From Zero to 50K members: Courtland Allen and IndieHackers

From Zero to 50K members: Courtland Allen and IndieHackers

Podcast to Blog

Episode 18

On the C2C Podcast, Episode 18, we welcome Courtland Allen, the founder of IndieHackers, a community that helps developers. On this episode, we talk to Courtland about how he built a community of tens of thousands of people... from scratch!

While looking through the popular site, Hacker News, a site run by startup incubator Y Combinator, Courtland was struck with inspiration. Courtland built the IndieHackers site himself. He knew that if his site was unique and had a great user experience, it would stand out from the crowd. Before his site was finished, Courtland was testing his proposed audience about what features they would want. For example, before he built a forum he placed a tab titled, “Forum”. Whem people clicked the button, they were given the option to subscribe to an email list and to join the forum when it was live. Not only did he know how many people were interested, but he was able to set priorities based on what people actually wanted.

Like any community, some growth tactics worked, some didn't, but Courtland learned from all of them. In the beginning, when he was interviewing people for the blog, he would send hundreds of cold emails every week to try get people share how they built their business. These didn't all turn into blog posts, but it spread the word of the site quickly.

Courtland had some advice for those folks that are just starting their community. The work might seem daunting at first but once you begin, it’s not as hard as you think. In the beginning, he added that it definitely seemed like a lot of manual work that could probably be automated or outsourced. But, the depth of understanding one gains from building, growing, and living in the weeds of the community, will help a community manager know how to continue to build and care for the community.

Listen to the interview on the C2C Podcast!

What to read next:

On the C2C Podcast, we talk to Karin Wolok, Program Manager at Neo4j, about how she used a dead mathematician to activate 50+ cities in her community. How "Global Graph Day" Inspired Events in 50+ Cities with Neo4j.

About Author

Beth McIntyre

Community & Events Marketing Manager at Bevy! Passionate about building our community and connecting with members. When I'm not writing for the Bevy Blog, I'm writing about my global travels!

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