Interview with Wade Wells

wade wellsNext in my series of Interviews is Wade Wells.  I have to be honest, I never met Wade and I’ve never seen a picture of Wade.  But I love the software and information product Wade creates.

For those who don’t know, Wade Wells is the creator of phpBay Pro, affiliate software for displaying eBay product listings on your website or blog.  phpBay Pro was one of the first ways I was able to make money online.

Wade is a very private person which is why I was so extremely happy when agreed to be interviewed for this series.

Wade provides some great insight into what it’s like to create and support your own piece of software.

Here is my Interview with Wade Wells

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Get the entire interview series at

Joe: Hi! This is Joe Wilson from Today I’m happy to have the opportunity to interview Wade Wells, the creator of some of the most well known affiliate software for WordPress, phpBay, and phpZon. I’m interviewing Wade in this special interview series on marketing breakthroughs and how to make $10,000 creating your own products that will rocket you to success. So, welcome to the call Wade!

Wade: Hey! Thanks Joe! I appreciate it!

Joe: Not a problem. And thank you very much for your time and being here. I’m sure you have a busy time going on with all the Amazon changes right now.

Wade: Definitely. Lots of great things going on.

Joe: Yeah, yeah, there really is. So, I guess one of the things that this interview series is about is about product creation, and I just wanted to ask you, if you were to start over from scratch…and this is for folks who are listening who are maybe considering creating their own products…what words of advice would you have for anybody whose thinking about creating their own product?

Wade: I would say focus on products that are going to help other people…something that you could use yourself…where you could go in and kind of create it to your standards, to your liking…and once you’ve got it to a point where you think it’s worth marketing or putting out there, try to get on a really busy forum like SitePoint or Digital Point or something like that, and just start talking about it and making people aware of the product.

Joe: Ok. What would… I guess…when somebody says they’re going to start with a new product, what do you think…what would be the best…say if they’re brand new…do you think starting with a basic ebook or info product would be the best way to start with and then just kind of work up from there?

Interview with Wade WellsWade: You know it really kind of depends on the level of experience that the developer has. In my case I had some experience with programming for many years and I was just getting up to speed with php, so I first started with that perspective. Anything that you have or any special skill that you have that’s going to save people time and money, then do something that’s beneficial to them. That would work really well.

Joe: So you definitely had a…and I think I’ve read that before…you were a developer in a past life and then kind of carried that forward to what you’re doing with phpBay.

Wade: I did. I’ve been developing software in various forms and various languages since about 1985. So I was moving off of using dellfy at the time for windows desktop application and moving into php. So, it definitely helped.

Joe: Did you find that making a move like that…because I’ve played with php. It seems like a fairly, fairly…well, from a coding standpoint…a fairly easy coding or scripting language to pick up.

Wade: I think so. You know, it definitely took some time. Basically, the way I look at things from a programming standpoint, is I understand that I want to do something and you just start looking up…maybe on the web…how do you want to do that?  And that’s how I started converting over to…from Dellfy from a PASCAL based-type scripting language over into a php…which a lot of people say is more like C…and just focusing and looking at code examples and seeing “ok I need to do this…” and just start doing little pieces one at a time until you start building up, and you have something you can work with.

Joe: Let me back up a little bit. What was the first product you ever created? Was it phpBay?

Wade: No. I had created…you know back in the mid 90’s and really at the late 80’s…well, it would be the early 90’s, I worked for a software company called Authorware and it was a small company that many people have probably never heard of, and it ultimately went on to become MacroMedia. Since then MacroMedia has been bought by Adobe, so it really went from a really small company in Minnesota, to a major worldwide company. But I programmed in that software language for 12 years. Back in the mid 90’s, a friend of mine and I started a multimedia company, and we developed a set of templates for Authorware that would allow training developers to go in and really just set up a few on/off type switches within the template so you say “I want this on and I want this off and I want it to look like this and I want it to do this…” Lots of options there and the idea was to make it as simple as possible for other developers who may not be experienced with the product to go in and be able to start developing training.

So, we did that and sent it out, but that was never really the focus of our business. We were consultants back then for American Airlines, for Pacific Bell, Delta Airlines… we did a lot of work around the country. So, that was sort of our…we called it our Dr. Pepper money. But you know products like that, what we were doing, would stock the refrigerator with Dr. Pepper….those late night work sessions.

