Unexpected difficulties with earnings on the Internet

Unexpected difficulties with earnings on the Internet  
Before that I left Google to work on my own start-up, I did not think about monetization. It was assumed that if so many websites do this every day, then charging for online services will be easy. But when I started developing Kapwing, a site for editing video with a simple model of freemium, I encountered an amazing amount of dangers on the way to a simple profit. In this article, I will share some unexpected problems that we faced, so that other start-up entrepreneurs avoided them when they start earning on the Internet.

Pre-launch before monetization

After leaving this summer with our previous work in corporations, Eric (my co-founder) and I started creating Kapwing at the end of September. We launched a pilot project in mid-October 2017. At first we did not have a monetization strategy. We asked users to send "donations" to Kapwing. No wonder no one did this.
good reviews about the product and something else (one user gave us exclusive access to his upcoming music album, and another "licked" our tweets from the Twitter celebrity account that he administers[официальный аккаунт Blink 182 — примеч. пер.]), but at the beginning of the business, nothing can replace cash . Conclusion: if you can not stop people from bypassing payment, think about how to make it easier for them, so that you can benefit yourself.

Option of evasion from payment

6. Many people prefer to pay via Paypal . Many Kapwing users who miss payment, write that they do not have a credit card or do not trust us with their information. One of the users even wrote by e-mail, how grateful for free access to the service, because in his country the government controls credit card transactions. We plan to add Paypal in the near future to solve this problem, but so far this is not on the list of priorities. Conclusion: consider alternatives to credit cards, especially if your product is targeted at users in Europe, China, India or in countries with other dominant payment methods.
"I did not like the tariff plan, because it's not quite clear: what happens in a month or two or if I want to unsubscribe? I have accumulated a lot of negative experience on the Internet, when such plans are automatically renewed and you are robbed, so I really do not want to pay this way. And more: What about PayPay? I am in Europe, and if there is a dispute, they will take care of everything. There I feel more secure than with a credit card "- From the feedback of users
7. Authorization through Google and Facebook is not enough for some professional users . To login on Kapwing, you need to login first. We like that accounts are mostly open to real names and verified email addresses. But users in companies that do not use GSuite say they want to use working email and they are uncomfortable logging in with their personal data. In the future, for these people, you can add the option "Sign up with e-mail", although it seems to me that this will reduce the effectiveness of mailings by e-mail. Conclusion: if you create a registration process for your application, then think about registration options via social networks and e-mail.
8. Clients can not say how much they are willing to pay . Before adding a paid subscription, we conducted a survey of users' samples. They were asked if they were willing to pay a fee for removing the watermark. Most said they would not pay. But when we added a paid service, a few people who said they would not pay did it. After the launch, some said that our service was cheap, and many said it was too expensive. Conclusion: the easiest way to determine whether people will pay - make them an offer and see.
"And although I really like the simplicity of this service, the price does not stand comparison with other, more advanced software tools" - the user who later subscribed to the paid tariff
9. People will pay for things you would not have paid for . When we started charging 10 dollars a month for creating video games (the first Kapwing tool), then some comrades at Product Hunt and Hacker News said that we are crazy. But again and again our paid customers express their gratitude and gratitude, and the site grows by 300% per month. We are considering the possibility of increasing the price, since more tools are added, such as the recently launched video trimmer for trimming video clips. Personally, I would never pay $ 10 a month for Kapwing, but after all I'm not an SMM specialist who needs such a service. Conclusion: Do not set prices on the advice of people who are not users, or based on your own intuition, if you are not part of the target group.


Over the past three months, our SaaS website has grown from $ 0 to thousands of dollars a month, but we have modified it several times and are still considering options for improving the monetization scheme. I hope this article will help other Internet entrepreneurs to develop a good monetization strategy the first time.
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