45
125 Comments

I reached $10k ARR ($843 MRR) in 2.5 months. AMA

Hello everyone,

I launched a product called Feather (feather. so) on Twitter on 18th May 2022, and grew it to $10k ARR in 2.5 months.

Feather is a blogging platform that uses Notion as your CMS.

Right now, Feather has 87 paid customers and has $843 MRR. My main channel of customer acquisition has been through Twitter and word of mouth.

AMA!

  1. 1

    What an amazing journey, Bhanu. Congrats!! What was the biggest learning you transferred from building MDX to Feather?

  2. 5

    I'm enjoying your journey a lot! Keep it up.

    My question is, how did you get the idea of building it? Where does the idea come from?

    1. 5

      I started blogging when I was working on my very first startup. Since it was the first time I was building a complete product from scratch, I learned so many new things and I started blogging about all of these things on Hashnode.

      My workflow looked something like this.
      – I start writing my content on Notion.
      – After I finish writing, I export the notion content to markdown.
      – Add the markdown content to my Hashnode blog.
      – Reupload all the images and change the image URLs to the new ones.

      It took a good amount of time to do this process again and again.

      So, when it was time for me to build a new product, I solved my own problem. I wanted to build my own blogging platform, but I really liked the Notion editor and its vast capabilities and integrations.

      So, I decided to use Notion as the editor for my blogging platform, instead of building my own editor.

      That's how MDX.one (my 2nd product) was born.

      Feather is my 4th product which is a complete rebuild and rebrand of MDX.one.

      You can know more about this in one of the podcast episodes that I did.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj-rRr1ehtw

      1. 2

        Incredibly inspiring @pbteja1998, Congrats on the great milestone! 🎉

  3. 4

    The design of the site is fantastic, did you come up with it yourself or work with a designer?

    1. 1

      A designer made it. Not me.

  4. 4

    It's been amazing watching you progress with Feather! Keep it up and thanks for sharing it on Twitter!

    Question: this notion to blog space seems fairly crowded to me (I've only looked into it a tiny bit tbf) but did you notice that as well?

    How did you try to differentiate Feather from the rest?

    1. 3

      When i was building MDX.one, it was not that crowded. But now there are a lot of Notion builders coming up.

      For Feather, my main focus are blogs. It's a blogging platform. That's all it is. This singular focus kinda allows me to focus on things that are important to Blogging, rather than being a generic Notion website builders.

      It's like a niche of a niche. I think that's my main differentiator. Other than that, my product roadmap is mostly driven by my customers. So I just build things that they are looking for or I build things that I think can be useful to them.

  5. 3

    Can you elaborate on how you got your first customers? I saw you manually migrated their Wordpress blogs to Feather - did they reach out to you? How did you meet these first users and know they had a need for your product?

    1. 1

      They just replied to my tweets saying that "The only thing that's stopping me to use Feather is that it takes so much time and effort to migrate the content from my WordPress blog to Feather"

      So, I told them that I would do it for them. Some of them agreed and some of them haven't replied back.

      But I went ahead and did it anyway and showed it them after the migration. Once the migration is done, even the people who haven't replied back liked it and migrated to Feather.

  6. 3

    Hi Bhanu,

    I follow you on Twitter too, you're a big inspiration to me!

    I was wondering, you've kinda build the same product before (MDX.one) which did not get the same traction as Feather.

    What would you say is the biggest difference between the two that made Feather kick off while it's actually (kind of) the same app as MDX.one?

    1. 1

      I am not exactly sure, to be honest. I am still wondering the same. Even though both product ideas are the same, the product itself is vastly different from each other.

      But still, it's a mystery to me, why one grew more than the other.

  7. 3

    Wonderful! Congratulations and to your continued success!

  8. 3

    Just watched your video with @AntCas, really love it 💜

    Really love your product, keep building 👍🏼

    1. 3

      Thank you 😀

      It was my first ever podcast, I cringe myself when I watch it 😅

      1. 2

        There was nothing to cringe at that's just self-perception.

        It goes away the more comfortable you get on camera/mic.

        I'm much less shy than I was when I started.