Joe: Yeah….So, how did that transition? How did you move into…I guess what’s now called internet marketing…going from that to where you’re at today?

Wade:  Well, the transition from there really sort of happened after….you know we’re developing training for big companies. They may have employees that will sit down and take computer based training for a specific skill within the company, and that frees up their instruction, their classroom time, instructor time, scheduling and stuff like that. So that was the big focus of what I’ve been doing for about 12 yrs.  And after 9/11 hit, anytime the economy takes a sharp turn or there’s a major presidential change or anything like that, companies get a little wary of what’s going to happen with their money and they tighten their budgets up, and the first thing they tighten up….you know training is a luxury in big industry, and that’s the first thing that they cut. And so, unfortunately we just couldn’t survive. You know there’s a whole lot of people who are in the same industry we were in that could not tough it out after that. So, I kind of went off on my own and I developed…that’s when I started picking up Dellfy and I thought I’d do some Windows application work and developing some plug-ins for Authorware and Macromedia Director, and I got to the point where I thought “If I’m selling products, and I’m selling something online, that’s a whole lot better than working for somebody else or doing something service oriented…like web design.” I was doing web design too, and I absolutely hated that because nobody ever wanted to pay you what a website was worth. So, I finally just got to the point where I said, “I’m gonna start focusing on web products and things that people can use…there’s got to be a market for it.” I just set out and immersed myself in the technologies, and…you know… here we are.

Joe: That’s great, that’s good to know. And I hear you, I’ve done the same thing. I’ve done a little web design, and of course, you know, it’s hard when you’re working with somebody. They’ll tell you a concept of what they think they want, and you do a design or a draft…or maybe you give them several to kind of choose from…and then you take it from there. But then it’s always a little tweak here, a little tweak there, and then you end up spending so much time….I know at least in my experience, you end up spending a lot more time than the job was originally…you know scope creep kind of kicks in…and then you spend more time than you planned on it.

Wade: Right. You get to the point where the customers want….I call it a marriage. They’re afraid to let go. They don’t want to let go of you or end the contract or what have you. I’ve experienced that a lot as well.

Joe: Yeah, definitely. I know what you’re talking about it. For me, you know back when the dot com bubble burst was a big one…things were going really big. I’m in technology too. Right now I work on Cisco routers during the day, and during the dot com period there was a lot of stuff going on and…a lot of start ups, a lot of work…and then just “poof” it was gone, and everybody was out of work.  And that was kind of what got me to just start looking at ways to not be dependent on an employer. You know, having multiple streams of income or what have you.

Anyway, so when the idea to first create, and when you started getting into…and correct me if I’m wrong…when you started getting into internet and web products, what made you decide to do something with ebay?

Wade: Back in 2004-2005…I guess it was around 2005…I had joined on Digital Point forums, and met some other guys that we had similar interests and we kind of became really good friends there, and there were things that we wanted to talk about…specifically with internet marketing and search engine optimization…but we wanted to do it amongst ourselves, and we started a little group off of that forum…and that was Will Spencer. Will Spencer is a phenomenal marketing guy. If you ever get a chance or an opportunity to interview him, I would definitely look him up. He’s an amazing businessman. I have just the greatest respect for him. So, it’s Will Spencer, another guy named Jeremy Craig, and another gentleman name Hinny. We all just got together on a forum and said, look, here’s all of our strengths. My strength was emerging as coding, but Will had just a tremendous business savvy about him, and of course he understood how search engines worked, and he understands search engine optimization. Jeremy had skills in affiliate marketing and how we could do things together to make something better there. Hinney was a phenomenal businessman there too, and he shared his part…and of course Craig was just an amazing…he did search engine optimization for a living. So we had all of these backgrounds in there with affiliate marketing, search engine optimization, and I was kind of doing the programming. Well, I didn’t have their skills, they didn’t have my skills, so we put everything out on the table and we said “well, we’re going to start off with Amazon and really hit it hard and see if we can start making some money there”.  And we worked with an existing Amazon script that I modified with recommendations coming from the other guys on what we could do in terms of SEO, in terms of how search engines are going to see things from an affiliate marketing perspective, and how customers are going to see these pages when they come up. And we just started focusing on that and it really worked out good. I would come up with the script and the guys would test it out and say “ok, here’s what I’m finding….here’s what I’m doing here…” and we all started putting websites out there, and we all made a pretty penny using Amazon.

