In my previous blog post about the profitability of Paint.NET, I had a few votes for disclosure, one neutral vote, and one strong non-disclosure vote. The non-disclosure vote was from BoltBait who’s one of two moderators on the Paint.NET Forums. I’d say his vote carries some pretty good weight. And, upon further reflection, I’ve decided this is the way to go anyway. I think I’d feel weird if my coworkers knew how much supplementary income I was making. I would prefer to stay relatively modest about it. Plus, I don’t know, I guess I don’t want to jinx it? I have been treating it as “bonus money” so far; it isn’t something that I want to feel reliant on, because like they say … live by the Google, die by the Google. In fact, a huge part of the reason I don’t quit my day job and go gung-ho on Paint.NET is that I simply don’t trust the AdSense income. I’m sure that in 6 months of full-time work on Paint.NET I could crank out version 4.0 and release it to huge fanfare: a few days or even a week with a huge spike in traffic, followed by an average amount of traffic that was 10-20% higher than it was pre-release.
So for now I will just quietly build up my savings and investments, pay down my debt (and mortgage), and tip better when I eat out or buy coffee. It’s funny to see how much better a tipper I’ve become now that I make money through tips (donations) myself.
There has been interest expressed in having me blog more about the business side of Paint.NET. To that end, I think I will start publishing things I have done that have successfully increased my AdSense or PayPal income. Some standard AdSense optimization in December netted me an immediate 2.5x increase in revenue. Less than 2 months ago I made an insight-based (“lightbulb-over-head”) optimization that increased my revenue by 50%. The only problem with these types of optimizations is looking at your statistics for the months before you had the optimization in place and realizing, “Dang! If only I’d applied this months ago! Argh!” There are also some other tips and tricks I’ve found over the last year.
Oh, and regarding the Coding Horror vote, it turns out that Paint.NET is ineligible because it does not use a publicly accessible source code repository. That’s okay though. Who knows, maybe I will start integrating 3rd-party plugins (with permission of course)? That wouldn’t make Paint.NET eligible, but I think it’s a good direction to go in anyway.