11
26 Comments

Launched a learning website and got 4000 upvotes and a lot of feedback on Reddit. What next?

My primary motivation for building https://reallyconfused.co/ was four years ago as I was learning to code, I was frustrated about my lack of clarity about where to go and whom to learn from. With overwhelming career choices within tech and everchanging programming languages and frameworks, the first few months were painfully hard for me.

Six months ago I decided to revisit this problem again and went to learnprogramming to talk with folks to see if they still faced this problem and they very much did. To solve this, I decided to build a web-app to curate and share learning roadmaps where people who are new to coding can have more clarity regarding how to go about building their tech career and hopefully not face the problems which I did.

I managed to get over 50 learning roadmaps on a variety of careers and programming languages which I gathered from my friends, network and the internet and it's only increasing by the day! If you want to give back to the community, feel free to build your own roadmap and share your journey with the people starting out! I'd love your feedback and your criticism to know how I could make this better.

Launched https://reallyconfused.co/ on r/learnprogramming it became the top post of the week and it was received well by the community where it got 4000 upvotes and 150,000 page-views which was great. The comments I got was very warm and had a lot of feedback. Where do I take the product from here and how do I monetize it?

  1. 4

    I like the concept. There's a lot of potential. Transformation always sells. You're essentially selling transformation from 0 to being a (junior) coder. There's unlimited potential in that.

    But what I think is easy to get wrong is that more resources is better. I think there should be more guidance and a bite-sized approach. People get scared and frustrated when they see the road ahead is so long and they need to through hundreds of resources.

    For example: https://reallyconfused.co/roadmap?roadmap=250 has a lot of great resources. But do I feel scared when I see that I need to go through that whole list? Hell yes. The other thing is, if the roadmap tells me to learn, say, "JavaScript". How do I know what should I learn? When is the point that I have learnt enough "JavaScript"? Again, people need guidance and handholding so that they know to learn the right things and in the right order.

    Two approaches that I think have nailed it are https://teamtreehouse.com/ and https://dataquest.io/ - you will certainly not be a professional when completing any of the degrees here but you will have started. And they only feed you what you need to know at any given time.

    Not trying to be overly critical here. As said, I think there is HUGE potential (and you have seen it yourself via the numbers). But guiding the customer through the transformation while holding their hand is key here I think.

    1. 1

      Thank you for your reply. A lot of great ideas here that I'll be exploring. The primary problem is that I gotta figure out a way in which I can monetize this and use the traffic of the launch to get some customers.

      Since I'm only a person of one, I don't think adding content is gonna be scalable. Besides, you already have an open-source variant called https://roadmap.sh/ which provides one fundamental roadmap which is not what I'm aiming for.

      One idea I was experimenting with was helping people visualize their roadmap. Like I take their interests and help them figure out a career and plan out a roadmap which would help them get to a career of their choice. What do you think about that?

      1. 1

        From my viewpoint roadmap.sh has a bit of the same problem. Take https://roadmap.sh/frontend for example. It's a little bit more step by step. But still I wouldn't know when I would be ready to take the next step.

        I think from your site this is a good example of a well laid out structure: https://reallyconfused.co/roadmap?roadmap=766 Each step is paired with 1-3 courses to take. After you've done those, you know you should be ready for the next step. So I'd concentrate on curating roadmaps like these more.

        But this is just my opinion. Sample size is 1. Maybe others don't feel my pain :)

        One idea I was experimenting with was helping people visualize their roadmap. Like I take their interests and help them figure out a career and plan out a roadmap which would help them get to a career of their choice.

        I think this is an excellent idea. Transformation to a new career is probably what most of the customers would be looking for anyway.

        1. 1

          Yup, I'm kinda stuck on curating more roadmaps because it's hard to create content as a one man team so I'm exploring potential revenue models now. For example, pursuing the transformation to new career feature is what I'm focusing on now and the fact that the initial Reddit traffic launch is not helping. So ideally I'd need to start focusing on SEO too. Long journey, thanks for your inputs.

  2. 2

    I actually think this is a good application and a great idea. When I first read that you posted to Reddit, I wondered how you did it without getting banned! I hate Reddit because everyone seems extremely weird and uptight. If you mention anything about a premium service, you get banned from the group. So I guess, on Reddit, its illegal to make money, lol.

    Anyway, here's my 2 cents:

    This is where you went wrong:

    "You can find the platform here and everything is entirely free - https://reallyconfused.co"

    How do you ever go back from this? Once you offer everything for free, people get pissed when you start charging them. Of course, you can offer premium services, but will people purchase them? If they feel like they get all the value they need from the free roadmaps, why would they ever purchase access?

    The freemium model has already been done, and it sucks. Look at Twitter. They can't make money to save their lives, yet they have millions (if not billions) of active users. Sure, Jack is a billionaire, but Twitter does not actually make money.

    Another example is Indie Hackers. How can it be monetized? I don't think it can. Again, this is just my opinion. You should have started off with a paid plan and free trial. Of course, you would not have been able to post it to Reddit, and you would not have gotten 4K upvotes. Its a chicken and egg problem.

    Good luck, it is pretty cool!

    1. 1

      Yeah, I got my post deleted from one subreddit because of that. I hate the mods there. It was at least 50k page-views and the people would've found it valuable too. Crazy stuff because even a user asked "Why was this deleted". So the thing is I ended up getting 150k page-views just because of the fact that it was free. No way I would've gotten this exposure without it. I was pretty confident that once releasing this, I can add additional features on top of the existing foundations.

      Right now, the model I'm going to for is - give me the list of your interest, I will help you find your place within the wide-array of CS careers and make a roadmap for you and you pay me for that. Haven't validated this yet. What do you think?