    2. 2

      Thanks Sumit <3

      Here's the link for anyone else that wants to check it out:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj-rRr1ehtw&t=1s

  9. 3

    Any life hacks to get the first 100 and 1000 Twitter followers if you have 1 hour per day?

    1. 1

      I don't know any life hacks, but what worked for me is just sharing my journey (building in public) and interacting with others who are also doing things similar to me.

      I made a lot of Twitter friends that way.

      1. 2

        Thanks for sharing!
        I have one difficulty - I do not have time to be active in the comments. Looks like you should be online the whole day, but it's impossible. Are there any ways to be more active in comments, but if you can open Twitter a couple of times per day?

        1. 1

          Why do you need to be active in the comments or be online the whole day? Just reply to the comments when you can and if you want to. At least that's what I have been doing. I don't force anything on myself.

          1. 2

            Okay, got it, thanks man

  10. 2

    I'm so glad you stepped in and posted this AMA, Bhanu!

    I'm curious to ask, what does a typical daily/weekly schedule look like in Bhanu's world?

    And has this changed over the course of the last couple of months?

    Jas

    1. 1

      This comment was deleted 10 days ago.

  11. 2

    Did all 87 paid customers come from Twitter?

    1. 1

      I can't say for sure. But Twitter was the only place where I talked about Feather. So, I guess all of them either directly or indirectly(through word of mouth) came from Twitter.

  12. 2

    Hey Bhanu, saw your video interview. Really inspiring.

    Can you share how did you go about the initial users? You mentioned it was your own problem too, so did you go about asking if others had the same problem? Or you opened up directly to waitlist?

    1. 2

      I opened it directly to the waitlist. I was confident that I could build something in one month, and I was okay with wasting that one month of time. So, I just went ahead and started building it with a waitlist.

  13. 2

    Awesome results 🎉
    What are your plans to expand ?

    1. 1

      No idea yet. I want to focus on SEO in the long term.

  14. 2

    What Apps are you using for Analytics?

  15. 2

    Hi Bhanu,
    Congratulations for the MRR. I have also been following you on twitter and you have really inspired me to start my product.
    I'm also building my product and was stuck in doubt that which payment gateway shall I use that makes things easier like conversion of dollar payments to Indian ruppee etc. Cause I'm living in India like you so which one would be best?

    1. 1

      Hey, I use Paddle and I am very happy with it so far.

      1. 2

        Is your company based in US or India?

        1. 1

          I don't have a company yet. I haven't incorporated anything. Operating in a sole proprietorship setting.

  16. 2

    Will you be supporting other applications than Notion?

    1. 1

      which application are you looking for?

    2. 1

      Maybe in the very far future. My focus right now is to use Notion. I love Notion 😅

  17. 2

    [Code vs No Code question]
    You think is possible to create this with No-code?

    1. 1

      I don't have much experience with no-code. I created a no-code tool, but haven't used many no-code tools yet. So, I don't think I am the right person to answer this.

      That being said. I think it's possible.

      I created a separate API product called https://usenotioncms.com/ and it's definitely possible to replicate Feather using (my useNotionCMS API + a no-code tool like Bubble).

      1. 1

        Very interesting, I am trying to find out what are the limitations of no-code and how much prominence it will have in the future, thank you very much for your response.

  18. 2

    How did you know anyone was going to pay for it before you launched?

    1. 1

      I didn't know. I have some users who tried it while it's in beta, so I thought atleast some of them will pay for it when launched.

  19. 2

    hello Teja, congrats for the milestone.

    how do you reach your beta users?

    1. 1

      They just found me on Twitter while I was building Feather in public.

  20. 2

    Really awesome and intuitive approach to creating a product! Love it.

  21. 2

    amazing returns.. keep it up

  22. 2

    Hey man, great work! How did you sell your product once it's up? Did you go through blood, sweat and tears to get these 87 customers, or were they already waiting for your product and converted fairly easily?

    1. 2

      The first few users were hardest to get. I used to spend hours and hours trying to migrate their existing blog to Feather and then showing them. If they like, they would immediately convert. Because I already did all the hard part for them. But once I got those initial 5-15 customers, the rest of the journey was pretty smooth.

