Transparency report #11 – Feb 2017

March 1, 2017| Mike Stott

Happy Valentines month everyone. February has flown by. The end of February also brought with it the end of my two-month period of being in Thailand. So it’s back to Sunny England in the United Kingdom. There’s so much I want to cover in this update….

Similar to the previous months I wanted to cover the same areas in this report as in the report last month…

What happened in February?

February was a busy month, again still being based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Here’s some of the highlights from what happened in February:-

  • We (Mike, CEO and Wendy, Business Relationship Director) attended the Nomad Summit in Chiang Mai
    • I’ve reserved writing a post on this on this blog. But I’ll put together my views on this in a short.. monologue (coming soon)
  • I started to use Toggl for recording my time.. I only started this mid-month (see my report here)
  • Reached out for help with Marketing Advice (and brought on help on a part time basis)
  • Started to use HotJar and analyse / optimise the websites
  • I didn’t announce an Epic Rewards winner for February – read why here (HINT: it’s up for grabs)

Recap on my ‘Focus Points’ for February

This is taken from last month’s report (for the bits I’ve actually done some against). I’ve added comments in bold for the progress. I find this helps to keep me focussed.

Financials for February

Anyway, onto the part of the report which I’m sure you find interesting. If there’s anything else you’d like to see here let me know.

Similar to January I’m breaking the transparency report into three sections. Plugin Sales, Theme Sales and Freelance. This is because my CRM now gives me the ability to filter by tag. This gives me the ability to filter down into my transactions and compare them to the prior period.

When you’re looking at the charts below, keep in mind it compares to the previous 28 days. Since February is a shorter month, comparing directly to January would knock things off a bit and may look lower then otherwise.

Epic Plugins (including Zero BS CRM)

First up, is income from WordPress plugins. This includes direct sales and the commissions from sales on CodeCanyon. The CodeCanyon income is received on the 15th of the month, which is why the chart jumps up part way through.

So, WordPress plugin sales are down again compared to the prior period. This is massively led by the falls in CodeCanyon income as CodeCanyon starts to become less useful (for me anyway). I wrote about why I removed 9 plugins for sale on CodeCanyon (i.e. closing one account) and I’ll be considering whether to do the same for the other account.

Also, partly driving the fall is Zero BS CRM, January was better than Feb, which impacts the comparison. Either way. It’s something I continue to work at and monitor. Only time will tell how the Plugin Side of the business will go.

Epic Themes

Epic Themes is where I’ve spending more time looking to grow the business and increase it’s traffic and it’s discoverability. I’m working through the ’12 in 12′ project which is a challenge for me to release 12 new products onto the website in 12 months (so far I’ve released 3).

The 4th Theme was due for release today. However, in my post about what is missing I have decided to Pivot away slightly from this project and release Theme Packs rather than complete themes. I think this is the way themes are going and I’ll be writing more on this in coming months. Read what I think is missing here (and this is why I haven’t released the 4th Theme yet)

Also, I’ve spent a significant amount of time in February working through optimisations (one review) and seeing where I can improve the website.

So up almost 100% from last month. You may recall that December was a strong month with sales, at around $2k. however when analysing this there’s some peculiarities with December, namely:-

  • All Themes are now Sold via Epic Themes (in the past these were sold via Epic Plugins, confusingly)
  • In December, I emailed out and offered anyone with a license at Epic Plugins for a Theme the need to transfer over
    • This meant a new sale was needed, and the old sale refunded
  • The refunds due to this switch over haven’t been netted off Decembers figure in the transparency reports.

Going forwards I’ll be keen to see how the work we are doing in the Themes area is helping with sales. I’ll be writing over on the Epic Themes Blog about the optimisation and how I’m working on growing a Theme business. This blog will continue the monthly transparency reports.


I’m still spending quite a bit of my time on Freelance for existing projects before I committed to saying No to Freelance. As the other charts, this one will be particularly volatile as I do more (or less) freelance in a month. I’m still doing freelance, but I’m trying my best to limit this to 20% of my available time.

Still a decent amount of freelance, and I’m actually probably spending way more than 20% of my time as a couple of projects have been nearing crunchtime.


Finally, onto the ‘Overall’ picture. I thought it might be useful to show the % change from the prior month, but it’s too messy due to different days in the month

Traffic reports

I wanted to include these so I can how I’m going about growing the traffic to the websites. Last month’s report was the first where I included these.

Epic Plugins

Here’s the graph for Epic Plugins from Similar Web updated for this transparency report

The Epic Plugins traffic is down in Jan from December (based on Similar Web). Going back to the levels seen steadily. since August 16 The reason? Why did December show higher?

There’s been plenty of posts about it, but Google Analytics was spammed giving falsely higher traffic.

A useful metric to track still and I’ll continue to share this over time.

The ‘Ahrefs Rank’ chart is more up to date than similar web.

UR has gone down slightly since last month, DR up slightly. The Ahrefs Rank itself has increased again since the end of Jan which is good news.

Epic Themes

Now, onto Epic Theme’s traffic. Same two services for the graphs as above. As you can see from below, it’s a lot ‘newer’ than Epic Plugins and I’ve only recently been focussing on growing it (the 12 WordPress Themes in 12 Months project kicked off in October).

It’s still on the up. It’s still around half of what Epic Plugins is though and definitely an area I’ll be focussing more on as the work I’m doing on the marketing side (with help) is starting to bed down.

And the Ahrefs screenshot for Epic Themes, remember, last month this was 8m. Another jump up for Epic Themes.

So again climbing nicely. I’m keen to see where this ends up, perhaps in a year from now. But I’ll be updating this every month, so watch this space and let’s see where I can take the Theme business.

What’s the focus for March

In February I spent a lot of time optimising the websites, making it clearer and easier for people to purchase. In March I’ll continue to focus on this with the following:-

  • Regular reviews of HotJar with findings posted on the Epic Themes Blog
  • Continued marketing with the help of my new part time assistance
  • Development of the Theme Pax Framework

Woah, wait. what’s Theme Pax?

first cut of the theme pax framework logo

Theme Pax is my new concept for WordPress Theme’s. There’s so many themes out there. There’s so much WordPress can do. With Theme packs you can install and activate ‘Mini Themes’ at Mini prices. Read the full post here.

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Categories: Transparency

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