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Approaching $10k revenue within the first month

I launched https://www.vim.so on Janurary 10th and today I woke up at $9361 revenue.

Some random thoughts:

  • The dopamine hit from that first $8 sale felt way better than hitting $1k or $5k or $9k.
  • One-off sales are way easier than SaaS
  • Your product doesn't have to be perfect to make money
  • Developers/indie hackers are SO supportive.
  • Twitter drove ~$2950 worth of sales.
  • A successful side project is 10x better than any portfolio site I've ever made

I'm a few days away from 1 month since launch and it's been an incredible journey. So thankful for the indie hacker community (I've been on this ride for more than 4 years with various other failed projects).

I'm trying to get to $10k for the first month by doing one more big launch on product hunt today (https://www.producthunt.com/posts/vim-so). Would appreciate any support there :)

  1. 7

    wow very cool Kenneth! congrats on all the success! upvoted on ph!

    seems for sure quicker than saas! :)

    1. 3

      Thanks Marko! The work y'all are doing is a huge inspiration for me.

      Yeah it's been a good month but I expect sales to drop off sharply.

      I'd expect around $2k-5k for next month and maybe get back up to $6-7k+ within the year with some SEO work.

      Ultimately this is a stepping stone for me in my path to making a profitable SaaS. At the least it'll give me more financial freedom to pursue bigger ideas :)

      1. 2

        thank you! will be interesting to follow for sure as seems you have the right approach. launches are great for spikes and now hopefully you'll follow up with the more consistent handful of organic sales per day due to seo, content, word of mouth etc. good luck!

  2. 4

    Impressive! I like the product, I like the concept, I like the results.
    And the fact I'm NOT a vim user (I would make my changes and :wq! out ASAP. wq out, get it?) actually says highly of your product.
    Love the tweet about not giving up coding skills to create plain PDFs - so true. code for code!

  3. 4

    upvoted on PH, good luck man

  4. 3

    Congratulations on a successful launch.

    Can you share your plans for how to generate the next 50K in sales? More of the same or do you have some growth initiatives planned?

    As a side note, if someone wanted a similar product (exercise format) but for python, where would you recommend they go?

    1. 2

      Hey Nick!

      The next 50k in sales will mostly be from SEO i'm thinking. I'm starting to rank for a few valuable keywords and I'm planning to do some focused SEO content marketing on the site.

      If you wanted to build a thing like this for Python I'd recommend my next project, https://www.slip.so . You can see a preview of the lesson authoring tool (which uses a python example) here https://twitter.com/KennethCassel/status/1356578440015716352?s=20

      1. 1

        I’d like to learn and practice python. I have a membership at DataCamp. Anything else you would recommend?

  5. 2

    The guy from Fireship just published a video about Vim. Go hawk your wares on that video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-txKSRn0qeA

  6. 2

    The product looks great man! What drove you to build it?

  7. 2

    "I've been on this ride for more than 4 years with various other failed projects"

    This is the key here folks. Don't get too hung up on the whole "made 10K in 1st month". It is years of practice and not to mention that OP is a vim expert.

    Great job nonetheless but I wanted to add context in case other indiehackers are going crazy and like "Why can't I do this" ?

  8. 2

    very nice product kenneth, you create the terminal from scratch?

  9. 2

    Congrats !!
    I have the feeling that products to developers are very fast to be sold. If the dev feels that it'll help him to dev, he will buy right away. It's the same than selling marketing/sales products

    1. 3

      Thanks Sam! It's been a long journey to this point but hope this type of thing gives indie hackers that have been working for years some hope. It was 4 years before I made any significant money.

  10. 1

    congrats Kenneth! what an awesome achievement. Your landing page is awesome!!

  11. 1

    Congrats! That’s awesome! Would love to know how you got traffic to your site and made sales? Any pointers much appreciated 😊

  12. 1

    Hello sir congratulation sir you can tolk to me sir

  13. 1

    Upvoted on PH, love the idea. I'm a power user of vim, and I think this is exactly what people need as a more accessible alternative to something like vimtutor. Congrats on the successful launch!

  14. 1

    Where the rest of the 8k revenue come from?

  15. 1

    Upvoted! Keep killing it, Kenneth. Are you using a specific site or tool for your SEO research?

  16. 1

    Congratulations. That's really inspiring.

    How did you leverage Twitter to produce that result?

  17. 1

    Sorry came one day too late with the PH upvote 😱.

