As promised, I am sharing the status quo for Shipharder.com to be transparent on what I’ve been up to, why I did it and what the results were. In this very first #tagalong post I’ll be talking about what I’ve been doing in 2018. A status quo on where I’m at and where to go to next.
? The Very Start
I had been contemplating about starting a website that focusses on product creation – better yet, product value creation – for a while.
Since 2013 I had (personally and professionally) gained interest in startup life, entrepreneurship, and product creation.
Listening to startup- and entrepreneurship related podcasts and audiobooks during my daily commute, reading blogs, eBooks, talking and chatting with entrepreneurs and CEO’s around the world fed my hunger.
A hunger for knowing more about shipping products.
? The Shipharder.com Domain
To start this very first tagalong, and get this status quo in perspective In November 2011 I registered the domain www.shipharder.com. As I initially wanted to bundle some knowledge in an eBook I put up a website. Because life happens, I let it slide for a while.
I had a lot of thought about all that content and all those conversations I had and I really started to see what factors are important. Then, I started mind-shifting and looked at what contributes to creating products that provide value, and what not.
Quickly I realized that creating a crowd was more important to get traction than starting out with a product. Also, entrepreneurs like bootstrapper king Pieter Levels have written nice books and guides on how to create a product and ship it.
That’s why I got more focussed at the idea of creating a website that provides content that goes deeper. Content that helps people that are into product creation to get a mindset that will help them to create viable products.
I had a landing page (using the awesome carrd.co) showing on the domain for about 3-5 months which led to about 13 subscribers.
How’s that for a status quo? Well, everybody has to start with one subscriber, so I was just glad to have a varied list with subscribers.
These were mostly because I started to actively contribute to Quora.com and Indiehackers.com and referred to shipharder.com in any way possible (and related to the forum subject, question, etc).
? ? My Setup
Shipharder.com is currently set up as follows:
- The shipharder.com website, based on WordPress
- The theme and website supports video(vlog) and podcast content besides the regular blog post format
- Hotjar, Google Analytics, and Jetpack statistics installed
- A MailChimp mailing list
- Social media accounts: @Ship_Harder twitter account, a Facebook page, and a LinkedIn page I put a message on each of them with a link to each post.
- an Instagram account where i publish interesting quotes, images with links to my posts and whitty stuff that’s related to the website
- A Medium publication on which i cross-post the posts from Shipharder.com
? Financial Status
Let’s append the financial side to the status quo.
I’ve spent the following up till December 2018:
- ~$30,- on the shipharder.com domain & hosting
- $60,- WordPress theme
- $20,- A tryout for Facebook adds
- ~$300,- worth of equipment and accessories to vlog
My current Income
- $0,05 via ads on the website
Currently, I am focussing on gaining traction and building an audience for my content. Adds will be my first money generator. Other income streams are being considered as well, but I’ll elaborate on those when they’re more concrete and after I have generated a bigger audience that knows to find Shipharder.com.
? Social Media
I’ve been putting up Instagram images on a regular basis and I must say, the interaction and responsiveness of Instagram were way higher than expected.
This made me decide to put effort into sharing Instagram images alongside sharing an image with small bits and bytes of info via Twitter, and the Facebook- and LinkedIn pages.
Every post that I write I’ll share upon publishing and I post it to relevant platforms like Indie Hackers, the WIP community, relevant subreddits, and groups on Facebook and LinkedIn that might benefit from the content.
? Current Focus
My current focus lies on writing 5-10 cornerstone pieces of content that help product creators and entrepreneurs to go deep on some levels.
My first post – about Imposter Syndrome – was focussed on personal growth and overcoming insecurities.
My next piece will show one of my earlier attempts to vlog and talks about the importance of shipping and stop procrastinating. It, in a way, is a nice follow up of my piece about Imposter Syndrome but it is more related to an entrepreneur mindset than looking deep.
The content will shift towards practical pieces after that.
? Results From My First Post
My first blog post on Imposter Syndrome is meant as an evergreen cornerstone content post. I wrote it using the awesome Hemingway writing app, copied it into WordPress and used the Yoast plugin to make it SEO worthy.
I added some nice visualizations and set it up to be published at night (Amsterdam timezone) so America could read it in the afternoon.
It was automatically shared via Medium, and posted on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. I also shared an image with the title on Instagram.
Then I searched for relevant subreddits like “/selfhelp”, “/personalgrowth” and similar ones, and posted the link there.
Finally, I shared the content as a /done action on WIP and wrote a little post with a link on Indiehackers.com
This all resulted in the post getting about 500 hits in the first 48 hours after going online. Not bad for a first post.
??? Lessons learned:
Some unexpected things got my attention during this all:
- I got about 3 positive responses on the content via Reddit. Never expected that
- My email list started out with 13 subscribers in the mailing list. One subscriber left after my first content pieces. And I gained 3 new subscribers.
- Instagram proofs to be a very nice platform to gain interaction. Entrepreneurs around like the images and messages. After about 7 messages I got 15 subscribers and numerous likes. I’ll dive into Instagram more. The potential made me decide to get more
tractionon the Instagram platform. This where I used to ignore Instagram because I didn’t see its value at first).
? Final words
To conclude this status quo: I understand this is only the beginning.
After one intro post and one cornerstone blog post, it is too soon to see any trends and give more useful stats. My hope is the that the info will get more interesting down the road.
Please reach out if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.
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Also published on Medium.