🗞 What's New: This Reddit marketing tool hit $5K MRR

Also: Harnessing the power of DMs to find a cofounder!  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
Indie Hackers

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Crypto exchange platform Coinbase plans to launch an NFT marketplace: - **Coinbase NFT will allow users to buy and sell** creative works on the Ethereum blockchain, but not everyone is buying into the hype. Here's the latest in the NFT craze. - **If

Crypto exchange platform Coinbase plans to launch an NFT marketplace:

  • Coinbase NFT will allow users to buy and sell creative works on the Ethereum blockchain, but not everyone is buying into the hype. Here's the latest in the NFT craze.
  • If you're looking for a cofounder, don't overlook the power of direct messages. These tips can help you strike up a cofounder conversation that goes down in the DMs.
  • Founder Nikola Sokolov used his own marketing tool to grow his marketing tool. Here's how he hit $5,000 in monthly revenue, landed a meeting with Reddit's cofounder, and scored 2,000 downloads in 2 weeks.

Want to share something with nearly 85,000 indie hackers? Submit a section for us to include in a future newsletter. —Channing

🖼 Coinbase Plans to Launch an NFT Marketplace

COVER IMAGE

from the Indie Economy newsletter by Bobby Burch

Crypto exchange platform Coinbase plans to launch an NFT marketplace in 2021, competing with the world’s largest NFT market, OpenSea. Coinbase’s forthcoming marketplace has the potential to further boost the newly lucrative NFT asset class that has increased by 2,100% since Q4 2020.

Market craze

The news: Once launched, Coinbase NFT will allow the company's 68M+ users to mint, buy, and sell creative works on the Ethereum blockchain. Coinbase says that it will also offer a social space for people to discover new NFTs and creators:

Our ambition with Coinbase NFT is to allow everyone to benefit from their creative spark [and] to contribute to a future where the creator economy isn’t a small subset of the "real" economy, but a central driver.

NFT 101: NFTs are unique, non-interchangeable units of data in the form of art, images, videos, GIFs, and other collectibles. They are stored on blockchains like Ethereum, Flow, or Tezos, and are a means to prove ownership of assets without any intermediaries.

Future of NFTS: In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Coinbase cofounder Fred Ehrsam noted the parallels between the growth of cryptocurrencies and the dotcom boom of the 1990s:

I go so far as to say that 90% of NFTs produced probably will have little to no value in three to five years. You could say the same thing about early internet companies in the late ’90s.

Crowded NFT market: Coinbase NFT will directly compete with the OpenSea marketplace, which enabled $3B in NFT sales in September 2021 alone. Coinbase’s NFT strategy also mirrors that of FTX.US, a competitor crypto exchange that recently opened its own NFT marketplace on the Solana blockchain.

The dark side

Behind the hype: Mashable writer Amanda Yeo recently penned an op-ed presenting the dark side of NFTs, including their environmental damage, costliness, and fraud potential:

NFTs don't even guarantee any money goes to the person who created the work. As it currently stands, there is nothing stopping people from simply tokenizing other people's work, claiming it, and profiting off it. In fact, it's already happening.

Many other critics join in arguing that NFTs help facilitate art theft and put artists at a major disadvantage by failing to protect their original work.

VCs love NFTs: In 2021 alone, NFT startups have raised more than $662M, per The Information. Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz is largely responsible for the influx of cash, and led a $100M funding round for OpenSea, which is now valued at more than $1.5B. NFTs, however, seem likely to follow the same trajectory of most websites in the dotcom boom: A few will succeed, while the vast majority fails.

Why it matters: Coinbase is the largest crypto exchange in the US by trading volume. Its entrance into the NFT space will likely accelerate the already hot asset class, whose total sales catapulted to $10.7B in Q3 2021 (up more than 8x from the previous quarter).

Creator implications: Love or hate 'em, NFTs are one of the fastest-growing segments of the creator economy. Since Q4 2020, NFT sales have generated about $13.25B. And, while there’s no guarantee that sales won’t drop precipitously, NFTs are offering fruitful new opportunities for creators in art, gaming, fashion, music, and more.

Shopify and eBay: In July, Shopify began allowing merchants to sell NFTs through their storefronts, joining eBay in allowing NFT sales. The two e-commerce marketplaces claim to offer a better buying experience for customers who are not interested in using NFT-specific marketplaces.

What’s next? There’s a frenzy around NFTs right now, and it will be interesting to see which companies will ultimately succeed, and which will fail. TikTok, the NFL, the NBA, and others are already onboard. Might Robinhood, Gumroad, or other companies follow suit?

Chat NFTs: If you'd like to join a community focused on all things non-fungible, check out the Indie Hackers NFT group.

What are your thoughts on the NFT craze? Let's chat in the comments!

Discuss this story, or subscribe to Indie Economy for more.

📰 In the News

Photo: In the News

🎶 Pandora has partnered with SoundCloud to launch a new station for creators.