Joe: So you started with Amazon first then?

Wade: I did, definitely. And we had gotten to that point with Amazon…right during that time frame is when Google came out with what’s known today as  “the duplicate content penalty”. We could get up into Yahoo, and sometimes Google, search results and like during the holidays we were just cleaning up and doing good. Not doing anything bad or anything illegal, just…we had our Amazon affiliate sites out there and we put all of our knowledge together, and tweaked some of the coding here and there so that we could rise up, and we worked together and really did well. Well, about that time, one of the guys said that maybe we should look into doing something with ebay as well too. So I started looking at working with ebay. I at first looked at the ebay api, I believe they had limitations…call limitations…well we were dealing with, you know, 2,3,400,500 thousand pages between all of us. You know, with five keys we were gonna hit that pretty quick. So I went from the ebay api over to the ebay…kind of the rss search query where there were no limitations, and started working off of that. And, you know I built an initial script. I never had…all of this was for our own internal stuff. We were doing really great. And the script turned out good. I got a lot of input from the guys, and we all went on to start making some good money there. Then one of the guys said “you know, you should really sell this”, and he sent me a link over to Digital Point where Bans had…the guys from Bans…great competitors by the way, I have the utmost respect for them…they had just come out with their product. And he said, “you know if this guy could do it, maybe you could as well too”. And you know, at first I was thinking “No, I really don’t want to get back into that or do that”. I didn’t think it would do very well. And they kept insisting…Craig especially kept insisting that I should really give it a try. And I did, and slowly but surely it started taking off. I kind of had a reputation going on Digital Point forums anyway. You know, it started off slow, and then months would pass by and every month just kept growing and growing and growing and I kept updating and updating and updating and you know, it just really grew from there.

Joe: So, was it always a WordPress plug-in, or was it stand alone at first?

Wade: When I first developed it  it was stand alone because none of us were using WordPress at the time. We had come up with some scripts where we could basically put in a huge list of key words in a little text file, and then you’d point and click on a button…and, you know…upload the script to your website, point and click on a button, and boom, it develops a thousand web pages for you…just like that.

Joe: That’s like a dream come true.

Wade: It was. We were looking for…you know the idea at the time was, we can’t be burdened by the development process. That has to be the minor part of it. The idea was to be able to set up a new site in 15-20 minutes and then move on and do the next one. So I was using a … you know for the ebay script…I was using a stand alone script at the time. And I knew a lot of people were using WordPress at the time, so I tried to implement it into WordPress without it being a plug-in by using…I think it was Exec php had just come out where you could execute php within it. You know I could get to the point where it would work, but it was really troublesome and cumbersome to try and get all of that set up in time. And I thought, you know customers are not going to go for this. And, if anything ever happened with that plug in, and MY plug in relied on it, then I would be out. So I just started researching on how to create a plug in for WordPress and sort of migrated everything into it.

Joe:  Yeah, you had mentioned Bans…and that’s how I first started into all this, was using Bans, and that was really incredible. And then Bans kind of got…I don’t what they did…but they seemed to upset the mighty Google. And really got…I don’t know if it was just the way they were redirecting, or the way they were doing their affiliate links, but it seemed like…I know I experienced…I don’t know if you could shed any light on that…on what happened…what was the downfall to why Bans died, but yet products like yours had lived?

Wade: I think there’s a real good explanation for that. I really think that Bans gets sort of a bad rap for that. I think there’s a lot of people…yeah, they went out there and kind of assumed that. I remember when it was happening, I was thinking I don’t agree with that because I know what’s going on. And it’s not because of their software or my software or anybody else’s software that’s going to cause something like that. Google focuses on thin affiliate sites and Bans is…was developed…so that out of the box, without doing a whole lot of work, you could really make thin sites really quick. Well, if that’s what Google is focusing on trying to purge out, or at least keep at bay…you know I think that was really more of what the problem was because you would have web page after web page after web page that had nothing but 40, 50, 60, maybe even up to a hundred…nothing but outbound links with no context. A lot of people were creating web sites and they were using not only Bans, but my product as well and other products as a method of populating content on their page without any unique content. I really think that’s where that comes in. I know I have customers as well who…it’s sort of like you reap what you sow.  If you sow really thin sites that there’s not a lot of work, there’s not a lot of effort in, well, don’t expect to get a whole lot back out of them. Versus if you focus more on quality, you’re probably going to get a better return on your investment in terms of time. So I think that’s what happened with Bans. I don’t think it’s any particular software. I struggle with that myself. You know I have customers sometimes that will come in and say their site was banned…I guarantee you though, one of the things I always ask is can we take a look at the site so we can do some analysis on it, and usually people don’t want to give you their site. They don’t want to know they didn’t do all the right things they were supposed to do, and they just developed this little thin site and what have you.

