Have you tried programmatic SEO?
Below, we're breaking down the SEO strategy that helped Danny Postma attract organic traffic quickly. Hint: Go all in on one very compelling topic.
Implementing AI into your image creation process can be amazing, elevating your brand and strengthening your business, or it can go horribly wrong. This guide can help you create AI images that don't suck!
Founder Tiago Ferreira hit $6,500 in monthly revenue within 2 months after launching Podsqueeze, a content generation platform for podcasters. Here's how he acquired his first customers after Twitter DMs failed, and which channels have been most effective for growth.
This issue is sponsored by EmailOctopus, the indie email marketing platform built to support other growing businesses. With a focus on affordability and ease of use, EmailOctopus contains all the features you need to reach and grow your audience. Start today, and contact up to 2,500 subscribers for free.
Want to share something with over 75,000 indie hackers? Reply to this email. —Channing
💻 Level Up With This Programmatic SEO Strategy
We all know that Danny Postma is seeing crazy success with HeadshotPro and the rest of his portfolio of AI products, since selling his previous company.
At first, I assumed that it was all from AI hype. Then, last week, I heard Danny mention on the Indie Hackers Podcast that he uses SEO to drive traffic.
So, I did some digging to find out how. Let's dive in!
Ranking high-volume keywords
Here's the first thing I found: Headshot gets 3K monthly organic visitors. How?
For one, it's ranking in top 10 for "professional headshots," which has:
- Monthly search volume: 21K.
- Keyword difficulty: 23.
- Plus, 193 other keywords (a lot with good search volume, also).
The kicker? He did this in under three months:
Two-pronged SEO approach
Danny used a two-pronged approach:
- Programmatic SEO:
By generating 200+ pages for different cities and counties (programmatic SEO), Danny ranked for long-tail keywords like:
- "Professional headshots in San Francisco."
- "Professional headshots in Boston."
2. Writing blog posts targeting one keyword:
Notice a trend in these titles?
Danny has a domain rating of 44, which is great. He started at 35 when he launched, probably getting a good chunk of backlinks and referring domains from his launch on Product Hunt, and elsewhere.
Then, in April, the real backlinks came in. It's not clear if he went out and sought them, or if they came naturally, as his product became more well-known and mentioned.
Luckily, Danny chimed in on my tweet, filling in the gaps on how he did this:
Either way, this is the quickest ROI on SEO that I've seen. Usually, it takes months for Google to figure out how to position your listing.
- Programmatic SEO is the fast way.
- SEO via individual blog posts is the slow way.
- Doing both compounds your results.
- Go all in on a good topic.
I have a free SEO resource, Honest Guide to SEO for IndieMakers, specifically for indie makers. It doesn't cover programmatic, just individual blog writing for keywords, but it's a great "get off the ground" guide if you're interested!
Will you give programmatic SEO a shot? Share your thoughts below!
Discuss this story.
📰 In the News
from the Growth Trends newsletter by Darko
🌤 Bluesky has hit 100K members before exiting beta.
🏛 US and EU lawmakers are moving to draft an AI code of conduct.
📝 This cheatsheet can help you find the best ad format based on your business objectives.
🤖 ChatGPT is cutting non-English languages out of the AI revolution.
🍔 American cheese may be making a comeback.
Check out Growth Trends for more curated news items focused on user acquisition and new product ideas.
🖼 Creating AI Images That Don’t Suck
from the Hustle Newsletter by Susie Ippolito
Trendster Jeremy Somers is a visual storyteller who has been creating images for most of his life.
When he realized that he could offer his clients more value in less time by tagging in AI, he put all his eggs in that basket, and took his content game to the next level.
Make no mistake: AI is ushering in an era of crap content, and most people are generating flying pigs and Princess Leia fantasies. Don't be those people.
Luckily for us, Jeremy shared the lowdown on successfully implementing AI into your content creation process!
Build out and learn your toolbox
Generative AI has to be original, engaging, and on-brand to be worth the investment.
In order to stand out in a sea of generic AI content, you will need to master these tools, or hire someone who has:
Midjourney: The well-known AI image generation platform describes itself as "a sentient AI digi-poacher."
DreamStudio: The younger, less experienced, but super ambitious version of Midjourney.
TopazLabs: Scales, sharpens, and improves AI images to make them more usable.
Canva: Useful for templates and design, and recently integrated new AI tools. It also has a pretty cool founder's story.
Booltool: Can animate images, blur backgrounds, and swap faces, the most fear-inducing of all AI uses.
ChatGPT: Everybody's new BFF. Admit it, you've told it you love it more than once.
*Don't sleep on the crucial human element. We prompted DreamStudio to create an avatar of a founder obsessed with business trends. The fail: Every image was male.
Start with a good brief
Yes, you still need a creative brief. Make it a good one.
Your brand needs significant knowledge about itself to pull this off successfully. Keep in mind that it's your responsibility to feed the AI:
- A campaign strategy, including where and how the content will be used, and the goal of the campaign (awareness, engagement, growing the email list, etc.).
- Brand information, including target market, mission, and values.
- A thorough product description.
- The brand's taxonomy of colors, vibe, and voice.
Here's the difference.
