Making $23,000 From A Job Boards Directory

How lurking on Twitter got him started on a site that made $23,000 to date

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

I’m Rod, I live in Mallorca, Spain and started coding at the early age of 12 years old to learn Clipper and quickly realized that programming was what I wanted so when finished High School I started studying ‘Computer Systems Engineering’ at university where all the programming classes were based on C++, after 4 years I quit

Uni wasn’t for me, I was only interested in coding classes and being behind the screen with my IDE and I started traveling. In 2008 I got back to coding and focused on web development.

The product is, a directory showing websites for finding a job.

I never used Twitter or any social networks (which I regret) until after the pandemic I discovered the build in public community and Pieter Levels account which was super inspiring.

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

My development agency in the hospitality industry was badly affected by the pandemic.

I knew I needed to diversify, started lurking on Twitter and found about Web3 and blockchain, smart contracts development, got fascinated about it and I had the time, so started learning and building projects in public (I the only way that works learning for me, by building) there a bunch of projects on my GitHub profile

Back then Marc Köhlbrugge was building Web3 projects, he led me to Pieter Levels, and seeing him building in public, in a scrappy way, open about revenue, it was super inspiring.

He tweeted about Stack Overflow Jobs shutting down, under the tweet a lot of folks where asking about alternatives and I thought “I can build a list just for fun”.

I was actually brushing my teeth on a late Saturday before going to bed and right away I registered and went to sleep.

The next Sunday morning I woke up at 7AM, made the MVP in 5 hours (Following his style of raw PHP in a single index.php file with no frameworks, just HTML, CSS and JavaScript with some jQuery ) and then went to the skate park with my daughter, when I came back added 10/15 job boards to the list and posted it under the Pieter’s tweet, he liked it and RTd.

The next day he sent me a DM saying he would help me a bit to promote if I put RemoteOK on 1st place, it was a blast for me 😀 A lot of job board founders started DMing me or replying to get included in the list, there was a lot of interest.

How did you get your first initial customers?

I never thought about monetizing it but again, a few months later, Pieter in a DM suggested adding premium listings with highlight, custom brand color, and sticky features. He also told me to rebrand, and who dares to not follow his advice? He even helped me to pick the domain among 3 available, so was the one. I also decided to include the 3 Sponsored slots: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

I tweeted about the paid options and almost immediately, Phil from 4 day week job board acquired a sponsored slot and became the 1st premium job board ever (and he is still sponsoring the site). Minutes later another founder paid and the next morning the 3rd payment came. I couldn’t believe it and realized that I was onto something.

A week later I posted on Reddit and it went viral, the post had 790K views in 24 hours, and passed 48k unique visitors.

A few days later I commented under an Indie Hackers post and a platform moderator replied that if I wrote a post about JobBoardSearch he would feature it on the home page and newsletter. Here’s the post.

Also, I received a solid offer of $20K to acquire the website but I declined.

I love Telegram API and the bots you can build with it, got attracted about OpenAI API so I'm also building, which is an AI-powered bot that suggests cool itineraries for any location in the world. Travel Massive founder saw it and decided to feature it on his website and newsletter, and recently "What's hot In Travel 2023" guide.

I'm not monetizing it at the moment but I think I will at some point.

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

Building in public on Twitter, a real win-win situation for me and JobBoardSearch. It is where most job board founders learn that it exists.

I never spent a single penny on ads, but I have seen my site mentioned all over, Reddit, Instagram, TikTok, and even accounts with millions of followers. Also, a lot of blog posts have mentioned it so that generated thousands of backlinks. Direct traffic is the largest source and the 2nd position is Google.

I focused on programmatic SEO, based on the job boards filter tags combinations. Also there are 10 tags like its title and meta descriptions which were generated with the OpenAI API. There is a blog section and I hired a writer but after two articles he stopped. So next I plan to put some effort into generating content.

Also built bots (Telegram, Reddit, Twitter, LinkedIn) that post jobs ads every hour. At the moment of writing the Telegram Group has 5300+ members, the subreddit has 4200 members, Twitter has 900+ followers and the newsletter 5400+ job seekers subscribed.

Which brings a significant amount of traffic, in August the job ad clicks thanks to the bot post passed 12k

How does your business make money?

As previously mentioned, the site is monetized through premium listings and 3 sponsored slots (Top 3 in the rankings).

Since adding the paid plans it made close to $23k or $1300/mo.

Also, a job board SaaS software company reached out wanting to advertise on the website, so I had to create two ad slots. This past week an AI company from SF reached out and acquired a slot to promote "AI headshots for job seekers"

I also run, a short term villa rentals in Mallorca, I don't know the exact numbers but in between $150k and $200k in revenue so far this season.

Nowadays server cost is so cheap, all the websites run on a less than $50/mo Linux VPS that I manage myself. I also do all myself, except for the newsletter where I get some help from my wife, so is almost all profits.

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

I’m a night owl, so I wake up late, close to noon. It is not easy for me to be in the working mood until after lunch, so I do work that doesn’t need too much focus before lunch, like replying to emails, spending time on Twitter, doing Instagram posts, tweaking property descriptions or tariffs but not complex agency/client work.

After lunch I never fail to have an espresso and a dip in the pool, then I work until about 18/19. After, I take a break to go to the beach for a couple of hours. When I come back I have dinner and around midnight I get back to the office for deep work. This is when I’m more productive and I like to code.

I go to bed between 3 am and 4 am.

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

Here are some links you can go to learn more:

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