⛵$13K/m while living on a boat

How LeaveMeAlone reached $13K per month revenue, as a team of 2 digital nomads living on a boat.

⛵$13K/m while living on a boat
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LeveMeAlone is a simple email unsubscription service making $13K per month.
This is a great example of building a painkiller instead of a vitamin.
A single feature, laser focused SaaS - the best type of business independent entrepreneurs can build.
James Ivings and Danielle Johnson are doing it quite well.
And they’re doing it while traveling the world, living in a boat.
That’s the power of indie hacking.
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Failure First

But LeaveMeAlone was not James and Danielle’s first project.
When they started out building their own products, they started with a very traditional approach.
For their first startup, they tried methods like traditional social media promotion, cold email and PR.
Nothing worked!
6 months of effort, tons of features built, crafting the perfect product.
Only to learn that nobody actually wanted what they had built. They had to start over!
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Starting Lean

With LeaveMeAlone, James and Danielle were solving their own problem.
But many a times that’s not enough. Everyone starts out scratching their own itch. What you really want, is that your problems are felt by many other people in the world.
And they’re felt so painfully, that they’re wiling to pay money to get them solved.
James and Danielle did this by building a very minimalist version of the product, putting up a landing page, and sharing it with friends on social media.
They started Building in Public and got a great response.
More importantly, they learned an important truth - Writing code is the least important part of a business.
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Early Traction

After the initial validation, they launched a closed beta of LeaveMeAlone in the Twitter maker community.
Their first users validated the idea, gave them quality feedback, and made feature requests.
And the product grew from there.
Eventually they got ready for a Product Hunt launch. Exactly 5 years ago - back in late January 2019, they officially launched LeaveMeAlone on Product Hunt.
They also simultaneously launched on HackerNews, and that traffic caused a 15 minute server outage that day.
But they won PH, and how!
  • 2000+ upvotes
  • Number 1 Product of the day
  • Golden Kitty Award 2019
  • Most importantly - $1186 in revenue in 1 day.
Since then they’ve continuously iterated on the product with user feedback.
And they’ve shared their journay publicly.

Growth Channels - Spiky + Sustainable

Product Hunt has been a good source of growth for James and Danielle over the years.
They’ve launched there 4 times and every time they’ve received great feedback and response.
LeaveMeAlone is an open startup - which means all their traffic and revenue stats are public.
We can take a look at them, and get inspiration and insights for our own businesses.
They get about 30K visits every month. Their major traffic sources are -
  • Direct
  • Google
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
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Latelly they’ve hired a marketing manager and started to focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Their SEO traffic has grown significantly in 2023 -
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I’m working on a deep dive report on LeaveMeAlone’s SEO strategy for the Indie Masterminds community members.
If you want to go deeper and apply it to your own business, then make sure to sign up this weekend. I’ll publish the report next week.
You can check out all their numbers on these 2 pages -

Top Lessons from LeveMeAlone’s Success

  • Solve your own problems, but also build something people want. Painkillers not vitamins.
  • Start lean, build a single feature that solves a painful problem, and get it in front of people.
  • Build In Public, engage with a community to get early traction and feedback
  • Product Hunt and Hacker News are great channels to get intermittent huge spikes of traffic and customers.
  • SEO is a great channel to get long term sustainable traffic
  • You can build a sustainable, profitable business living from anywhere in the world. Even from a boat!

Further Reading -


Simple SEO strategy for a low ticket SaaS

Simple SEO strategy for a low ticket SaaS (<$49/m) -
To get sustainable long term traffic -
  • 10 winning blog posts
  • Each getting 500 views per month
  • Converting at 1%
  • So 50 New signups
  • ARPU -> $20
  • $1000 new MRR added every month
Simple NOT easy.
More in this tweet.

From the vault -

3 random post from the Superframeworks archives -

Useful links you don't want to miss -
Last week’s top link -

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Ayush

Written by

Ayush

Eternally Curious. Writing, Learning, Building in Public. Writing about Ideas + Inspiration + Insights for creators, solopreneurs and indie hackers | Simple tips and frameworks to help you build a sustainable solo business

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