Welcome To The Starter Story Blog

Published: November 1st, 2017

Hi, I'm Pat. I created this website, Starter Story. I wanted to start this blog to write about my progress.

I'm going to publish a post each month, where I'll set goals for the month, and see if I reached my goals for the previous month. You can find my November goals at the bottom of this post.

Subscribe to Starter Story and I'll send you an email with the next blog post! Also, shoot me an email if you want to connect!

What is Starter Story?

Starter Story interviews entrepreneurs on how they got started.

Today, it's easier than ever to get started on your business idea or side project. With so many resources and tools online, I want to show people how easy it is to just get started.

I hope the interviews are not only inspiring but also provide detailed, specific advice and insight on starting a business. There is a lot of entrepreneur porn (preachy, motivational junk) on the internet, which is not helpful for real people starting businesses.

I interview businesses of all shapes and sizes, whether it is a small side project that brings in a few extra dollars a month or a large company.

My High-Level Goals

I only have one professional goal for myself: to work for myself comfortably anywhere in the world. I'm not sure when that will be (I have a full-time job right now), but the only way I can make that happen is by trying ideas, starting new things, and keeping an eye out for the right opportunity.

For Starter Story, my goals are:

  • Produce high-quality interviews
  • Build a community of people with the "Starter Story mindset"
  • Network and learn a ton from other entrepreneurs
  • Make money

So Why Build Starter Story?

I'm a developer but also think of myself as an entrepreneur.

About a year ago, a couple of friends and I poured six months of our lives into building a SaaS startup, which failed.

Although it failed, I found it to be a fantastic experience and wanted to get started on a new idea immediately.

It failed for many reasons, but the one that sticks out to me the most is we didn't have enough time in the day. We worked nights and weekends, but we had a B2B product that we needed to sell during the day when we were preoccupied with our 9 to 5s. Not only did the startup fail, but it took a serious toll on my productivity at my day job.

I wanted to work on something where I could do both: stay focused in the 9-5, and also be able to move the needle on my side project on nights and weekends.

I started reading about people starting content websites and making some good money. At a high level, the strategy is to pick a niche, create a ton of content, and try to get ranked on the first page of Google, and then make money from affiliate marketing.

I started working on that and picked a niche that I thought would be lucrative. However, I quickly realized I had no motivation to work on it. I didn't feel inspired to write content on topics I didn't care about.

I still thought the content site was a great idea, and perfect for my schedule, so I needed to find a subject that I was passionate about. I realized that niche is entrepreneurship.

Heavily inspired by Indie Hackers and all of the success they had, I decided to get started on Starter Story, an entrepreneurship interview site. Indie Hackers mainly focuses on tech and SaaS. To differentiate, I plan to interview all types of businesses, whether its consumer goods, social media influencers, technology, or really anything.

Building Starter Story (so far)

I started reaching out to friends to find people who I could interview and found a couple people who were interested.

I interviewed them over the phone, where I would record the call, and later transcribe the conversation, and then condense and convert it into an interview style article.

Often the calls would go for over an hour, so turning that into a ~2,000-word article was a task that took a long time.

At this time I was building the website as well. Although I'm a programmer, I decided to try out Wordpress so I could just focus on interviews and not have to write any code.

I set up the Wordpress, but then I wanted to customize the look and feel, so I reached out to a friend who is a designer who could help me with that. He sent me design mockup, and I attempted to implement that design into Wordpress. That ended up being harder than I thought it would be.

I quickly got frustrated with Wordpress and decided to scrap it and build it on my own. This was probably not a great use of my time, but as a programmer, I enjoyed it and learned some cool stuff. I do not recommend that unless you're a programmer. Wordpress is fine.

I built it on React with the create-react-app, and hosted it on Netlify.

I launched it at the beginning of this November with 3 interviews and a simple "Subscribe" call to action link with a MailChimp newsletter.

I originally wanted to launch with 10 interviews but realized that would take too long. I decided to launch early just to get the site out there and start getting feedback. I've been posting the interviews on social media and Reddit, but that's pretty much it right now.

I eventually plan to have a bigger launch on Product Hunt, but first I need to get more interviews, improve the design, and understand my audience better before I'm ready for that.

November Goals

I want to set monthly goals and share them with you guys. Here are my (modest) goals for the month of November:

  • 1,000 sessions
  • 20 total mailing list subscribers
  • 10 total interviews

I know these goals don't sound like much. I'm still spending most of my time on gathering good interviews. Soon I will be focused on growth. Will be blogging about all of this!

I'll let you know at the end of the month how this went. Subscribe with the button at the bottom of this page!