So last Friday I released a book on Imposter Syndrome amongst developers
I had worked on it for a few weeks and it had been 99% done for a while.
I already had the content from my interview on No CS Degree so it was really a question of designing a cover that held me up. I had to ask people's permission to feature their faces which is only fair.
I've had 48 sales so far in the first week so I'm fairly happy with that. It's priced at $5 so $240 for my first ebook already is pretty good. It's nice to have something to add to newsletters if I don't have a sponsor one week.
I've also added a few chapters for free as a link magnet when people join my newsletter.
I've written a blog post about how you can publish an ebook for free
I'm now at about 2,100 subscribers for my job board for developers without degrees . Obviously, it's a little bittersweet as I suspect part of the recent growth has been from people looking for jobs as a result of Covid 19.
Of course, on a more positive note, I'm glad I've created a resource for developers that have been to coding bootcamps or are self-taught and that I can help them apply for jobs. So I'm glad I can help in some way.
I had 1,000 subscribers in my first week and then it took a while to get up to 1,700 or so which was my peak pre corona. I've added about 300 people in the last month.
A lot of that has been down to another founder, Derek Sams, directing his own subscribers over to my site as he's stopping his newsletter. Thanks Derek!
I had a sale for a listing on Bootcamp Index yesterday. Once I had added it to my accounts spreadsheet I saw my running total turn over into 5 figures and over $10,000!
A few years ago I never thought of being able to make money online let alone 10k! It's nice for me to see how far I've come.
My sources of revenue have been:
It's a long story so I wrote about it in more detail on my personal blog
I've made a sister site for the website where I show people the best coding bootcamps. I don't like the current offerings like Course Report and I wanted to make more of a Nomad List-style website where people can find the information easily themselves.
I really should have launched this months ago when I first had the idea but I kept procrastinating. I've written about that in more details on my blog. Still, better late than never. Oh and I put it on Product Hunt today: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/bootcamp-index
No CS Degree officially launched 6 months ago! 🎉
$5,285 in revenue 💰
128k people have visited the site 👀
54 devs without CS degrees shared their stories 📖
1,212 blog subscribers 📨
1,681 job board subscribers 📨
Hopefully I will be hitting that total revenue figure each month in the next month or two 😀
A bit of a meta post here! Last summer I set myself the goal of appearing on the podcast within 2 years. I was encouraged by Pat Walls of Starter Story who had just got an interview. I had a great chat with Courtland about going from unemployment to minimum wage job to indiehacker making $2k a month. (I live in Edinburgh so this is actually enough to live on here, haha)
If you want to give the podcast a listen and here my views and advice for makers, you can check it out (here)[https://www.indiehackers.com/podcast/143-pete-codes-of-no-cs-degree]
One of the best part about the business has been the reaction from Twitter. I keep telling developers and founders to make a Twitter account as a tonne of coders hang out there. I'd say I do well on Twitter because I regularly provide value and I have a very specific niche. There are loads of people learning to code on Twitter!
I'm up to 3,000 now which is nice since this is 6 months since I started my account. So 500 followers a month on average. I do share lots of success stories as well as requests for help so that has helped me become a thought leader. I will quite often get tagged now when people are looking for advice. It's good to be helping people and not always just self-promoting.
I polled my followers yesterday about Bootcamp Index which I am making to show people the best places to learn to code. They were able to tell me to include what languages are taught in the bootcamp profiles and actually I don't think the other comparison sites do this. So you can get a lot of value from followers.
I had a bit of a false dawn in October. I thought I'd got over $2k. What happened was I got to $1697 and another company promised me enough to get over the $2k mark. Then in November they contacted me to say that they would proceed with our deal a bit later. You have to be flexible and I've been paid by them now, it was just a few days later in November. So it turned out to be $1697 in October and not quite $2k after all.
This month, however, I'm over the $2k barrier for sure! Most of this has come from a long term sponsorship deal which I renewed for another three months. I've also made over $300 from affiliate deals which has been awesome. I was always really sceptical about these as you are taking a risk vs getting paid up front. But I'm now a convert! It's awesome as well as it's all work I've already done. So getting paid months after I publish an article just because it has an affiliate link for a product is really sweet. I got $26 yesterday from basically not doing any new work.
I'm hoping to get well over the $2k mark in January. We'll have to wait and see though!
My sponsor for my No CS Degree newsletter was just about to run out. My subscribers had grown 30% since we made the deal in October so I pitched him a deal to reflect that. As Courtland often says, one of the easiest ways to make more money is to charge more.
For the last few months I've had my newsletter sponsored by Swizec Teller . His support in October meant I went over $1,000 monthly revenue for the first time. Now he's helped me get over $2,000 monthly revenue!
I was very pleased he opted to sponsor again so he'll be supporting me though to the end of March now. It's a big vote of confidence and I'm glad it wasn't a one off thing. It's also great for him as it will mean he will have at least 6 months in front of my audience which is a long time to promote his book on serverless design.
Incidentally, I do need a new sponsor for my (jobs board)[https://nocsok.com]. It's not as well known as the blog but is performing better with 1,600 developers getting the newsletter each week and the open rate is a nice 46%. So hopefully I can find another sponsor for my jobs board mailing list as well.
So meta! Haha. I set myself the goal to be interviewed by Courtland in July right after I had quit a rough minimum wage job (you'll have to listen to the podcast to get the details!) I saw Pat Walls had appeared on the podcast in July so right then I tweeted out that I was committed to being interviewed within 2 years time. Pat was very encouraging and said "100% you'll do it." Turns out he was right 😀
I wrote about it in more detail on my blog
To show myself and other people that you don't need a CS degree to succeed.