Written by toomaime
Last Updated 🗓 a month ago
How to grow a community with Sergio from Makerlog
Hey Sergio, first of all, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you are working on?
Hi! I’m Sergio Mattei, an indie hacker and maker. I’m working on Makerlog, a community that helps makers from around the world reach their goals together through feedback and positive vibes.
How did you acquire your first users for Makerlog?
Mainly Product Hunt! Six months ago I launched Makerlog on there, expecting little traction to none. But the launch proved to be quite a success, providing me the first 1000+ users! It was absolutely crazy. It was extremely effective and helped connect with the maker community.
I decided to then launch 2.0 again on PH, which doubled that number again.
Growing an online community can be very difficult - if you would have to name three things for the success of Makerlog. What would it be?
Well, let’s see… This is a hard question. I’m personally still quite shocked by the fact that Makerlog is successful, but in my opinion the driving factors were these:
Inclusivity factor. Makerlog was always pointed towards being an inclusive community, so that naturally attracts makers to join the community. We strive to be inclusive, helpful, and always welcoming towards new makers.
Demand and timing. There was definitely a demand for the product, becoming an alternative maker community space.
Energy. I’m not necessarily the most spiritual, but I believe strongly in pouring energy into something. I put my all onto Makerlog, and it’s working out well. I’ve built this product and community with sweat and passion, and people like that. I’m just very passionate about the problem Makerlog solves.
Let’s talk about monetization - there are some obvious routes like advertising or affiliate marketing. What is your plan with MakerLog or things that worked for you already?
Makerlog has approached monetization conservatively. I want any monetization solution to be in accordance to the inclusivity vision. Right now Makerlog Gold ($5/mo optional subscription) is working out very well, combined with sponsorships/ad slots, and donations.
Makerlog Gold works well because it’s mostly optional, and done for people who really want to support the service. I also include some nice perks in there like dark mode and whatnot.
It’s at $200 MRR, which is affords me a nice meal or two. :) I have plans to grow it much larger though.
My main tip has always been this: be human, be active, and don’t act “startup-y”. Be open, share stats, talk to your customers.
How important is social media for MakerLog - any strategies or tips?
Social media is crucial for Makerlog. Without it, Makerlog wouldn’t be successful. Since the beginning, I’ve strived to always have direct interactions with users - be it welcoming tweets or support requests, I’m always there.
It sounds unscalable, and it is. But I do things that don’t scale, and the benefits of being active within the community have far surpassed the downsides.
My main tip has always been this: be human, be active, and don’t act “startup-y”. Be open, share stats, talk to your customers. It creates an incredible bond with your customers, and that’s your competitive advantage.
Are you using any SEO strategies for Makerlog?
I don’t use SEO strategies for Makerlog, it’s all been done through social media marketing. SEO traffic I’ve received is all organic. I don’t pay attention much to search engines.
What advice would you give to someone to acquire his first 100 customers?
I’d probably tell them to market like humans and “do things that don’t scale”. In the age of startups and big corporations, the best way for indie hackers to stand out is to bond with their customers and do things that the big corporations can’t.
This means excelling in customer support, onboarding, and human marketing.
Put your passion and energy into your product and things will almost certainly go very well. ✌️