May 2022: $7,839 MRR, travel, experiments, and a new app.
Hello everyone, it’s Tony again 👋
These days time flies so fast to me! I’m having so many updates in May that I want to share with you all. Let’s go!
Welcome 128 new subscribers since the last issue!
If you are new here, this is a monthly newsletter of my indie hacking journey. I try to document everything happened in the last month and share my insights and knowledge as much as I can.
I’ve been doing this for almost a year! You can see all the previous issues here. Cheers!
Writing code on flip flops in Nha Trang :)
Revenue report: $7,839 MRR
In May 2022, Black Magic reached $7,839 MRR as I’m writing this. This is a very sudden jump from last month!
May 2022 revenue update
The reason: I onboarded a new business customer!
This is my 3rd business customer, and they are the biggest by far!
I’m excited to see how I can make Black Magic more useful for businesses because this is a very good way to make a ton of money quickly.
In case you don’t know, Black Magic for Business offers some more advanced features related to data and API:
All of these are still very new, and I’m still trying to figure out what is needed and what I should add to Black Magic.
Having that said, I also have some concerns:
I’m not sure if I can keep up with the needs of the business customers. Companies usually have a lot of very specific needs and not necessary related to each other. I’m a one-man army, so I’ll have to be very careful to choose what to work on (already turning down a few feature requests from the newly onboarded business).
I use Black Magic myself everyday and I have insights on what features/improvements are needed for personal use, not so much for business use. This will be my disadvantage when trying to serve for business customers.
It’s also important that I need to focus on improving the product for all existing customers, not chasing the shiny new money.
When a business account churn, I’m pretty sure I’ll have a negative growth month 🥲
Anyway, I’m still happy with this new business deal. I’ll put up a quick special landing page to attract businesses to Black Magic. I hope it’ll work!
Twitter Ads experiment: Failed
Earlier this month, I spent some money on Twitter Ads.
It makes sense to me that I should advertise on Twitter since my app is a Twitter app.
But turns out, the ads didn’t do very well.
I tried various ad types, formats, and copies. One of the ads did good, but the conversion rate is still too low.
You can see more details in my tweet here:
In conclusion, I think Twitter ads isn’t working for me.
Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but I can’t afford to continue figuring it out. I spent very little time and effort on this as I have much more exciting and rewarding things to do with Black Magic than to figure out ads.
Maybe I’ll get to it again when I reach $10K+ MRR. Maybe I will hire an ad agency to figure out stuff for me. Let’s see.
Onboarding experiment: Failed
I did another experiment with the onboarding flow: Only asks for Read-Only Twitter permissions when people sign up.
Previously, Black Magic asked for tons of unnecessary permissions, which turned off many people from signing up. I got asked about this so much that I created a page: Why Black Magic needs so many permissions?
Before doing this experiment, I collected some data to make sure.
So, with this new change, I expected the sign-up completion rate to go up by at least 25%!
It turns out not to be the case. I did not see any change at all in the sign-up completion rate. This caught me by a surprise.
Sign-up completion rate doesn’t change. The number of new sign-ups also doesn’t change.
Conversion rate from clicking "Sign in with Twitter" to actually signed in.
I think the reason for this is that not many people are concerned about the permissions, so doesn’t show up as a significant change in the data.
In conclusion, I don’t regret working on this at all. It is still a very good addition to the sign-up flow, and it will improve the product as a whole.
Besides, people who have concerns about Twitter permissions will now love the app more because it doesn’t so ask for so much aggressive permissions as it was before!
"Product Tips" experiment: success!
I receive a lot of feedback that Black Magic has too many features that people don’t know exist and can’t make use of it.
So I added a new section in the daily report email: “Product Tip of the day”. It’s a collection of short “how-to” GIFs to teach people how to use Black Magic features.
It looks like this:
Then I find out the “proof of usefulness” 😍:
You should do the same with your product! Highly recommended.
A new experiment: Hiring a freelancer
I have so many ideas and so little time.
I also have a lot of boring (but necessary) tasks that need to be done for both DevUtils and Black Magic.
So I decided to try out a new experiment: hiring a developer freelancer.
The idea is to build a new product and get profitable without me actually writing the code.
Then if things work out ok, I’ll start to outsource some of the tasks from DevUtils and Black Magic to the freelancer so that I have more free time to build more exciting stuff.
I got introduced by a good friend and found a very good developer. We’re working on a completely new product. Let’s see if this works!
I bought the domain devutils.com for $3,000
This is out of nowhere, but I just want you all to know it 😆
Still haven’t moved the site to devutils.com yet, but very soon!
Also, I’m considering increasing the price for the Team license to a subscription of $5/user/mo. I think businesses won’t bother much with this change.
The usual personal license types are still one-time purchases. I don’t think I will ever change that.
I’m making a train trip around Vietnam and then the world. Current location: Nha Trang, Vietnam 🏖️
If you are in Nha Trang, ping me on Twitter for a beer! 🍺
My favorite dish in Nha Trang: Bun Sua (Jellyfish noodle) 😋
Also, follow me on Instagram for more pics 😄
1 year of tweeting every day
In May 2021, I started tweeting every day and I have never stopped ever since!
14 May 2022 is the milestone of my current and longest streak: 365 days. Still going on.
Tweeting every day has helped me to train my consistency to come up with new helpful content every day, and the writing habit in general. It’s very important and a very good way of growing an audience on Twitter!
I started writing this newsletter every month shortly after I started the tweet streak. It’s been close to 1 year!
I encourage you to start your writing habit by starting a blog or a newsletter. The earlier, the better!
I also noticed that the recent newsletter issues are getting longer and longer. If you have read this far, please click here to let me know. I’m very curious how many people actually read all of these texts 😂
I started streaming on Twitch
Yep, that’s right!
Why? Few reasons:
I want to chat with people.
I want to reuse some content on my inactive YouTube channel 😂
I want to have a perfect excuse to work on some fun projects!
I only stream on weekends, about 1 to 2 hours each.
If you want to get notified, go give me a follow ❤️! https://www.twitch.tv/tonyisstreaming
I'm working on a new small app!
As you may know, I’m pretty obsessed with screenshotting tools. I’ve been looking for a “perfect” app for a while, tried CleanShot, Snipaste, LICECap, Shottr, Skitch, and a bunch of other apps.
I have never found what I was looking for. So I decided to build one.
Xnapper is my perfect screenshot tool, and maybe it’s yours too 😄
Native macOS app
Instantly make your screenshot beautiful 💅
Ready to share on social media
As you may have noticed, a few screenshots in this issue are created by Xnapper! The app is in private Beta, and I’m inviting new testers to try it one by one and collect feedback.
You can join the waitlist here: https://xnapper.com
I’m excited about this app!
That's all for now!
Thank you for reading this far! If you like my newsletter, please forward it to your friends! 😊
See you next month!