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Way back in the day when I used to run PluginID, I took an afternoon out to make a few graphics for my blog sidebar which would feature my most popular blog posts. Though they did look attractive – and I quickly found other bloggers imitating the idea – I found myself constantly having to make new images any time I made a hit post.
With ViperChill, I was fortunate to have a plugin come with my theme called ‘Popular Posts’. It’s basically just a widget that you currently see in my sidebar (for now). When I designed Butterflyist for Andrea for the blogging case study project, we made sure she purchased a theme which had a similar plugin installed. Without them we would have been a little lost. Until now.
It wasn’t until I came across the sidebar of Engadget about a year ago and the new way they were displaying their blog posts that I decided I had to make my own plugin that let you show off your top content in style. Their design was really attractive, and the width of each highlighted post was proportional to how many comments or views it had received (genius!)
I would love to show it to you, but since their traffic levels started taking a dip because of The Verge, they basically copied The Verge’s site framework on post pages and totally reworked their sidebar.
6 months ago Graeme (the lead developer of OptinSkin) sent me a screenshot of the first iteration of turning our idea into a plugin. Today, it’s the most advanced solution available for WordPress users who wish to not only highlight blog posts, but to showcase affiliate products, product reviews and site pages, without having to know any HTML or CSS.
When we launched OptinSkin one year ago, the support that we had to deal with was insane. We received far more customers than we had ever imagined, and our inbox quickly became overloaded. By opening for just 48 hours (and then opening fully in a few days) we should help to prevent this, and reward customers who take a chance with us early on with a discount.
This also gives us an opportunity to get feedback from people who are going to use the plugin in ways we haven’t even thought of yet, so we can add features and make changes quickly without the initial support burden.
There’s a lot more I want to say on this topic, like why I’ve continued to focus on software and what the highs and lows have been in transforming my business efforts have been, but I really want you to check this out and give it a try if you think it’s for you.
We’ve been discussing this project as far back as June (that’s 9 months ago) – shown in the random screenshot below – so it’s honestly a big relief to finally launch it and share it with the world. This is going to free up some of my more personal time, and I have a lot of posts lined up here for VC. Thanks for checking it out, and maybe I’ll see you in the members area!
P.S. If this isn’t for you, no problem at all. Now that we’ve finally got this out there, I can return to normal posting!