James Edit Notes

Blog Post


Hello and welcome back to Indie Bites, the podcast where I bring you stories of fellow indie hackers in 15 minutes or less.

Today we're joined by Dan Rowden, who is an entrepreneur and product builder currently based in Maritius.

Dan, like many other indie hackers runs a bunch of projects alongside a full-time job, which all compound to him making over $5k a month with these projects. In 2012 he started Magpile, a free online resource about magazines, which was followed by Subsail, a platform to help indie publishers sell magazine subscriptions.

Earlier this year Dan started using the publishing platform Ghost, which he then started to build a suite of products around, now including gloat; a productised service for hosting and self hosting, Cove; a commenting tool for ghost blogs and substation; a theme for ghost.

It doesn't stop there, Dan also launched ilo, a better analytics platform for Twitter a few months ago, which has earned over $6k in revenue since launch.

In this episode we talk about how Dan manages his time throughout his projects, why he hasn't gone full time yet and what he did when a $75k acquisition offer came along.

If you're like Dan and work on your side projects on evenings and weekends, then I think you're going to like our podcast sponsor, Weekend Club. Weekend Club is a friendly community of indie hackers that meet up every Saturday for deep working sessions, making sure we stay accountable with our goals. The community includes the founders of bootstrapped companies like veed and simple poll, as well as smaller indie hackers like you and me.

Weekend Club has just launched in the US, so if you're interested in signing up, use Indie Bites as your code for 50% off your first month.

Let's get into the show.

What we covered in this episode

  • Why Dan lives in Maritius
  • James to intro Dan's products
    • Magpile, a free online resource about magazines launched in 2012
    • Subsail, a subscription platform for charing for issues Dan's best earning product
    • This year he launched his Ghost suite
    • Gloat a productised service for hosting and self hosting
    • Cove, a commenting tool for ghost blogs
      • Substation - A theme for ghost
    • Then in the summer Dan launched ilo which is a better Twitter analytics tool
  • Why choose multiple projects over doing just one?
  • How do you manage your time with 3 kids, a wife and a full-time job?
  • Why Dan isn't too worried about 'growing' his side projects
    • Interesting point to expand on as Dan mentions this 'we'll see how things go' throughout the episode. He's not fussed if his projects grow, stagnate or get killed off. He does it because he enjoys building things and it's a bonus if they make money. He's the perfect example of an indie hacker. If a project took off then, sure, he'd devote some more time to it, but right now he's not go expectations and is enjoying chipping away.
  • What if a project took off?
  • The pros and cons of working on your side project with a full-time job
  • Not worrying about the money your side project earns
  • Does it take the fun out of it?
  • Why is Dan so bullish on Ghost?
  • Why having a 'suite' of products is complimentary to each other
  • Getting a 75k acquisition offer
  • Being prepared to sell your projects
  • Building an alternative to Twitter analytics