    Interested to see your numbers on the PH launch tho 🤙

  18. 1

    This is a really cool way to learn VIM... I've been looking for something as clear as this to get me started, but it always felt too complicated to setup/start and the video courses too boring/heavy.
    I got the "setup" (a few plugins I needed) done with the help of a friend and just needed an easy way to start learning. Your product falls right into place there, so thank you.
    Will join soon. Upvoted on ProductHunt... Good luck

  19. 1

    Awesome! Nice work ✅

  20. 1

    Kenneth, huge congratulations and great to see your 4 year journey start to pay off :)

    You have my upvote 🚀

  21. 1

    Congrats Kenneth! Great first month =)

  22. 1

    Upvoted on Product Hunt - thanks for sharing your story @kenneth_cassel! Given that learning vim is a hot SEO topic (and vim.so appears 3rd page for me on Google) how did you go about acquiring users?

    It looks like an awesome product, but my biggest hangup has always been getting people to see things I make, and I'd love to learn ways that others work this out.

  23. 1

    Congrats. It's great to see such progress. I've been registered here but never quite used it. I'm trying to get active and I hope to learn from you all so I can also lunch something successful

  24. 1

    Love following your progress on twitter, thanks again for sharing along the way!

    So that being said, I know you offer a lifetime product... do you have any plans to make something a little bit more recurring?

  25. 1

    Hi

    I visited the site but couldnt work out the first tutorial with the HJKL and there was no tips, support or problem solving , so consider capturing fails or people who don't complete the funnel and finding out why :) best luck

  26. 1

    Well done bro your persistence has earned you this. And #1 product of the day on PH. Slap that on the site, eh.

    All the best!

  27. 1

    Genuinely mind-blowing to do this in one month!

    This is amazing. The site looks great. Just shows it's about persistence. Well done Kenneth!

  28. 1

    Just a heads up. The Python code on your home page contains PEP8 violations.

  29. 1

    What did you use to build this , nice!

  30. 1

    awesome! how did you build your landing page if you dont mind me asking.

  31. 1

    Great initiative! This is super inspiring. 🌟

  32. 1

    Nice landing page. Which editor did you use?

  33. 1

    Cool idea and great website! Upvoted

  34. 1

    very nice, congrats!

    I particularly like the "Pay $25 once, own it forever" - I am also thinking of a one-off lifetime promotion for the idea I'm working on now and think it creates a really easy proposition for people.

  35. 1

    I love everything about this.

    Beautiful landing page, easy to understand value prop, social proof, etc.

    I'd encourage you to do some price architecture but other than that, great job!

  36. 1

    Wow. This is really inspiring. Hope it keeps on getting better for you.
    Curious to know how much profit did you make with 9K revenue. Also, what marketing channels are working out for you? Thanks!

  37. 1

    Very inspiring Kenneth.

    And looking forward to your new project, slip.so will be a huge success too.

  38. 1

    Congrats and so true that the $8 as a first sale is more exciting than anything else...because at the moment your product become real!

    And gave you your 200th PH vote :)

  39. 1

    Congrats Kenneth!

    Could you explain the reasoning behind one off purchase vs monthly subscription?

    1. 1

      It's easier to sell a one off purchase. Not sure if many people would subscribe to a vim course.

  40. 1

    Upvoted on PH! Congrats Kenneth!

  41. 1

    @kenneth_cassel Kudos on your product! I totally loved your website man! It's got the perfect color scheme and illustrations nicely placed!

    I saw that twitter was a big source of revenue in your post. Can you tell me any certain tactics that worked for you? I'm trying to build an audience on twitter for my own product ruttl as well, hope you can help me out on the same?

    Also, I'm curious to know - What did you use to build the site? Did you code it yourself or are you using any platform like wix?

    1. 2

      The only real strategy I had for twitter is to share what I'm working on. I've been doing the building in public thing since October and it's been a great community to be a part of.

      The frontend is React + Tailwind/TailwindUI

      1. 1

        That's great to hear man!

        And awesome, keep up the good work!

      2. 1

        I love how you used the features examples from TailwindUI. Didn’t even change the icons. I love the scrappiness.

        Note to self: Lesson (re)learned. I would have spent way too much time trying to make my stuff look different and lost sight of actually putting something out there.

  42. 1

    This comment was deleted 6 months ago.

  43. 2

    This comment was deleted 10 months ago.

    1. 3

      It took me 3 days from idea to first sale.

      Really it took 4 months + though because I used a ton of code from a previous project I worked on for 4 months. The vim course wouldn't have been possible without the previous projects code

      1. 2

        This comment was deleted 10 months ago.

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