Growth February 18, 2020

How would you grow this?

Team Indie Hackers @TeamIH

This is an opportunity to get and give help in growing (your) indie hacker products.

Here's what you need to do:

  • Post a link to a project and provide a few words of what you have been doing to grow your product. It would be helpful to include challenges you've had and what has or hasn't worked.
  • Because this community is about giving back too, please comment on someone else's post with support and ideas.

Over to you!

  1. 4

    https://helloclouders.com - The easiest way to learn AWS with bite-sized content and daily questions

    • Adding more subscribers has been a challenge

    If anyone needs help with AWS implementation/migration, I can help and try to give back to community.

    1. 5

      I would:

      👉 define who is your perfect reader: someone who is just starting out with AWS and it's non-technical/technical? Or someone who is experienced and looking for optimizations to their existing stack? Without knowing it, you won't be able to come up with a clear SEO/content marketing strategy. Once I/you have this nailed down, then:

      👉 optimize landing page: since most of the leads are cold traffic, I want to quickly convert them to subscribers. Once I have LP sorted, then:

      👉 SEO: go all-in with AWS-related error/how-to/fix message articles (500-700 word each max), a technique I described in my #4 episode of Growth Examples

      👉 free guides/ebook: once I have 10-15 how-tos, reuse it and convert it to a free resource-mega-guide/ebook and post to few communities like HackerNews and Reddit under relevant subreddit

      👉 how-to guides: also, reuse this content and post short guides at dev.to community since that's where devs hang out

      Shameless plug:
      I run a newsletter where I share how I would grow IndieHackers projects like yours. You can read this and other growth ideas by subscribing at growthexamples.com

      1. 1

        It didn't work on my regular chrome profile, perhaps due to adblockers. No error was on a page – just stuck "submitting..." label. You should address it, I am certain that a lot of people use adblockers and stuff like that, this will be an obstacle on the path to conversion.

    2. 2

      I just subscribed to this. I feel like if you could provide some examples of what would be sent in the newsletter. I was doubtful if it would be useful or not.

    3. 2

      Put some bitesize samples of the content on an Instagram account.

    4. 1

      I just just got a couple AWS certs and I wish I had found an app like duo lingo or solo learn where it is just a 1 minute read immediately followed by a question. That way I could study even just waiting in line at the grocery store.

      To get a little more on topic, I found the courses I used through google and you tube search. One of the first times in my life I ever bought something from a google search ad.

    5. 1

      I like the space (learning, course) and the model you chose (paid newsletter kind of) but IDK about AWS. Yes AWS is super powerful but super expensive too. Like GCloud and Azure. You get ease of use and pay 100-1000x the price of a cheap VPS at Vultr. Latter actually needs learning resources but AWS? Just check the AWS docs and you re good to go or not?

      1. 1

        AWS is really well documented. The courses I studied helped a lot with balancing the amount of studying needed to pass the exams but not get too covered up in white papers an FAQs.

        1. 1

          pass the exams

          ???
          who is doing exams in aws?

    6. 1

      Why not try content marketing? Create a free blog where you write about AWS, then prompt people to subscribe to get more.

      1. 1

        I found a guy who put small YouTube tutorials and then ended up buying his full course.

  2. 3

    https://incubatorlist.com - A curated list of 270+ startup incubators and accelerators

    Some companies have already contacted to post ads & make affiliates but couldn't still decide whether I should do it now or later when I grew my audience. What do you think? How can I grow this?

    By the way, I've been trying to improve SEO for a while. I have recently learned a lot about SEO, which I had ignored so far. If anyone needs a hand on SEO, I can definitely help you.

  3. 3

    https://sudoapps.com - Creating developer tools centered around security and scalability. Starting out with a monitor for open source libraries.

    • Getting initial users to register and test the service out has been a challenge. I have tried posting in various community forums (IndieHackers, Reddit, etc..). This has worked to drive a little traffic but I haven't gotten much engagement to improve the service or add additional features.
    • I also want to learn what existing services (Heroku, Netlify, Firebase, etc.) indie hackers have been using to build their projects and what might be missing or can be made better.
    1. 4

      I would:

      👉 long-term goal: establish myself as an authority in security and scalability. I want to be an expert in this field so investing heavily in content marketing.

