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Twan kruiswijk
Twan kruiswijk

Posted on • Originally published at twankrui.com

(Launch!) Building a business from scratch - day 18 🚀

Welcome to the final day of the useaffiliates.com build log! This series covered my journey of building a business from scratch in public. If you missed day seventeen, you could check it out here. I also uploaded today's Twitch stream to YouTube if you want to watch the replay.

We have launched on Product hunt! 🚀

By the time you are reading this, we have launched useaffiliates.com to the masses! If you have some time, please smash that upvote button via this link;

https://www.producthunt.com/posts/useaffiliates-com

A fat discount until the 20th of April 🚀

For the remainder of this week, I discounted the one-year placement of an affiliate program from $490.- to $290.- to celebrate the launch!

It has been an incredible journey building this project from scratch out in the open. I learned a lot and am incredibly grateful for all the cool people I met along the way. You are the real MVP of this journey!

Now let’s go over what we added right before launch:

Implementing the snackbar 🍫

After I decided to offer a launch discount, I needed a way to communicate this to my visitors. A great pattern to use is a snackbar, a box with a link, and a button to hide it.

I used local storage to ensure that a user can hide it “forever” so that the message doesn’t get in the way of browsing the affiliate programs. I also moved all the logic to a component so that it’s effortless to implement new snackbars as long as they have a unique ID.

Whenever you go to useaffiliates.com before the 20th of April, you will see the message about the fat discount we are giving away to everyone!

The money is in the list 💸

Before launching the project, I remembered a quote that I used to repeat over and over while working on other projects; “the money is in the list.”

You have to gather emails to reach your users/audience directly. Not only does this make it easier to sell something to your audience, but I added an email list to keep users engaged with the website.

Keep them reminded about the site's existence so that when they are looking for an affiliate program to monetize their content, they think of useaffiliates.com or find one straight from the email.

Setting up the sign-up 📨

After some research, I decided to use revue, which I also use for my other newsletters. It’s simple, free, and extremely easy to add to your website. As a bonus, you can link a newsletter directly to your Twitter profile.

The first thing I had to do was set up a Twitter account. I decided to set up an account for useaffiliates, where we can also tweet about new listings and other related content.

While signing up for Twitter, I also set up a new email address hello@useaffiliates.com. I didn’t particularly appreciate that I was using my @t-arch.nl address for useaffiliates. It seemed a bit odd, especially if you consider spending $490 on posting your affiliate program.

After signing up for both a new email address and a Twitter account, I configured revue and added the sign-up form to the home and category pages. I modified my DefaultLayout component to include a showNewsletter prop. I did this because I didn’t want to show the email sign-up on privacy terms and submit your program page.

And voila, we now have an email list!

Adding new affiliate programs 📚

Today I also added new affiliate programs to the initial launch list. There are now enough affiliate programs to browse, and I hope that we can welcome a couple of new programs on launch day. It would also be nice to have a little income from this project. 🥺

Just like Martin, you might wonder about the following;

Great work, looks good! I do have a question regarding the pre-submitted programs.

While I totally understand that you need some programs in the first place, without the company paying so that the page gets traffic. But companies listed right now won't pay you because they are already. How do you handle this trade-off? Do you want to remove them at one point? I think it is hard to decide who to list right now. It has to be as few as possible so that others will pay you, but enough to get attention to your site. — from medium comments

To which I replied:

*Thanks, Martin!

As you might have noticed, most of the listings are big companies and fashion stores. I don't think they are interested in listing their affiliate programs until I have more visitors.

I am aiming at SaaS businesses and other "unknown" stores/businesses that want to attract their first couple of affiliate marketers. I am unsure if I want to be the guy who removes your program if I listed you without you paying me. However, those companies might still be interested in running a sponsored listing.*

I still think that many SaaS companies can benefit from affiliate marketing, especially if they know their niche. You might be tempted to look down on a blogger in your niche with “only” 100 readers, but they might just contain another 50 - 100 customers who have never heard of you.

Where one project launches, another is in the works 🤫

Now that useaffiliates.com has officially released into the wild, we are at the end of this series. I will write an update about the launch and my new ideas in the future, but it's time to move on to another project, yet another "link in bio" product!

However, this will not be a hosted linking service (those are too expensive and all look the same) but rather a paid HTML template that you can customize and upload to your server!

And yes, of course, I am building this from scratch in public. Starting tomorrow, just like I did for useaffiliates.com, I will write regular build logs. For now, you can find the open Notion document here.

My “new” weekly twankrui newsletter! 📧

If you want to stay up to date with my projects, writing, tutorials, and inspiration. I will dust off my newsletter and send a new issue at the end of this week. I will also share the first launch numbers of useaffiliates.com in that newsletter.

You can subscribe via this link! 🎉

I started this newsletter last year to write a bi-weekly newsletter. That didn’t quite work out. 😅 There is, however, already one issue about my sabbatical for you to read. I can recommend it!

Thanks again for reading this build log, it has been an amazing ride!

With love,

Twankrui

Top comments (2)

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lukeecart profile image
Luke Cartwright

This looks very helpful and professional! Thank you for sharing your journey

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jeffsvic profile image
Jeff Svicarovich

Congrats! 🚀

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