Katt Risen

Writing a newsletter is amazing and opens so many doors

March 26, 2023


How was your life before nocode and becoming a solopreneur? Where and why this started? 

I always had this interest in entrepreneurship and startups. I had some small side projects when I was younger, loved to listen or read about startup stories and later love lurking on Indiehackers and Product Hunt. 

But my ideas never went further than a name, logo and some mockups. Because I couldn’t code and I didn’t want to risk money on hiring a dev. 

Why Nocode?

When I discovered No-Code I finally could build products myself. So it was a pretty amazing feeling. No crazy complex stuff but small solutions that solved problems in my daily work or just some fun side projects. 

What was the first tool you “fall in love” and why?

The very first tool was Sheet2Site. I started using it in 2018 (before No-Code was a thing) and it turned your google sheet data into a directory. It was made by Andrey and it’s because of him that I discovered the Indie Hackers / Digital Nomads world.  

But my real first love was Softr, which I discovered on Product Hunt in 2020. I started using it at work and I really loved how it had these powerful features with a great UI. Simple and powerful. I think it’s a killer combination to validate and launch a first version of your idea very fast.

What was the moment that you thought “ I might be into something here”? Was the rise of Twitter followers, was the number of subscribers on your newsletter or way before when you started to learn nocode?

There were a lot of things that happened and it all happened very gradually and in an organic way.

First I decided to join a No-Code Bootcamp. In the bootcamp they teached me about #Buildinpublic. So after years of lurking I finally started tweeting. I probably had around 30 followers but it didn’t matter. 

I tweeted about my first little project that I was learning to build during the No-Code Bootcamp and I started to make some friends in the No-Code / Build in Public / IndieHackers community. It felt so good to connect with like-minded people who loved to geek out about the same tools, heroes and resources. 

So I absolutely loved it and after the bootcamp I kept learning and building with No-Code in public, slowly growing my twitter to around 600 followers. 

My first project made with No-Code got acquired and when I tweeted about this, it blew up. Lots of likes, lots of nice comments and lots of questions in my DM’s. So I thought, this seems to be a topic that people are really interested in.

So on a whim I went for the first name that popped up in my head, set up a substack, downloaded a free icon and announced on Twitter that I was starting a newsletter with stories around products made with No-Code that got acquired. 

That tweet was again received with lots of love and 12 hours later I had 200+ subscribers.

Why nocode-exits? Can you talk a bit about it and what it is?

In No-Code Exits I interview makers whose project got acquired. They share how they got the idea, how they started building it, how they grew it and how it was acquired. 

How it was to deal with working a job, being a mom, and build nocode-exits on the side?

It was hard but my husband also started his own business last year so when our kids were in bed (luckily already at 7PM) we romantically worked on the couch on our own projects. 

After a few months, I also was able to find some No-Code freelance gigs and I decided to quit my job and go for it. It is a scary move but the worst thing that can happen is that I try, fail and look for a new job … And until this day I don’t regret the decision 😊

What is the business model of Nocode-exits

No-Code Exits makes money through advertising and through selling my own info products. I made these info products based on the questions I receive from my readers so I knew what they were interested in. I subtly mention it in the footer and I sell a few every week. Here is an example

I’m also working on The No-Code Exits Club. It is a paid challenge and community to help you start building a product with No-Code and get acquired. The acquisition amounts we are talking about are not huge, just a nice feel good sum. But I think it is a great motivation to start and finish building a product, learn by doing and meet some like-minded friends.

What about marketing strategies? What you use

  • Repurposing content on my Twitter,LinkedIn, IndieHackers and Reddit
  • Cross promotions
  • Partnerships with No-Code companies
  • Being active in No-Code and entrepreneur communities

Where do you get the inspiration for your products?

By being very active in the No-Code space it’s easy to spot a lot of opportunities. Before I started, I thought this niche is already overserved. But only when you are in the trenches you see what is still possible.

I also pay attention to the questions I receive. I try to think of ideas where I have a competitive advantage thanks to skills and network. An example here is that I used to work for a huge global tourism organization and I know which challenges we encountered every day. So I’m now playing with an idea where I could combine: No-Code skills + AI knowledge (we are still early) to solve a problem I know we struggled with and use my network to sell this product.

Do you have a next project coming on? Or do you have  THE project that you really want to build one day?

Yes, I would love to. At this moment I try to resist it, because with freelancing and No-Code Exits my days are pretty full.  

My goal is to build a portfolio of tiny products to reach ramen profitability. A few requirements that I try to stick to so I don’t start wildly building anything:

  • Possible to build a first version in 2 weeks
  • Needs a clear monetization strategy from the beginning
  • Possible to automate as much as possible (if my kids are sick I want to have the freedom to say: no work this week and be there for them)
  • Focus on products interesting to my readers or network

We will see how that goes :-). 

Favorite tool and why?

Some smaller ones from amazing Indie Makers that I use every day

  • Pika.style
  • Llamalife.co
  • Mailbrew.com
  • Raindrop.io
  • Senja.com 

Word of advice

Writing a newsletter is amazing and opens so many doors.

  • You earn money by following your curiosity (only do it about subjects you love!)
  • You can connect with leaders in the space
  • You can talk to inspiring persons for interviews
  • You suddenly have an audience that trusts you
  • You become kind of an expert in your niche
  • If you build an engaging audience (like in nocode exits) you learn what your audience struggles with and you can spot many new business opportunities
  • You have an audience to validate ideas

So I can only recommend to start a niche newsletter. 

One book, one person to follow on Twitter, and one music?

Trends VC reports to read. Sveta Bay to follow. Petit Biscuit to listen

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