      👉 prepare a whitepaper: like "A state of security of open-source projects in 2019", this would do well on HackerNews

      👉 narrow down the efforts around one platform first, something that is trendy now like Render.com

      👉 interviews with people around security and scalability, share them as articles/best practices/guides

      👉 guest-blogging/guest-podcasting: once I am not anymore Mr. Unknown, get invited to podcasts, sharing the knowledge and findings I've got

      👉 open source/provide for free few small tools like the one you are building now, give away for free and drive its userbase to your main product you will develop in the future. This will further help you to establish yourself as a known person in this field and gain you a nice following. (You didn't share much here but I understand you don't want to end up with one tool only).

      Hope that helps :)

      1. 2

        Thanks for the feedback! I am looking to try some content marketing soon. The current tool is free and definitely want to add more in the future.

    2. 1

      This sounds interesting, especially the security bit. I have a server on digital ocean, and it would be useful having a tool to secure new servers.

      1. 1

        Definitely want to look into server security eventually!

  4. 3

    https://songrender.com

    I've been mostly posting on related subreddits and a little bit of cold outreach to blogs. I also have a free tier where you can render watermarked videos — I had a spike in traffic this weekend that I think was related to that (people searched for the literal term "song render"), but I can't be sure.

    1. 2

      Lovely LP!

      I would:

      👉 reach out to labels on YouTube and all the channels that feature playlists, anything from signles to long sets (picking channels music genres that have high viewership), get them a year highest plan with my branding on and show them how easy it is and how my software speeds up their work.

      👉 put templates so that makers can quickly come up with their music videos

      👉 add something like "see how will that look/sound" where a person can copy/paste a link of any YouTube video to quickly show them the possibilities + ask them for sign up if they want to download the ready clip for free.

      Gosh, I have so many ideas to take this to the next level that I should simply write about it at GrowthExamples ! FIRE 🔥 🔥 🔥

      1. 1

        Thank you so much! I saw your reply on Twitter and opened my DMs, so feel free to reach out if you want to chat.

    2. 1

      Interesting project! I don't have any songs, but looking good!

      1. 1

        Thanks!

    3. 1

      @jakelazaroff this is a super cool idea + great design, nice job! I don't know that much about this space, but it seems like if you could get a few music makers that have a decent sized social audience to use your tool and share what they make with it that would be a huge win 🤷🏻‍♂️

      1. 1

        Thank you! That's a good idea, I've thought of running ads on Instagram but I hadn't considered promotion via influencers.

    4. 1

      This is so sick. I just spent the last ten minutes playing around with that little demo on your landing page.

      I'm sure you've thought of this, but I would reach out to Youtube channels who post mixes regularly. This is certainly a lot more interesting than the usual static image on those videos, and you could try and get some attentions and shoutouts there.

      1. 1

        Thank you, that's awesome! You have a good point — I could specifically seek out channels that have been uploading static images.

  5. 1

    https://waydev.co - Git analytics platform for engineering managers

    • Adding the enterprise part to our business

    I need help with enterprise go-to-market strategies.

  6. 1

    https://wada.io/ - Interactive human history. (Example - https://wada.io/timeline?story=Major_Events_of_American_Revolution ). Wikipedia like experience to traverse events and people on a map.

    I tried to contact historical organizations - no luck until now
    History youtubers -
    History majors - didn't try yet
    History podcasters - didn't try yet
    News organizations - maybe they can use as an interactive story telling device (didn't try yet )

    These are for content creation. But still haven't figured how can I grow even if I have this content. How would you grow this?

  7. 1

    ==============================

    https://www.keepsolid.com/goals/ - Goals Management App that helps organize all activities in one place and reach goals with your team effectively.