🤑 HubSpot has launched a $100M fund to support scaling tech companies.

💨 Neighbors are suing a Bitcoin mine over intolerable noise from cooling fans.

🦹 Batman has a new Fortnite comic crossover.

😺 Meowijuana wants to get your cat high.

💡 Startup Ideas on Kernal

Cover Image for Idea Bot

from Startup Ideas on Kernal by Joel Hansen

Connecting with a cofounder can be tough, and there are many ways to achieve it. Don't be afraid to harness the power of DMs in your search! These tips can help.

Attracting cofounders

Anyone can jump on Tinder and score a date. But it takes a little more finesse to use social apps to strike up a one-on-one cofounder conversation. Here are three ways to do so:

  1. Forum first, DM second.
  2. Tweet first, DM second.
  3. Cold DM.

All of these methods involve making an ask, but try to add value first. Let's take a look at the first method.

Artem Smirnov, cofounder of Flyent and DetoxBox, came across a new startup idea for an automated confirm subscription email plugin. He dropped a comment on Kernal to share his thoughts on the idea, including the value that he could bring to the project.

Imgur

Enter: Lee Martin, a marketing guru.

Imgur

And boom, now they're jamming in the DMs. Genuine comments and quick action can kick things off that seamlessly.

The second method is similar, but involves adding value to a potential cofounder's tweet or other form of content. Find a relevant thread, share what you know, and build a friendly rapport based on the shared interests. Then, try sliding into the DMs!

If you want to try jumping in cold, here are 15 LinkedIn cold messages that have high success rates. Narrow down folks who fit the bill and tailor one of these templates to use when reaching out.

Before you reach out to anyone, first make sure that you're ready for a cofounder. You can read more on that here.

Featured startup ideas

Imgur

Want to test out Kernal, or share a startup idea to get featured in next week’s issue? Sign up here or drop me a line at hello@joelhansen.com.

Discuss this story, or subscribe to Startup Ideas on Kernal for more ideas.

🌐 Best Around the Web: Posts Submitted to Indie Hackers This Week

Cover image for Best Links of the Week

🖥 The Indie Hackers site updates. Posted by DevDavid.

🛠 Best tech stack for one-person SaaS? Posted by Belhassen Chelbi.

💰 I won the first Product Hunt Maker Grant! Posted by Kyleigh.

🤔 How was your experience launching on Product Hunt? Posted by SeunOboite.

👩‍💻 Is there still value in learning to code? Posted by Bryan Lee.

🎧 I turned Courtland Allen's blogposts into AI audio. Posted by Louis Fialho.

Want a shout-out in next week's Best of Indie Hackers? Submit an article or link post on Indie Hackers whenever you come across something you think other indie hackers will enjoy.

💻 Nikola Sokolov's $5K MRR Reddit Marketing Tool

COVER IMAGE

from the Growth & Acquisition Channels newsletter by Darko

Hi! I'm Nikola Sokolov, cofounder and CEO of Howitzer, the first Reddit outreach tool made specifically for founders, startups, and growth hackers.

Howitzer is the first direct outreach tool for Reddit that allows you to find, target, and direct message your ideal customers on Reddit at scale.

It works on two basic principles:

  1. Find and target your leads on Reddit by specifying keywords, subreddits, timeframe, positive or negative sentiment, and more.
  2. Personalized direct outreach, utilizing Reddit Chat and direct messages automation.

With average response rate of 40-45%, Howitzer has superior response rates as compared to email outreach (3%) and LinkedIn outreach (10%).

We reached $5K MRR before raising a seed investment of $500K this month. As a result, we've doubled down on product development, started focusing more on growth, and have started expanding our team.

What motivated you to get started?

The short answer: I couldn't find a way to successfully advertise my previous product on Reddit.

The longer answer: Before Howitzer, I was part of the team that created Beermoney, a mobile application that aggregates the most famous microtasking platforms out there (Amazong Mechanical Turk, Microworkers, RapidWorkers, etc.).

The Beermoney's target group lived in 2-3 subreddits, and talked about their main pain points on a daily basis. I was a part of those subreddits, actively reading about their pains, desires for improvements in their work, and requests for alternatives and product recommendations. So, the natural thing was to launch our MVP there.

The first thing we tried were the official Reddit Ads. Here's the thing: Reddit Ads weren't supported in all parts of the world. We didn't generate any conversions.

The second approach was to try to advertise our product through posting and commenting. Most of the posts were instantly deleted, and most of the accounts got banned from that subreddit because of the "no self-promotion" policies.

I spent days reading about Reddit marketing tips, tricks, and organic strategies, but couldn't find anything that actually worked without having to spend months on it. So, I wrote a script that scraped all of the users who were posting certain keywords, like "mobile application" and "working on multiple platforms" on the relevant subreddits, and sent them an automated email where I personalized the username, subreddit name, and the mentioned keyword.

