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#BuildInPublic Status Update – 1

Today is the first day of the rest of your Life. You are the oldest you have ever been, and the youngest you will ever be. Seize the Day β€” Carpe Diem

This is my first BIP status update, it’s hard for me write this, have never shared so much information before.

But I understand the importance of it and how it helps me.

Transparency, Accountability and Trust are core values I adhere to, and BIP reflects that.

For some background and context read πŸ‘‰ My Build in Public Manifest

Who this is for?

  • My future self
  • Anyone looking for inspiration from failures.
  • Anyone looking to support, help, or collaborate with me.

Who this is not for?

  • Anyone looking to troll or derive pleasure from someone else’s failures
  • Anyone who can’t read long postsπŸ˜…(this one is really long!)

I am working on multiple projects in parallel, my “portfolio of small bets”, will talk about them one by one.

So here it goesπŸ‘‡

The Wisdom Project β€” Newsletter / Site

The Why

This is my way of “learning in public”.

It started with a very basic problem that people aren’t mindful of the content they consume, which leads them to be not mindful of the thoughts they have, which leads them to indulge in irrational behavior β€” Acting against their own best interest.

So me and my wife started curating awesome content around various topics and providing our own commentary along with it. Friends loved it, and that is all we cared about in the beginning.

It has evolved into something much more, now we do a lot of creation more than curation. (although I believe all creation is just curation, lets keep that for another day!)

Now we take complex topics and break them down in easily understandable and interesting narratives.

This is our creative playground, we are not bound by any niche, we tackle complex topics like cryptocurrencies and controversial ones like feminism, religion, politics. And simpler ones like Atomic Habits and cognitive biases.

This has become the source of all our other creative projects, and the way we look at it, that’s its largest purpose.

Lessons

  • “If you build it, they will come” is terrible advice. The internet is a noisy place, if you don’t shout loud enough, they will not come.
  • If you try to be everything to everybody then you will be nothing to nobody. Having a niche is important, especially when you start. Every subsequent project that I start after this will have a clear well defined niche and target audience.
  • Google is going to be the largest source of traffic over the long term. I am here for the long term. Substack has poor SEO. After writing for almost 2 years, we now have SEO traffic kicking in despite of Substack’s poor SEO. And now I am kicking myself for not writing all that content on my own website.

More lessons can be found in our annual review post β€” A Year of Doing This

Next Steps

  • “Build an audience” β€” sort of cliche, but would want more people reading. Didn’t care about growth for the first year completely. Started tweeting and spreading the word a little more since then and have seen decent growth since then. Doubled subs in the last 6 months compared to the first 12 months.
  • Build a site β€” WordPress setup started, SEO learning started. Soon will move to own site for the content and will use Substack only for email delivery.
  • Niche Down (a bit!) β€” Be more intentional in topics we choose, though will not go very narrow, we have broad interests and this project will always reflect that.

Numbers

Don’t want to put pressure of numbers on this. It might change our approach to this project. But for record’s sake, right now we have 436 subscribers. Over the past 82 weeks, approx 8-10 people have unsubscribed. That’s a more important number for us.


The Wisdom of Atomic Habits β€” Info Product

The Why

We love the book Atomic Habits, but many people we have talked to point out that while they love the book, they aren’t sure what to do with it after they finish reading it. How exactly can they deploy the lessons from this.

So we made two info product based on that thesis β€” A short summary, highlights product and a toolkit β€” Notion, PDF, Sheets to deploy the lessons from the book.

Lessons

  • Always write the sales/landing page before making the actual product β€” fantastic experience. Orients the product so nicely and cuts away all the noise during the creation process. Also helps gauge initial public response.
  • Have an audience before you make somethingπŸ˜… β€” I have little or no audience, not targeted niched audience anyways. Got two very interesting pieces of feedback from initial set of buyers β€” “You are charging too little for the kind of value this provides” “You are charging too much for who you are” Haha. That’s true. I am a nobody, so nobody will pay me even if what I make provides a great deal of value. Lessons Learned.
  • Its fun to make info products. Especially if you love writing. So going to make a lot more of these going forward.
  • More lessons in this Indie Hackers post.

