This is a follow up story for Online Solitaire. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published over 2 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
My name is Holger, and I'm a designer-turned-programmer from Copenhagen, Denmark.
During the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, I decided to implement ads on the website, and the revenue of the website has been growing ever since. Today the site is earning about $15,000 per month.
Recently I made my first YouTube video, which is a guide on how to play solitaire. You can check it out below:
Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?
The business has been growing steadily since my last update. I'm now at around $15.000 in monthly revenue, up from around $10.000/month.
I've worked on several aspects of the site. I've done a total makeover of the text on the site and made a much more elaborate guide on how to play solitaire, along with thorough YouTube videos.
I've implemented several new features in the game itself. I've implemented a totally new winning popup. It includes a leaderboard for those people who have a competitive streak and a daily challenge tracker that lets you see how well you're doing with the daily challenges.
Last but not least, it includes achievements, which people seem to like more than I would have thought.
The last thing I've been spending my time on is SEO. I've been reaching out to different solitaire-related sites to let them know about my website. Outreach is always difficult, but I've been semi-successful with it.
What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?
The biggest challenge for me is always SEO. It's very time-consuming, and there's a fairly low success rate. I have to reach out to a lot of people before I get a positive response back.
Building the product is only the start of a venture.
I've taken multiple initiatives to see if I could generate a bit of buzz around my site, but with varying success. I've implemented a "Play against the world" version of solitaire that lets you see how well your country is doing compared to all over countries.
It's not so much a feature as it is a fun little gimmick. I tried to release it on Product Hunt, but I didn't have much success.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
Progress happens incrementally, especially when it comes to SEO. I tend to want to see big changes if I've put a lot of effort into something.
Oftentimes though, the changes only come incrementally after a while. So I guess that the biggest lesson of the year is patience!
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
I'm still running Online Solitaire as a part-time business. I'm studying to become a mechanical engineer right now, but I haven't got much time left for my studies.
After that, I plan on going full-time on Online Solitaire for a while and maybe even tend to some of my other game websites like my jigsaw puzzle website. Who knows, maybe even create some totally new gaming websites.
What’s the best thing you read in the last year?
If you don't know much about SEO, I highly recommend reading up on the basics. SEO might seem like a black box, but once you've read a few guides, you start to feel much more comfortable with it.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
If you're like me, you've probably underestimated how much marketing needs to be done for your project to be successful. The phrase "Build it and they will come" doesn't apply to the world of online businesses.
If I was to start a business now, I'd take a somewhat opposite approach to things. First, I'd look at the market I was building it for, then I'd make a list of all the different marketing channels I could find, and lastly, I'd try to come up with a lot of good ideas on how to market to those users.
Only if I had good answers to the above questions, I'd start to build the actual product. Building the product is only the start of a venture.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
I'm a one-man operation for now, but I'm always looking for someone who can help me with outreach/SEO.
They have to be very self-driven, though, and they'd need to be creative in how to market a site like Online Solitaire.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Online Solitaire has provided an update on their business!
Over 1 year ago, we followed up with Online Solitaire to see how they've been doing since we published this article.
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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