In less than two weeks, we got over 2K downloads on Google Play Store. A few of our local friends from the startup community asked for this script to use for idea validation and growing their startups. They were all extremely satisfied with it.

We gathered a team of three and decided to turn that script into a real SaaS. That's how Howitzer was born.

How have you attracted users and grown Howitzer?

The best showcase for a marketing tool is using your own marketing tool to grow your marketing tool!

After we launched, we used Howitzer to grow to $1.5K MRR. You can read more about that here.

After this, we were approached by a tech journalist who did an interview for Howitzer, which was published on StartupsCrushing. This landed us a meeting with Alexis Ohanian (Reddit cofounder), and landed us few interested investors. One of them led our pre-seed round.

As for customer acquisition, we are doing it 100% organically. We did a small lifetime deal (LTD) launch in a closed community and gained some feedback, knowledge, and 200 users out of it.

Howitzer is mostly famous in the growth hacking and crypto communities, and is growing mainly through word-of-mouth. We added a built-in inbox so that users don't have to go to Reddit to answer messages, implemented Reddit Chat Automation, and made Howitzer completely plug-and-play.

Do you believe that Howitzer's continued success will get you in trouble with Reddit?

It depends.

From a technical aspect, I don't really believe we'll have many problems without Reddit cutting down some of their own services, as we are using their official API.

Regarding the terms of service, Howitzer is not an official feature of Reddit, so we don't really take any responsibility in regards to the practices and policies of Reddit (same as all of the marketing automation tools out there, like Expandi or Dux Soup).

At the moment, Howitzer is compliant with the Reddit API's guidelines and limits.

Biggest piece of advice for indie hackers?

Invest in amazing customer support. Treating your customers in an exceptional way is the best method of doing business. It costs you some time, and may seem like a loss, but treating each customer as you would like to be treated can be extremely beneficial in the long run.

It's one of the main factors that build your brand, and it can really make or break your business.

Discuss this story, or subscribe to Growth & Acquisition Channels for more.

🐦 The Tweetmaster's Pick

Cover image for 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 Nathalie Zwimpfer for the illustrations, and to Bobby Burch, Joel Hansen, and Darko for contributing posts. —Channing

Indie Hackers | Stripe | 510 Townsend St, San Francisco, California 94103 
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Key phrases

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Growth Bite: Bundle items according to their prices to increase sales

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Don't let bundled products work against each other. Get more sales by only grouping items that are of similar value. [Bundling products](https://www.indiehackers.com/post/increase-sales-by-selling-

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If you're only 6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon, connecting with thought leaders within your own niche should be a cinch. Get connections from your contacts by using the Dream 100 strategy.

🗞 What's New: The US crypto crackdown

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Also: Yield farming for founders! ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

📂 Cyber... Friday? Last day to save $250

Friday, December 3, 2021

Use code 50FOR50 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Bootstrapped Founder #113: Building in Public: How Radical Transparency Hurts Founders

Friday, December 3, 2021

​ The Bootstrapped Founder Logo ​ ​ Dear founder, I've been seeing a kind of "Build in Public purism" that I don't agree with. The narrative goes like this: We're fed up with

My co-host Ed can speak again!

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This week's episode of the Bootstrapped podcast is ready for you. Hi Bootstrappers, A few weeks ago, my co-host Ed Freyfogle had a cycling accident that left him unable to speak easily while he was

Facebook marketing for small business: how to grow in 2022 and beyond 🚀

Friday, December 3, 2021

Image Happy Friday 👋 Any business can do well on Facebook — whether you own a local tea lounge, ecommerce store, hair salon, or landscaping business. If your customers are on Facebook, you can be

 Gen Z founders' startups to watch ✨

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November's hottest seed rounds | The latest speedy grocery unicorn View this email in your browser Hi Sifted Reader, Read on for the latest dispatch from our (fictional) VC columnist Rosie Wood.

Didi is delisting, Google preps a smartwatch, and Omicron is here -- should you cancel your trip?

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View in browser December 2, 2021 Top News * The Federal Trade Commission today sued to block Nvidia's $40 billion acquisition of a fellow chip company, Arm, halting what would be the biggest

📰 SaaS Tribune Weekly - 02 Dec

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SaaSHub logo SaaSHub Weekly - 02 Dec Our weekly list of useful, trending and featured products ChatWoot logo ChatWoot Open-source omnichannel customer engagement platform #Customer Support #Live Chat #

IPO goes boom

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Financial infidelity. Scooter nation. DeFi's growth. VIEW IN BROWSER CBINSIGHTS December 2, 2021 To market, to market Hi there, Here is this week in charts. THIS WEEK IN CHARTS Source: WSJ Public

Announcing The TinySeed Syndicate

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Funding for the bootstrapped mindset... ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Growth Bite: Increase traffic by optimizing your images for SEO

Thursday, December 2, 2021

SEO isn't just about your written content — images play a role too. Optimize images to make your pages rank higher in the SERP. Here's Itamar Blauer's [5-step process](https://www.