Joe:  Yeah, it’s kind of like you’ve given people this very powerful tool that could….they could wield it to do good, or…

Wade: They could do bad. You know, the thing is if you take Bans and you take a page, and you go in and you put maybe 10 listings in it…and you put some unique content up at the top and you put it at the bottom, and you add an image in and do your on page SEO, I doubt very seriously it’s gonna just up and be banned. Because when you go to a site, whether it’s Bans or phpBay or really anything else, and you do a view source on the page, it’s all just basically html content.

Joe: Sure. And people will say a lot of times that there’s a footprint…if you build all of your sites the same way, that Google will pick up on certain footprints. Ok, yeah, but it really comes around to Google is just looking out for their customers, and if they’re not providing quality search results, then they’re doing their own customers a disservice.

Wade: I’ve always thought that footprints were a bit overrated. I remember we were worried about footprints. You know I’ve done some…I like to call myself a green hat. I’m not black hat, I’m not white hat, I do whatever makes money as long as it’s legal and as long as I’m not stealing from somebody else. (laughing)I’m not the web police. I’m looking to make a living on the web, and certainly there’s some areas in there you can venture into, but I think mostly that people focus on….You know where a lot of people would focus on footprints is if they were doing something they knew was…not to use the term “illegal”…but would violate the search engines terms of use or their standards or their policies, people would be a little bit more concerned with footprints. Affiliates are not bad with Google. It’s when you go in and you create nothing but a thin site with nothing but a bunch of outbound links, where there’s no quality, there’s no content, there’s nothing else. They’re gonna target that, and they’re gonna do it. Some will get through and some will not, and that’s just the way it’s gonna be. But I don’t think footprints are a really big concern there because you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re just not doing anything right.

Joe: When you’re acting as an affiliate, the idea is that you’re either reviewing the product or you’re doing some sort of pre-sell to provide extra value to the people. Like ok, I’m looking for a camera, but what kind of camera do I want? Provide some information there to allow people to make that decision.

Wade: Exactly.

Joe: I think…and you know it’s human nature…I’ve done the same thing where you want to be able to push a button, walk away, and all of a sudden you don’t have to work for the rest of your life. You know, wouldn’t we all love that?

Wade: Yeah, those days were gone in the late 90’s…(laughing)…and they were there too! Back then it was “if you build it, they will come”.  Those days are long gone. There’s just…and you know I still get customers, potential customers, that will….you know they want a software product that has A button that will wash their car, put the tire shine on the tires and the wheels, it will give them a bath, build their website…do this, do that…and that’s just way out of bounds there. It’s not gonna happen.

Joe: When we’re talking about creating products, and you know we’ve been talking a lot about your history and how you’ve come to where you are today…what do you think if you were to say…ok, something happened devastating that occurred to Bans and phpBay was no more and you wanted to start over, what do you think your biggest challenge would be? And this is really more toward new people. What do they face? What do you think are the biggest challenges people face today when they’re creating new products online?

Wade:  I think getting the word out is going to be definitely one of the biggest challenges because…you know it’s difficult. The web is a big place and you can go anywhere, but trying to find areas where there’s a lot of concentrated users that would be interested in the type of product that you have can be challenging.

Joe: Definitely. Finding those hungry buyers that may want your product sometimes…unless you know where to go, where the water hole is, it’s kind of hard to find them. I think that’s where Digital Point and places like Warrior Forums have both been really helpful to… at least in the IM niche.

Wade: Definitely, definitely.

Joe: There’s like a key moment where things just kind of click and all of a sudden you just find yourself being propelled forward and you realize you’ve hit on something. What was that key moment for you? If you remember? Was it way back when you were running those scripts?