      1. 1

        I like the idea of curated content, however, I think you are on to something with allowing folks to post various roadmaps. It just hit me that you have 2 main personas; 1) the people posting roadmaps; and 2) the people consuming roadmaps. Group number 1 seems like the group to target for monetization.

        Group number 1 is presumably comprised of users who have dev experience. If these users actually took the time to post a roadmap, they may also be users who have side businesses (or core businesses) teaching people (I actually am building my AWS Cloud and Angular coaching business). I would potentially PAY to list various roadmaps that were promoted via your platform, if I could drive users of the roadmap to my Udemy courses, tutorials, blog posts, etc.

        Think about all the tech instructors/teachers on Udemy, Twitter, YouTube, etc. That's the market for monetization. They would pay to list premium roadmaps which would help them grow their own teaching/coaching businesses.

        Matt

        1. 1

          I've definitely brainstormed this idea. So since you're a creator, how much page-views do you think you'd want from listing your roadmap that you'd be incentivized to pay for it?

          I guess SEO would be the best way to get organic traffic if I'm going to move ahead with this particular model.

          1. 1

            My interest was initially piqued when I saw how much traction you received on Reddit. If you go with this model, you can keep posting various updates and resources to Reddit without being penalized, as the service would be free for learners.

            If I could get a couple hundred eyes on my stuff per day, I would definitely be interested.

            1. 1

              Would you like to add your Angular as well as AWS learning roadmap to the website? I can place you on top of the respective sections. I just launched this on another subreddit and got more exposure.

              If you got 100 views per day on your affiliate link, would you be willing to pay $10 per month for hosting it there?

              https://www.reddit.com/r/learnpython/comments/m1qeb6/i_made_a_website_with_12_career_roadmaps_you_can/

              1. 1

                I'd be willing to do that. It will take me a few days to put the roadmaps together (in the middle of a feature launch).

                If I can get the ~100 views per day minimum, I would pay $10 per month.

                BTW, that was a great post on Reddit. I think you're on to something!

                1. 1

                  That's amazing news! You can put it for free till you feel like you're getting value for the roadmaps that you built. I can help you with the releases and roadmap positioning and any affiliate links you might wanna attach.

                  Additionally, what's the best way to find people in the coaching business? Because the more roadmaps that I have, the more eyes I can get on the website.

                  Is there an email I can reach you by?

                  1. 1

                    No problem. Let's keep in touch. You can reach me at matt @ adonoustech .io.

                    I have a ton of coaches in my network, but not tech coaches. You might consider opening it up to all types of coaches (there are a lot of them out there).

                    Just a thought.

                    1. 1

                      Definitely. If the resources are available I'm going to open this up. Additionally, I've been working on the SEO too so that I could capture that traffic. Dropped you an email. Thanks.

  3. 2

    Create a mentorship program. A programming veteran (e.g. Data Scientist) can offer his time, e.g. 1 hour. A person who is interested can pay the veteran for his/her time (whatever $20 or so). The veteran's job would be to resolve the confusion the beginner has. Like answering super fundamental questions.

    1. 1

      I was thinking along the same lines too. Pay me $20, I will take your interests and build you a personalized roadmap. This does two things, the roadmaps become content on my website and I also get paid for it. In time, the former becomes very very valuable. Do you think there's a market for this?

    2. 1

      How is that any different from a tutoring site like Wyzant?

      1. 1

        How should I know. I did brainstorm.

  4. 1

    Monetize, if you can convert those to paid members you are done.

    1. 1

      Would you have any recommendations?

  5. 1

    This is a really cool idea.
    I can think of quite a few ways to monetize - marketplace for tutors, udemy affiliated.
    But if ai was you, I would hold on on monetisation and try to conduct user interviews and try to find out what they really want and what is easy for. You to make.

    Well done!

    1. 1

      I did a lot of user interviews and most of the times what they wanted was more roadmaps, more careers, more explanations. Basically, a more extensive encyclopedia than I already have and I think that's hard for a one-man team to do. I was thinking of something like pay me $20, I will take your interests and build you a personalized roadmap. This does two things, the roadmaps become content on my website and I also get paid for it. Then I could scale it from there. Maybe even go for VC, who knows.

  6. 1

    Congratulations - that's awesome exposure. I'd say the first thing you need to do is add a more obvious CTA on your website and potentially start collecting an email list.

    Even if you don't know how you want to take the product / monetize, building your list now will enable you to achieve whatever you need later on.

    This is especially important since posts on Reddit will eventually die out and you're going to lose all that awesome exposure you got already :)

    1. 1

      Thanks for your feedback. That's already happening. Should've done that already. Right now I'm just thinking of ways to monetize it. The obvious way to go is "pay me to build you a roadmap based on your interests" but I'm yet to validate it. Hopefully, the Reddit launch helped me with the SEO.

  7. 1

    You are inspirational. I have thought about a website like this many times and didn't quite know what it would look like until I encountered this one. Rock on.

    1. 1

      Thank you! :) If you have any ideas regarding how to monetize this, do let me know!

Trending on Indie Hackers
Songbox breaks £1000mrr ($1378) 38 comments One tweet. 750K impressions. +1800 Followers in two days...😱 15 comments I'm going all in on BitClout, I think it's great for Indie Hackers. AMA 11 comments What am I'm doing wrong (trying to get initial teams onboarded for a team-focused remote job board)? 7 comments Validate your product: 19 market testing and market validation tactics (plus 7 tools for validating) 6 comments Tips on finding brandable domain names 6 comments