Fair Percentage

by Don Sturgill
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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  • #6060
    Don Sturgill
    Participant

    Two guys who already have a successful WordPress plugin have created another. They want to launch in two weeks and invited me to be the copywriter/blogger for the effort for an equity ownership in the work. The offer is 10% of net profits.

    I know these guys (you may too) and have worked for them in the past on a per article basis. They kept pushing down my fee until I couldn’t go any lower and wouldn’t take on any more work from them.

    I like them. I trust them. But they are shrewd businessmen. I believe this project has huge potential and have asked for 24 hrs to consider the offer. QUESTION: Do you think 10% of net profit is fair? They are splitting 70/30 right now and would need to each carve off a piece of their pie to let me in.

    Your thoughts are appreciated.

    #6065
    Trevor Dumbleton
    Participant

    Awkward question – if they use Hollywood accounting principles then even if it’s a runaway success it may not earn any profit.

    Most big WSOs I’ve seen make a song and dance about how much they’ve spent on copy so at first glance this sounds a bit cheapskate.

    Maybe a profit share with a minimum guaranteed with, say, half that paid up front before you put pen to paper and the other half by a specific date? Otherwise you’re putting your time in on-spec in the hope of getting paid anything at all.

    #6066
    Don Sturgill
    Participant

    Thank you, Trevor. I can see a share of gross sales… but net profit I have zero control over. They’re looking at it as an equity position.

    #6072
    Cynthia Leighton
    Participant

    Don,

    I’d agree with the gross sales. Maybe counter offer with a smaller percent of gross sales? That’s an equity position too.

    blessings,
    Cynthia

    #6073
    Don Sturgill
    Participant

    I appreciate the input, Cynthia.

    #6075
    Rick Smith
    Participant

    Don –

    Cynthia (with her tech background) can vouch for what I’m about to tell you. The software development world is absolutely littered with the remains of deals just like you described. They might have successful plugins to their credit but you have no idea how well this new plugin will do. I think 10% is a pretty low figure. I agree with what Trevor and Cynthia said about a percentage of gross sales. Like Trevor said, 10% net profits could wind up being 0.

    #6081
    Don Sturgill
    Participant

    I was hoping you guys had some expertise in app/plugin development financing. Much appreciated. I’ve asked the developers about pay based on gross sales rather than on net profit. I’ve also asked for clear expectations on content production and timing. I’m already buried in work. One more plate to spin and they all may drop.

    #6083
    Trevor Dumbleton
    Participant

    Since you’re already buried in work I’d be very much inclined to quote a fixed price or maybe a mail-order style fixed price plus share of sales. At the least, you’ll find how confident they are!

    #6086
    Rick Smith
    Participant

    Don –

    I actually have quite a bit of experience in software development. I’ve done contract work, developed my own apps (none of which I ever took far enough to sell), and I work as a developer at the day job. I know about fixed bid pricing, time and materials pricing, and equity/sweat equity deals for software development. But I don’t know anything about “app/plugin development financing” as you called it.

    #6096
    Don Sturgill
    Participant

    Well… I don’t know anything about it either, Rick. But it sure sounds like fun!

    I appreciate all the advice here. Thank you all.

    Hey, they’re accepting beta testers. Here’s the link for a free schema simplifier: http://simpleschema.com/

    #6103
    Rick Smith
    Participant

    Don –

    What is it and why do I care? I’m being serious. I have no idea what it’s supposed to do.

    #6105
    Trevor Dumbleton
    Participant

    Rick: schema is techy stuff. It’s adding formal, behind the scenes, markup on web pages to help search engines understand what the page is about – often used for addresses, recipes and to encourage extra “rich snippets” in the search results. Can sometimes give an edge in the search results.

    It’s twitchy in how it’s presented – a bit like getting a “bold” section wrong except you’d spot that. Because schema is behind the scenes and life’s too short to run it against checkers for every page, getting it wrong can do more harm than good.

    So a simple way to add it correctly could be useful but the copy will need to do a much better job than I’ve just done of convincing why you’d need it

    I half-heartedly use it on one site I look after and haven’t noticed much difference but that’s often the case in a competitive niche.

    #6108
    Rick Smith
    Participant

    Trevor –

    Being in software development for many years, I’m not afraid of “techie.” The word “schema” has a very specific meaning in database design and development. However, there was no copy on that and it gave me no compelling reason to research it. Based on what you wrote, it looks like the results are somewhat iffy. I probably won’t spent any time pursuing it unless Don gives me some compelling reasons to look at it.

    #6112
    Don Sturgill
    Participant

    Schema allows you to get more bang for your content buck. It provides an SEO benefit by helping the search engines know what you’re about and how to display your work. If SEO and search display aren’t important to you, don’t worry about using schema.

    #6114
    Trevor Dumbleton
    Participant

    Most of my sites and the sites I work on I don’t use Schema markup. I’ve used it on a couple of sites in the travel niche and not noticed any real difference but that niche does tend to suffer from Google’s regular upheavals in the results for reasons probably related to their advertising income.

    Personally I think the most on site bang for the buck is from regular stuff like headlines, meta description (when Google doesn’t ignore it) plus good content.

    Of course, a compelling sales letter could help sway that opinion, always assuming it wasn’t similar to the “rank a video for a phrase that even your computer illiterate granny could rank in 10 minutes” style of copy 🙂

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