Wade: Well, I think…I want to say I started phpBay in December of 2007 I believe. I actually started it back in October, but that was when we were kind of working as a team and by December I had kind of put it together and thought “well, I’ll try and market it a little bit”. So, it was definitely well into 2008, and I’d say maybe 8 months to a year after that, where the product…I had definitely worked on updates, definitely trying to keep customers happy…which usually is a part of it, but there’s some challenges there as well too.  So people were commenting on the products, or recommending it to others, and sales started coming in fairly regularly. And I thought “it made it, it did it”, and it was really an interesting feeling when it happened.

Joe: I bet. I bet it was. I love your product. I think it’s awesome, and the support that we get…you know just like recently with phpZon  and the changes Amazon made with the reviews…you were right on it and released an update right away which was awesome.

Wade: Yeah, it’s really the difference between life and death being out there. Those updates are probably the most challenging part of this business, because no matter what you do, or how well you try and do it…you can get 95% of the customers on an update but there’s always gonna be some that have a server that you know, well, it worked fine on mine and it’s working on everybody else’s but you’re on some strange server I’ve never heard of before. It’s not working. So, you’ve got to go in and get it taken care of and see if you can find a resolution. Really the idea of those updates is to try and minimize that as much as possible and try to do it as quickly as possible so those who may not have updated on day 1, but are now updating on day 2…or maybe they’re updated on day 3 or day 4…they don’t have to go through any of those little minor tribulations.

Joe: Right. I remember a while back…well, ebay has made their fair share of changes and luckily it always seemed like it was a very small update auction dot php or something like that and it was just a quick, easy update.

Wade: Definitely. Ebay updates are even more challenging because…you know, just in past history, they’ll tell you the day of that they make a change. Or in the case of the last one, I think they gave a 24 hr notice. I was thinking “wow”. You know, thousands and thousands, and thousands of customers…what if I had been off on vacation? I always take my laptop with me when I go on vacation, but you know that short notice that’s such a drastic change that will affect so many people…it certainly will keep you on your toes, real quick.

Joe: No doubt. One way to ruin a vacation, that’s for sure.

Wade: Absolutely.

Joe: So, you had mentioned earlier that the biggest challenge that you feel for somebody who’s going to be coming out with their own product is to get the word out there and let people know. What kind of advice would you give to someone who needs to get the word out? Can you give any suggestions on what they would need to do in order to help? I know there’s standard advertising, but do you have any other words of advice for someone doing that?

Wade: Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Of course the first thing you want to do is kind of get on some big forums and let people know. I wouldn’t say do a hard sale or push it, but just “hey I’ve got this great new product that I’ve worked on over here, if you’re interested take a look. It does this, this, and this and here’s the price” and just be casual, be yourself, don’t do a hard sell. You’ll get hit for spamming and stuff like that, but just kind of let it know. But the most important thing that I did early on was I set up an affiliate program. That’s probably the best advice that I can give to anybody that’s starting off in this business because a lot of people will look at it and say, “well, yeah, but if I’ve got affiliates and I’m going to have to pay them 30%,40%,50%, and so I’m losing that money”. Absolutely not. That is absolutely false. That is just an absolute myth because what happens is that you’re going to get the sales that you would get normally coming through your website or coming through people who have visited posts on your forum and what have you…you’re going to get those. You’re going to get it through word of mouth. What the affiliate program is gonna do for you is it’s gonna bring people in that say “hey..I like the software. I own it as well too. I can write a short page on the web and put my affiliate link at the bottom”…and then I’ve got 400 people on my subscribed list. Well, I’ll send out an update to my subscribed users pointing back to this page, and then that affiliate starts making sales with his followers and he’s making money. You’re making more money because even though you’re not getting the full price of it, you’re still bringing in more business than you would have without that affiliate. And it’s just on and on and on. That’s probably the single best decision I ever made was to add that affiliate program in there. You know you’re gonna get…I think I read somewhere that maybe 1-3% of all affiliates in an affiliate program generate 90% of the revenue. I would definitely agree with that. I have a lot of people in my affiliate program, but a lot of them….you know they’ll promote for a little while or they’ll move on to something else, so you want to keep your affiliates coming in it fresh. Another thing too is to make sure and pay them on time and that’s one of the things that a lot of my affiliates compliment me on. I’m an affiliate as well too, and the worst thing that I hate is going through the month of June, and I’ve earned $1000, but then I have to wait all through July and into the middle of August in order to get paid. No one wants to wait around that long. So on my affiliate program I close out on the last day of the month at midnight, and then the following day on the 1st I pay affiliates.  You know, I’m an affiliate too. Some of these guys they need their money. They’ve got bills, they’ve got rent…you know, whatever the case is, I make sure I pay on the 1st. Now my terms of service will say up until the 5th, and that’s only there in case I’m in the hospital or something major, but I don’t…I can’t remember a time in the last 3 years that I haven’t  paid on the 1st. And so that’s the idea. Get your affiliates in there and they’re going to start promoting your product for you. You know, that’s where it’s going to explode on the web, when you start getting affiliates in there. And give them a generous payout and make sure you take care of them. Get them their money on the 1st.

