So I decided to try to build this in public. Inspired by Indie Hackers and all the possibilities that the internet provides, but mostly by needing to do something with this domain I've owned forever, I'll give it a go.
There are a couple of caveats. First, I have a full-time job which I enjoy doing. I have no reason or wish to get away from it. But since coming out as a writer, I have fallen in love with the possibilities of the creator economy. It's democratization for sharing arts and crafts from people who chose not to become struggling artists. Creativity for the rest of us?
Creator Economy for the rest of us
Your typical creator is someone escaping their dreaded job or a journalist furloughed from one of the big publications. Or someone who felt they worked too much for the man, so they decided to work even more — but for themselves.
Creators are the new influencers.
I tried it myself, and then I moved over to Ghost as I also needed a landing page to launch my first book. And the more I played with it, the more I loved it. What's not to love: I enjoy reading and writing, and sharing stuff. So instead of tweeting or facebooking (is that even an expression?!), I prefer to have my own platform. My domain, my rules. It's not meant to be read; it's meant to be written.
Freelancing is not a business
I've been following the newsletter business and the creator economy for a while. The pandemic of 2020 definitely created a big boom for the subscription economy. But I see people on the way to burning out.
Leaving a job to produce your own newsletter might feel like a good thing to do — if you do it for the right reasons and with the right set of expectations.
Building a business
But is it possible to build a business in the Creator Economy in your spare time? As a hobby during the evenings or weekends. Instead of substituting your day job, it takes the time from playing video games or going to the pub? Instead of Friday night out, replacing the weekend hangover?
I believe it's possible. And I intend to do it. But how do you build a business?
As a professional manager and a leader, I'd like to try to build such a business by orchestrating remote freelancers, building a team (or teams) of contributors that contribute their creativity, and getting paid for creating this online magic.
What if I fail?
What's the worst that can happen? I lose some money. I'm looking at this as an alternative to throwing money in crypto — I usually approached that thinking whatever, it's a speculation, and only invested as much as I was prepared to lose.
I intend to start small — thinking about a €2K budget to band together some starting content, get a site up and running, attract an audience, and then keep building.
Stereotypical founder bootstraps a product and hustles 24/7 to make it work. I won't go that way.
These are some ground rules:
- spare time only (outside of working hours, during weekends and vacations)
- slow building — commit to at least 6-12 months
- learning by doing
- sharing publicly here and on the Indie Hacker community
- starting budget: €2K (first 6 months)
- #GrowthMindset to keep an open mind for suggestions, other people's ideas(4growth), ...
- Brainstorm ideas4growth Manifesto: what is this even about?
- choose website template (& commit?)
- define Tags, etc.
- prioritize Content production (in line with Manifesto) and commission freelancers to deliver the first set of content
- build a ⚙️ Stack: site + tools + SOPs + freelancers + Next.