    👉 We tried google ppc, seo, posting on quora, linkedin outreach, but all of this, didn't give us much result. The next that we are going to try is to grow the productivity community on facebook and create content that could help small teams increase productivity. Appreciate for any feedback or suggestions.

  8. 1

    Edit**
    My post was too long and I decided to make it into its own topic about how to improve Growth here:

    https://www.indiehackers.com/post/building-a-community-to-improve-the-scoring-system-in-boxing-2d9846c369

  9. 1

    https://userstoryy.bubbleapps.io/ - We help you write amazing User Stories by showing you top-notch examples

    It's in it's infancy, but I'd be interested in hearing any strategies for growing this once I have it more polished. At the moment I believe I could target Junior tech professionals themselves, as opposed to the companies they work for (unless i significantly expand the scope to cater for the B2B market)

  10. 1

    https://docs2book.com - Distribute your Googld Documents in a whole new way.

    Perfect for resume sharing and book authors to send e-book on a nice page instead of sending through pdf. Payment and Email integration to collect money or email from your viewers to read the original content.

  11. 1

    https://elastictable.com - A modern alternative to Airtable.

  12. 1

    https://TasteJury.com
    Voting boards for best places to get local dishes. Have 5 cities launched, 100+ signups, but having trouble getting more traffic. Any ideas?

    1. 1

      Send physical placards to the restaurants that sign up, that they can display in store.

  13. 1

    https://archbee.io - Team wiki, knowledge base & notes app for tech people.

    Been slowly growing from Quora answers and a bit of SEO.

    @unstoppable

  14. 1

    https://www.joblife.co.za - Job search engine and career community.

    • Finding an easily repeatable growth strategy has been challenging.

    What I've done so far:

    • Grown a twitter following
    • Enabled daily job email alerts
    • Enabled web push alerts ( from time to time I send out a message )
  15. 1

    https://brainy.af — A spaced repetition based flashcard app that helps you learn more efficiently. (A better, more usable Anki on the web).

    • Reached out to potential users on Reddit, but retaining them has been a challenge.
  16. 1

    https://www.referr.it - site gathering referral links and share it with other users

    Unfortunately, I don't know how to increase user traffic on this site to have more referral links on the platform. I would appreciate any feedback from You.

  17. 1

    http://ax-workflow.com - Software for rapid workflow automation. If you are still using spreadsheets and email to manage your work, use Ax to automate it fast!

    • Gettings traction - Struggling to find first clients.

    My idea was to offer free consulting services for the first clients. I would automate their workflows for free in return for the software subscription.
    Currently, I'm trying to find clients on Reddit, but with no luck so far.

  18. 1

    https://awesomeorgs.com - the easiest way for communities to find sponsorships

    thanks to indiehackers, I have iterated on the value prop and messaging. Would love to learn who this can help

  19. 1

    https://www.dekudeals.com/ - Deal alerts for Nintendo Switch games and accessories

    I'm currently focused on some low hanging SEO fruit (writing some basic articles that answer common questions folks have about buying Nintendo Switch games and accessories, and other copy improvements throughout the site).

  20. 1

    https://diffhub.com - no code tool that makes it really easy to create automated tests for your website and spot the bugs ahead of your users.

    Getting more users to try it out is a challenge. So far posting stuff on Reddit, IH & Twitter updates drove some traffic and got a couple of signups. I tried to experiment with Google/FB ads but ran out of ads budget with no conversions.

    1. 2

      Looking good.

      Designed for you, the non-Engineer.

      This is offputting in my opinion. It means it's not designed for me, because I am engineer. Unless you only care about non-engineers, maybe change it...

  21. 1

    https://soundportals.live/ - Empowering creatives to share their (soundscape/ambiance) art, while simultaneously creating a community and platform to help you work or relax!

    • Getting creators has been a challenge.
  22. 1

    https://phonic.ai - Surveys that you can answer with your voice instead of your keyboard.

    Challenges: Social media and content marketing - we haven't seen enough traction to invest the time into these channels!

