My Journey Of Building A SaaS Startup in 2018 – Part Two

It’s been a while since my last post.

I’m not sure if I was a bit lazy or I didn’t have a lot of things to say.

For all of you that do not know what I’m blogging about, I’m documenting my journey of building a SaaS startup in 2018.

You can find the first part here – My Journey Of Building A SaaS Startup – Part One

In the first post, I told you how I started all these.

How I decided to build Netcrumb, how the idea came up and how I found a team to help me create it.

In this post, I will write about the things I did in the first 2-3 months.

Before signing the contract with the small team from Bucharest, I knew that I need at least some wireframes so they can understand better what I want.

Our discussions were mostly on ideas written on papers and the features that I wanted, but they didn’t know exactly how I wanted the final product to look.

I’m not a designer, but I thought that I could try and do the wireframes myself to lower down the costs.

I’ve looked for a software that could help me with this, and I found MockFlow.

There were other tools too on the market, but I thought that this suits my needs.

MockFlow has a Free pricing tier, but I don’t remember exactly why I subscribed for the $19 one.

It’s $14 if you pay yearly, but I chose to pay monthly.

This was my first cost for building Netcrumb.

It took me a few days, and I ended up with some decent wireframes.

Below you can find a few screenshots from the MockFlow app.

The wireframes are not the best, but at least anyone can understand what I’m trying to build.

Netcrumb Mockflow Wireframe OneNetcrumb Mockflow Wireframe TwoNetcrumb Mockflow Wireframe ThreeNetcrumb Mockflow Wireframe FourNetcrumb Mockflow Wireframe Five  Netcrumb Mockflow Wireframe Six

After I finished creating these wireframes, I signed the contract, splitting the work in 3 months.

We had frontend, backend and testing tasks. Here is how the Trello looks.

Netcrumb Trello Board

We are a bit behind on the frontend, but I’m pretty sure that we will recover.

I had the wireframes and a signed contract to start building Netcrumb. What next?

While the other guys were working on coding it, I thought that I have to promote it before launching.

The first thing that I wanted for Netcrumb was a marketing landing page.

The design of it was the first task that the company did for me.

I told them that I want something beautiful and clean, but what they sent I didn’t like.

The design I received from them was ok-ish, but I wanted something better, and I thought that maybe I could try and do it myself.

It took me one weekend to create it, and in the left, you can see the design I received initially and in the right is the design I created.

You can tell me in the comments which one you like.

Netcrumb_Landing Pages Draft vs Version V1

After I finished the design, they started writing the CSS/HTML for it plus writing some Javascript code for a request to send an email to a MailChimp list.

Netcrumb’s landing page as it is now, took around two weeks to be completed. After I received the initial version, I wanted changes or other things added, and we went a few times back and forth, but now I’m happy with how Netcrumb looks.

If you have any feedback on Netcrumb’s marketing page, please write some comments.

After I finished the design, I made a campaign with Betalist. If you want to read the complete review about it, please go here: Betalist Review

I made the campaign with another landing page, but I’m still very happy with the results.

I paid $29 to build a fast landing page for the Betalist campaign with Coming Soon by Seedprod, but I think it worth it.

Netcrumb First Landing Page

It’s easy to setup it, but the downside is that it doesn’t have a lot of designs.

To be featured on Betalist I paid another $129, and I was on the first page on 26th of April.

What did I get for this money? I would say 80-100 email subscribers. Please click on the link above to read a detailed review.

Let’s recap how much I paid for things so far

  • $19 + VAT for MockFlow / month
  • $29 Coming Soon by Seedprod
  • $129 Betalist

The costs above are not high, but the most I paid was for the first month of development. How much?

You can read at the end of the article and find out the total costs for the first months.

Between the design and the Betalist launch, I also wrote 3 articles on the blog.

I tried to promote them, and I got quite a few readers, but only around ten email subscribers.

I marketed them with a direct link to netcrumb.com/blog website, and I also contacted a publication on Medium – The Startup.

They say that they have around 300k subscribers and I was expecting a lot of traction on my story. It didn’t come.

I’m not sure how Medium algorithm works, but I will try to find it out.

How many readers did I get on my post?

56 according to Medium stats.

It’s still better than nothing, and it was free marketing.

Netcrumb Medium Part One Post

I promoted my stories on other websites like Indie Hackers and Hacker News.

