Success Story October 1, 2020

My Micro-SaaS Product Just Made $1K+ MRR and Paid My Rent

codyschneider

For the first time last month, my micro saas product made $1K+ in MRR. I spend about 2 hours a month on customer service, about $100 a month on marketing, and there is only one person on my team — me. This product is a chrome extension that helps Etsy shop power sellers collect customer data. Below is a screenshot of revenue from September.

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Below is a screenshot of revenue for this product YTD. Number are a little different from above because of refunds etc.

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I wanted to document what I’ve learned so far from owning a micro-saas company.

Media Before Product

I wrote a blog post in 2015 that taught Etsy sellers how to do manually what this product now automates. This post now drives the majority of traffic to the chrome extension landing page. It was also the catalyst for why I built the software — I had Etsy shop owners reaching out that were looking for a faster solution that the post talked about.

Fast forward to today and I now run an entire blog dedicated to marketing tutorials for Etsy sellers. Below is a screenshot of the Google Search Console data, graphed in Data Studio, showing the organic growth of the site over the last twelve months.

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On each landing page I put a call to action to learn more about the micro-saas product which drives traffic to the chrome extension landing page.

Make Your Product Stupid Simple

When I first launched this product, I had a large portion of it automated. Think click one button and it does the rest. I found that my initial customers were getting timeout errors and it took a ton of my time to provide customer service.

On the next version, I made it less automated, more hands on, and it reduced my customer service time needed. The learning from this is that the coolest solution isn’t always the best business decision.

Don’t Use Google Chrome Store for Payments

The benefit of Google Chrome Store for payments is that it is super easy to set up, you don’t need a database, and there is trust built into the checkout because it is Google affiliated.

This downfall is this simplicity though. For example, I can’t see customer contact information so I can’t handle customer service, do email nurture campaigns for churn, or build lookalike audiences.

If I had to do it again I’d do payments through Stripe and have an API key they enter to user the software.

Final Thoughts

Solving little problems is super profitable now. If you solve one thing, for a big enough audience, there is enough of a market to sustain the product, build a customer base, and as I’ve shown above pay your rent.

If you have questions hit me up on Twitter - https://twitter.com/codyschneiderxx

Read more growth marketing stuff from me here - https://codyschneider.com/

  1. 7

    Thats really awesome! , how long did it take to reach 1k MRR?

  2. 3

    This is so good. Congrats

    How do you plan to make the move these isers to a new payment provider now that Google has announce the deprecation these payments by Feb 2020?

    1. 2

      I own a lot of customer data, media, and remarketing audiences. I'll change the promotion to the new version in December and try to transition as many people as I can from the old to the new in that 90 day window. Will write an update here about this process.

  3. 1

    Paying rent with your project has to feel amazing! Huge motivational boost for sure. Happy for you!

    1. 1

      Thanks! I always think about projects as three things anymore, media, product and service. Those tend to work for me on getting products off the ground.

  4. 1

    Congrats Cody!
    If you don't mind me asking, How much time do you work on this a week?

  5. 1

    Pretty inspiring stuff. I'm looking forward to making my rent. Congrats on the progress and pretty good content on how to handle micro saas. Definitely learnt something here.

    1. 1

      Super stoked to provide some value. Best of luck. If you ever want insight on marketing strategies for product hit me up on Twitter.

  6. 1

    "Media Before Product" seems like such a great way to start for people who aren't sure what to work on.

    Put out articles/videos/media etc about what you know and learn and see what gets traction over time

    1. 2

      It's the secret sauce. Just publish, publish, publish and one thing will hit. And then ask your customers what else they would want. I had a customer of this product just say they're looking for a solution to spy on their competitors daily sales numbers. There's another product right there.

  7. 1

    That's beautiful my friend!

  8. 1

    Congratulations, Cody! That's a huge achievement. Looks like you had a pretty big spike between March > May. Do you know what caused that? More marketing? 🤔

    1. 1

      So that is when the content I had published earlier that year started to gain traction. More specifically, I had published the content, indexed it, built no-follow and do-follow backlinks so they that's just when the organic traffic started to hit. I regularly do keyword research dumps for strangers on Twitter. Hit me up if you want this.

  9. 1

    Congratulations! That's awesome!

    The learning from this is that the coolest solution isn’t always the best business decision.
    Reminds me of…
    The best part is no part. :)
    Thanks for sharing this with us all!

    1. 1

      Happy to provide value! To take this idea further, I think a micro-saas principle should be the reduction of customer service as much as possible, so the product has to be so simple that it makes it impossible for customer service to happen except in relationship to cancellations and refunds.

  10. 1

    Congrats on the success! It's awesome to hear a micro-saas working out so well, since that is my goal too!

    1. 1

      You're on your way! If you ever have marketing trouble with your product hit me up on Twitter. Happy to provide insight.

  11. 1

    👏👏👏 congratulations!

  12. 1

    Congrats! Great milestone to hit 🙂

  13. 1

    Great work, your post has encouraged me to keep working on my chrome extension MVP.

    1. 1

      Thanks @superoboto! Keep building, I'd suggest start making blog posts and YouTube videos about this now.

      1. 1

        Thanks for the @codyschneider, I've actually started doing SEO keyword research to decide which topics I want to write, but now I'll definitely start publishing content before my official release.

        1. 1

          I would definitely do this, and start driving traffic to it with a signup form to get notified about launch.

  14. 1

    Amazing work. great inspiration

    1. 1

      Thanks and stoked to inspire!

  15. 1

    Congrats on the success so far Cody 👏 What's the chrome extension called?

  16. 1

    Congrats!

    Question - aren't paid Chrome extensions going away in the near future? What's your plan to transition in that case?

    1. 2

      I'm grandfathered in, so no need to transition.

      I am building a new project though, and going to have a free download in chrome store, that requires paid signup on the website to use extension

      1. 3

        Just to add, I think they are completely deprecating some of the APIs and payment gateways in 2021, regardless of whether or not you've already had it or not. For example, on February 1, 2021, all publishers with existing items or in-app purchases will no longer be able to charge money for them through the Web Store (but you'll still be able to pull license information). They posted the timeline and some migration options here: https://developer.chrome.com/webstore/cws-payments-deprecation.

        1. 2

          To confirm, reached out to my rep and depreciation is Feb 1. Will circle around on what I do to transition.

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