What is Convertkit?
ConvertKit is an email marketing company for professional bloggers started by Nathan Barry in 2013. You can think of it as a more powerful MailChimp, built specifically for content creators (bloggers, podcasters, authors, etc). Convertkit is bootstrapped and is currently doing over $22m in annual recurring revenue.
How did Nathan build his personal audience to launch Convertkit?
First let’s talk about who Nathan is. Nathan is a designer turned indie maker turned founder. Back in 2012, he built a blog where he talked about the inner-workings of building iOS apps for himself and the audience. He managed to build a modest list of 798 subscribers on Mailchimp in the process. He turned this blog into a book called The App Design Handbook and sold over $12,000 in the first day of launch. From there he figured out his Indie-maker flywheel
- First 50 customers: Content Marketing from the Web App Challenge
- First 500 customers: Direct Sales and word of mouth (from doing things that don’t scale as switching people manually to their product)
First 1000+ customers: Affiliate programs. This worked really well since affiliate links came naturally to his niche audience: Bloggers. This is just a core part of how they make money and plugging in a product they actually used and loved and being able to make money out of that was a no brainer. Affiliate program was based on a forever