We officially launched PDFShift a month ago, on May 22, and it has been an incredible ride since then.

So today, for its monthversary, I want to share with you the current state of the service, its growth and we are at right now. I'll also talk about objectives for the upcoming month, and hopefully, meet them!

Visitors

Maybe the first interesting thing to start talking about. We haven't made a big impact, nor got featured on big websites (ProductHunt, Hacker News, etc), but we had a pretty nice traffic still:

Visitors during the last month

Nice Trick No. 1: On Google Analytics, one thing I did that was ABSOLUTELY useful, was to set up an objective that tracks users that registered. Once I did that, I was able to know which source converted better.

This helped me understand which source I needed to work on the most.

Here are the results:

Best converting sources

This table helps me output the main three important sites for me:

Nice Trick No. 2: Quora is really a helpful site to reference your service on relevant questions. You target precisely your customer while having a nice visibility!

... And this leads us to the second part, Users!

Users

This is one of my proudest achievement in one month. We got over 200 new users!

Users creation per day for the last 30 days

Nice Trick No. 3: You should track your data, like users subscriptions and more on your server side, because more and more users are blocking scripts like Google Analytics. We use Amplitude for this. It's free for too many requests ;)

Conversions

Being an API dedicated to converting HTML to PDF, it's logical to talk about the number of conversions, and how we performed.

We converted 2000 documents in that time, including 1180 for real purpose (not testing). That's not bad at all!

Daily number of conversions

Again, we can see that starting from June 3, we got more and more conversions.

Payments

This was the least expected event of this month. We got our first customer! I already talked about it on a previous article but there something you don't know ... :)

My first payment on Stripe!

The payment system was not in place at all.

Yep! I was so focused on working to have all the nice features ready, and marketing PDFShift that I was not thinking I would already convert people. For this reason, implementing the payment system was on my backlog, but not completed.

When I received an email from this user letting me know that the payment page was not working, I was flabbergasted! I quickly developed it and released it the next day.

Nice Trick No. 4: Don't try to have everything ready and in place before releasing it. Just ship it! And continue working on it from after. Your customer will let you know if there is something they need :)

What's coming next?

I think I did a pretty fair job at marketing PDFShift. I'm quite happy with the number of customers I got. @channingallen, asked "What are you working on this month?" on June 1, and I said:

I'm working on PDFShift - an online API to convert any HTML documents to PDF. My objectives are to grow it this month, and get many users, ensure everything is working fine, and prepare for a more important growth for the next months.

So I'll keep doing this.

More specifically, I plan to reach:

  • 500 Users
  • 3 paying customers (2 new)
  • 5,000 conversions

My objectives are quite simple: (kind of) doubling the previous numbers.

If I keep doing that for a year, I'll be at 4095 paying customers in a year!! (yeah... I can dream no?)

The end

Thank you so much for reading up to this. I hope you loved it and if that's the case, I'd have one special request for you: Could you share it on HackerNews too? Simply hit this link or the "HN" logo at the left and it will upvote my original post there. This will give me an incredible help for PDFShift!

Thank you! And keep pursuing your dream!