I Created a Product Launch Guide to Support Solo Makers and Startups

Published: December 11th, 2023
Daisy Do
Founder, Boostaitraffic
from Shanghai, China
started September 2023
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Hi founders! I'm Daisy, a designer, creator, and solo maker.

BoostAITraffic is a platform that curated several AI tools directories, to assist AI startups to find where to launch their business.


In addition, I designed a notion template to help efficiently manage product launches and build backlinks.


I built the tool in September and officially launched it in November. The business started with $10 and currently generates a revenue of $245.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I got my Master degree in Human-Computer Interaction design and have been working in the IT industry for about 6 years. This background has kept me closely attuned to cutting-edge technologies. I've been consistently exploring various open-source resources and tools to craft my products, leveraging my knowledge and experience in the field.

After concluding my previous remote job last year, I started to explore online business. Joining Starter Story in July, I began researching and studying entrepreneurial case studies. I found that most starters initially identified a personal need and gradually proceeded with business validation.

Back to myself, I was struggling to find a proper niche market. In July, I created an AI tool called NicheBot to help founders niche down their business ideas. I built the MVP in just two days and then launched it on ProductHunt at the end of July.


While the initial launch brought significant traffic, it quickly dropped down. In August, I began submitting my website to hundreds of AI aggregation sites to generate backlinks. Through about one month's efforts, the website has now accumulated over 1.6k backlinks.


During the submission process, I gradually collected hundreds of AI directory sites. As a solo maker, I am price-sensitive as well. Therefore, I curated the sites that support startups and makers to launch and submit the products for free. A Notion file was designed to organize and manage the submission process.


Realizing this could be valuable for other AI startups and makers like me, I built BoostAITraffic – a directory site with a Notion Launch guide in September.

Take us through the process of building the first version of your product.

I previously attempted to build products using open-source tools or write code by AI. Although this allowed for rapid development, there were apparent issues. Since my expertise isn't in technology, fulfilling customized needs using open-source code proved challenging and time-consuming.

This time, I decided to utilize no-code tools for building. After trial and research on Carrd, Bubble, and Softr, I finally chose Softr to build the site.

Softr is incredibly user-friendly, with a low learning curve, making it ideal for creating content navigation sites or single landing pages. The entire cost of building my website was only for the domain, which amounted to $10 per year.

Initially, I planned to design only a landing page. However, considering a single page is not enough for SEO, I added a Directory page. On this page, visitors can freely explore the AI navigation sites.


The most time-consuming part was designing the attractive landing page images. Visual design is not my strong suit. At first, I designed it on my own, reviewed by my friend Jerry, a full-stack designer skilled in landing page design. He helped me redesign the landing page images. Besides, he wrote a script to capture screenshots of each website's homepage, significantly improving the page's aesthetics.


Apart from the time spent on graphic design, another time-consuming aspect was setting up payments. For the MVP, I linked to the Gumroad page for payments, requiring users to navigate to Gumroad for payment. However, this added an extra step, which was not user-friendly. So, I switched to using LemonSqueezy for payments. Designing the payment page and testing the payment process took another few days. The entire website development took about a month.

Launching on Product Hunt often leads to immediate visibility within the startup and tech community, providing an initial burst of traffic and potential users.

Describe the process of launching the business.

After the website building, I started to reach out to potential users in October. I shared the product in the communities where AI developers and entrepreneurs are active. I also posted on various community forums such as Quora and Reddit. However, the overall traffic impact was not particularly significant.

After the website building, I gradually began sharing my product in various communities in October. Initially, I posted it in a Lark product and design community with around 2,000 members, a paid startup community with approximately 30,000 members, and some smaller AI product communities in my Country.

I started to collect some feedback and questions from beta users. Subsequently, I also posted it on relevant discussions on Reddit and Quora.

This work resulted in a certain amount of organic traffic, some free registered users, and a few paying customers in single digits. However, the overall traffic impact was not particularly significant.


Meanwhile, I continuously worked on improving SEO optimization. I have limited SEO experience before. Therefore, I spent a lot of time learning, testing, and iterating about keyword research and writing SEO-friendly blog posts.


In November, I began preparing for the launch of Product Hunt. I actively engaged in Twitter and Product Hunt, building connections and interacting with other entrepreneurs. I created the discussions on ProductHunt and messaged people directly to follow my launch page.


The launch on ProductHunt was the most effective way to gain attention, bringing in substantial traffic. In the week following the launch, there was a significant increase of 60+ orders.


