My Journey to $500k/mo with MicroSaaS Businesses

dddoyz

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Creating a software is always my end goal, I'm an animator, creating my animation with other people's software, since every software has plus and minus, I'm thinking of creating a software that's meant for an animator like me, but friendly enough for newbie to use. For example Videoscribe has 250k users from all over the world. Doodly has probably 100k users. Anyway, I'm not a programmer, finding some programmer that can do this is probably will takes time.

Anyway, I'll be following this thread.
 

reaaski

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How did you start this business? I was thinking about starting a software company lately, but it turns out building microSass is a better use of our skills.

I don't know what's your profit margin, so can't judge it. I know it depends on how much everyone in the team is paid and on operational costs. Most legit software companies without shady practices have 10 - 15% profit margin after years, so it's extremely low and good freelance gigs pay better. Hence I'm switching my focus to this.

Do you have an audience to sell to? Many enter this area and fail because they launch their product and can't sell cause nobody has ever asked for it.

How do you find specific problems to solve using software? The biggest number of ideas that were feasible I got from my own job. I saw your list and the exercise, but I was not very confident about my mental outcomes. Many times my ideas appeared silly.

Maybe I should go with Wordpress plugins and solutions integrated with it cause I know this ecosystem quite well.

Is there some book worth reading to start this?

I'm willing to dedicate 12 hours daily, so in 2 or 3 years I am profitable.
 
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Ontealdon

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How did you start this business? I was thinking about starting a software company lately, but it turns out building microSass is a better use of our skills.

I don't know what's your profit margin, so can't judge it. I know it depends on how much everyone in the team is paid and on operational costs. Most legit software companies without shady practices have 10 - 15% profit margin after years, so it's extremely low and good freelance gigs pay better. Hence I'm switching my focus to this.

Do you have an audience to sell to? Many enter this area and fail because they launch their product and can't sell cause nobody has ever asked for it.

How do you find specific problems to solve using software? The biggest number of ideas that were feasible I got from my own job. I saw your list and the exercise, but I was not very confident about my mental outcomes. Many times my ideas appeared silly.

Maybe I should go with Wordpress plugins and solutions integrated with it cause I know this ecosystem quite well.

Is there some book worth reading to start this?

I'm willing to dedicate 12 hours daily, so in 2 or 3 years I am profitable.
Good questions.

Our usual profit margin is 75-95%. Below that, just doesn't work for us. You should consider the fact that sometimes the better scale your product has, the better margins you have. But I usually focus on making the business profitable from the 3rd month (max).

No audience. I just work with gatekeepers. Making a product is the first step - creating a valuable, good product isn't an easy task. But, even the best product has almost no value without good marketing & distribution.

Finding problems - check out my previous post on some ideas. No one can teach you how to find ideas. If you need ideas to build, you can collaborate with someone like me (if you are great at what you do - the technical side). Otherwise, try to understand business by observing a lot and reading lots of business models, case studies etc.
 

Ontealdon

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I see. Maybe I'll do that one day, like a business idea breakdown & how I'd approach it.
Just need to find the time - it'll take me 1-2 hours to write & edit.

Like this post if I should prioritize this in this journey thread.
You guys wanted me to write about a business idea, break it down and let you know how I'd approach it.
As I've mentioned in my initial post, I have lots of ideas. I write almost all of them down in detail, but there's no way I can build all of them. I have frameworks to decide which idea to build next - among with using my intuition. If enough people ask about it, I can share some of my frameworks in the next posts.

First of all, I have nothing against copying other people's business models. Directly copying is lame and just a lose/lose move, so I never do that. But copying ("being inspired" is a better word) a business model to another niche is a powerful move. Mix, match, combine.. making remixes is a powerful thing. And you have to always be looking out for new business models, business ideas, projects, read case studies, trying to understand how things work.. Otherwise you have no chance of making it in this part of the entrepreneurship world. Or just build a single product and stick to it. Or if you're technical, find a real entrepreneur you can support, etc. Go big on your strengths. Nothing is more important than being in your wave and vibes brothers. Find yours and stay there.

