30 Websites in 30 Days is easier than it sounds. It’s actually easier than launching just one. 26th of February 2015 was the date I finished 29 websites and I’m now working on my last one. A masterpiece, if you will. How did I do it? By chance and luck. And the best part? It’s free and I’ll teach you how – read on!
Before you start reading this article, I have a little disclaimer: the “websites” in the title don’t actually refer to full-fledged websites. They’re more like test case studies, meant to see what works and what doesn’t.
Presenting: 30 Tiny Projects.
A blog documenting every single one of my projects that I’ve launched between January and February 2015.
It started with a little question: “What would a website look like if I stripped down everything about it?” If I only made it about one single focus. A single-serving website.
I knew I wanted to get something done quickly – installing WordPress even with Softaculous from Cpanel takes a while. Then there are all the customizations you need to do.
I thought about landing page builders like LeadPages or Unbounce, but their free plans seemed too limited or had too many ads/watermarks.
What I ended up using was a platform called POP.co. All the features were there: Google Analytics integration, dead-simple page builder, no navigation to speak of, contact form. On top of that, you got a cool .co domain. Everything for free. The only downside was a little logo in the lower right corner of the screen. If your screen resolution was small enough, you wouldn’t even notice it.
Getting to work
I actually didn’t start by thinking I’d do 30 websites. I just started with the one: I Write Your Content. I was interested in how people got jobs in the content marketing world. I heard things like: “Build your portfolio” or “Only post your best work on your blog”. All that seemed fine, but it was the classic intern-hire dilemma: I want to be an intern, but everyone’s asking for previous experience. I can’t get any experience, because I can’t get hired as an intern.
So I figured what the hell? Let’s just go for it. So I built a basic website dedicated to one goal: get a job as a content marketer. While we’re on the subject of disclaimers and disclosures: I was already working with 2 clients, writing blog articles for them. So the website was more of a test in relationship building and actually marketing a product of my own.
I won’t bore you with the details here. Suffice it to say I used Product Hunt to find a logo builder, I created something ghetto and slapped everything together with aggressive copywriting. Submitted the link to a few websites I normally visit – Hacker News, StumbleUpon, Inbound.org and GrowthHackers.
Because I got a little traction from these places, I started thinking about my next project. I started on a Thursday, so I thought: “Tomorrow’s a good day to end all of this with my last project”. Little did I know what would be my most successful one!
My first success
As I embarked on the journey of creating my second project, I started thinking about things that matter. Things that are useful to people. I asked myself: “What’s ONE thing I wish someone had created as a service?”
In line with pretty much everything I’ve been doing lately, that was about efficiency and saving time. The name? TL;DR-Email. A website where you go and tell me what articles you want to read, but just don’t have the time for. I scan them (read the most important points) and give you a short summary of the written piece. Then it’s up to you to read the entire original article or just be satisfied with my written words.
This turned out to be my most trafficked website, with about 120 users in the first two days, homepage on Inbound.org and mentions from fellow Romanian bloggers. And if we’re counting success in dollar signs, those were definitely on the horizon. All the positive attention I was getting gave me such a high that I started asking people for feedback and whether they’d pay for the service.
I was unfortunately running out of steam for that project so I made no money directly from it. But the exposure, the comments and the connections were well worth the 2 hours it took me to set everything up.
Project #3 was all about cleaning email lists. Even though it had higher traffic in the first 2 days than my previous effort, it was a miserable failure. The logo was a combination of the @ sign and a roll of toilet paper. I created that to go hand in hand with the slogan “Get rid of crap emails”. It seemed fun at the time, but the whole project seemed scammy and not really addressing a pain point.
Another absolute failure was Display Protector. The first physical product I planned on launching. The idea was simple: get preorders from people with weird devices (mostly Chinese mobile phones) and get the actual display protectors from a small company in Romania. Slap a bit more dollars on top and voila – profit! Or so I thought. People weren’t that interested in the product and it gained no traction whatsoever. I was also using the same channels to promote the idea, which made it a crappy product for the wrong people.
By project 10 or 15 I was already tired and pretty sick of doing websites every day. It had become monotonous and I was becoming lazy: building upon one tiny idea, sharing it on my usual channels and only launching in a matter of minutes. I didn’t really care anymore and it showed – I even stopped updating the 30 Tiny Projects in 30 Days blog.
1. Care deeply about your product.
I can’t stress this enough. If you give a damn or two about your product, you’ll find new ways to make it succeed. Otherwise you’ll just let it die – and that’s sad.
2. Address a real pain point.
Focus on actually solving an issue. Boredom could be one. But what about time management? Or productivity?
3. Sometimes solving your own problem also solves other people’s problems.
It really depends on how well you know your peers and how you function in the world. I have a pretty good feeling that people 25-35 are under a lot of pressure and want more free time. Solving that for yourself can prove fantastic for all of them.
4. Always ask for feedback.
Not just feedback on your product, but getting ideas into what you should be building next. Always talk to people about issues, solutions and possibilities.
5. Don’t give up early in the game.
It took me about 30 tries to get about 5 viable business ideas. Unfortunately, you can’t know what works until you actually test it out. But trust me, the trip is so worth it!
Truth be told, the title is a lie. I haven’t built 30 websites, it was only 29. I’m not counting the meta-blog here.
My last project was supposed to be epic: one small .PDF with all the data from the blog. And one paid .PDF book that told the story of building habits, by focusing on small steps – The Tiny Steps Method.
These are all in the planning stages and I hope this article will function as a catalyst for me to jump back into 30 Tiny Projects and deliver the promised products.
If you want a FREE chapter of the first book and 50% off the second one, just leave your email address and we’ll be in touch soon.