May 2019 Recap & Roadmap

The second month since launching Proseful is over! Here's the recap (including a huge milestone) for May, the roadmap for June and some lessons learned.


Some of the highlights from May 2019:

  • 🚢 Shipped freemium model: As mentioned in last month's update, switching to a freemium model was in the works for May. Proseful now has a Free plan for basic blogging needs, and a Pro plan ($7/month) with more valuable features, like custom domains, static pages and Google Analytics.

  • 🚢 Shipped RSS: I wanted RSS for my personal blog and received feedback that it was also a priority for others. Done.

  • 🚢 Shipped static pages: This is another feature that I received feedback on and also wanted for my personal blog. Now you can use a post as a static page, such as an About, Contact or Now page.

  • 📡 Hacker News launch: I finally worked up the nerve to make a Show HN submission, and it was absolutely worth it. I submitted on a Saturday (May 18) morning. Honestly, I didn't expect it to get much attention. Maybe a point or two if I was lucky. However, by 10:10am it had made the #1 spot, where it stayed for about 25-30 minutes. Interestingly, it dropped from the top spot to the second page in the blink of an eye.

  • 📡 Product Hunt launch: I woke up Sunday (the morning after Hacker News day) to find that Proseful had been hunted on Product Hunt. I had been worrying how I'd connect with someone to hunt it. Well, thanks to Ozgur Ozer, who saw the HN submission, I didn't have to worry any longer. Proseful ended the day at #6… not bad at all. Thanks Ozgur!

  • 🎉 First paying customers: Huge milestone! Proseful had its first paid upgrade (not including myself) in late May. And two more before the month ended. This was a direct result of the influx of people who discovered Proseful via Hacker News and Product Hunt. I thought it was going to take a lot longer to reach this milestone. Just want to express my gratitude to the people who gave Proseful a shot: thank you so much!

And some stats for the curious:

  • 💳 4 paying customers (+300%): This includes myself; I'm using Proseful for my personal blog.

  • 💵 $28 MRR (+300%): 4 customers at $7/month.

  • 📈 4.7K unique visitors (+7,329%): A huge traffic spike due to the posts on Hacker News and Product Hunt, as well as the resulting secondary traffic.


What I'll be working on in June:

  • Publish date picker: This will give users the ability to change the publish date and time of a post. Useful if you make a mistake, or if you're manually copy-pasting posts into Proseful from another platform.

  • Code love: Will be spending time on tech debt and improving the codebase to get ready for future features.

  • Content as marketing: This will involve writing content that I believe will be valuable to people. At the moment, my ideas are limited to technical stuff. A few ideas include: how I implemented password-less authentication with Phoenix, and how I implemented multi-tenant subdomains and custom domains on AWS. Open to other ideas.

Lessons learned

  • Traffic from Hacker News and Product Hunt will drop off quickly. You may see a smaller secondary bump in traffic as other sites pick it up and spread the word. Expect traffic to return to normal within a week.

That's it for May. Stay tuned for the June update!

Featured photo by Ian Schneider.