July 25, 2019

Pumped my side hustle makes $1,100 a month

Spencer Scott @Squb

I am super excited! My side hustle Loupdb.com now makes $1,100 a month! It only took 2 years.... HaHa (fake laugh)

I don't know about everyone else on indie hackers but I felt like giving up about 10 times. At one point I even let the company sit for six months and did nothing.

This also might sound stupid but I think there is an allusion out there that if you are not growing at super speed then it is not worth it. I bought into that allusion and at points felt I was wasting my time. There are other companies out there that are bigger, better, and privately funded.

Anyways, I consider Loup a win because I no longer have to spend my own money to fund the company. Which is nirvana for me! Now I just have to focus on growing it.

My plan is FB Re-Targeting, SEO, Google PPC, Linkedin and Twitter Ads.

Any advice on advertising would be much appreciated.

  1. 2

    big congrats! Visited the site and it was pretty easy to understand the concept!

    1. 1

      Thanks @annysnicket, we haven't invested a lot of time into the website, so that means a lot to me.

      In the past, I have wasted a LOT of time trying to build the perfect website with hundreds of pages but in the end none of the pages get visited. With Loup, I decided 1 page was good and to spend all my time trying to get new customers.

  2. 2

    Hi Spencer maybe you can add a blog with how - to guides and explaining benefits of your service

    1. 1

      @MattBelon I think that is a great idea, but for other reasons. Hahaha

      I like the idea that it will help my customers, but more importantly, a blog uses pages and questions written by other people that will intern help rank the site for various Search Terms.

  3. 2

    Spencer, awesome news. It may seem slow to you, but I think that's excellent progress for your side project. Remember that things can be (and tend to be) exponential. That first $1000 is a lot harder to get to than the next $1000.

    Re: advertising, I've got a lot of experience in that field, and with a lot of SaaS/tech companies as well. We run a lot of campaigns in this industry (mostly Google Ads). The good news is, it's absolutely possible to develop a profitable, maintainable campaign especially in a niche tech market like yours. The bad news is that it's difficult and can be very time consuming. You should expect to spend some experimentation money.

    For the channels you mentioned, I would only run FB ads retargeted to previous site visitors, which I think is your plan. Otherwise you'll get a lot of irrelevant traffic. SEO is always a good idea but don't expect anything to happen overnight. LinkedIn could be very relevant but is probably 2-3x the cost of any other options. Twitter ads? Hit or miss success with those, but worth a try. Google Ads is going to be your bread and butter for a specialized software product. You'll need to expect to spend a minimum of $1k a month to even start to see good results, though.

    1. 1

      @gilgildner you hit the nail on the head. I tried to run Twitter and Linkedin ads but Linkedin does NOT have good targeting and Twitter has my account flagged for spam because I was using Zapier for auto-tweets (which is frowned upon).

      Right now I am currently running an Adwords campaign against the words "netsapiens" and "skyswitch". Both of which have great click-through rates but my lead capture sucks, so I have nothing to show for it. Also, Google hosed me on a couple of high budget words so I had to limit my PPC max spend. The good news is, no one seems to be buying those words so for the most part, I appear #1 and CPC is low.

      As far as FB re-targeting goes, I am moving the website for security reasons so I am holding off on installing a new pixel.

      Lastly, the best way for me to get new customers is via email and I had a stroke of genius last week when I realized all of my customers have 1 thing in common. They all use the same web software called Netsapiens. Which means every customer using netsapiens has the exact same portal with the exact same code. The only thing that changes are the images.

      So, I bought a subscription to PublicWWW.com and started searching the internet for matching source code. I was able to turn up about 30 of the 1,000 remaining customers out there. On top of that, the CEO of Nerdydata.com saw I was running tons of searches on his software too and asked me if he could help. I gave him some source code I was looking for and I am waiting to hear back.

      Cross your fingers for me. If I find everyone then I won't need to do paid advertising.

  4. 1

    "I don't know about everyone else on indie hackers but I felt like giving up about 10 times. At one point I even let the company sit for six months and did nothing." Your honest words have made my day - perhaps a renewed energy for weeks to come.

    1. 1

      @tesnep thanks.

      This might sound dumb but building a company while having a job seems more difficult than building one without a job. If you don't have a job then there are no alternatives, but if you have a job you can always quit when shit breaks or stops working. Also, there is no super rush to scale the company because there are no VCs breathing down your back or a family that needs to eat.

      Just my thoughts.

      Good Luck!

  5. 1

    Visited your site, my antivirus was warning not to proceed.

    1. 1

      @jamiuoloyede what antivirus are you using?

      We had a problem with this in the past....

  6. 1

    Congrats!

    Just tried to view your site and I was blocked by my company's VPN ("Connection Blocked!"). I also clicked through from your Twitter account and got this: https://twitter.com/safety/unsafe_link_warning?unsafe_link=http://www.loupdb.com

    Not sure what the issue is, but wanted to make sure you were aware.

    1. 2

      @dkrape Thanks for the heads up. I am kinda aware of the issue. Meaning, I was under the impression this was fixed a long time ago but I guess not.

      A while back Google flagged us as phishing due to malware. I had Google run an audit and everything was fixed same day.

      What is interesting is, about that is 3 days later Nortan, AVG, and McAfee blacklisted the site. So I reached out to all 3 of them and got emails saying it was an error and they will have it fixed asap.

      But I guess this is the gift that keeps on giving because I guess twitter is now flagging us.

      Unbelievable!

      1. 2

        That sounds super frustrating. Happy to recheck at some point when things have (hopefully) been cleared up.

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