It’s not a long-term strategy, but I want to create some awareness of what is Netcrumb.

I used in all the posts a newsletter plugin from Upscri.be.

It’s beautiful and easy to set up; it just doesn’t get you a lot of emails.

So what are the Google Analytics stats on the blog posts?

My Journey Of Building A SaaS Startup – Intro had 202 pageviews.

My Journey Of Building A SaaS Startup – Part One had 193 pageviews.

Betalist Review had 177 pageviews.

Netcrumb Posts Google Analytics

This traffic was free and probably got me around ten email subscribers.

What else did I do?

I made my first webinar. Let me tell you the story.

I have this idea in mind to create free webinars to teach people to create their own websites on WordPress.

I thought that I could test it first by making one for Romanian users.

A few months back I posted on a Romanian Facebook group of entrepreneurs the following question: “Would you be interested in a FREE webinar where you could learn how you can make a website on WordPress?

I thought that it will be easier to make my first webinar in my native language, rather than doing it in English.

I got a lot of responses and likes and what did I do next?

I went to Getresponse and I signed up to be able to host a 100 subscribers webinar.

I paid 32 GBP for the first month, if I remember correctly, and I set up a landing page.

Their landing page creator product is so buggy that if I would have had a better choice I would have closed my account with Getresponse. ( Spoiler Alert: I did it after a few days )

Even their main app was not working on Chrome anymore after a few days. Don’t know why.

I was able to login, but then when I wanted to access the newsletter or the webinar I was getting a loading popup that never ended.

I tried to contact their customer service and every time I got a different suggestion which never helped me.

In the end I made the landing page for people to register and then I went back to that Facebook group and guess what?

I got around 70 registrations and I was happy.

I knew that not all of them will come, but I thought that maybe 20-30% will come as I had a double confirmation from them.

It was on a Saturday at 11 AM Romania’s time and guess what? How many came?

Only 3.

I was so disappointed that I didn’t want to do it anymore, but in the end I did it.

It felt like I lost 1 hour from my life that I’m not getting back.

I read later, that in order to have a successful webinar you need at least 500 email sign ups.

I’m still thinking about creating my next webinar, in English this time, but I’m not sure where I can find people that want to learn about creating a WordPress website.

I closed my Getresponse account a few days later with almost 70 subscribers in it. I was asked 2-3 times “Are you sure that you want to close your account” – YES, YES, YES.

I don’t want to use Getresponse ever in my life.

It’s a funny and sad story for me, but at least I learned something new.

Now coming back to my lists, I don’t have an autoresponder on any of them, and I tried to send the first email.

It was a friendly email where I was thanking users for subscribing, and then I was telling them that they can read about my journey on the blog.

Netcrumb First Newsletter

I was surprised when four people unsubscribed on the first email. Maybe they only wanted product launch emails? I will never find out.

Two other things I did for Netcrumb this month was to sign up for Stripe, as this will be our payments processor.

I also signed up for AWS ( Amazon Web Services ).

I’m not sure on what the monthly cost for the AWS will be, but I noticed that I already have to pay around $7 and my product is far from being finished.

Also I’ve received the first designs of the Netcrumb application.

They’re are gorgeous.

I guess the company I’m working with understood what I want.

Take a look below and tell me what you think.

Netcrumb UI Step 1 Choose Category Netcrumb UI Step 2 Choose Palette

Netcrumb UI Step 3 Choose Fonts

I don’t know if I did a lot of things in the first month, but I know that there is a lot to be done in the following months.

The next things that I want to work on are to create a lead magnet on the blog, start a Youtube channel and an autoresponder.

I need a long term content marketing strategy that I hope to help me bring in customers once I launch Netcrumb.

Regarding the total costs. Here is a breakdown:

  • Mailchimp FREE up to 2000 subscribers
  • $23 ( VAT included ) for MockFlow / month – $23
  • $29 Coming Soon by Seedprod
  • $129 Betalist
  • $43 Getresponse ( Cancelled Account )
  • $4700 first month

TOTAL = $4924

I hope you enjoyed the second part and don’t forget to write me something in the comments.

Tell me if you understand what I build, what it’s your thought or any suggestion that you have.

If you know any competitor of GetReponse that has the ability to subscribe people and also hosts webinars please let me know.

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