#001 – Making Indie

Welcome to Making Indie — a blog about building a blogging platform in public.

Sam Levy profile image

What is Indie?

Indie is a super simple way to start a blog. No code, no maintenance, no worries.

Making Indie is the first blog on the platform! 🥳 It’s where I’ll post my journey of building in public. You can expect updates on successes, failures, pivots, metrics, and revenue 🙌 📈 💸

Who am I?

Hello 👋 I’m Sam.

  • I started hacking on MySpace themes in the early 2000s.

  • I worked as a Rails developer for ~10 years.

  • I quit my job in 2018 for paragliding & started training as an instructor 🪂

  • I moved to France in late 2020 🇫🇷 from the UK 🇬🇧

  • I don’t have much of a following.

  • I’m working on Indie full time with ~€25,000 in savings.

Why make another blogging platform?

Good question! I haven’t found a blogging platform that feels right for me, so I’m building the thing I want to exist. Indie will be clean and simple. It won’t have all the bells and whistles or WordPress or Ghost.

Progress

Indie is very basic right now. I’m adding features as I write to make posting this article possible!

Current functionality:

  • 📋 early access sign up form

  • 🔒 authentication

  • ✍️ article editor with image upload

  • 🗞 RSS feed

  • 🤖 SEO & social meta tags

Essentially, Indie is in private alpha mode 🚧. It’s rough around the edges with parts you’d expect to be database driven being hardcoded.

Metrics

There isn’t much to show as I’m just 2-months in, but here are some stats:

  • 📈 268 unique visitors in the last 46 days

  • 📬 17 emails on the waitlist

  • ⚡️ 1 live blog (the one you’re reading 😅)

  • 💰 $0 ARR

  • 🐦 192 followers (~70% accumulated over 14-years of little to no tweeting)

Test
Spikes from sharing links to indie.io. The rest is the background noise of an 8-year old domain.

Challenges

Not long after I started, two weeks of ill health killed my motivation. The thing that got me back in the groove was listening to indie maker podcasts. I ended up even more inspired and now have a list of favourite episodes if I ever need a pick-me-up.

Once up and running again, daily logging has given me a sense of accountability.

What’s next?

The next milestone is to reach a stage where I can invite people to start blogging with Indie and get some initial feedback. For that to happen, I’ll need the following:

  • ✉️ Transactional emails

  • 👤 Profile edits

  • ⚙️ Blog edits

  • 🚫 Account deletion

  • 🛠 Fix broken or missing UI elements

Starting a community with a forum or chat room is a high priority, alongside a public roadmap with feature suggestions and upvoting.

I’ll split my time 50/50 between coding and marketing, alternating each week. With the exception of this blog post, this week is coding week 👨‍💻.

Follow along

So that’s the first progress update! I aim to make this a weekly ritual but we’ll see how it goes. I might have to settle for every other week.

You can get notified of new posts by RSS, email, or on Indie Hackers.

I’m @samuellevy on Twitter and you can reach me at sam@indie.io.

Want early access? Sign up here.

— Sam