    Successes: Our audio tech - tonal+text analysis (instead of just text) absolutely turbocharges sentiment and emotion models!

    1. 1

      could you think about being an add-on for traditional survey apps? or maybe a typeform integration?
      One thing you can add is better results becaused your receipients are less likely to be bots

    2. 1

      This is at the same time (1) amazing and (2) useless. 1 if in an ecosystem a la Alexa, 2 if on mobile/desktop. How do you make 1 happen, how do you get into Alexa and how do you get leads for queries on Alexa?

      Edit: just saw the other q which is basically the same

    3. 1

      Does this integrate with Alexa, Google, or Siri? You might be able to gain an initial audience on those platforms.

      1. 1

        Not at the moment - the current surveys are audio responses to text prompts, rather than a fully audio conversation. I wonder how deployment of purely audio surveys (or chatbots) would work. Currently it's the same as a regular survey, clicking a link, usually in email.

        1. 1

          Alexa and Google allow notifications that you could send to your users to let them know a new survey is available.

  23. 1

    https://www.colorsandfonts.com

    Colors & Fonts is a curated library of colors, fonts and resources for web developers & digital designers.
    You can also learn how to apply colors through a design system by subscribing to the newsletter sent every 2
    weeks.

    Between 250 and 400 users daily. ( no paid marketing ) since april 2019.

    +- 400 subscriber in 1 and /5 half month.

    1. 1

      the page is beautiful. my first thought you have to break down use cases and create separate web entities. If I look for color palettes I look for color palettes NOT fonts NOT gradients. The thing is that you find in each field powerful contenders. Eg https://coolors.co/ is amazing because of many good features, there even libs to ease the tool chain and so on.

      Same with gradients and fonts. If you want to create traffic synergies just backlink all your props.

      Re growth: Ask yourself what to grow? Traffic, reach? Even if you get big, ads are utterly broken, you'll never make any money. Newsletter? Maybe but again how to monetize + a fucked up delivery channel because of spam filters.

      => sell courses on Color Theory and stuff like understanding palettes, creating palettes, choosing palettes etc. Or go even more niche: Color Theory for Coders. problem with this idea => you are not solving a real pain

      However, If you sell a course of 100+ you might not need any website anymore just perf marketing

      1. 1

        Hey Cass the reason for having many tools is because the early users loved it. They were liking the fact that they don't have to navigate somewhere else and so on.

        Ads? No worries, I can't stand them at all. They brake the UX
        I used to have and made 78€ in 3 months...

        Actually the newsletter is doing amazing 30% opens and 5% clicks through.

        Is just twice a month... and stsrtups are interested on sponsoring. I had quiet a few reaching out.

  24. 1

    TribePulse.com - the internal discussion forum for teams that want to be more productive.

    Have started being active on Twitter and content marketing but seeing limited success

    1. 2

      1-on-1 sales for sure, with demos and concierge onboarding. This isn't a product that's going to do a great job selling itself with just a website. It's a huge investment, as it requires multiple team members on board in order to be useful, plus it requires changing existing habits of using GDocs, Notion, Slack, email, etc., so you're going to need to be persuasive. So yeah, network with founders, be genuinely helpful to them when you can, and then ask them if they'll demo your product.

      1. 1

        Thanks for the insight Courtland - love the IH podcast 😊

        Always had a feeling a more high-touch model was the answer but my lazy self kept holding out for a more scalable growth channel. Maybe I just need to take the plunge!

  25. 1

    https://habitmon.com/
    Habit building chat assistant that helps people build habits incrementally.

    Just launched. My plan to grow this is to be more active on twitter, and write some articles related to chatbots and habits.

    1. 1

      Use advice and habits that the likes of James Clear talks about and share it in action on your app, perhaps images on Twitter and Instagram.

  26. 1

    https://every-mon.com

    After evaluating different marketing channels, SEO, Content, Paid ads, we've abandoned marketing as we lack the time and budget to do it properly and are focusing entirely on direct sales as that's my background and expertise.

    1. 1

      It took me a while to realize it's about the email alerts.