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The EDDge: Customer showcase with Scott Deluzio


“…if you can find something that sparks your passion and provides a decent income I think you’re successful in your career.”

Scott Deluzio is the founder of Amplify Plugins, and an experienced developer known for popular WordPress plugins like WP1099, a product he designed to ease the burden of 1099-MISC reporting for multi-vendor marketplace store owners and managers of online affiliate marketing programs.

Scott also served in the Connecticut Army National Guard (including deployment to Afghanistan) and worked for 6 years in accounting and finance, giving him an attention to detail and unique perspective that informs his development work to this day.

But, let’s rewind to 2000, where it all started!

The best motivator is necessity

Hailing from Arizona, Scott got his start in web development in college, when he decided to build a website for his dad’s consulting business. With no experience to start, Scott picked up an HTML book and taught himself all of the basics he needed to make a functional website.

Seeing the real-world results that came from this work planted the seed that would eventually grow into a full-time website design, maintenance, and support business – and ultimately, Amplify Plugins.

However, this journey wasn’t exactly linear, and it wasn’t without obstacles.

From the grind to the genesis

Scott has a story that’s relatable to a lot of freelancers and digital product creators out there – he’s no stranger to the struggle.

“I have had jobs in the past where getting out of bed in the morning was pure torture. I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy what I was doing, but I did it anyway because there were bills to pay,” he says.

Sound familiar?

The truth is, it’s not easy to find that sweet spot between engaging your passions and making money – and there’s no magic wand to make it happen overnight. But, Scott managed to transform his career (and his lifestyle) using Easy Digital Downloads to sell his products.

For many digital product creators, this all sounds like a far-off dream. What does it really take to make that switch? It can all be a bit…intimidating, to say the least.

For Scott, it started with solving his own problems.

“During some of the slower periods of the freelance work, I would build plugins that would make my own life easier. I guess you can say I was ‘scratching my own itch’,” he says. “I figured that I wouldn’t be the only person in the world who would want some of these plugins, so I put them up for sale.”

But, Scott needed an infrastructure that would allow him to sell digital products. Enter EDD!

Building a digital store

One of Scott’s earlier products was an “add-in” for Microsoft Excel. Although the add-in was technically a desktop product, he still needed a way to sell per-user licenses. With the help of EDD’s Software Licensing extension, Scott was able to do this – and dramatically increase his revenue in the process.

“While other alternatives existed, EDD provided the simplest approach to getting a shop set up quickly.”

Scott Deluzio

“I was originally selling the product as an unlimited use product. Essentially, I had no way to track how many times it was installed, so I couldn’t really sell it any other way. Once I added EDD’s Software Licensing extension to it, I was able to sell multiple licenses to the same customer, which was very handy when large organizations wanted to purchase it for their entire accounting department!”

The good news: Sales were coming in! Making any money at all from his creative output was exciting, especially with very little marketing.

“I wasn’t getting rich at the rate that they were selling, but considering the minimal effort I put in, I was doing OK.” 

But, there was potential to grow something bigger.

“About a year after I got started selling on EDD I realized that very few of my customers were renewing. This meant that I had to struggle on day 365 just as hard as I did on day 1 for every single sale. Realizing that this wasn’t a very sustainable business model, I quickly grabbed the Recurring Payments extension. […] I implemented recurring payments in September 2016, so the first renewals started coming in about a year later. That coupled with a focus on marketing the products I’m selling resulted in about a 140% increase in sales between 2016 and 2017.”

“I make more in recurring revenue each month now than the annual license for Recurring Payments costs.”

Scott Deluzio

Ultimately, EDD was a game-changer for Scott, who now has a thriving eCommerce business.

“If it weren’t for Software Licensing I probably wouldn’t be able to have a sustainable business that sold plugins. It would be a side project at best.”

More than just work

WordPress is known for its community; Developers, designers, content creators, and many others all converge to network, help each other, and nurture an ecosystem that is growing and changing all the time.

Scott Deluzio speaking at LoopConf (Photo by K. Adam White, 2018)

Having spoken at events like PressNomics, LoopConf, and various WordCamps around the U.S., Scott enjoys being a part of, and giving back to this community.

Talking to other developers and business owners in the space has really helped push me outside my comfort zone. Without the support of the community, I may not have taken the leap into doing what I do now.

Scott Deluzio

For Scott and many other digital business owners, it’s not just about making money – it’s a way of life.

“The bills haven’t gone away (if anything they’ve increased with 3 young kids), but the job I do has certainly changed. To me, success is being able to do something where you can jump out of bed and get excited about going to work.”

And a big benefit to running your own digital store is having the freedom to spend time with those who matter most to you.

“If you don’t have someone to share your working success with, whether it’s friends, family, neighbors, or whoever, is your successful career really all that important? I’ve had a successful week when I’ve been able to do my job, make some money, and come spend time with my wife and kids. Whether we’re playing outside or reading a book together, I feel that having family time is important.”

At EDD, we have a deep appreciation for the human element, and Scott Deluzio is a great example of how independent creators can follow their passions and create sustainable businesses that enable them to live life to the fullest.

“I couldn’t be happier with the work that I do now, and get up every morning excited to get started on a new challenge.”

Scott’s advice

So, how can you apply the lessons from this story to your own journey in digital business? We asked Scott if he had any advice for first-time product sellers or people transitioning to product sellers.

Here’s what he had to say:

First, just start selling.
 
I know that’s easier said than done sometimes, but if you’re sitting on a product because you don’t know if anyone will buy it, I can guarantee that no one will. 
 
Second, put out an MVP (minimum viable product) early, and improve the product over time by listening to customer feedback.
 
Don’t wait to start selling until the product is perfect, because it never will be. The product doesn’t have to have all the bells and whistles to start with. Actually, building all of the features you can think of isn’t the best idea either because you might waste time building something more complicated than is necessary with features that customers don’t even want.”
 

Hopefully this customer showcase has given you some inspiration! Do you have your own EDD success story to share? Email us at support@easydigitaldownloads.com and tell us how Easy Digital Downloads gives you The EDDge!

Illustration by Jessica Johnston

Mandy Jones

About Mandy Jones

Mandy Jones is a content writer at Sandhills Development and founder of Looplicious. Hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, she's a world traveler and animal lover with a passion for creativity and maker culture. When she’s not writing blog posts for Easy Digital Downloads, Restrict Content Pro, and AffiliateWP, she can be found hanging out with other people’s dogs, or writing, recording, and performing music.

@mandyjones

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