How This Entrepreneur Turned His Blog Into an 8-Figure Software Business with 46,000 Customers

Clay Collins is Co-Founder and corporate executive of webpages, a strong and easy-to-use software package tool that permits marketers to make custom landing pages and opt-in forms to capture email addresses.

In a recent language on my podcast, Clay shared the story of however he took a life-style diary and turned it into webpages, that in precisely over 3 years has mature into associate 8-figure SaaS business with 46,000 customers and $38 million in venture finance. In Jan 2016, webpages swaybacked into its venture funds to accumulate Drip, a selling automation firm.

Clay’s recommendation for entrepreneurs? Focus initial on building a “Minimum Viable Audience”–before you begin to make a “Minimum Viable Product.” Here area unit some excerpts from our language within which he shared a number of the sensible methods you’ll use to start building your “Minimum Viable Audience”:

From blogging to blogging.

“I had designed a fairly thriving life style diary. It went from zero to for,000 RSS subscribers in about four months. Lots of individuals were a lot of fascinated by however I had mature associate audience for my diary than they were in my real writing, thus I started teaching about selling.

I accustomed write these 4,000-5,000 word diary posts on a way to do various things once it involves selling and perhaps I might get twenty or thirty comments. Writing is not one in all these sturdy suits for me. I feel the top product comes out pretty sensible, however it’s associate torturous method.

At round the time I used to be doing this, I discovered point of entry Vaynerchuck, UN agency had a wine diary known as Wine Library TV. Wherever it took ME 3-4 days to put in writing a 4,000-word diary post, he would take wine bottles off the shelf, style them before of a camera–and fully unchanged and uncut–he would get countless views.

I same ‘screw it’: I required to seek out the simplest way to make content that quickly. thus and not writing these long diary posts, I might take landing pages, and that I would film a video talking about however they worked, share any split take a look at knowledge I had on them, and show however we’d deploy them in a number of my clients’ businesses. It’d take ME 0.5 associate hour to supply associate episode and that they were such a lot a lot of well-liked than my diary posts.”

The quote that impressed webpages.

“Then I discovered this quote by R. Bedminster Fuller, the designer, author, and discoverer. He same one thing to the result that if you would like to show somebody a brand new talent, do not trouble. Instead, produce a tool that may teach them the talent through the use of it. It’s one in all my favorite quotes. It got ME wondering however I may produce a tool that has embedded among it best practices for selling.

I employed this 18-year-old from Brazil to need the pages we have a tendency to where victimization with our shoppers and switch them into generic landing page templates. So for $90, a firm in Asian nation would take the temple style and switch it into a downloadable hypertext mark-up language file that anyone may change and use in their own business.”

From free hypertext mark-up language templates to software package business.

“We were making a gift of these downloadable hypertext mark-up language templates that had embedded in them best practices about a way to style a landing page or sales page, or associate opt-in page for a free e-book, and folks would get into the diary and leave comments.

Half the folks were extremely avid and therefore the spouse were like, ‘How do I integrate with Mailchimp? however do I split take a look at this? however do I publish this to WordPress?’

The templates were free, however they were soliciting for pretty complicated technical support. Although I had associate idea: perhaps I may develop software package that addressed everything they were soliciting for. Thus I went back to my audience, and I said, ‘Hey, we’re gonna build one thing that will all the items that you are complaining the free templates do not do. Would you be willing to get hold of it?’ and that they same affirmative.

So I got two hundred folks to pay $200. we have a tendency to take the $40,000 and employed a developer UN agency designed the primary version. This semiconductor diode to the creation of webpages.”

First, build a minimum viable audience.

“I suppose what is extremely necessary about this story, is that we have a tendency to started with associate audience. Once it involves software package creation, lots of individuals state a minimum viable product. I actually suppose that before you you’ve got a minimum viable product you would like to own a minimum viable audience. And that we had that. we have a tendency to know a way to produce content that individuals needed to consume.

I really suppose that long before anyone tries to start a business, they must try to produce a diary or diary following that is real, and by real I mean if you’ve got 2,000 folks that turbulent care about what you’ve got to mention. perhaps even 1,000 if they are fervid enough and commenting. If you are systematically obtaining about fifteen solid comments on your diary posts you are most likely there.

So we have a tendency to had this minimum viable audience, we have a tendency to pre-sold the merchandise to them, so we have a tendency to had a minimum viable product. that is quite the genesis of webpages.”

Give away the greatest amount valuable content as you’ll.

“We perpetually gave away the hypertext mark-up language for the landing pages. Therefore the story was perpetually, we’ll offer you this landing page temple free of charge, that is no drawback. Here it is, have at it, you’ll install it on your web site, you’ll hookup no matter integrations you would like. we have a tendency to were providing lots valuable.

A lot of individuals thought that if they simply had the hypertext mark-up language, that might be enough. In order that they downloaded it so at some purpose they realised, ‘Well, I am 2 hours into this, webpages is $37 a month, and that I will deploy it in five minutes with webpages.’

There’s such a lot to be gained by giving things away. I feel folks area unit well suggested to work out the foremost they’ll probably divulge while not pain their business and in a very way that really grows it. That was one thing that discovered {really we have a tendency very well for us; we got plenty of subscribers from those downloads.”

Include custom calls to action.

“Most folks have an awfully bland and boring decision to action to hitch their account. perhaps on the right-hand aspect of their diary, they will put: ‘Hey, need diary updates, subscribe here!’ we have a tendency to found that, typically speaking, perhaps 0.5% of the folks that visit your diary can subscribe.

You should keep that sign-up type there, however you ought to conjointly give lots of alternative opportunities for folks be part of to hitch your email list or join your audience. In nearly each dairy post that we have a tendency to publish on drip.co or on leadpages.net we have a tendency to combine a downloadable content upgrade with our diary post.

Let’s say we’ve got a diary post on ’12 stuff you will do to induce a lot of leads.’ We’ll write that article, so at the terribly bottom we have a tendency to enable folks to opt-in and be a part of our list if they must to transfer a pack of articles, every of that illustrates one in all the points within the article.

If you’ve got a custom decision to action that is tailored thereto diary post and speaks on to the explanation somebody would possibly come back to your post from social media or Google, you’ll typically get a five hundredth conversion rate versus 0.5 a decimal point thereon diary post.”

Forget about A/B testing: embrace multiple calls to action.

“A ton of individuals area unit extremely targeted on split testing their gearboxes: What color it ought to be, for instance. I would not concentrate on A/B testing them. Our analysis has found that the most effective thanks to grow your audience isn’t to pay plenty of your time optimizing your calls to action, your landing pages, or your forms–it’s making a lot of opportunities for folks to hitch you. thus each single diary post has a chance to sign-up to our email list.”

Treat each diary post sort of launch.

“What I might urge everybody to try to do is treat each single diary post sort of launch and see what worked. Consider what created everything work or not work, and gather all the signals you probably will and perceive however folks more experienced it. It is a slog. there is not lots of tricks. It’s near to doing the work.”

Building associate audience will amendment your life.

“I suppose there’s no bigger education that you just will have as a trafficker than meticulously growing associate audience. Whether or not you are making trying to feature three folks on a daily basis or five folks on a daily basis, it is the hardest work, however it is also the foremost gratifying work.

Manorama Singh

I re-write and share using words as a means to express ideas and emotions always allured me hence I now use my passion for writing as a means to earn a living. I have browsed and curated various articles for an array of categories on topics such as Technology and Updated.