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Their SaaS Is Making $23,000 Monthly By Taking On Google

Making $23,000 monthly taking on Google

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

My name is Iron Brands from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Originally from the most beautiful city in The Netherlands: Maasticht.

Moved to Amsteram a couple of years ago and there met Adriaan, my business parter at Simple Analytics.

Adriaan and I are the owners of Simple Analytics: a privacy-friendly website analytics tool that gives you the insights you need without all the complexity of Google Analytics.

This is our website and this is our open page where we share our metric publicly.

Also we just launched a new business. It a UniFi cloud controller called UniHosted.

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

Adriaan started building Simple Analytics in 2018.

He was working as a software engineer at a marketing agency. In his role he worked a lot with Google Analytics for clients. He didn't like what Google Analytics was doing in terms of privacy. Also he thought he could build something something better. Something that less complex and got you all the insights you needed while respecting the privacy of the website visitor. When he pitched he girlfriend, she convinced him to start building it. Simple Analytics was born.

He built an MVP with just page views in three months and launched it on HackerNews. It went viral and this is how Simple Analytics got its first customers. He decided to give it a go full-time and he never looked back since. Up until 2022 Simple Analytics was growing steadily until it stalled.

The novelty wore off and nobody was doing marketing. This is when Adriaan and I decided to partner up. I was responsible for marketing. Adriaan for the product.

This is our MRR through the years:

  • 6 months: $900

  • 12 months: 2.7K

  • 18 months: 5.5K

  • 24 months: 7.2K

  • 30 months: 9K

  • 36 months: 11K

  • 42 months: 11K

  • 48 months: 14K

  • 54 months: 18K

  • 60 months: 23K

Can you see where I joined?

How did you get your first initial customers and what are your subsequent marketing strategies?

The first 100 customers came from HackerNews and word of mouth.

Since I joined we have a full marketing plan in place. This is everything that worked for us.

TLDR: The first phase is about getting traction. There's a few ways that do this:

  • Communities like HackerNews, Reddit, Indie hackers, Quora etc. -

  • Direct outreach on Twitter, Linkedin

  • Engage in the right communities and drop your startup whenever you see fit.

  • Drop links in communities like betalist etc.


HN falls in the same category as Reddit. Self-promotion = HN jail. However, there is a section called “Show HN.” You can use this to showcase your project.

Make sure you use a title that stands out. You only have one shot and one line to tell the community what you are building. Make it compelling and relevant to the audience.

Mind you, there is another way to stand out on Hackernews without promoting your product. We’ve done this in the past for Simple Analytics. It's about creating “HN-relevant” content.

I wrote an article on Indie Hackers that explains all the steps: How to Hack Hackernews.


I’m kind of following the same strategy here as I’m doing on Reddit: Engage.

Find topics in your relevant niche and solve problems by helping people out. Whenever your business solves a problem, drop a link to your business. Please provide some context and explain how it solves it.

There are two ways to optimize this strategy and use your time more efficiently.

Firstly, answer Quora questions with lots of views but few answers.

Fellow builder Davis Baer from OneUp wrote about this on Indie Hackers. You can use this query in Google to find questions in your niche with many views but few answers. That’s where you ultimately want to be!

site:quora.com keyword "1 answer" "k views"


Secondly, answer Quora questions that are indexed by Google and have search volume.

You can also use a keyword tool like Semrush to identify Quora questions indexed by Google (and receive visits). If you answer those questions and become the top-rated answer, you don’t even need SEO to be found in Google.

People with a problem use Google to find a solution and then navigate to the Quora page, where you provide the answer.

In Semrush, check the “positions” tab for the domain “Quora.com” and filter with a keyword in your niche.


Twitter only has a direct marketing purpose if your target customers reside here. I’m part of the little “build in public” bubble on Twitter, and for Simple Analytics, this has resulted in new users.

By sharing our story, we got more eyeballs of people who actually wanted our product.

You can search for questions about your niche using the advanced search function on Twitter.

I’ve set up a company account to engage in relevant conversations. This is the same approach as the engagement approach I will use for Reddit.

For building in public, use your personal account. People like to cheer for people. For business exposure, use your company account.

I’ve heard some stories about Twitter DMs working well, but since I don’t like to receive those myself and our target customers do not necessarily hang out on Twitter, I’m skipping those for now.

Communities and Directories

Submitting your business to communities can generate more exposure as well. Adding a new product on Indie Hackers and submitting your product to Betalist is definitely on my list.

The chance of getting lots of traffic is minimal, but so is the effort, and you only have to do this once.

An additional benefit is the fact that some directories will provide a backlink to your website. It’s not the best quality, but receiving these backlinks can be quite valuable if you are just starting.

This legend provided a list with 400+ websites to add your startup (I couldn’t find out who this is. I would love to give credit).


Once you’ve established a solid customer base that loves your product, it's time to scale and focus on long-term growth.

You might still apply the strategies that have worked during phase 1, but your focus needs to shift to long-term growth. “Do things that do scale” - Not Paul Graham

For me, that’s:

  1. SEO

  2. SEO

  3. SEO

SEO is the foundation on which durable businesses are built.

At Simple Analytics, it got us from 1k to almost 7k monthly visitors per month from Google over the course of last year.

The beauty of it is that SEO works compounding. It's like investing. Invest a lot in quality content once and see it grow and attract more and more users over time.

The only downside of SEO is that it takes time to see results. The first few months will seem like you are working hard without getting any return.

It's only relevant to start doing this when you are sure your business solves a problem and people want to pay for it. You figured this out in phase 1.

You can read a full breakdown of all the marketing strategies here at this link.

There are more ways to start, but the "do things that don't scale" really applies here. Once you get traction, focus on things that do scale and longterm growth

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How does your business make money?

Simple Analytics runs on a subscription-basis:

We are currently doing $23,000 MRR, with 1167 paying customers (ARR $276.1k)

Here are all our metrics: https://simpleanalytics.com/open

Simple Analytics is an Open Startup™, which means it operates fully transparent and shares its metrics, including revenue, costs, users and traffic.

Take us through a typical day in your life running the business as a solo founder

Adriaan and I both work from our little office in the centre of Amsterdam.

We share the office with six other indie hackers which is quite cool. Adriaan likes the work from home or a cafe in the morning to focus. He works in block of 90 minutes and tries to do three of them a day. This is the core part of the day.

The other time its just fixing bugs, customer support etc. I mainly just work from the office and focus on marketing related stuff. We have a roadmap for every quarter but not very strict deadlines.

As long as we are working in the right direction everything is going fine. In addition to the two of us we have 3 freelancers that help us out one dag in the week each. One for legal matter and privacy content. One for frontend development and one for technical marketing.

Really happy with the flexibility of freelancers and being bootstrapped. 

Before you go, what advice would you give to another who wants to start a business like yours?

Start. There is always a way to start. Even if that means only 15 minutes a day. You don't need to go all in at once, but just start.

Reading books is not starting. You don't need business plans etc.

Starting means building something, talking to people. Get yourself out there. The first year(s) will be tough. You will make a lot of mistakes, but you need to make those mistakes to learn.

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

Here are some links you can go to learn more:

Simple Analytics’s website: https://simpleanalytics.com/

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