Actually in this post, instead of writing in detail about a single business, I'll do two. This will not be extremely long, but long enough for you to understand how I approach it all. Don't hesitate to reply & ask questions if you want. I don't like dumb questions - either read this post a couple times, or Google them. If you still have no idea, even if it's dumb, you're allowed to ask.

#1: Webflow Theme Detector
As you already probably know, there are lots of sites like BuiltWith or WhatWPThemeIsThat that receive lots of traffic. In the range of hundreds of thousands or low millions. Once you have a traffic like that, you can easily monetize it.
A few weeks ago I received a pitch deck from a startup who were raising money. I sometimes do angel investing and this startup was interesting enough to learn more about. I visited their website and loved the design. But I somehow knew it was a template, and wanted to learn what it was called so I could use it later maybe. Used BuiltWith, it told me it was a Webflow based site, but there is no way to tell what the theme is called - except with a tool like WhatWebflowThemeIsThat (that's the idea - I'm giving it away for free, yeah!). Webflow will get more and more popular each day, it's a rocketship. People will need and want this. You just need good SEO to win over your competitors.
Technically, your "bots" can visit the Webflow site and look within the HTML code for the theme's name (if there's something like that) - if not, your job is tougher. But that's the idea. People will simply put the website's URL on your search bar, your site will tell them the theme's name, if it's edited, version etc.
How do you monetize that? Simple. Put a bunch of ads on the site (for non-buyer visitors). And with each theme search, link your affiliated link for the visitor to buy the theme with. Also, for sure, become a Webflow affiliate (if that even exists) and put banners etc. This project can be easily built, with good SEO and a good product among with good monetization, you have a 6-figure site on your hands in a year or so. That means it can be sold for 7-figures on the primary markets. Poof, you're a millionaire.

Why I won't build this: I don't like dealing with SEO, and this project doesn't really excite me much compared to the value it'll give me.

#2: Black Paper Books
This one is not totally technological, but a business that you can build in a month and easily automatize with almost no work.
I was randomly checking out projects on Kickstarter one day, for generating ideas. A project was interesting to me: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/luisferro/meditations-on-black-paper - basically the guy took a book with a cult following (Marcus Aurelius' Meditations), created a nice cover and instead of white paper, prints it in black paper with white ink. If I didn't see it being funded by 500+ people for €30k+, I wouldn't take this idea so seriously.
But there's something real going on there - people want the thing! The reasoning I've found is simple: They have certain books they love, and they want a "collector's" version of that book to stay on their shelf. Maybe leave it to their grandkids even.
My initial idea was to do this for other cult following, classical books: Sun Tzu's Art of War, Machiavelli, other Stoics like Seneca.. so pretty much anything that is loved by a certain group of people, and that has no copyright. What you'll need is to find a good and probably a local printing house (or whatever it's called), get prices for black paper books with custom cover designs. Get the designs made to a great designer on Upwork and you're done. Set up a Shopify store, run ads like crazy. Once you figure out the fulfillment and logistics side of things, this will be a money printing business.

Why I won't build this: I like 100% digital businesses - physical shipping etc is a pain in the butt. Also, I've asked a friend who knew about printing stuff and he told me the profit margins with black paper wouldn't be great - you can ditch the black paper and just go for collectible books then. The potential of this business is too small for me. You can easily make $20-30k/mo with this though.


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People ask a lot about my MVP process. Let me tell you the steps I'd take to build these two businesses with minimal effort and spend:

For the Webflow business, let's assume you have zero technical knowledge. Go to Upwork, find a developer who does front-end but also knows a bit about back-end development (don't be cheap or you'll waste your time) and ask them to find a way to figure out Webflow theme names of Webflow websites. Once he/she figures it out, ask them to build a URL search bar (just like BuiltWith) that will return the Theme's name, details etc. Get it built, and pay the price - probably will take $500-1000 max, depending on the dev & work. With your website built, put relevant ads and apply for becoming a Webflow (or theme) affiliate. Put those banners on. Take the website live. Spread the word in Webflow forums or whatever they have, frontend and web dev forums, subreddits etc. Open up a blog, start writing about Webflow stuff, do some SEO, give it time. Done.

