Transparency report #12 – Mar 2017

April 3, 2017| Mike Stott

Wow. It’s been a year that i’ve been writing these reports. Time really does fly. I thought what would be useful in this report is to show the years totals as well as the usual figures. March has been a busy month, primarily driven by the massive new release coming of Zero BS CRM (launching in the next few days)

What happened in March?

March flew by. If you remember from the focus points I wanted to focus more on marketing with help of a part time assistant. Unfortunately this didn’t work out as I intended. While the person who helped was good, they were acting in a ‘you should do this’ type of marketing advice (which included some great advice) but I was looking more for someone who was putting that advice into practice by helping with content production and content suggestions etc.

Finally, the Theme Pax Framework has progressed nicely with stage one (micropayments and asset delivery) almost complete.

Recap on my Focus Points for March

  • Regular reviews of HotJar with findings posted on the Epic Themes Blog – [UPDATE the first report is here]
  • Continued marketing with the help of my new part time assistance
  • Development of the Theme Pax Framework

Financials for March

With the amount of time spent working on the massive update (version 2.0) of Zero BS CRM I managed to forget to keep some of my metrics up to date. With Zero BS CRM v2.0 this will all start to become a lot more automated 🙂 so falling back to the usual reports (from WooCommerce)

Epic Plugins (including Zero BS CRM)

March has been interesting for Epic Plugins. I’ve gone non-exclusive for the CodeCanyon account. The rewards for reaching the next tier of the elite aren’t great and I’m in no rush to get there. I’ll be bringing to Epic Plugins a number of plugins in the next couple of months with special launch offers and an epic touch up 🙂 so make sure you’re on the list to receive special (re)launch offers for these plugins.

Zero BS CRM, I’ve spent a lot of time on this in March. The massive 2.0 release is coming in just 3 days (6th April) and we’ve got some good coverage across other WordPress blogs.

I also spent a TON of time going through and comparing ZBS CRM to other “leading” WordPress CRMs out there, and ZBS in its latest form (v2.0) really kicks some butt.

Zero BS CRM feature comparison

But what’s the total in plugins revenue for March…  $903 (compared to $939 in Feb)

Epic Themes

As you’ll by no doubt know by now. Epic Themes is where I’m putting my focus. Although the (re)launch of Zero BS CRM has meant this has had to take a bit of a side seat this month. The theme revenues are down slightly from February, however in February a lot more time was spent writing and sharing useful guides for the themes which clearly helped with the revenues that month.

The total Themes Revenue for March was $1,444 (down from $1946 in Feb).

Epic Freelance

I didn’t do any new freelance this month (apart from some work spent on the freelance time which revenue came in for in Feb). total for freelance revenue in March was $0 (compared to $3,602 in Feb)

Overall (for March)

Onto the overall picture for March. When I have a month which has a total revenue around $2-$3k I start to get a little anxious as I really need to be keeping this in the minimum $3-4k range.  The totals for March are


At a high level, I’m attributing the following to the reasons for ‘lower than usual’

  • Themes – a lot of time was spent on the development and content production for v2.0 of ZBS. I didn’t write as many guides or share as many posts on the blog
  • Plugins – this is broadly steady compared to last month. CodeCanyon has consistently been down (a shared theme when chatting to other plugin authors) which helped me make the move to non-exclusive
  • Freelance – I didn’t take on any ‘new’ freelance this month. A trend I’m going to continue.

I wanted to take this analysis a bit further this month, given it’s the 12th transparency report. I’ve now gone back and looked at how the last 12 months have been in total.

Last 12 months (total)

So, over the last 12 months (which have flown by) I’ve been regularly writing these reports (read them all here) and you could easily go through and figure out the total but to make it easy here’s where it’s ended up for the last 12 months.

I’m happy with that. Ideally I’d do less Freelance work as this is generally one off income and continue to focus more on the themes and plugins side. If you’re a theme or plugin developer, do you still do freelance? Here’s my reasons why I like to do some freelance from time to time

  • Plugin or Theme Modifications – these fall under freelance but sometimes can help the theme in general. I’ll take these on.
  • Existing clients – where I’ve been the lead developer. Leaving these in the lurch wouldn’t be very good practice ethically
  • It also helps ‘buffer’ some of the months where the income is lower than my target monthly income requirements

Traffic Reports

I like putting these together and will continue to do charts for both Epic Plugins and Epic Themes here.

Epic Plugins

First up, it’s similar web again

This compares to 2.5k in last months report (and is back to being more steady following the fake spikes a lot of GA accounts were seeing in December)

Next up is the ahrefs report.

Since the last transparency report, UR is +2 but DR is -1. Backlinks is a lot higher.

Epic Themes

Onto Epic Themes. This one will be interesting as I’ve not spent as much time as I would have liked in March (due to various reasons including still struggling to find a suitable person to help put marketing plans into action). First up is the similar web traffic report

Again, it’s slightly down since the last similar web report (but also remember the similar web charts are lagged by a month). So when trying to grow my themes business, keeping track of these really helps (yes, I do use GA and could produce more up to date charts, I just like the summary from similar web).

The ahrefs report for Epic Themes continues to be interesting (for me) to include here


Since the last report, the rank has dropped slightly, but the UR and +1 and the DR has remained stable. Still plenty of work to do here and again something to increase the focus on in the coming months.

What’s the focus for April?

April is already here and starting to slip away quite quickly. As you’ll recall from the recap on the March focus the themepax framework has progressed nicely over the month and should be in a state to start testing throughout April. I’ll also continue to try and find assistance with helping to promote Epic Plugins and Epic Themes. Here’s a quick bullet list

  • Launch Zero BS CRM v2.0 – coming in the next few days – special pre-launch available NOW.
  • Review and test the first part of the themepax framework (micropayments)
  • (re)launch some more Epic Plugins onto this site
  • Continue to review the effectiveness of the conversion funnels
  • Finally start writing my eBook (aimed to help other small businesses /wannabe entrepreneurs grow) – more on this soon


Categories: Transparency

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