Hey there everyone,
Welcome to the 5th issue of my newsletter! I’ve been writing an issue each month and, while I didn’t send one in June, I appreciate each of you that have chosen to opt-in and read! The last few months have been busy with our newborn, but things are now starting to get into more of a regular routine!
Today we’re going to evaluate when you should build a product, and discuss a few things I learned as I released the landing page for my first public-facing product named Pomegradient - a free web app that helps you discover, save and craft gradients with a creative community.
Building a side-project is great, but if you’re taking it a step further and are seeking adoption, you have to make sure the product is solving a problem that other people are facing.
After you have an idea, here’s some steps to ask yourself and follow. Each step must be checked off before moving to the next, and if any of the answers are ‘no’, it gives you an opportunity to refine the idea before moving forward.
Finding gradients for my designs is a struggle. Creating aesthetically pleasing (and modern) gradients can require training with color theory and a lot of experience and although I consider myself artistic and I’ve used tools like Photoshop and Illustrator for years, I’ve never taken any design classes or had any formal training.
If I struggle with creating gradients, I suspect many others do too. I validated the idea with a group of people in my field, confirmed my suspicion, and decided it would be worth my time to make Pomegradient. Sure, there are other gradient tools available, but I think the feature that sets Pomegradient apart will spark some genuine interests. I’ll reveal a bit more at a later date.
I’ve been working on the project silently behind the scenes for a few months (although I did tease it in a past issue of my newsletter), but I decided it was time for a change. In order to expose Pomegradient to more people, I started posting updates on Twitter as part of the #BuildInPublic movement.
I also created a landing page where visitors can learn a bit about the product and sign up to get notified when it goes live. This, I believe, is the single most important marketing task I can do while the project is still in development. Not only does it pique the interest of visitors, but it also collects leads and starts to construct a user-base.
The response has been great! It’s only been a few days since I launched the landing page and it has been fulfilling to see a handful of people already showing some interest!
If you want to check out the landing page, click here!
But I’ll be honest — the landing page I published was actually my second attempt. My first version wasn’t so great.
There are several obvious things that needed to be completed before releasing the landing page to the public:
These things may sound straightforward, but each item can be complex and time consuming. Surprisingly though, the most difficult task was settling on the proper call to action (CTA) for the email sign-up form.
Originally I slapped an input field on the page next to a button that said ‘Subscribe’. I had no description of the app and simply placed a large Pomegradient logo in the hero section.
It didn’t look terrible, but I realized that I wasn’t engaging with the visitor. I certainly wasn’t forming a connection. And it probably wouldn’t generate much interest.
I found a very informative tweet by Jeremy Moser that describes strategies to engage with users, form a connection and then encourage them to perform an action. This is a pattern used mostly with marketing a premium product, and while I won’t be charging individuals to use the application, I still want them to understand how it will help them and ultimately request that they sign up to get notified when it goes live.
Here’s what I changed on my landing page:
As a result, the conversion rate has been extremely high for the amount of visitors coming to the site. Most of these leads are organic - coming from my helpful posts on Twitter or individuals simply finding it on the web.
It’s been a wonderful learning process even in the first few days of its life, and I’m sure I’ll be learning a lot more as I continue to build Pomegradient in public!
Did you know you can change the caret-color of your text-boxes? Yeah! Simply target the caret-color selector and pass it a color! ✨
I only released one article in June, but I have several in the works that I hope to publish this month!
There’s a lot I could list here - the community has been extremely creative the last few months! Here’s a few of my favorites:
Jacopo Colò released a Three.js-powered 3D sketching app! It’s CRAZY amazing! Draw on your iPad with an Apple Pencil and explore your creation in 3D!
Have you ever wanted to use Notion as a CMS? With the recently released Notion API, Samuel Kraft stepped up and made a Notion + Next.js blog repo that you can clone today! (Actually, his whole website is powered by Notion! Check it out here!)
I’m a big Apple fanboy. I won’t deny it. This CodePen demo that Adir published of a 3D iMac (completely built with CSS) is mind-blowing!
I hope you enjoyed this issue! As always, thanks for your support and I hope July proves to be wonderful for you!
Until next time,