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52 Comments

I launched 6 products in the last 6 months and made $15k+. AMA!

Hey fellow IndieHackers!

I've spent the last 6 months building and launch 6 products. I started this challenge because I needed a change. I wanted to learn faster than the traditional "focus on one product for a few years".

During these months, I tried to shift my focus from building to marketing. My goal wasn't to get rich but to face reality as quickly as possible. See what works, what doesn't. The time constraint was super short so I tried to keep the building time as small as possible. That way, I had some time to sell, talk to my customers, and even iterate on their feedback!

I also tried to ship different kind of products:

That was super fun and kind of stressful, but I liked it so much! I also tried to buildinpublic as much as I could on my Twitter to share all my learning along the way. I'm really glad to see how much I learned from it and from the community

Thanks to the IH team for inviting me to do this AMA! Feel free to shoot any questions I'll be happy to answer :)

  1. 4

    Thank you for sharing. A few questions

    Which of your products helped you reach 15k because I see most are free
    What's next for you? Build more products or focus on the 6

    1. 1

      In fact IdeaHunt is the only that's free :) RemoteFR is free to use but I (try to) charge company for new postings!

      The $15k came mostly from UserBooster and SpreadTheWorld tho.

      Next: focus on growth! I'll maybe launch a few more (i still have some ideas) but on a slower pace.

  2. 3

    Hi Xavier!, first of all, congrats!!, this is really inspiring :), do you build your products from scratch? or you are always using like landing page generators or even creating wep apps with nocode tools?, It's quite confusing for me to decide, I know I'll spend bunch of time trying to build my ideas from scratch but I don't know how easy will be to migrate from a nocode tool to other stack (in case the idea works).

    1. 2

      Don't build anything from scratch!

      Use nocode tools, librairies, templates, frameworks.

      Your goal is to face your customers as soon as possible!

      1. 1

        What are some of the tools you used to make these?

        1. 1
          • Carrd for landing pages
          • Aritable as database
          • Gumroad or Flurly for the payments
          • Mailchimp for the mailing

          I also use Bubble for IdeaHunt

  3. 2

    Hi, good job! Is it hard to build a SaaS? I think you've done it for only 1 month(which is amazing by the way :>). I'm a beginner and want to build SaaS project, do you have some advice or roadmaps for me to follow? Thank!

    1. 1

      Well, it's not necessarily hard, it pretty much depends on how complex is the solution you want to build.

      If you can start with some no-code or low-code app. It's way easier and faster to build.
      The hardest part in a SaaS business is the growth!

  4. 2

    Hi Xavier,

    I’m building in public http://TwitterStats.app, an alternative to Twitter analytics - and more, for example engagements per hour analysis, to know what is this best time to tweet for your account.

    At this moment http://TwitterStats.app is in public beta and free of charge. Other features are going to be available soon.

    I had some initial traction the week I've launched and got about 67 new users, but then it went on a slow pace, onboarding like 6 customers a week.

    Unfortunately I don't have enough network, fortunately I know what I don't have 😊

    What did you do to increase visibility of your business ?

    1. 1

      My main source of traffic are:

      • my twitter account
      • Online communities (post valuable content there).

      I tried several things as well, but the outcome was meh:

      • Newsletter ads
      • Fb & google ads
      • PR
      • SEO (needs more time)
      1. 1

        Thank you for information.

  5. 2

    I've reviewed them all. They're pretty. My favorites are "spreadtheworld" and "userbooster.

    1. 1

      Thanks 😊
      Userbooster is my favorite as well (so far!)

  6. 2

    Dude, thank you for sharing and congratulations on your success. Definitely made my day because similar to you I am a developer by trade . Always trying to build products with features first without marketing or validating ideas. Reading success stories like yours really motivated me to keep going.

    Would love to get some insight as to how you grow your Twitter? like who to follow, reply to twit ratio that sort of stuff. I am struggling in this department.

    1. 3

      To grow your twitter account:

      • Be consistent and show up everyday
      • Participate! Find the influencers in your niche and bring value in their comments
      • Share your story/learnings

      Ps: your Twitter account is restricted!

      1. 1

        Thanks for the tips. Just fixed my Twitter btw ;)

  7. 2

    You mentioned you Built In Public, especially on Twitter. Can you share tips for doing so - e.g. what kind of content, how frequently to post, etc?

    I’m working on a number of projects and have long considered building in public to get my Twitter follower count up and get customers. Do you recommend it?

    1. 1

      Building in Public is about sharing openly what works, what doesn't and also some metrics ona regular basis.
      I shared my learnings along the way and tried to share metrics monthly.

      That's a super efficient way to build an audience for sure. Just beware of copycats!

  8. 2

    What was your most successful product of the six?

    However you measure success...

    1. 1

      It's Userbooster.

      Not sure if it has more revenues than Spreadtheworld (it's kind of equal i think) but it got more traction. Probably because it's based on Notion.

      PipeSocial has quite a great potential as well, but it's too soon to say!

  9. 2

    What are your ideas in terms of growth?

    1. 1

      That's a tough question 🙂

      • For the info products i think i can create some synergy between them (and M4M). So joined marketing efforts and double down on content creation (for SEO and communities)

      • For PipeSocial it will be focused on B2B strategy, so probably more about cold outreach (emails & social media)

      I don't know for remoteFR yet.

