Dan Rowden

October 2021

October has been a busy month. I've been adding new features and small updates to Cove and ilo, and got started with my next project, Refermo.

October round-up

ilo updates

This month has been full of small tweaks on ilo.

Things like adding a nice visual list of new followers...

better (less intrusive) chart tooltips...

new charts for the 24 hour tweet timelines...

and adding image previews to tweets, in the tweet table and individual views...

I also started sending email digests every day rather than only on days users have tweeted. I really believe consistency is key to growth on Twitter and prompting users to tweet every morning should help them succeed. (There is a new setting if users want to go back to only getting digests on days they tweet.)

ilo has grown from $2,466 to $2,658 MRR (+7.8%) this month. This is not high, and I'm looking to do more marketing for ilo in November. I believe it should be reasonably easy to get ilo to +$5k MRR; I just need to figure out the best marketing channel(s).

Cove updates

Cove passed $1k MRR this month 🔥 It's my slowest-growing project but seems like a key tool for Ghost publishers who are focussed on memberships and creating a community.

One key thing I did recently was to remove the lowest $5/month plan, which only had limited features. The idea is to filter out people who don't really "need" comments, and try to get higher-quality signups (and therefore, a better conversion rate). Time will tell if this will work but it looks to be heading that way so far.

Feature-wise, I have been working on a set of upcoming features: likes, view counters and reactions for Ghost posts, which will help publishers foster more of a community around their content. I also worked on a "comment count" feature, which lets you now add a comment count for each post on your blog list view, which is now released.

I had planned to release the new features in October but I focussed instead on building out Refermo, as that has better potential for growth in the coming months.

MRR is up 15% at $1,149 (from $996).

Announcing Refermo

Refermo is my new product. I've been thinking about it for a few months, and finally created the Django project on October 11th.

Refermo is a platform that will let SaaS business who run on Paddle add referral and affiliate programmes into their apps.

It's quite ambitious but I've been using Paddle and their API for years now, and there is definitely a gap in the market for this. There seem to be so many tools that integrate with Stripe and Paddle has been left a bit behind.

In the past few weeks, I've coded about 80% of the app, which lets users set up accounts, campaigns and rewards, and view all of their subscriptions, referrals and members, plus I have done maybe 70% of the API that's needed for a total integration.

What I'm in the middle of now is figuring out the best way to let these app developers create referrals, and make sure that their apps and Refermo can talk to eachother at crucial moments for tracking referrals, signups, referral link clicks and rewards.

I had over 80 people on the early access list, which is amazing! And 21 from that list filled in a quick survey I sent out asking about their businesses. The idea is to let in a range of different types and sizes of apps, and have control over who is using Refermo early on. I have no rush for this project and would rather let people in slowly, perfecting the system as I go, rather than let everyone in all at once.

I also worked on pricing this month. This is the idea at the moment...

November plans

  • Refermo: finish an MVP with the full referral lifecycle working and on-board the first 5 users
  • ilo: work on ilo's Follower product, adding filters to the follower database
  • Cove: launch the new features and marketing site to match

Alongside this work on my products, I've recently signed an agreement related to Ghost themes, which has the potential to be massive. I'm going to start releasing themes more regularly from November onwards. The trouble this brings is that I will have to trade product time for theme time. The reward for this could be huge, so I'm going to have to force myself to do it.

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