Hello! Tell us about yourself and what you're working on.
My name is Paddy Coyne. I am the founder and developer of Index Nuke, a software/cloud-based backlink indexer solution aimed at SEOs and internet marketers.
I started Index Nuke at the beginning of 2015 after successfully developing 301 Nuke, an SEO product launched in 2013. 301 Nuke was my first software release and opened my eyes to just how much money a side project can make. 301 Nuke is still generating passive income today with very little work.
After quitting my full-time IT job in 2015 I decided to fulfill my urge to run my own business. I created a product that I had been wanting to develop since I began my journey into SEO and internet marketing back in 2007.
Index Nuke is an SEO tool which helps index pages of your site or links created on other peoples sites. The software is a useful tool for internet marketers and SEOs who build backlinks en masse or for those who have big sites with 100s or 1000s of pages requiring indexing.
From a slow launch back in November 2015, Index Nuke is currently generating between $2000-$5000 per month, partly helped by the recurring subscriptions generated by our PLATINUM package.
What motivated you to get started with Index Nuke? What were your initial goals? And how'd you come up with the idea?
After testing the waters with 301 Nuke back in 2013, I quickly realized the value in creating a useful product with very little competition. In fact, 301 Nuke was first to the market with several competitors launching a few months later.
Although the competition with Index Nuke would be much greater, I knew that there was still room in the marketplace for a better product. I'd previously used the core technology behind Index Nuke by myself on my own projects. Even though the technology at that time was basic, it was still very effective.
What did it take to build the initial product? How long until you were ready to launch?
Fortunately, I am a developer with 20 years of IT experience. With the money generated from 301 Nuke, I was able to bootstrap the development from the very beginning. However, due to the technology of Index Nuke it required quite a hefty initial and ongoing investment.
Part of the Index Nuke technology requires 600 domains for our PBN (Private Blog Network) which is used for some of the indexing routines. Luckily I had a few hundred domains already (which I had acquired over the years), but purchasing an additional 400 put a strain on my budget. Of course, this does not include the ongoing costs of renewing these domains each year.
Index Nuke also uses cloud-based indexing routines which required a heavy investment in servers. When I first launched Index Nuke it was sufficient to have 10 servers for the cloud modules. This had to be increased significantly as our customer base grew, and we now have 30 servers running our cloud indexing system. A hefty monthly bill meant we needed to generate enough recurring revenue and new sales to cover these costs.
The cloud part of Index Nuke is built on Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure, allowing me to build and add additional servers when the load increases. I needed a solution that was scalable as Index Nuke grew its customer base.
Being able to work on Index Nuke full-time, I managed to create the core product in about 6 months, which was a feat I was very proud of.
What marketing strategies have you used? How have you attracted users and grown Index Nuke?
After the successful launch of 301 Nuke, I had managed to build a loyal customer base and mailing list. When Index Nuke was finished, I reached out to several of my existing customers to ask them to beta test Index Nuke before I released it to the public. This was such a great decision, because several bugs were reported that would have caused me a big headache and angry customers had I gone and released the software at that time.
I was also lucky enough to have several affiliates of 301 Nuke who where happy to promote Index Nuke with little persuasion from me. With both my mailing list and affiliates on board, I pretty much started to make sales from day one.
If I could give one piece of advice, it is to at least build a mailing list at the early stages, even before you launch your product. This way you will have potential beta testers and customers right away.
How does your business model work? What's the story behind your revenue?
When I started developing Index Nuke, I knew right from the start that I wanted to build a product that generated recurring revenue. As my monthly costs were quite high, the recurring revenue had to at least cover the fees for the servers and domains and all the other costs associated with running and managing the product. For many months Index Nuke was running at a loss, and it's only until fairly recently that it has started turning a healthy profit.
I also knew that some customers do not like recurring monthly fees, so I offered a software-only version of Index Nuke (PRO) which does not use our cloud indexing modules. I also offered lifetime access to our cloud (PLATINUM) for a one-time fee. Having 3 price points kept things simple and allowed me to target 3 different types of customers.
I wanted to keep the payment system simple. I also wanted a way to attract affiliates easily without having to code everything from scratch. I decided to use Clickbank to handle the payments and affiliates.
An important decision I made at the very beginning was to automate as much as I could. The systems I have in place monitor everything from server loads to generating license keys. This has allowed me to concentrate on marketing, SEO, and developing updates.
What are your goals for the future? And, if you could, what would you change about the past?
My ultimate goal for Index Nuke is to be in the toolbox of every SEO and internet marketer. I also want to continually improve the product and build a loyal customer base. Building the product was the easy part, but finding and keeping customers happy is where the real challenge lies. I foresee a very busy 2017.
If I could go back in time I think I would have done few things differently. I think I would have invested less initially in the technology as things started to get scary when Index Nuke was running at a loss for many months.
I also would have done more initial promotion whilst I was still building the product. I think I could have made more sales this way in the early days after the launch.
What's your advice for indie hackers who are just starting out?
My advice and tips for other developers are:
- Set yourself goals and try to stick to them. Many days I got distracted which led to delays in launching.
- Start small and watch your budget. I went big straight away investing in servers and domains which led to a few scary moments.
- Start building a mailing list and reach out to people in your field prior to launch. Build a buzz around your product. This will help sales at the very beginning.
- Read a few motivational books to keep your spirits high through difficult times. I read The Power Of The Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy and Problem Solving 101 by Ken Watanabe. Believe it or not I also enjoyed reading Solitary Fitness by Charles Bronson (for those times when your work comes before the gym).