When word broke that Tiffany & Co. was launching a collaboration with Nike for a limited edition $400 shoe, the AI artists went to work.
*Left image: AI-created Nike and Tiffany & Co. kicks with no brief in place, purely an AI artist's vision of what it could be. Right image: The actual sneaker showcases a collaboration between two legendary brands. And, yes, we want them.
Create good prompts from the brief
Go through the brief and pull out the adjectives and verbs that give it life. Use these to describe your brand to the bots to generate the right vibe.
Most people using AI lack the ability to articulate prompts in enough detail to generate content that holds value for a brand.
A well-designed brief is the key to generating prompts that deliver usable content.
Hand it to the idea people
Enter the (human) creatives.
There is a taxonomy of visual content that expresses color, texture, voice, mood, and other elements in vivid detail. Pros like Jeremy are fluent in this language.
Brands can work with a strategist or visual storyteller to develop a unique lexicon for AI content generation.
These creatives elevate prompts into well-articulated, detailed statements that generate content aligned with the brand's image and campaign goals.
Jeremy warns that "skilled humans will become increasingly rare," meaning that they will become more expensive to hire.
Bring in the branding
After the final AI images are created, another revision is needed to add logos, retouch, upscale images, and alter AI-generated colors to ensure a unique end product.
*Source: A product of Jeremy's intricate AI design process.
The goal is not only to create beautiful images, but images that work to achieve campaign goals, while maintaining a cohesive brand image.
Take a cue from Jeremy, and "become a thought leader in your brand for how AI will be used." Focus on resourcefulness over resources to get the best results.
In other words, get creative.
Jeremy predicts that "AI will not kill jobs; it will elevate the people who use it wisely."
Vive les artistes!
Will you use these tips to create images using AI? Let's chat below!
Subscribe to the Hustle Newsletter for more.
🔥 Landing Page Hot Tips
by Rob Hope
Strengthen your landing page with these design, development, and conversion tips:
Use your footer area for pre-sale support.
If your visitor has not committed by the end of the scroll, they still have doubts. Insert your FAQs, along with your support details, in the footer.
This area could be the difference between a visitor and a customer.
Subscribe to Rob's One Page Love newsletter for his favorite UI, design, and development finds.
🎙 Tiago Ferreira Hit $6.5K MRR With Podsqueeze
by Sveta Bay
Hey, indie hackers! Every week, I send a marketing case study from a profitable founder. Today, I want to share with you how Tiago Ferreira managed to grow Podsqueeze to $6.5K MRR within just two months after launch!
What is Podsqueeze?
Podsqueeze is a tool that helps podcasters save time and effort by generating different types of content for and from their episodes.
With Podsqueeze, podcasters can create show notes, timestamps, newsletters, tweets, and more, in just one click. The content is generated using AI, so it's highly accurate, and saves a lot of time.
Who’s your ideal customer?
We have two core personas for Podsqueeze:
Small to medium-sized podcasters who want to grow their audiences, but have limited time to dedicate to their show. The problem we solve here is the lack of time to write various types of content for episodes. This can be particularly challenging for solo founders who are juggling multiple responsibilities.
Podcasting agencies that manage multiple podcasts, and are already paying a lot for freelancers to write their show notes. For agencies, we save them money by eliminating the need to pay people to create the content.
To acquire our core personas, we focus on three channels:
- Social media platforms like Reddit and Twitter.
- Cold email outreach to connect with potential customers.
- Partnerships with podcast hosting platforms and other tools, to reach podcasters who already invested in the podcasting ecosystem.
How did you get your first 10 customers?
Initially, we tried DMing people on Twitter to promote Podsqueeze. It worked well for my previous projects, but it didn't yield any results for this one.
So, we shifted our focus to sharing it on Reddit, in AI newsletters, and through cold email. These tactics proved effective, and we acquired our first 10 customers within the first two weeks after the launch.
Our early customers are still using our product, so word-of-mouth is also one of the channels.
Providing a quality product that solves our customers' pain points has helped with retention.
What’s been your best marketing decision?
Launching on Product Hunt was a standout marketing event for us. It allowed us to get a lot of eyeballs on our product, and we generated around 5K visitors to our page. As a result, our MRR increased by $1K.
Before launching on Product Hunt, we ensured that our funnel was tuned and worked correctly. We didn't want to waste the traffic. So, we spent time improving our landing page, including more CTAs in the feature section, and removing excessive text.
As a result of our efforts, the funnel remained steady and efficient, and we converted a good number of visitors into paying customers. Our Product Hunt launch turned out to be a great success, and it helped us gain more traction.
Next, we want to partner with affiliates from different countries who can help us penetrate new markets. We also plan to reach out to bigger agencies by joining podcasting conferences and events!
Discuss this story.
🐦 The Tweetmaster's Pick
by Tweetmaster Flex
I post the tweets indie hackers share the most. Here's today's pick:
🏁 Enjoy This Newsletter?
Forward it to a friend, and let them know they can subscribe here.
Also, you can submit a section for us to include in a future newsletter.
Special thanks to Jay Avery for editing this issue, to Gabriella Federico for the illustrations, and to Kyleigh, Darko, Susie Ippolito, Rob Hope, and Sveta Bay for contributing posts. —Channing