I’ve been running my blog since the beginning of 2019 and have been making projects since 2018. I’ve experience a lot of “launch highs” and my blog was read 400k times in its first year, but… I’ve never really made much money from these projects. This is partially by design (I’ve never really prioritized charging), but also something that I struggle with (I’ve never really felt comfortable charging).
Throughout the last year, I’ve made anywhere from $50 to a couple hundred dollars per month. Some months, I made even more due to one-time projects that I was brought on for, but none of my products were really driving the income. You can see how my revenue grew over at my open page or even more detailed in this image.
On Wednesday, I stumbled upon a draft that I wrote a year ago, after I was starting to see success with my personal blog. It was a guide on exactly if people should launch a blog, how they can select their niche, and most tangibly, how they could grow their own blogs. I felt like I could write a good blog back then, with learnings from my personal blog, alongside my experience leading the Publications team at Toptal. In fact, I wrote a 4000 word outline and got overwhelmed by everything I had to say.
But as I stumbled upon the draft a year later, I realized how much people could really use this resource and how much more I knew today, given my year of working on Trends (one of the world’s largest premium newsletters) at the Hustle (one of the world’s largest newsletters, period). So I decided to try things differently this time. I decided to ask: is this something people would pay for?
When I tweeted about it, I didn’t even have a landing page. I just wanted to know: should I make this? Quickly responses started piling in, with dozens of people saying they would indeed pay and many saying that they would pay more than the quoted price of $10.
This was the first time hearing this kind of true validation. Not just upvotes or shares. Actual people saying that they would pay me actual money for a product. So I rushed to create a Gumroad landing page, came up with a title and cover, and told people I was open for business.
I really struggled to decide whether I should go with the initial price or bump it up, based on the feedback of many people saying I should charge more. So, I went with a tiered pricing model, where prices increase with every 30 sales. The reasoning? I figured this would give me some real feedback, based on data. If I started to see conversion rate drop off a cliff, I would stop increasing.
And then I launched the pre-sale. Sales poured in almost immediately. In the first 15 minutes, I made my first $100. Within a hour or two, I had to shift tiers! Soon after that, I shifted again. I got to $30 and chose to keep it there, since I finally started to see the CVR drop more significantly at $35.
Anyway, this is one of the many reasons on IndieHackers to get real feedback from users and charge before you’re comfortable. It’s been 48 hours and I’ve made nearly $4k in sales! Now I’ll be spending the next several weeks making this the best damn guide on the internet. If you’re interested in signing up for a copy, you can do so here.
EDIT: Thank you everyone for the support! Just through this post alone, I’ve made it past 200 sales. I just created a code INDIE that anyone from Indie Hackers can use to get $10 off.