I made 6 freeware apps in the last 4 years. None of them is a financial success.
Does anybody else see the problem here?
There's a difference between freeware and software that's being given away for free but with an agenda or motive behind it.
That's why it's important to insist on the distinction. Otherwise, the end-user feels they're being set-up; and the programmer feels resentful and unappreciated.
If you really want to give something away for free, then just give it away.
If you hope or expect to get something back in return, then be precise and upfront about it. And also stop calling your program 'freeware.'
Interestingly, some software companies are starting to understand this. I was on one site a while ago that had a short Q&A on the product's landing page. In answer to the question "Why are you giving this away for free?" They came right out and said it was being given away with the hopes that you'd find it so useful you'd be motivated to check out (and hopefully buy) the enhanced version, or one of their other fine products.
They also went on to say they understood that their freebie might be all you ever needed BUT if you decided not to purchase anything, could you at least help them improve the product by providing feedback in the form of bug reports or suggestions for new features.
Lastly, they asked that you tell others about them if you found their products useful either by telling friends or writing a review.
See the difference?
I walked away very much liking
these people because they were refreshingly honest about why they were offering a no-charge version of their product in return for my consideration of making a purchase, providing them with my feedback and suggestions, and helping them with word of mouth advertising.
Notice how they actually asked for a lot
more than just money, but still managed not to be offensive or appear manipulative?
Contrast that with the occasional self-righteous and slightly hurt tone some developers adopt to shame somebody into paying for something they were told was supposed to be free.
If you want to get paid - say so. And require it.
If you're offering something at no charge - say so. And be up front about why.
You'll discover people will respect you for that (and possibly go along with what you want) far more readily than they'll allow you to shame or otherwise coerce them into doing something.
It's a simple matter of being honest
Always the best policy with yourself and others.