For the book business, first decide on the book. Get a nice book cover done by an Upwork designer, get some rendered photos to showcase them (we'll sell it first, before building it - keep reading). Either open a Kickstarter like the guy I linked did, or build a landing page (even WP works) with a RESERVE NOW button. Fill out the landing page with cool photos of the book, explain why you're doing this, create a story around it. Give people a time schedule for them to receive the book etc. If it's Machiavelli, for example, go to Robert Greene's Facebook Groups, subreddits, what have you - and post your link. Also run some FB/IG ads. Create social media pages to showcase the photos. With the money you've collected (which should be in the range of thousands if you have some talent), go to a local printing shop, or find some company online to figure out how to print the book. Figure out all the details, logistics and all that. At the beginning, you'll probably need to ship them yourself by hand and all that stuff - no worries, you're an entrepreneur. We never complain, we just get shit done. Voila, you have a real business in your hands.

Good luck to everyone with their pursuits.
 

nickirv

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Hi Ontealdon,

1. How did you start your first Micro-SaaS business? Were you equipped with enough capital to hire Upwork freelancers and pay them $500-$1000?

2. Are you well adversed in programming? Could you code?

3. Before contacting UpWork Freelancers, is it correct to initially draw traction using a Landing Page for people who are short on capital?

Thank you very much!
 
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callahanCZ

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Everyday somebody breaks the bank here with 2500$ day etc..
I can't even make 10 dollars, even 1 dollar online.
Nothing works.
All methods I found are just scams that do not work.
Can someone teach me privately at least one way to make like 50$ day?
Or 20?
Don't ruin this thread with dumb, stupid posts like this. You have to learn something in order to make money, not just begging for methods and crying.
 

Ontealdon

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Hey everyone - grateful for all the nice replies and private messages I receive every day from you all.
Please keep in mind that I'm doing this to improve the vision of the community. Otherwise the content I give can be monetized easily, I'm just sharing too much & valuable info that you can't find anywhere else, among with literal business ideas.
Do not hesitate to contact me or reply here with your questions & business/partnership offers, but only if you know what you're doing :)
Good luck to everyone, as always.
 

Ontealdon

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Hi Ontealdon,

1. How did you start your first Micro-SaaS business? Were you equipped with enough capital to hire Upwork freelancers and pay them $500-$1000?

2. Are you well adversed in programming? Could you code?

3. Before contacting UpWork Freelancers, is it correct to initially draw traction using a Landing Page for people who are short on capital?

Thank you very much!
Bullshit questions brother. Let's say I answered all of these questions in detail, how would that even benefit you, except maybe the last one?
Do not waste your time. Take action.
 

blogmen

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Ok so you like to motivate people. I think the best way to inspire us is to tell us more about your current journey.

How much money are you making now? 2.5k per day?
 

reaaski

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Ok so you like to motivate people. I think the best way to inspire us is to tell us more about your current journey.

How much money are you making now? 2.5k per day?
I think the point here is to switch to long term mindset than aim for quick bucks here. If you are around 25 year old, it's time to do this. You have a fully developed brain at this point capable of many things.

Many guys are in their 30s, 40s and 50s and it makes me cringe seeing how they pursue some short term income.

You know. If you can spend 16 hours a day working, you should spend them the best way possible.

The main thing I have taken away from this thread is to be laser focused on making as many products as I can and testing different markets, ignoring obstacles.

With digital products copy someone's code, use as much open-source technology as possible. Literally glue everything together spending only 10 hours and pushing the product into the market. If it works, optimize for conversion and push harder. Put strict constraints on everything. If you can't do it in 10 hours, probably you're doing too much for the first version or your workflow is a mess. Just be good at what you are doing, so it goes fast. Rapid prototyping and development of products are key ingredients


Knowing 3 frameworks, you can build every app just copy pasting existing code. Knowing machine learning, you can go to gpt-3 and quickly make it on producthunt. ML products are few, so getting exposure is not a problem. Look how much conversion.ai is charging. They have really bad competition barely understanding what they're doing.

Another guy under the name of Cyberjunkie made a thread about landing high ticket clients. Most came out scratching their heads and wondering what he is talking about. People don't have faith these big gigs and payments can be normal. See it one time and you will believe, never coming back to scams and disrespectful 100% black hat methods.
 
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