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Aug 2022: One year since I quit my job
Reached $10K MRR, launched Xnapper (#1 of the week), went on Indie Hackers podcast (😱), and other updates in Aug 2022...
Hello everyone, Tony here 👋
This month’s issue came super late. I just came back from a long vacation. Happy time 😊
But better late than never! Here are my updates for August 2022:
🗓️ One year as a full-time indie hacker
In August 2021, I quit my job to start working for myself. That was 1 year ago!
If you have been subscribing to this newsletter long enough, you may remember I mention it in September 2021’s issue:
It has been such a fantastic journey!
In my wildest dreams, there is no way I’ll believe what I will achieve one year from the moment I quit.
Build an audience from 200 → 47K followers
Grow a product from $0 → $10K MRR
Write a total of 19 newsletter issues
Built 3 profitable products
Despite all of the success, one thing I did that I’m most proud of is to have documented my entire progress from the beginning!
Here are the best posts (IMO):
Other than that, I planned to write another long post to summarize my journey and learnings in the last year.
Initially, I planned to include it in this issue, but I figured that would make the issue way too long.
So now I plan to post it separately and maybe make a video on my YouTube channel. (Please go subscribe! 😄)
Looking forward to sharing it with you soon!
📈 Reached $10K MRR
In August, Black Magic reached $10K MRR!
Since it reached $100K ARR (~8,333 MRR) last month, Black Magic was on its own most of the time.
The traffic was mostly from organic word of mouth and my Twitter profile. I did not do much on the marketing front other than just usual tweeting.
💭 Some thoughts on marketing
Sometimes, I feel bad for not doing enough marketing for Black Magic.
I always have this feeling that if I focused on doing more marketing for Black Magic, it would have reached $20K or even $30K MRR by now. Who knows?
So I’ve been thinking about it. For some reason, it seems a bit (just a little bit) like gambling to me.
You pay money to make more money.
I have tried it before. I spent ~$500 on paid ads and got close to $0 in return. So the trade was my time + $500, and in return, I got $0 and some learnings about paid ads.
Losing $500 is totally fine, but losing my time going through this paid ads experiment is what makes me uncomfortable. I don’t think it’s the best use of my time.
It’s fair to say I’m not good at and not efficient at marketing.
In the end, I decided not to do as much marketing anymore but instead focus my energy on doing what I’m good at and what I enjoy doing: coding & building.
At least that’s what I’ll do at the moment. I’m definitely open to trying more marketing methods again in the future (“proper” paid ads, paid sponsorships, partnering with influencers, blogs, etc.).
So, here are my current marketing strategies:
Building in public: tweeting, sharing long-form content, writing this newsletter, Indie Hackers posts, YouTube videos, etc. This increases the exposure of my products via my Twitter/LinkedIn profile bio links. I would say this is not the most efficient marketing channel, as my audience demographic is not exactly the same as my target customers (maybe 30% overlap?). I build in public to document my journey and to share my knowledge. Marketing is a nice side-effect.
Improving the product: more happy customers → more people talking about the product → word of mouth marketing. This will be slow, but that’s ok, as I don’t have any deadlines to meet.
SEO by writing documents: capture some search traffic.
Relevant small side projects: the idea is to build small free products to promote the main ones. I haven’t done this for a while.
Affiliate marketing: only for Black Magic. I do this because it is a risk-free marketing channel (I only pay if there is revenue).
🥇 Launched Xnapper on Product Hunt
On August 25th, I launched Xnapper on Product Hunt. The result:
🥇 #1 Product of the Day
🥇 #1 Product of the Week
🥈 #2 Product of the Month
If you were there to support the launch, thank you very much! ❤️
As usual, I wrote a launch report to share everything about the launch.
The post is available on Indie Hackers below.
I’m very excited about Xnapper.
In August, it made $10K+ in revenue! Half of the revenue came from the launch.
Compared to Black Magic and DevUtils, Xnapper has a much bigger customer base: almost everyone needs a screenshot app.
By capturing just a small niche of this huge customer base (macOS users & content creators), I think Xnapper has the potential to become the #1 product in my portfolio, even bigger than Black Magic. Let’s see!
🎙️ I was on the Indie Hackers podcast!
This is my dream come true! 😱
Indie Hackers podcast is the only podcast that I have listened to religiously since even before I quit my job. It is the gateway for me to enter the indie hacker world.
It inspired and fueled my dream of becoming a full-time indie hacker.
It helped me to discover and connect with many legendary indie hackers on Twitter, like Arvid Kahl, Pieter Levels, Kyle Gawley, Daniel Vassallo, Justin Jackson, Andrey Azimov, and many more.
Needless to say, I’m super grateful and honored to be on the pod (plus nervous and the feeling of being an imposter 😂)
Courtland and Channing are amazing hosts! We chatted for about an hour and discussed some new interesting stuff.
I only hope I didn’t say anything stupid 😂
The episode will be out in about a few weeks. I’ll share the link when it’s become available.
🎈 Other small updates
Posted on Indie Hackers: How I manage running multiple products of ~$18K/mo total revenue
Black Magic reached 25K registered users!
👋 And that’s all for now!
I hope you like this month’s issue!
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