Today I’m going to show you I launched a profitable side business because of SEO.
I recently launched TextSpot.io (Text Messaging Software for Businesses).
Here’s a summary of the journey to date:
It started over 2 years ago when my wife Rayanne needed to schedule text messages for her old job.
I got curious and then hacked together a website because I’m a big nerd.
Through SEO I got users (even though the software was garbage).
Then I added a premium version (to see if people would pay). They paid!
I told my developer friends and they helped me build a way more legit app called TextSpot.
We recently launched the brand new product with almost 100 paying customers because of a simple test, hard work, and patience.
The above screenshot shows the traffic to the original site (textreminderapp.com) over time. We rose to over 3,000 users per month coming from organic traffic (SEO) and then recently had an expected dip to a new website and name change.
What I Learned Launching TextSpot
You will get nowhere if you don’t have patience with SEO. Since this was a side project and I had originally only spent about 10 hours on it to get the first version launched, I forgot all about it as other things in my life took priority.
Months later, people were emailing me and asking me for certain features (even though it was a free product).
Especially when you’re in an early stage, write helpful content and hit publish. Then learn from it. I knew what I originally put up for a website was not to my standards. In fact, I was embarrassed. But, I needed to launch in order to learn how and where to make improvements and meet customer demands.
If you aren’t sure what product/service to create next or want to start a new business, figure out how you’ll get in front of your buyer first. Don’t build your product first. Build your audience first. Then have your audience help you build the product that they’ll buy.
I did this by creating helpful blog content about sending text reminders that attracted the type of people that would be interested in our product.
SEO as a Validation Service
There is nothing more validating of a product than having a human enter their credit card number.
Don’t just ask people if they would buy the thing. Find a creative way to get them to pay for it, even if it’s in development or pre-development. That’s the best validation you can get (think Kickstarter).
Understand that good keyword research is also market research. Thorough keyword research can even help you find where there is high demand, but low supply.
Example: You might find a keyword or group of keywords with a decent amount of volume, but the search results don’t fulfill their intention well.