Joe: Do you run your own affiliate program?

Wade: I do. That’s really a challenge too because a lot of people are like… well you’re the one approving those affiliate sales…and I go through that from time to time and I understand people’s concerns on that. What I try to tell my affiliates to do is add something of value. Get people to click on your link by saying…I’m going to give you a 5 page tutorial on the fastest way to get phpZon pro set up or phpBay pro…give them something of value. That way after the sale, that customer is going to send you his PayPal transaction id and you’ve got a record of the sale through that way as well as through the affiliate program.

Joe: Is there….for someone who’s say maybe wanting to set up affiliates or get affiliates…is there any programs that you would recommend that are out there? I know pay dot com has one…is there any that you might recommend?

Wade: I would say ejunkie just because I’ve seen a lot of guys use ejunkie as well too. I chose to set mine up in house using…it’s called jam by…using their program because I wanted to tie that in. I wanted to have my website, I wanted to have the store, so I could control all the downloads and make sure that all of my users were in one place, and at the same time the affiliate program ties into all that.

Joe: Yeah, I was trying to think of…because I know the membership software, does that tie in with the affiliate software together?  Do they work together or is that separate?

Wade: They do. I use Amember for…

Joe: Amember! That’s what it is.

Wade: That’s a pretty popular one for the store. But I struggle with that up front because my first thoughts know, what if it doesn’t work out or what if it doesn’t get too big? Or what if it does? Do you want to go back and manually transfer each and every customer over to a new store software? Or go ahead and get what a lot of people suggest are the very best right now and just go ahead and run with it.

Joe: Yeah, I’ve done it before. It’s painful. Doing a database transfer from one place to another…no fun.  It isn’t fun at all.

So Wade, what pitfalls did you run into when creating phpBay or any of your other products?

Wade: Well, basically there’s 3 pitfalls. One is, I would say, security. The other I would say is support. And the third one I would say is sort of a second marriage. And let’s just hit on each of these. Security was, I would say, the biggest thorn in initial development because I was a little naïve. I came in, I developed the software, and you know I wanted to make sure people would be able to edit it and make changes and kind of not lock it down, and that turned out to not be such a good thing because it wasn’t long after that that I started seeing my product over on certain forums that maybe not everybody would visit…you know, for free. And it’s really discouraging because you know, you work your tail end off…this is what’s putting food on the table…and people are giving it out free.

Joe: You even..ioncube? Is that what it was? A security mechanism?

Wade: I did. You know what drove me to get to that point was there was a guy who actually took my software, and he simply changed the logo and the title, and didn’t even change the rest of the code. In fact, if you just opened it up and looked at the rest of the code you would see phpBay all in it. So this guy took it and put up another website and called it XYZ product and…

Joe: No kidding! Wow.

Wade: Yeah, and just absolutely ripped it off. And I tried to go after the guy, secured an attorney…they said this could be anywhere from $1000 all the way up to $60,000. And I thought, you know, I’m not even quite making that right now. You know there’s got to be some realisticness there…so security is definitely an issue and I went with ioncube. The challenge there is that a lot of people would be on a host that didn’t have ioncube, and it just became a really huge burden for my customers. So I finally got to the point where I said no. I’m going to do something else that doesn’t require a loader and find a balance between that extreme and trying to protect the software from people just outright stealing it. So, that was definitely a challenge and it’s one that I continue to work on. It’s unfortunate that you have to worry about that, but it you don’t…your products going to…you’ll watch your sales slide, you’ll wonder what’s going on…you’ve got to stay on top of it. You know it just wasn’t worth the trip, so there’s got to be some security in there.