  23. 2

    Beautiful! Great job :)

  24. 2

    Congrats on the milestone, that's really awesome. We just launched a new project as well, so I'd like to ask: how did you go about getting your first users? Are there any particular places that you shared your project? I see that you mentioned Twitter, but can you share a bit more about how you gained your initial followers?

    Well done once again and thanks for the AMA.

    1. 1

      I got my initial users through building in public. When I did not have any product, I shared about how I'm building my first product... Things like what features I'm adding, why I'm adding etc. Once I have a product, then I talk about what people are saying about the product, how they are using it, how many people are using it, my income, revenue, costs,... I almost share everything about building my business.

      1. 1

        Great idea and you've inspired me to start doing this! When you say building in public, are you mostly communicating through social media posts? Blog posts? In any case, I think I'm going to take a page from your book and start iterating Collab Spot in public. Should be a good way to get more feedback!

  25. 2

    Congrats on this milestones!

  26. 2

    Bhanu, It’s been so cool following you from the MDX days to building Feather. It’s an awesome product. Best of all: You’re just getting started!!

    I’m another satisfied customer. Using Feather to run my Sotion.so/blog

    Keep up the good work man!! Love it!

    1. 1

      Thank you Bruce 😀

  27. 2

    Awesome journey Bhanu :)

    What's your plan for growing Feather further, will you be making partnerships with influencers or related startups?

    I am curious to know what's on your backend?

    1. 1

      My long term plan is to grow Feather organically via SEO.

  28. 2

    Nice wordplay: 10K ARR sounds a lot better than $843 MRR! :)

  29. 2

    Your website looks great. But for support do you have something like docs and a ticketing system or just crisp chat?

    1. 1

      It's just crisp and email right now.

      1. 1

        You use crisp for live chat probably. If yes then are you willing to migrate to another helpdesk Saas if it is cheaper and also has docs and ticketing system?
        I was asking this question as I have a helpdesk SAAS which offers all the features that you would probably need and is also a lot cheaper(50$ per month for the features I mentioned)

        1. 1

          No. Thanks. I am happy with my current setup currently. I don't need any more features, at least for now.

  30. 2

    Congrats! Pretty cool project and $10k ARR in 2.5 months is also huge success!

    How did you prepare your landing page? Which tech stack did you use?

    1. 1

      It's Tailwind + Remix

  31. 2

    A happy user of Feather here :D It's nice and convenient!

    1. 1

      Thank you Mariam 😀

      Awesome to see you here!

  32. 2

    Love your journey, Bhanu. Congrats on this feat of reaching PMF :)

    I'm curious how you went about with your initial customers, as in, did you charge them when it was newly launched? Or you waited for the product to mature & allowed customers to use feather for free until then while gathering feedback?

    1. 2

      I opened up free beta for a few days while the product is still in development and it was free during that time. But I made it clear that it will be paid product, and that there will be no free version.

      Although a lot of people tried the product during free beta, only 2 or 3 people among those beta users have converted to paid customers. But those 2 or 3 have helped shape the initial product so much.

      1. 2

        That makes a lot of sense, Teja. Thanks for sharing :)

  33. 2

    Congrats! That is really nice.
    When did you start building your audience on Twitter?

    1. 1

      Thank you Augustas 😀

      I started sharing my indie hacking journey on Twitter in the may of last year.

  34. 2

    Congrats!
    Really cool product!

  35. 2

    congratulations ! Link to feather in your post is not working may be correct it.

    1. 1

      🤦 Thanks for letting me know.

  36. 2

    Impressive, it sounds like you've found a great product and market fit.

    Did you feel like it would be successful when you first started? As in, did you have a good feeling about it?

    1. 1

      Nope. I still don't. I feel like it can stop at any moment 😅

      The main reason is this is not an entirely new product. This is a rebrand and rebuild of one of my previous products. The product itself is different, but the idea is the same (Notion to Blog).

      So, that previous product did not do well, so I obviously thought this wouldn't do well too.

      But it exceeded my expectations by many folds.

      1. 2

        That's great to hear! Maybe the new rebrand resonates more with the target audience?

        Exceeding your expectations is always a good thing!

        1. 1

          Maybe. I don't know for sure what helped this time.

  37. 2

    Any style tips? How can indie-hackers also be hot?

