6 months into my side project, working 3hrs a day, here is what I learned

A reflection back at the las 6 months of building emailemu
Written by
Published on
March 26, 2024

Honestly, I never imagined making it this far—staying committed to a project for half a year straight. Regardless of whether everything goes up in flames, I've learned more about myself and marketing than I ever thought possible.

Reflecting on my journey of building emailemu.com , I've made it a habit to look back at the end of each week, pondering over the highs and lows, and distilling lessons to share. This week felt different, marking the 6-month milestone.

Although it feels like it's been much longer, I thought it'd be fitting to share a broader reflection.
Here are five key takeaways:

Avoid unnecessary spending on minor optimizations.

In the early days, I poured around $3,000 into my initial setup. Soon after, I began chasing enhancements—spending an extra $6,000 on image display updates, email categorization accuracy, grid adjustments, filter optimizations, branding concealments, additional data, and more. In hindsight, these tweaks barely nudged the needle on user experience. Lesson learned.

Explore monetization sooner rather than later.

It took me until last week—six months in—to consider monetizing the platform. In retrospect, I missed out on early opportunities. Experimenting with affiliate links, ads, or separate pre-sales could have been beneficial alongside the free offering. This is crucial when you are bootstrapping.

Hold yourself accountable.

While most of the time my motivation has been good, there are still weeks or days where my motivation is low, and that is part of being human. I just ensure I am doing the bare minimum on those days and using them as time to recharge. Momentum is important. I noticed if I took time off of creating content it was hard to get back into a rhythm. Set yourself weekly get and hold yourself accountable.

SEO should have been a priority from the start.

The initial three months were focused on product development, but I overlooked the power of SEO. Had I produced SEO-driven content from day one, I'd be reaping the benefits now. SEO takes time, about six months, to show results. It's a reminder that it's never too early to start.

Networking is invaluable.

Engaging with marketing professionals weekly has been enlightening, helping me dive deeper into the marketing realm, uncover day-to-day challenges, and learn from these interactions. My background in product design and user testing has enhanced my ability to listen, empathize, and identify needs. These conversations not only expanded my network but also influenced a pivotal shift in my product's direction.

Embarking on this side project has been a journey of growth, discovery, and unexpected turns. Each lesson has shaped my approach, and I'm eager to see where this path leads.

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