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Step by Step beginners guide to IndieHacking

This is the method I'm following for building my projects. This advice is only for people who code and want to launch as quickly as possible.

In order to build (in code), you just need to concentrate on frontend dev because backend is pretty much made a free service.

Process

A step by step guide to make a website which I used for my own blog and as a indiehacker,

1. Buy a $1 Domain

Start with the launch. Just buy a domain with $1. A custom domain establishes that we're committed with skin in the game. And it motivates and moves you to move ahead in building always reminding that we have a domain

Google search "domains for $1"

mostly you'll get .xyz, .store, .online domains just understand we're using this to establish we want to build something solid.

🚨Don't Do : Don't invest in a costly domain, it's not worth any investment. You can always buy it after launching your first website and learning. Risk Mitigation.

2. Learn React

This is the only thing i'm biased towards, just learn react nothing else. I know I'm making bold claim but this is what I feel is the easiest and most rewarding skill.

If you want to develop apps, wait for it learn react and then learn react native

🚨Don't Do:

  • Don't learn any other framework, definitely not Angular.
  • For first timers, don't pick up App dev yet, it's bit harder.
  • Don't go with vanilla js, css, html (max allocate 1 day to understand basics), as it's not as flexible and react is much easier btw.

3. Learn Firebase

Again just learn firebase, nothing else. It has many use cases, all the analytics is build. So everything in backend is already figured out just use it .And it's absolutely free. Don't reinvent the wheel. This is serverless architecture, FYI if you want to google.

Justification: Just learn firebase and use it since you save a lot of time since everything in backend is standard and there's lot of things like security, scaling, atomicity ...etc etc which are very important, already done by intelligent people so they made a service free for you so you don't have to do it yourself.

🚨Don't Do:

  • Don't learn AWS, Google Cloud, Azure.
  • Don't host your own backend anywhere.
  • Don't try to scale your backend in your first project. Even if you're really convinced that you're Zuck.jr and you have facebook.jr, still don't you can always do it later.

4. Free Deals

Signup for Segment startup program - Link and YC startup school for free deals.

For both you need your own domain that's the reason for 1st point.

🚨Don't Do:
You would get lot of credits and lots of free deals in both. So don't waste money unnecessarily even if you have facebook.jr.

5. Design System and Blog (Advanced)

This is after you have done all 1 - 4 points

Use a design system like chakra-ui. Don't try to use tailwindCSS. It's still primitive and Chakra is exactly like tailwindCSS with all the pre-built components like toasts, popups, Flex, badges ..... a lot more.

🚨Don't Do:

  • Use tailwindCSS you have build so much yourself .
  • Definitely no plain CSS, SASS or any other high flexible and no pre-built components.

TL;DR

✅ TODOs:

  1. Buy a $1 domain.
  2. Learn React, there're lots of tutorials in youtube .
  3. Learn Firebase, again so much support, easy-to-use, excellent support.
  4. Free deals from Segment and YC Startup School.

⛔️ NOT TODOs:

  1. Not buying $1 domain. Don't buy costly domain either.
  2. Don't stop at Vanilla JS. Don't learn Angular. Don't start app dev.
  3. Don't learn AWS or Digital Ocean or anything other than firebase. Don' t waste time and money.
  4. The only money you should spend is $1. BOLD.UNDERLINED.PERIOD.OVER.
  5. Don't concentrate on design.

Relevant Links:

  1. $1 domains, and here
  2. learn reactjs, latest and the best
  3. learn firebase firebase channel, docs
  4. segment startups programm

P.S: I'll share all my updates of twitter. Please follow me on twitter for daily updates building a saas tool Aurelio in above method.

P.P.S: Thanks to @mait09 for asking a brilliant question.

Thanks.

  1. 9

    @remidi, with all due respect, not sure if some of this is the best advice for new IHs. Sticking to React and Firebase pigeonholes devs into certain frameworks, making them less adaptive and maybe harder to setup a MVP.
    If a person goes out of their way to avoid learning the fundamentals, they might be better off with a no-code solution, which have become very robust in the last few years.

    1. 6

      Agreed. This isn't the best advice, nor even good advice.

      "Learn React" is just horrible advice- if a beginner doesn't even know HTML or CSS or basic JS, they definitely won't understand React.

      I also agree that going the no-code route would probably be better if they're trying to get something out ASAP without learning how to code first.

    2. 1

      I was writing it in the perspective of launching quickly, not skipping the fundamentals altogether. And yes if coding is not your thing you should definitely use no-code.

      This advice is only for people who already code and aspire to become Indiehackers.

      I wasted a lot of time and money in learning various courses about all fundamentals and frameworks but only that actually helps is launching and vanilla html, CSS and JS won't help much in that.

      If anyone doesn't know coding already, this isn't for you. You should learn to code, it's a good skill in 2021 or alternatively no-code is picking up fast.

  2. 3

    Shouldn't you mention you need to incorporate first to make use of Segment's start up program?

    Eligibility requirements

    Incorporated less than 2 years ago

    1. 1

      It's not required just try it. They just put that to avoid any big players from getting free credits. But they would be happy to give to bootstrapper. Their CS team is pretty responsive.

      They just reject common email extensions like gmail, yahoo, hence the need for $1 domain.

      Even YC startup school has many deals. They just give away for anyone interested, even without a website.

  3. 1

    react, firebase.... no thanks :)

  4. 1

    This is essentially the opposite of the advice I normally give (which boils down to skipping the complex front-end until things are proven). In my experience, development for the vast majority of sites is much faster with a back-end MVC framework.

    Firebase isn't compelling to me since it doesn't speed up my workflow and I'm more concerned about scaling causing costs to spiral out of control than I am about getting so many users it overwhelms my VPS. That said, I can see how it's a win for some.

    I guess we'll see how it works for the OP!

    1. 2

      I'm trying to optimize for cost and launching multiple times without spending more money. The cons you mentioned are true but the pros outweigh for me.

      Just a scenario like I build and launch 10 SaaS apps in the time period of 2 yrs. My method would cost $10 (for domain name), firebase would still be free.

      One alternative is Heroku which I can hack for free stuff but they mention it that it's meant only for non-commercial use so I choose firebase.

      1. 1

        That's super compelling. I'm very frugal as well. Other than domains and Stripe fees, I'm currently spending a total of $17.04/month for all fees except Stripe to run four sites and three podcasts, including email lists, etc. I'd be happy to spend more for a better email provider or tool that increased my revenue but can't find one. As a result my main business investment cost is things like books and courses.

        Your setup is even cheaper though!

  5. 1

    I love how you specify in caps lock about spending only $1. Really bootstrapping when you're just starting out and have zero income is a good advice. Save when you can.

    1. 1

      Yes @wellymulia. I don't believe in spending a dime on something when it isn't validated. For people who can code, many resources are free. It would take some basic setup time but once you learn it, the effort for next project exponentially goes down opening opportunity for multiple projects.

      Once you get those initial users then you can start paying for the services. That's the philosophy behind all the freemium services.

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