Next Steps

  • Targeted Ads β€” Thinking of this, not sure, maybe try affiliate or influencer marketing to drive more sales.
  • Relaunch it later β€” When have a more niched audience around Atomic Habits, will relaunch it then.

Numbers:

It has made $65 dollars so far from 17 buyers (some were free, some paid)

Feel excited because these are my first dollars on the internet. But obviously want a lot more sales.



Listen Up! IH β€” Newsletter | Series on Indie Hackers

The Why

I love the IH community. Have met some wonderful people there, really like the whole vibe going on there. Want to be a bigger part of it, want to understand the people there and help and support them.

I love listening to podcasts. Great form of media. And IH has a large archive of awesome podcasts. But there is a podcast discovery problem, there is no way to resurface old awesome shows, and busy bootstrappers and Indie Hackers don’t have the time to listen to all of that great audio content.

So I want to play the bridge. This is basically podcast notes for Indie Hackers. Sent once a week.

Lessons

Just started last weekπŸ˜… So no great lessons so far.

But very soon realized that podcast notes requires a very different style of writing to traditional long form content. Have to crack that style with practice and iteration and lots of editing.

Have only published 2 posts so far.

Next Steps

  • Keep going, have ideas for at least 10 more posts right now, and adding more each day as I listen to great podcasts.
  • Hone in on the writing. Try to provide as much value as possible in as fewer words as possible.

Numbers

Not great, reached 28 subs so far since one week of launching it. This is much better than anything else I have done, but I understand it’s way less than other “influential” people. It helps that I am only comparing to myself here.


Twitter β€” Platform to find πŸ‘‰| Friends | Support | “Audience” | “Market Research”

Why

Great platform to find new friends who think like me.

Improves my writing.

Great platform to meet my future customers and buyers for the kind of products I want to make.

Lessons

  • Be intentional about what you tweet. Be intentional about who you follow.
  • Tweet regularly and on topics you care about.
  • Unfollow massively. Break away from the news cycle. Unfollow anybody who gives you stress and anxiety.
  • Make friends not followers.
  • Don’t fret over follower count
  • The Magic is in the DMs⭐
  • Many more lessons about using Twitter better β€” use it to learn specific topics or as a university to grow my mind. There is a future info product here somewhereπŸ˜›

Next steps:

Keep going. Intentional tweeting seems to be working. Growth isn’t fast but its ok. More important to connect with people at a deeper level. Probably spend more time in the DMs than in the feed.

Work on my Bio.(Find time for it!)

Numbers

Not to fret over the numbers a lot here. But the general direction is important. Am at 1096 right now. Some old follows are zombie accounts I think, but new ones I love to engage withπŸ’—

Freelance Copywriting β€” Random Project I got this week

The Why

I am interested in copywriting, want to develop it as a skill. Got interested in it after reading “Ogilvy on Advertising” and also after I got an offer to do copywriting for someone on the internetπŸ˜…

Lessons

This is something random that just started this week. In the process of finishing work for my first client. So not many lessons. Except that take many bets, put yourself out there, increase the surface area of your serendipity. Got this client by replying to a random post on Indie Hackers. So interesting things will happen if I create enough chances.

Next Steps

Just in the process of finishing my first gig. Post that will reflect if this is something I want to do a lot more of, maybe a freelance CW agency πŸ€” Maybe, will think about it.

Numbers

Nothing to show here, it is a $50 gig for a few hours of work. Again, first few dollars on the internet, so very excited for this. But nothing formal yet, and haven’t received the payment yet.πŸ˜›

Will try to close it by this week.


Have thoughts? Lets discuss on Twitter

Originally published on March 30th, 2021 in this Notion Doc