If you're like me you mull on ideas and develop them over time, finessing the details all before launching. Well last week I decided to experiment and change my tactic. Instead of the slow process I decided I'd come up with an idea and launch it within 3 days. The idea had to be fairly simple and easy to execute. I couldn't require anything that would eat hours of programming time.
Phase 1 – The Idea - Day One
Luckily I have no shortage of ideas. They come into my head at least a few times a day. I don't think there is any magic formula for idea generation - perhaps being a naturally curious person helps. I'm always looking at stuff and wondering how I would have done it, or how it could be improved. When I started thinking about what to build I remembered how bad Amazon was at showcasing products. I decided to make a site that would showcase products nicely … and I would target a niche market - people who are interested in and like Space related products. Total cost $0
Phase 2 - The Design - Day One
The site design was relatively simple. Large photos, and basic product info. Links needed to be affiliate links - to add a little monetization to the site. Good clean typography and a simple colour palette. This site was designed to appeal to a more design savvy audience, so less was more. Keeping it simple also would speed up site development. Extra functionality was added with plugins… again to speed things up. Total cost $0
Phase 3 - The Build - Day Two
To launch within the 3 day window I used Wordpress as the backend. Blog posts became products, and with a few fields added with ACF the backend was pretty much done. The front end was built off of my own custom framework I developed over the last year. It supplies an easy to use grid system and basic typographic styles. In 230 lines of CSS took my raw framework to something far more polished. It was quick, easy and effective.. Total Cost $0
Phase 3 - Launch - Day Three
I had purchased a domain on sale over at names.com for $7 I tied in my Amazon Affiliate account and started adding products. Each product take a total of 3 to 4 mins to add (longer to curate). I wanted a nice mix of products to launch with, although over time I'll add categories such as Toys / Posters etc… as the product catalogue grows. I also setup a Facebook and Instagram accounts. To get things started I put $25 into Facebook ads to test this niche market. So far I've managed to spend $3.60
Total Spend so far $10.60
You can see the results here:
I realize this doesn't account for my time. But it was done after hours so I counting it as a bootstrapped project.
I'll keep updating here on progress with this small side project. As with anything the hard part is really building an audience. Next steps will include twice daily Instagram and Facebook post, as well as listing a lot more Etsy products.
Any more advice / growth hacking would be much appreciated.