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Bootstrapping A Side Hustle Job Board To $650 Every Month

How shifting from B2B to B2C helps him get to $650 MRR in a few weeks

Hello! Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your business?

Hey, my name is Morgan Gao. I am a 32 year old software engineer.

I'm currently running a job board for software engineers called EchoJobs, which I've bootstrapped it on my own.

How did you start this business? Take us through the process.

I had this idea when I was looking for jobs two years ago.

I was interested in a specified type of companies, tech stack, etc. Websites like Indeed, LinkedIn have a lot of jobs but I found it really hard to search and filter through the jobs I want.

I initially started working on the backend side. The idea is to have an API so I can get newest jobs every day. I spent about 3 months for the first version. It includes scraping jobs from most of the popular application tracking systems, parsing job post for all kinds of information like title, tech stack, level, location and salary.

At that time I had about 500 startups in my database and generates about 30 job leads every day for me. After that, I thought, it would be cool to have a frontend so people can use that.

So I spent another 2 months working on the FE side. By May of 2022, I had a working website and released to the public the first time.

How did you get your first initial customers?

I gained some traffic from posting jobs to Twitter and Reddit and by February 2023, I had about 30k monthly visits.

So I put up a plan so employers can post jobs. I tried to reach out to businesses and companies who are hiring but no one posted jobs on my site.

So I kinda stopped there. I knew I got my first sale about month or two later through a random Stripe email saying I have a 90~ dollar payout my way. I checked my Stripe and someone paid 99 for a paid post. Since then I have got about 5 paid job posts so far. But it has been a while since I got any paid job post.

That was why I pivoted to charging job seekers. I think EchoJobs provides more value to job seekers than employers at this point.

With just 5 dollars a week, they can get a whole list of job list that match their skills, preferences. It's been two month now and I have about 20 active subscribers and a total MRR of $500 roughly.

Since launch, what are your marketing strategies or channels to get new customers?

I did not do a lot of marketing. I suck at marketing but working on that slowly. The main channel I use is social media.

I tried to connect with software engineers on Twitter and post jobs on social media. By positing jobs on Reddit and Twitter (not on Instagram atm), it can be seen by people who are looking for jobs.

And those are good traffic to convert to paying customers. Reddit is the #1 traffic source for me for now.ย Here is one of the Reddit post:

I also tried SEO both content marketing and programmatic SEO but it has not paid off yet. I am planning to work more on that.

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How does your business make money?

The main model is the weekly/monthly subscription from job seekers.

I charge $5 dollars per week or $17 per month to have full access to the job leads.

I have about 20 subscribers at the moment and that gives me about $500 dollars per month.

Besides that, I promote Indeed jobs on my site and that brings an additional $150 per month. This is done through the Indeed Trusted Partners Program. They provide the job source and I go over thousands of them, and just pick the ones that have tech stack, locations, salary and show them on top of my site.ย 

The cost of running this business remains low for now.

Surprisingly, the scraping part is not very expensive. I have a script runs on Google Cloud Run and that I am still in their free tier. The cost is from the in memory search service I use. It costs about 100 dollars a month. And other SaaS I subscribe suck as Plausible, Google WorkSpace.ย 

Where can we go to lean more about you and your business?

Here are some links you can go to learn more: