’re really passionate about.
How has it worked for you? What benefits are you seeing for your business?
Dan: It’s been great for me from a business standpoint! I charge $19.99 per month for a basic “managed hosting” plan. And I sometimes end up putting in a bit more work on some accounts than what I really budget. But when my sites are all running smoothly due to the routine maintenance, then most of them require very little extra personal attention. So it all kind of averages out. But as I’m building up a nice list of clients, it’s quickly becoming a nice solid income stream for my growing business.
What’s changed since you started offering ongoing maintenance?
Dan: Only my mindset for how I approach this piece of my business. I feel like I need to continually rethink how I do what I do.
For example, I’m starting to send my managed hosting clients a regular newsletter with tips, tricks and general advice based on what I’m seeing trending across their sites (things like spam management, etc.).
This kind of communication wasn’t in my original plan, but then I found that many of my clients paid more and heard from me less often because things were running so smooth. And the lack of interaction could lead them to believe they’re paying more for nothing. So dropping a line to everyone with some additional value-added stuff just lets them know that I’m working and looking out for their best interest.
What kind of systems or tools do you have to make things easier for yourself?
Dan: I’ve started growing into some tools (like ManageWP) that have helped me be more productive, therefore increasing my profitability. I’m always looking for other tools and plugins that will help improve site speed, security and other performance issues. I may include notes about these things in the email newsletters I send out, letting folks know that I may be adding the plugin or giving them the opportunity to opt-in for certain functionality.
What have you found to be the most effective way to sell ongoing maintenance?
Dan: Simply by selling the benefits! I just let people know that I manage the technology so that they can focus on doing what they do best.
I also try to leverage trends… like a recent outage by a major hosting provider turned into several new clients for me simply due to the fact that I would actively manage security as part of the maintenance.
The bottom line is that people don’t want to have to worry about the technology, and that’s what I try to tap into. Give them the freedom to be awesome, because they have a partner who just takes care of it for them.
Any other tips for people who want to try selling WordPress maintenance?
Dan: Find a niche and go after it. I’ve had a great deal of success with the blogger market, because I’m a blogger. But there are lots of other niches that could be targeted. Position yourself as an expert in providing for their unique needs, and you’ll quickly become the go-to resource for others in that niche.
Thanks Dan. Be sure to read our original post on selling WordPress maintenance for more tips and details.