    1. 1

      🤣 You are asking the wrong person 🤣

  38. 2

    Congrats mate.

    We started to monetize with subscriptions a bit earlier than you, and we're not even at $200 MRR.

    I know it's not helpful to compare, but I think your growth is a great baseline for how a growth rate should/would look like if we had more of a painkiller product.

    All the best 🚀

    1. 3

      Well, I know all about it haha.

      This is not my first product, it's my 4th one 😅

      None of my previous products had this much growth.

      1. 2

        Overnight success :p

  39. 2

    I was looking for something like this to publish my Notion blogs. Now I got it. Great work

    1. 1

      @Bici, how often do you cover startups that have achieved Mrr?

      Is there a particular set of startups that you cover? meaning do only cover startups in a specific industry, or do you cover startups based on where they are on their journey(maybe you only cover startups that just gained traction). or ultimately do you cover all sorts of startups?

    2. 1

      That's awesome. Will talk to you from inside the live chat on feather.so. Please feel free to message me from there 😀

  40. 2

    This is incredible, I've watched it over the last months, congrats.

    Best regards from bannernote.com

  41. 2

    Whoaaa that's super impressive - congrats! 😍😍😍 How much would you say good networking impacted your growth?

    1. 2

      Not sure what you mean by good networking. But my initial 5-10 users are the users that i know from Twitter. Once I got them in, they helped shape the product to what it is today. Word of mouth started growing on its own from there. People started tweeting about Feather and they started recommending it to others.

  42. 2

    Wow that's impressive! Can you elaborate on what you do on Twitter? Do you do cold outreach, share features or what do you do? :-)

    1. 2

      I just build in public. Share all the things related to my business, including features, my revenue, my costs, what others are saying about the product, how others are using it, etc, almost everything.

      I did not do any cold outreach.

      1. 2

        That's so cool, thank you. I need to do this a lot more!

  43. 2

    If you didn't have a Twitter audience, do you think it is worth working on this project?

    1. 2

      In my case, I'm not sure. The first 5-10 users I got are people I know on Twitter. They helped shape the product very much. Getting those first few users took so much of time than getting the rest of the users. I used to spend hours just migrating a user's blog from WordPress to Feather. That's how I got my first users.

  44. 2

    Feather is beautiful! But I wonder why did you move away from the previous platform you created? Does feather solve a problem your previous one didn't? (I don't remember the name of the previous platform)

    1. 2

      There were many problems with the previous product. The main one being the costs associated with it. I once got a bill of around $10k for hosting.

      So, I closed off signups for that, and rebuilt everything from scratch. The end product was so different from the previous one, that I decided to launch it as an entirely new product.

      I am slowly migrating old users one by one to this new platform. There weren't that many of them.

      1. 2

        @pbteja1998

        Would like to invite your startup to Cercuit A.i, where we help startups match with VC's that are within their own industry.

        Would like to discuss your business journey with you should you be available, one understands that as a builder, lots of time is spent on that

        1. 1

          Hey, thank you. I'm currently not looking for any investments. Thanks for the invite.

          1. 1

            Duly Noted, Would like to understand the reason for opting not to look for investments? Do you feel that your startup is too early to be taking on capital, do you have a milestone that you want to reach prior to taking on capital? please advise as this data will help me understand why some startups that i approach will choose not to be on the platform.

            1. 2

              I just don't need capital. Product is already profitable and I am OK with the pace it is growing at. So, the reason is I just don't need the capital.

  45. 1

    What's your tech stack (how do you handle the multi-tenancy / custom domain part specifically?) and what are you using for analytics?

  46. 1

    Well done! Greate project

  47. 0

    Maybe we could team up, we can offer our fabform.io forms service if you want to integrate it into feather, for your bloggers who want to add a contact form

    1. 1

      If your form can be embedded in Notion, Feather users can already use it. I don't have to do anything extra.

  48. 1

    This comment was deleted 13 days ago.

Trending on Indie Hackers
I failed 5 startups, what next? 37 comments Users want to use social logins 34 comments Do you have a blog for your business? If not yet, why? 28 comments What I've learned building an indie SaaS business 28 comments How to learn hard things in tech 28 comments 26 actionable marketing tasks you can do right now 14 comments