First Customer and 4000 Users Later

Time flies fast. It’s been 5 months since I posted the last milestone celebrating 500 subscribers.

I’m happy to announce that this number is now almost 9 times bigger – we are now at 4200 subscribers and counting. I’m not even sure if subscriber is the correct term here – because the original newsletter has evolved into a product with scale I didn’t anticipate. But more about that later.

The numbers

Presumably the most interesting part for you IndieHackers. Some of these are publicly available on our /open page. Some, I had to dig up for a bit.

Visitors
Landing visits15k + 3k
Avg session2m 22s
Bounce rate63.77%
Members4.21k
Visitors ➜ Sign ups███░░░░░░░░ 28%
Vacancies
Jobs collected47.31k
Jobs displayed3.19M
Socmedia likes & upvotes6.5k
Emailing
Emails sent21.74k
Delivery Rate94.12%
Open rate79.34% (data from 7 May, 2020)

Product evolution

So listen kids. It all started with a newsletter. It wasn’t an ordinary newsletter. It was a magical one. This newsletter was powered by machine learning algorithms and could personalise delivered job offers based on your skills, preferences and feedback with great precision.

In order to send personalised newsletter to every subscriber, Remote Weekly had to collect a lot of remote jobs. Several thousands per month to be precise. It felt wrong having all this data and only use them few times per month. Also, job offers expire fast.

That’s the reason why we rolled out Remote Daily, a sister website using the same database, with simple Google-like search box.

However, last month. Last month, we did a big thing. Last month was the bomb.
Last month, we:

  1. Merged the newsletter, fulltext search and account management under one roof.
  2. At the same time, we introduced the live feed™ and used it as the default screen after logging in.
    This includes an actual RSS feed tailored for you.
  3. We also implemented the bookmarking system. Newsletter, list, detail, fulltext search. It doesn’t matter where you click the button, all your bookmarked job posts will be saved in one place.
  4. Kicked off our own subreddit, Facebook group, Telegram channel and instagram account.

Target audience shift

Now. There are multiple categories of people looking for a remote job – all based on their remote work experience and hard skills they posses.

  • A) People who never worked remotely before 🙁
  • B) Quite familiar with the concept of home office 🤔
  • C) Fully remote 🥰

  • 1) People with no specific skillset 🙁
  • 2) Basic computer and office apps knowledge 🤔
  • 3) People with junior level skillset in given field 😉
  • 4) Pros at senior+ level in their respective field 🥰

Obviously, if you fit into the C4 group, you have pretty much no use for remote job boards, job hunting Facebook groups, subreddits, Slack/Telegram channels or newsletters. You are being actively approached by headhunters and can be picky.

By the same logic, if you belong to A1, you need all the help you can get. But honestly, your chances landing a remote job while in this group are negligible. At this point, you don’t need a job board. You need knowledge, skills and patience. In this situation, you should be self-educating from free articles, Youtube, Udemy, Skillshare or LinkedIn courses.

Too harsh? Perhaps. But that’s the honest truth.

That brings us to the final, largest segment. Beginner & intermediate in both hard skills and remote work. Basically B+ combined with 2-3. That’s the group of users we are aiming at right now.

It wasn’t always like that. The initial newsletter focus was at senior professionals who didn’t actively look for new opportunities, but wanted to stay in the loop for interesting openings anyway.

Monetization

There are multiple takes on how to monetize a project like this.

  1. There is the typical b2b approach – charge companies for posting a job.
  2. Then we have the b2c alternative – convert visitors into users and charge them for accessing certain part of your data.
    This could be company contact details or the number of offers they can browse per day.
  3. Affiliate links or ads – make the content free but offer additional deals/services/whatever alongside with it.
  4. Optional contributions from the community you create, like Patreon and such.

For the time being, we are opting for a mixture of b2b and affiliates. The “plan” is to iterate through and test all the options in nearest future.

First customer 🥳

This is a good one. Although I’ve implemented the checkout weeks prior to that day, my first customer had to email me a bug report saying the checkout actually doesn’t really work and she can’t submit a job & pay for it.

Is there a better way to torpedo your own side project? Let me know in the comments. I’ll wait.

Since then, I’ve switched from PayPal to Paddle. The implementation is way easier and leaves little to no room for errors. But make no mistake, it was still 100% my fault.

Final note

Huge demand exists for both tech and non-tech remote jobs, there is no denying that. This was multiplied even more by the recent world events.

Is it possible to create a helpful community for remote job seekers merged with educational platform and turn it into a profitable business at the same time? We will see – follow Remote Weekly journey and stay tuned!

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