Hi! I'm Gabriel and I'm a maker just like you. I struggled to find high quality advice that I could apply myself on the Internet. To help other makers avoid the same problem, I'm writing this post so we can learn and grow together.
In this post, I interviewed Danny Postma, who runs LandingFolio.com and many other side projects. They all complement his main product and add to his revenue streams. I also interview Tom Cafferkey who runs a remote jobs board for developers.
Today we have Danny Postma from Landingfolio.com with us. He built Landingfolio as a side project and turned it into a good income stream for himself. He has very creative ideas about how to make money online as a maker. And he has the results to prove it works. Let's hear it from him.
In 2015 I decided it was time to start my own side project. Working for clients is fun, but you are always working on something that is not yours.
I wanted my own product. Something I could be proud of and show to people. Great products are the ones that solve a problem. As a marketer and landing page designer, I had one big problem. There are no galleries for the best landing pages. And that's how Landingfolio was born.
In one weekend I hacked the site together with only HTML. Added a bunch of design examples and launched it on ProductHunt. This launch completely blew up, receiving 12,000 visitors to the site.
My mistake was that I didn't add any paid products to the site, so traffic eventually slowed down. I honestly didn't do much anymore with the site after that..
Well, 2 years after launching the site, I decided to take a quick look in Google Analytics. I then found out over 200 users a day visited my site. I was completely shocked by it, so I decided to figure out what happened.
I found out that the site ranked #1 for a lot of search queries containing "landing page". One of the most visited pages of the site was a blog post reviewing three landing page tools. They were Instapage, Leadpages and Unbounce.
After noticing that I decided to join Instapage affiliate program and add some of their links to the blog post. These affiliate programs offer you a whopping 33% lifetime revenue. Meaning that for every user I send to them, I would get $30 every month!
After a few months of having this program online, I earned $1000 a month. Now, I was backpacking for a year, so Instapage in a way, paid for my trip around the world. Not bad for one weekend of work.
Unfortunately, revenue has decreased a lot since last year. Instapage decided to change their complete business model. And sales declined to almost $0.
I've decided to stop relying on affiliate marketing. It's an amazing easy way to start generating revenue when you get traffic. But, you're 100% dependent on another company. In recent days with Amazon cutting their affiliate payouts, that is not something to rely on.
Over the last year or two, I've transitioned to selling my own products on Landingfolio. I wrote a book ($7000 revenue and growing) and created templates and UI Kits.
Last month I launched the new version of Landingfolio. This was when I started focusing on recurring revenue. To do so, I offer more content, extensive functions and free product downloads to paid users.
Recurring revenue is one of the best business models you can rely on. You know exactly what your revenue is going to be next month. The best part is that it's compounding. Every month new members sign up, and if you're doing well, most won't leave. This means that your revenue grows every month.
In September 2019 I decided it was time to take Landingfolio to the next level. No longer only for inspiration, but something bigger. For four days a week, including the weekends and evenings, I started learning how to program.
I decided to create Landingfolio using Nuxt. A framework for Vue.js. I expected a way bigger learning curve, but Vue is an amazing library to learn. Especially when you don't have that much background with programming.
Six months and over 500 hours later the site was finally finished. I've had to push a LOT of features to the "later" section.
Currently Landingfolio gets around 1000 visitors per day. Revenue is increasing since the introduction of the membership model. On average, I get a new member every day paying $9 a month. The current MRR is $270 since the launch on the 2nd of April 2020.
I would have added more templates I made and built a bigger email list. When I first started, there wasn’t a lot of competition but now there is.
“The best time to start is last year”– Seth Godin
I'm still working hard on finding the perfect product market fit. I'm in a difficult market. Designers come for inspiration and aren't that much in a buyer's mood. They're busy working on their designs and don't want distraction. So, for the next few months I'll keep on launching new products and see which ones stick.
We have Tom from EmployRemotely.com. His product helps developers to find remote jobs anywhere. We have his flash pitch here. And we hope successful makers will read and reach out to provide their advice for Tom.
✋ \*\Profitable makers, got advice for Tom? Reply with your advice.\\*It’ll go in the next reddit post and newsletter – help a maker out, get visibility.
I’m making a 100% remote working jobs board and newsletter. They target developers only.
Job boards often cater to a vast array of professions. That makes it difficult for a software developer like myself. The sheer amount of professions make it hard to filter out relevant job openings. I found that it took unnecessary effort to discover jobs which used technologies I knew. Or jobs ones with technologies I am interested in learning, or had past experience in using.
We’re currently trying to increase our newsletter subscriber count. Making amends to the website to drive the amount of subscribers up where we can get sponsors. As well as this we are working on a Stripe integration to begin charging for job postings.
We have currently not started monetizing the service so we are not making any revenue. We plan to do so soon. We currently have over 210 subscribers and 20,000 page views in the last month.
Our biggest challenge so far is marketing. As a developer, I don’t have much experience in marketing a product and this is a huge learning curve for me.
We have tried various paid ad channels. The best results come from manual outreach to individuals on Twitter. But finding time and content to put out on social accounts is difficult to do.
Thank you so much for reading this! I hope it helps other entrepreneurs who are starting out, or struggling to make more revenue.
For the wantrepreneurs, "the best time was last year". So start today with an MVP!
For entrepreneurs already making money, consider finding other income streams. You'll never know until you try. Look beneath your Google Analytics data. You might find some interesting opportunities.
If you enjoyed it, I would appreciate it if you checked out my newsletter for makers. I write a weekly email full of interviews like this. They all come with actionable advice you can apply. 😊