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Leonardo Losoviz
Leonardo Losoviz

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My first GitHub sponsor!

This post was originally published on my blog

2 days ago I subscribed to GitHub sponsors to fund my work on the GraphQL API for WordPress, and I already got my first sponsor!

GitHub sponsors

Following the example set by Caleb Porzio (who's making more than u$d 100k/y doing open source), I have decided to use the sponsorware model to fund my project. It works like this:

  • Whenever I get 10 new sponsors (at u$d 14/m), I start developing the most up-voted feature from a special "Sponsorware" list (which I'm completing as I'm writing this milestone)
  • Once implemented, the new feature becomes available to all the sponsors, via a private GitHub repo
  • As soon as I get 50 new sponsors, the new feature becomes open source, accessible to everyone via the public GitHub repo, and is integrated into the plugin

Sponsorware features

In a few months, I will also start creating instructional videos, explaining how to make the most out of the plugin. According to Caleb, this is the biggest money-making strategy.

I have also decided to add a middle tier (at u$d 70/m), where I provide Slack-based personal support, to help users of my plugin set-up GraphQL with WordPress, troubleshooting, and answering their questions. A user needed help to develop a functionality, so he decided to sponsor me <= my first sponsor ❤️

Finally, I added a higher tier (at u$d 700) for corporate sponsors. I plan to ask around in the WordPress community if their companies may be interested in participating. That would be a win-win: They get face from contributing to open source, and I get the certainty that I can make a living wage from my work and can focus on the development of the plugin (and not on marketing, which is not my forte).

My sponsors and sponsored projects

I hope the sponsorware model works, and I can make a living while working on open source. I'll keep writing updates on how it goes, here on, on my blog, and on IndieHackers.

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