Two starters making millions with WordPress + Raising $700K on Kickstarter

22+ job opportunities from our network
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Dear starters,

Pat Walls here, creator of Starter Story

As you know, every Thursday I send you an email highlighting the best stories that we've published on the website. A bite-sized summary of the most interesting experiences that starters have shared with us.

I hope you enjoy it!

Making $100K/mo with a WordPress plugin

In our previous newsletter, we talked about how many opportunities there are to build a big business in the space of plugins and extensions. Well, just a week later we have two more examples to prove it.

Jason is the co-founder of Stranger Studios, their flagship product is Paid Memberships Pro, a membership platform for WordPress. 6,000 paying customers such as associations, blogs, podcasts, and community sites use the platform to collect recurring payments and manage memberships.

Content has been their biggest marketing effort. It's a simple formula really, whenever they answer an email, support request, or any question related to the product that might be useful for other users, it’s posted to their blog and pushed out to the mailing list.

The blog is full of troubleshooting guides, code recipes, tutorials, and business advice. 3 important tips that help this content to perform better:

  1. Be as focused and specific as possible. Solve one problem at a time from starting point A to finishing point B.
  2. Don't focus only on our product. A post like "How to name your membership levels" will reach a bigger audience than "How to name your membership levels with Paid Memberships Pro".
  3. Flesh each post out with all the good stuff. Google's algorithm loves headings, ordered lists, videos, and links to related information.

Want another great story? Keep reading….

 

The multi-million website translation plugin

TranslatePress is the newest product of Adrian’s company, which also became their most popular. It’s currently working on 160K multilingual websites. Its growth rate ranged between 3-5X year to year. All organically, without big investments, and while working 4 days per week (taking Fridays off!).

Deciding to focus on WordPress was a key decision since it allowed them to deepen their knowledge in this CMS as well as spot opportunities in this space. 

A good habit they picked up was blogging regularly about their learnings. One of these blog posts addressing the limitations of the default WordPress user registration received a lot of comments and traffic. It was a true pain point that other people were sharing as well. And that led them to create their first product. Can you imagine how much easier it is to launch a product once you have a validated idea and an audience to share it with? Never underestimate the power of blogging.

In our Growth Database we’ll show you dozens of examples and actionable strategies of how to create content for your website; whether blog posts, case studies, or interviews.

💰 Start a profitable business

Learn from real people sharing real stories. The struggles, the wins, the good and the bad. 

How do people get inspired and find great business opportunities? How do they get their 10 first clients? What challenges do they face at every stage and how to overcome them?

Get unlimited access to 2,000+ case studies, 3,000+ business ideas and 200+ proven growth strategies for $79/year (just $1.51/week) using the code "JUNE21". This is the best deal we've ever had.

​Or, get even more with our Premium Plus membership for $199/year and you will additionally gain access to the Lean SEO course (sold separately for $249) where I share how I've grown Starter Story to over 900K monthly visitors.

Start now for $79/year

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Guest posting to skyrocket traffic to your website

Speaking of blogging, this week we’ve caught up with Andrew from Luhhu. He runs an automation agency helping businesses save time and money using tools like Zapier and Integromat.

In March 2020 revenue started decreasing between 40-80% each month. Likewise, with the extra free time, he started investing in SEO, which has led to some great success building backlinks via guest posting and organic mentions, which in turn has boosted traffic to the site.

Want to start guest blogging? Here are the basics and everything you need to know before getting started.

“We were eager to get customers, but in the process, this led to using generic marketing words and a compromised product that wasn’t a good fit for anyone.”

Kevin Yun
Founder, GrowSurf
$25K/mo referral software

Successfully raising $700K for a 100% blackout sleep mask

Manta Sleep mask is a mask designed, constructed, and optimized for deepest-possible sleep in any environment. It provides 100% blackout for maximized sleep quality.

Mark chose to take the crowdfunding route because it’d help raise capital to finance production, but also was a way to get a lot of positive and public PR. They ended up raising more than $700,000 on Kickstarter and Indiegogo combined.

The key to their success lies within a few factors:

  1. The product design was unique, fresh, and a little weird. Many customers described it as a “mini-bra for your face.” This captured a lot of interest and attention.

  2. The product category and price were just right. The product category had broad appeal, and the price was low enough so that it became an impulse buy. Both of these factors helped their campaign accelerate.

  3. They spent $50,000 on Facebook ads to drive traffic profitability to the Kickstarter / Indiegogo campaign. After several successful businesses prior to Manta Sleep there was some money to spend. Paid traffic is critical for crowdfunding because it’s much more reliable and consistent compared to something like PR.

In the past, we have spoken with many founders that have absolutely killed the crowdfunding game and have many insights to learn from in their interviews. I highly recommend you to take a look if you’re thinking about starting a campaign of this kind:

Read all the stories from founders that successfully run crowdfunding campaigns.
 

Job opportunities

Everflow ($700K/mo digital advertising tracking platform) has several positions to fill Account Executive - eCommerce, Customer Success Manager, Sr. Product Manager, and Technical Support Engineer.

Enterprise Bot ($2M/year AI chatbot platform) is hiring Head of Growth Marketing, Senior Sales Manager, Senior Full Stack Developer, SDRs, technical writers, and conversational design experts.

Manta Sleep ($800K/mo sleeping masks) is looking to fill the following roles SEO marketing, Product design and Product development.

D-MAK Productions ($30K/mo video production company) wants to connect with cinematographers, video editors, or animators in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area.

GrowSurf ($25K/mo referral software full-time) is looking for a Customer Success Manager.

Emoface (tools for training socio-emotional skills) is hiring a marketing manager, a Unity developer and an AI developer.

Cozmoslabs (premium WordPress plugins) has opportunities for WordPress Developer, Happiness Engineer and Content Marketing Manager.
 

If you enjoyed this newsletter, you could really help me doing one of these things:

  1. Share this newsletter on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin.
  2. Forward this email to a friend who’s starting their own business!
  3. If this was forwarded to you, subscribe to receive this email every week.

I really appreciate you sharing and spreading the word. It really means a lot!

P.S. Huge thank you to Klaviyo - our exclusive sponsor at Starter Story. By using Klaviyo, we've grown our email list to 60K and added thousands of dollars in revenue per month through email marketing. Get Klaviyo today!

Looking for a business idea? Find yours from our database of 3,000+ business ideas.






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