Tag Archives: Mailing List

Making you proud

So yesterday I wrote about my first day doing Justin Jackson’s growing an email list to 1,000 class and the struggle of first time bootstrappers to build an audience.

The class continues

Today, we have to evaluate who are target audience should be. I think it’s pretty common for most bloggers to start writing about anything. I started talking about health and business topics because that’s what I was working on at the time. The content was also mostly educational. It didn’t help the reader in any way unless you just wanted to learn about health behaviour! By the end of the first iteration of Helthe, it was obvious I didn’t feel like writing about it. You should be passionate about what you write about!

A lot of the advice given is similar to what I had discussed when I started the PHP App Challenge. You should focus on your competitive advantage and the groups you are already part of that have money to spend (important!). I am very involved with WordPress, but I see myself as a PHP programmer more than just a WordPress programmer. So I want to write to programmers, but specifically those that work with PHP.

Another fortuitous discussion

For our homework, we had to come up with a statement to describe our audience and why were choosing them. I was struggling with the why, but then me and Justin started a discussion in the JFDI chatroom where we discussed PHP as a whole. This led to some great insight.

It started with me asking whether I could target programmers and still talk about products. He commented how there isn’t anyone talking about products using PHP or building products with PHP. I actually learned that Mailchimp is built entirely with PHP. This moved on, as it always does, to discuss how PHP is the second-rate citizen of the web. This has been mentioned many times on this blog already and it’s even the key reason I started Helthe.

To make PHP devs proud to be PHP devs

That line came from Justin, but it’s a great cause that any PHP dev can relate too. And just like that, I had my why. It’s a great why too. I can’t think of a week where I didn’t see this come up in conversation either in person or on the web.

I think it is partially why the community strives to do so much. There are so many cool projects going on and great developers working on them. I would say in the past 3 years, there has never been a day where I am not proud to be a PHP dev.

So following this new yet not so new insight, I finalized my homework statement for day 2.

“My name is Carl Alexander. The audience I am choosing is programmers who are using PHP, because PHP is awesome and we should be proud of using it.”

So things are shaping up

There’s a bit more of a mission statement around what this mailing list is going to be about. If you’ve liked what I have been writing, you can subscribe to my mailing list here! You can also keep checking the blog every day if that’s your thing!

Building an audience

Last night, I wrote a detailed post on the end of the Week of Hustle. The post concluded that, while the experience had been fantastic, I had been neglecting an important piece which was marketing. This week, I want to tackle it by working on building an audience using my mailing list.

Humble beginnings

My mailing list is currently sitting at a hilarious 6 subscribers (including myself!) so I really have no place to go but up at this point! Conveniently for me, Justin Jackson focused his Week of Hustle on building an educational product for growing email lists to 1,000 subscribers. I have kept all the emails from the course and I’ll be going through the first day of it today.

Defining an objective

What I need to do today is quite simple I have to simply talk about myself and why I want to do this. Justin goes on to list a few examples in his day 1 email, but there are two that stuck with me. They were:

  1. They want to sell their own products, and gain financial independence
  2. They want to increase their profile within their industry

While the second one is very compelling to me, it is not a good enough reason to be a list. The first one is. Following that bit of soul-searching, we had to write an objective for our mailing list. Mine turns out to be nearly the same as the one he wrote as an example.

“My name is Carl Alexander. I want a mailing list so that I can build and launch my own products and eventually earn an income from them.”

I am hardly the special snowflake here. This is a pretty common desire for all of us struggling with our first product. Mailing lists have been working amazingly well for all the bootstrappers I follow so it’s hard to argue against them. However, it does seem so very hard to do when you start at the bottom like making your first dollar.

I’ll be working on that this week as hone in my ideal audience and work on the other tasks that the course as in store for me. I am also still working on Helthe. I expect some more marketing site changes to be happening soon.

Keep up with my progress

Could this be a plug for a mailing list!? Why yes it is! If you’ve liked what I have been writing the past week, you can subscribe here! You can also keep checking the blog every day if that’s your thing!