Launching on Product Hunt often leads to immediate visibility within the startup and tech community, providing an initial burst of traffic and potential users.

This early exposure can create a foundation for subsequent SEO efforts, leveraging the initial traction gained from Product Hunt to boost the website's credibility and visibility in search engines. This sequential strategy might have facilitated a more impactful and well-rounded product launch.

It's a pity that I didn't launch on Product Hunt earlier. If time could rewind, I might have considered releasing on Product Hunt first and then writing SEO blogs.

Focus more on taking action than perfecting plans and concepts. Avoid the trap of overthinking.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

After the launch week, it generated over $200 dollars in revenue, which is not too much, but giving me more confidence to continue to grow the business.


Since it launched during Black Friday, I found that promotion could bring decent traffic to the product. I gave a 30% discount and posted it on platforms that share Black Friday discount information. I also tried to get it listed on the Appsumo platform, but it wasn't approved as it's more suitable for SaaS products. I'm exploring other similar platforms for listing.


For future strategies, I'm considering other promotional activities and exploring how to enhance the conversion of free users into paying customers.

I plan to directly contact some AI makers and startups through email to introduce the product and service. Additionally, I'm focusing on building backlinks. I've submitted my product to various directories and platforms.

Also, I'm learning and implementing the "build in public" approach, sharing my product journey on Twitter to engage more AI makers.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

I'm doing well! I started the business with my own needs, so I have the confidence to provide the best solution. With a low initial investment, I quickly validated the business model, which gave me the confidence to refine and optimize it.

I plan to take it step by step, starting with a goal of reaching a $1,000 MRR. Currently, we have a user base of free registered users, and my focus is on optimizing the marketing funnel to convert as many free users as possible into paying customers.

Over the next six months, I aspire to scale and grow this project, building a sustainable business model while providing value to our users.

I'm actively considering continuous updates and improvements to the service, aiming to help more outstanding AI products gain visibility. I think this is also my passion.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Starting this business has been a journey of valuable lessons. One key takeaway is the importance of early communication about your venture. Sharing your growth story on social platforms and communities, even if your product isn't perfect, can attract support and crucial feedback.

Focus more on taking action than perfecting plans and concepts. Avoid the trap of overthinking. Additionally, early product release is critical. Looking back, I spent too much time refining the product without prioritizing marketing. If I could go back, I would have started with a landing page to collect potential user information and needs, notifying them when the product was ready.

Validate the business model with a single dollar, don't be greedy for too much at the beginning. Business is growing gradually. Promotions and discounts can help you adopt early users. Offer free trials and discount plans, allowing potential users to experience the product before purchase.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

  • Softr: for website development
  • Notion: for launch guide template
  • Airtable: Used as a database tool for organizing AI directory sites
  • Porkbun: for purchasing domain names
  • Semrush: Used for keyword research
  • Google Analytics: site visits analysis
  • Lemon squeezy: payment
  • ScreenshotOne: capturing site screenshots
  • Figma: UI Design

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

"The Almanack of Naval Ravikant": compiled wisdom from Naval Ravikant, provides valuable insights into life, business, and personal development.

"The Indie maker handbook": written by Levelsio, a practical guide for indie hackers and makers looking to bootstrap their businesses. It offers step-by-step strategies and tactics for creating a product without relying on significant external funding.

"The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future": Authored by Chris Guillebeau, this book explores stories of individuals who built successful businesses with minimal investment.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Starting an online business with limited experience and resources can be challenging. Joining entrepreneurial communities like Starter Story is an excellent way. Whenever faced with difficulties or a lack of progress, seeking inspiration from fellow founders with similar backgrounds can be invaluable. Learning how they tackled challenges can bring more confidence.

You are not just developing a product, but a business system. Validate the business model as soon as possible. Early marketing and customer acquisition are as important as product development.

Be positive and Keep Moving Forward. Entrepreneurship is a journey with its ups and downs. It's crucial to maintain a positive mindset and minimize internal distractions. Instead of worrying excessively about problems, channel your energy into finding solutions.

Taking care of your well-being, both physically and mentally, is vital. A positive state of mind enables you to face challenges with resilience and creativity. Keep moving forward, one step at a time, and celebrate small victories along the way.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Currently, there are no open positions for hiring. However, I'm open to exploring collaboration and partnership opportunities. If you're interested in potential collaborations, feel free to reach out for a discussion.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!