The second issue being on support…it’s a double-edged sword. It’s absolutely important to make sure customers are taken care of. I’ve seen software developers that’ll have a product, and you look on their forums and a guy posts a problem on Monday and the following Sunday there’s a reply or response. That’s just inadequate. So I try to do that every day on a daily basis. I try to make sure everybody’s taken care of, though probably 90% of my customers will buy the software, they’ll open up the zip file, they’ll read the instructions or the user manual, they’ll install it, they’ll start earning money, and I never hear from them again. And that’s as close to a number…you know at 90%…you just want to keep working to get it 91%,92%,93%, as high as possible because the less time you spend in support the more time you have for family life, for developing your futures. I’d say about 6% of my customers have…they really didn’t read the manual or they’ve got a little bump or whatever. They’re just looking for a quick solution, and then they jump right over with that 90% too. You hardly ever hear from them again. And then you have the 3%….the 3% it’s going to be something beyond their control. Maybe they have a web server that has disabled something or that isn’t standard with other ones so it’s just not working right and it’s not anything they’re doing wrong… so you get in, you address it, and again, for the most part, they move on. Then you have the 1%, and these are people who are dedicated to making your life miserable. (laughing) The 1% are your worst nightmare. These are people that are narcissistic. They are demanding. They are rude, discourteous, believe they’re the king of the world and yada, yada, yada. They definitely will make for interested clients, to say the least. You get some in that 1% category who are lonely, believe it or not. Sometimes I’ve had a customer who I could just absolutely swear bought my software because he was lonely and he wanted somebody to talk to and through support you kind of have to respond. So you want to get rid of those as soon as you can. Resolve them, get them moved on, they’re no fun, they definitely make it challenging in the business. It’s not so bad when you have the 100 customers or 200 customers, or maybe 500 customers…but when you’re 8,000-10,000 customers and you take 1% of that, that’s 80-100 people that are like that. You know and an update or something, it certainly makes you want to pull your hair out.

Joe: No doubt. The closest I’ve come to doing any kind of software development was creating some WordPress themes and that alone is enough because weird little things happen and it’s not really….but it’s enough where you’ve got to be on top of it. Your reputation is at stake, and people are like…you know…you’re like “I’m sorry, let me get into your website and I will fix it for you”.

Wade: Exactly.

Joe: Wade, let’s see….that’s about all I had. The last thing is a last tidbit or piece of advice you might give somebody who is considering getting into product creation if you have anything, but there’s a lot of tips you’ve already given out so…I didn’t know if you might have anything else that we can leave with?

Wade: I would just say that if it’s a product that you believe would help you…not necessarily somebody else..but make a product that’s going to help you do something better. And make it as good as you possibly can, and stand behind it, and if you really believe in it get out and promote it.  Because if it works for you, if it solves a problem for you, if it makes development or internet marketing or anything else that you’re doing faster and easier, then other people are going to be interested in it as well.

Joe: I would agree, and that’s where…well, that’s how a lot of your products came to be right? You were just solving something for yourself and there you go…you’ve got your own Rocket to Success.

Wade: Definitely.

Joe: So what are you up to these days? PhpBay and phpBay pro, phpZon pro…what’ve you been up to lately? Do you have any new products in the works?

Wade: Not yet. I definitely have at least one more product that I want to start focusing on, and I’d hoped to get to it by the end of the year, but you know with the updates..and of course phpBay and phpZon, those break down into 2 products each. One is for api and one is for WordPress so it’s really maintaining 4 products. So with the updates that took place this year and the business growing as well, it’s definitely kept me on my toes from pursuing the next project. But I definitely have one more project at least that I want to hit, and I’m not going to say what the affiliate program is because I want to keep that as a surprise. But I think it will be a good product and I think it will be one that people will enjoy using, and will certainly give at least my customers another revenue stream or another opportunity to pull in earnings.

Joe: Well that will be awesome because we can all use another revenue stream I think.

Wade: Absolutely.

Joe: Well, Wade…thank you so much. I really appreciate your time and sharing your history and some of your experience with us today.

Wade: It was my pleasure! It was wonderful to talk with you and I hope this will help somebody else that is looking into getting started into this business.

Joe: I definitely know it will. Thanks Wade.

Wade: Thank you!

Leave a Reply