Hey! What are you working on and what led you to building with no code? Have you got any previous experience of building sites/apps?
Hi all! I’m building Marketing Robots; a content hub of jobs and learning resources for digital marketers.
It’s never been easier to learn new marketing skills online, but we live in an age of content overload. Marketing Robots uses a combination of manual and automated curation to ensure users have one single point of reference for the most exciting content and job opportunities in their field.
I had some experience building sites with tools like Wordpress or Squarespace, but this is the first time I’ve launched an app beyond, you know, a simple website. I’m a digital marketer myself so using no-code tools, anything from small apps to bigger marketing platforms is just the way I’ve always worked.
What platforms and tools have you used to build Marketing Robots? How long did it take to build?
Most of the no-code tools I use, run on the back of the site’s job board. I’ve definitely made a few iterations along the way, but the main stack looks like this:
- IFTTT for data aggregation. I previously used Zapier (which I love) but I soon started hitting the limits of their free tier very badly.
- Parabola for data reformatting. I randomly came across Parabola on a Product Hunt thread and it’s definitely been my discovery of the year. It’s visual SQL for making data transformations to the ugly, unstructured data stream that I get from IFTTT.
- Google Sheets as a database. I haven’t even scratched the surface of everything you can do with Google Sheets, but the fact their solution is cloud-based and real-time makes it the perfect fit for medium-sized, fast-loading data sets.
- Ninja Tables for data visualisation. For a long time visualising the job board in a customisable table format was a big pain point. Ninja Tables is a quick Wordpress plugin that allows you to connect different data sources including Google Sheets. They offer an affordable monthly subscription, which is much cheaper than the $450+ it’d cost me to develop something bespoke.
Like many others, I’ve built Marketing Robots over long nights and weekends. I’m currently on version 2.0 and it’s taking me around 9 months to get here. Going live with the first MVP didn’t take long though; just under 2 weeks. I used a no code tool called Sheet2Site which I strongly recommend.
How have you gone about growing your user base? What has been most effective?
I mostly use Twitter and a monthly newsletter to keep in touch with my users. It sounds cliché, but what’s been most effective is offering unique, quality content that solves a specific problem. For example, I built this area on the site specially dedicated to users who want to become certified in Marketo (a popular no code tool for marketing automation professionals). The number of subscribers coming from this area is 75% higher compared to the rest of the site.
Have you monetised it yet and if so, what is your revenue model?
Since the beginning, I decided to put monetisation on the side. Over the last year, I’ve focused on creating something that I believe is useful to people and built a niche but engaged community that shares the same passion in digital marketing as I do.
I’m at a point now where asking someone to invest on the site starts to make sense. For instance, looking for companies who might want to promote their job opening on the site. There’s a clear value for the advertiser to present their content in front of the right people, but I’m also bringing in something that could be interesting for my users. I think keeping that balance is key, even if it takes time to get there.
What has been the hardest part of building, growing or monetising Marketing Robots.
Definitely figuring out the path for yourself, as you go. I have made tons of bad decisions but learning is part of the fun.
Do you have any tips on building, growing or monetising a no code product/business?
Be clear on your vision and ship it fast. Don’t spend lots of time on the small details (I’m definitely guilty of this) but instead try to get feedback from your audience early and go back to the drawing board if necessary. No shame about that! That’s the powerful advantage of using no code tools; building products faster and launch of a dime so you can share, learn and optimise quicker.