      Oh, and I'll also continue to grow my Twitter account!

  10. 2

    That's awesome you built different types of products. How did you choose what 'categories' of products you wanted to build? Which category did you prefer working on?

    1. 2

      I discovered nocode while starting the challenge. My mind exploded when I saw that @dvassallo was making $100k+ with a ebook and a video.

      I wanted to try it out, that's why I started with nocode.

      But with the time going i wanted to try a SaaS, that's why I shipped Pipesocial even tho it was probably a bad move (way too complex for a one month thing!)

      My last project nis a community because i wanted to create mine and I didn't find any marketing oriented community for makers!

      Which one do i prefer?

      As a developer I like SaaS, you never stop building and revenues are much less volatile than with Info products.
      I also like communities, talking with people and learning with them is really something i love to do!

  11. 2

    Congrats!
    And shout out for Marketing4Makers - so far, subscribed and loving it!

    1. 2

      Thanks for being one of the first M4M member John!

  12. 2

    Are you builiding more startups?

    1. 1

      I don't know yet. I still have some ideas but I want to focus more on growth now

  13. 2

    That's pretty cool! I would love to hear about what kind of marketing strategies you used for each of these.

    1. 1

      My main marketing strategy was to leverage existing communities to get traffic & exposure (I used SpreadTheWorld & Userbooster for that :D). Twitter is also a very source of traffic for me!

      I tried many others things:

      • I created some blogs for 2 projects
      • I tried paids ads as well for STW and RemoteFR
      • I use HARO to get PR

      PipeSocial is quite differente tho, as it's more B2B I use cold DM's and emailing to get the first customers

      1. 2

        haha, that's kinda meta for the first two, but it totally makes sense. Did you give yourself a specific time and budget for each?

        1. 1

          No specific budget, time was pretty much limited by the challenge itself 😊

          1. 2

            That's pretty inspiring. And I also think it's awesome of how you sort of started with the simplest first, basically a spreadsheet. And then focused on slightly more complicated ones after.
            For the jobboard, did you create a code that searches for the available job posts? Or how did you get the job posts info? Since I would guess going directly to the companies might be a bit more time consuming and less fruitful.

            1. 1

              Yes i create some JS scripts on the side that populate the job board automatically and post the offer on Twitter as well

              1. 2

                Does that mean that the script searches through other job sites? Or does is search through individual companies' listsings? (I don't kwow much coding, but, just wondering.)

                  1. 2

                    That's pretty cool. Well, congrats on your succes! :D

                  2. 1

                    Yea, If I was able to directly use Gumroad, it would be because of the VAT integrations and such. Currently have my digital assets on Fastspring. But I haven't ran my marketing campaigns yet.
                    I'll probably get in touch with the founder to learn more about it. If they integrate with Payoneer, I think it will be a game changer for a lot of people.

                  3. 1

                    Oh, one thing I wanted to ask. I noticed you are using Flurly as method of payment. Do you mind sharing a bit about it?
                    I think it could be an interesting option for those that don't have direct access to paypal/stripe.

                    1. 1

                      Flurly is a great alternative to gumroad. It's cheaper (but it doesn't come with all Gumroad's features).
                      I like the fact that's it's made by a IH and you can speaker to the founder super easily!

                1. 1

                  This comment was deleted 5 months ago.

  14. 2

    Thank you for doing this! I have several questions:

    • How do find your idea?
    • How do you validate them in the early stage?
    1. 1

      I made a blog post about it: https://blog.spreadtheworld.net/posts/how-to-find-ideas-validate-them/

      TL;DR:

      • Find ideas from your day to day life: scratch your own itches, spend some time in communities to find recurring pains
      • I validate them by talking with a bunch of targeted people. If they seems interested I try to ship something as fast as I can and ask them to pre-order.
  15. 1

    How did you validate these ideas so quickly? Or was it more of a rapid fire, hope something sticks mentality?

    1. 1

      I wrote a blog post about it: https://blog.spreadtheworld.net/posts/how-to-find-ideas-validate-them/

      It was rapid fire for sure. When you ship something in a few weeks there is no need to spend days on validating. Just talk to people, see if there is some need/pain/interest and build it as fast as you can to show them.

  16. 1

    These are great and thanks for sharing! Only one small thing I'd note is that on your spreadtheword.net I think the 400+ initially comes across as an error 404 page, even though after second glance it obviously isn't. Just some friendly critique...

    1. 1

      Oh you mean that the website looks like a 404 error page?

      Never thought of it! I wanted to redesign it, I'll take this into account 😊

  17. 1

    Hey, nice to see you again!
    I've just checked UserBooster on which you've built Marketing4Makers. Most of the info for my project is stored in Notion too, and I was thinking how to create a convenient user portal. I have 1 page available to all and 5 pages for registered members.
    Is it possible to build such user portal with UserBooster?

    1. 2

      Oh, I think you missunderstood something :)

      M4M is built with Circle, which is a SaaS solution to create a community portal.
      UserBooster is a Notion dashboard to help founders getting early traction.

      You can totally have public & private pages with Circle yes. If it's only 6 pages you should maybe consider some no-code solution like Bubble or Webflow. It'll be cheaper and easier to use!

      1. 1

        I will check it out, thanks!

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