The Ness Labs paid community just crossed 500 members!
It's been a lot of fun building the community with online meetups and discussions, and matching members together for 1:1 virtual coffee chats.
Lately, members have started organising their own events on the platform. Excited for the next 500!
It took a lot of work and care—a true labour of love—but Ness Labs just reached $2K in MRR!
That doesn't include workshops, sponsorships, ebooks, and consulting. This is just people who enjoy spending time on Ness Labs to read content and connect with the community, and who get enough from the experience to decide to support my work.
And this is exactly why I'm so excited about it!
So happy! I just crossed $10K in revenue (screenshot) as I crossed 200 articles published on my website, which is all about neuroscience-based content for people who want to make the most of their mind.
The reason why I'm sharing these two milestones in a combined post is because I think they're a perfect illustration of a slow overnight success.
I launched the newsletter in July 2019, and I have been publishing between 3 and 5 articles each week since then, without fail. By February 2019, the newsletter had generated a grand total of $1.8K through sponsorships, which—admittedly—I never proactively pursued. In March 2020, I launched the paid membership, with a discussion forum, virtual meetups, extra content, discounts on mindful productivity apps, and more. Today, in May 2020, I crossed $10K in revenue from the membership alone.
To me, this is a significant milestone, because it's the first time I'm generating recurring revenue. It's also one of the first times the user and the payer are one and the same person. Compare this to corporate consulting and sponsorships, where the payer is an employee spending company money. Not only this is an incredible vote of confidence, but it's also much more sustainable. While losing one corporate client can be extremely stressful, my new revenue model is much more stable.
Thanks everyone for your support. I got so much help from this community, learning about newsletters, productisation, turning value into revenue, and more. I love being part of this hardworking community of fellow founders all figuring it out together!
It took 8 months but here we are—finally reached the arbitrary milestone of 10K subscribers for the Maker Mind newsletter! I'm not sure what I expected would happen (nothing special happened), but I'm super happy nonetheless. The growth has significantly slowed down the past few months but I'm fine with slow and steady.
For those who are curious, my main growth channel by far is Twitter, where most of my traffic comes from. Search traffic is also slowly growing and converts at a higher rate than Twitter traffic. I assume this is because people have a specific need which they want to address, versus casually browsing on Twitter.
I can't believe I forgot to post an update last week when I crossed that milestone, and I'm actually at $6K now, but wanted to celebrate with the IH community nonetheless!
I launched the Ness Labs community with the goal to create a sustainable source of revenue to support my writing, and to be able to rely less on consulting, which can fluctuate greatly in terms of income. It took me exactly 30 days to get to $5K in revenue.
I'm so happy because I've been pouring my heart into this project, and it's amazing to see people showing their support this way and having a tangible proof that they find the work useful.
The community is designed for entrepreneurs, creators, makers and researchers—people who like to come up with new ideas, understand how the mind works, and want to be their most productive and creative self.
Included in the membership are exclusive articles and research reports, a private community, virtual meetups, workshops, and Mind Match, where I manually match community members for 1:1 coffee chats.
While I initially was planning on only offering a yearly membership, the current circumstances and the high levels of uncertainty for many people—including my target audience—made me decide to add a monthly membership. The pricing is currently $5/month or $50/year.
My main acquisition channels at the moment are the free weekly newsletter I send to almost 10K subscribers, and sharing my work on Twitter where some people sign up straight to the membership.
Super happy to answer any questions for Indie Hackers thinking of launching such a paid community!
So far, Ness Labs and the Maker Mind newsletter have been funded through sponsorships and consulting — both time-consuming and unpredictable. Yesterday, I launched the Ness Labs membership to my newsletter audience.
This is a huge milestone as it's the first time ever Ness Labs is generating proper MRR—as in recurring revenue! The goal is to create a sustainable revenue stream so I can focus on creating great content and being helpful to the community.
I was initially planning on only offering an annual membership, but with everything that's going on, I thought it would be nice to give people more flexibility. So I ended up creating a $50 yearly plan and a $5 monthly plan.
I made exactly $1,105 in new memberships since launching 12 hours ago. After all the work I've put into writing free articles and the newsletter, this feels like a massive hug from my readers! 🤗
Both plans include:
Next week, I'll launch a proper community where members can connect with each other.
In terms of growth, I'll keep on writing the free weekly newsletter, and hopefully in a few weeks I'll have a good idea of what percentage converts to the paid membership. Excited to grow this community!
It's interesting to see how much my growth has slowed down in the past few months. I attribute this to the lack of articles on the front page of Hacker News, which were skewing my results. Now, the growth is slower but much more predictable. At this rate, I should reach 10K subscribers in the next few months.
Another milestone is 150 articles, which I'm much prouder about, as it's a results of my consistency and passion for the topics I write about. Much of the themes I cover are applied in the way I work and manage my time, and I'm excited to see it pay off.
Next: the very first IRL meetup with Maker Mind's subscribers, which will happen next week! It's going to be one of the first experiments I conduct to turn the newsletter into a proper community.
I reached two big milestones this week. Over 6K subscribers, and I just published the 100th article on my website since I started my little writing experiment back in the summer.
Here are some of the things I learned:
I wrote a bit more about my experience here if you're interested, and I'm gifting a one-year Audible subscription to one random subscriber today at 4pm GMT / 8am PST through my newsletter to celebrate these milestones! 🥳
Super excited about this milestone — the fact that 5,000 people trusted me enough to give me their email address means a lot to me. I'm hoping to keep Maker Mind growing this fast even though it's been stalling for the past week due to no big "hit" article.
How did I get there?
Thanks everyone for the support, and virtual high five to all my fellow newsletter creators. It's hard work but worth every bit of it. 💌
Just secured our first sponsors for the next 6 weeks — that's $1,200 in revenue after three months. I'm super happy to have been approached by a sponsor that's perfectly aligned with Maker Mind's values, content, and audience.
Subscribe to get the next newsletter and discover who the sponsor is.
As an entrepreneur and neuroscience student, I use Maker Mind to share science-based practical tips for makers to make the most of their brains, with a focus on productivity, creativity, and mental wellness.