Anyone interested in technology has a desire to develop a killer app or website. Learn how to create a side project and make it successful with these free guides and tools.
It’s a long way from a simple idea to a top notch side project. You know it takes dedication and discipline, but you probably don’t know the steps to make it achievable. As with any big goal, you need to break it down into smaller goals, rely on expert advice to achieve those goals, and not be afraid of making mistakes. Let’s learn how to create a side project that you are proud of.
1. Start 2021 (Web): Community, Plan, and Resources to Start a No Code Side Project
The no-code movement is that you can create apps and websites without any programming knowledge. It’s a tempting way to start your side project, and Launch 2021 will walk you through all of the steps to do just that and provide other resources and a community.
Seth Kramer, founder of No Code MBA, will start in 2021. If you sign up for Launch 2021, as part of the offer you will receive a free introductory course at No Code MBA that will teach you the basics of using no-code platforms to build your own app. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
When you register for Launch 2021, you’ll also get a list of actionable side project ideas. It also gives you a reading list with important links to help you understand how to choose ideas, validate them, get the project started, etc. Kramer also created a daily planner that includes tips on prioritizing tasks and keeping track of the little time you spend each day Dedicate to your side project.
You can also join Launch 2021’s Slack community to discuss the ups and downs of pursuing your passion project with fellow side hustlers.
2. My Side Project Rocks (Web): Check the idea of your side project by upvotes
Product Hunt has become the website where you can showcase your project when it’s finished. But before you get to that point, you need to validate your big idea and see if it’s actually cool. My Side Project Rocks (MSPR) is like a product hunt to showcase the early version and see if people find it interesting.
The website looks like a simple upvote based website. You can scroll through idea titles and one-line descriptions and see how many upvotes they received. Click an entry to view more details about the developer, such as: B. additional screenshots or videos, longer descriptions of the underlying thoughts and a comment area.
While MSPR doesn’t have as large a user community as Product Hunt, you will still find plenty of people reviewing your page and even adding comments. These discussions will help you refine your idea and may be the motivation you need to keep going. So make your own contribution, see what people think – you don’t need screenshots or videos either, just your big idea.
3. Side Project Checklist (Web): Marketing and Sales Checklist for Starting Projects
There are a million things to do when you finally get around to starting your side project. The Side Project Checklist consists of two checklists that keep you up to date, don’t forget any steps and have a long-term plan.
Developer Karl Hughes says he built several side projects but they never started, which made it clear to him that marketing is as important as creating. You need to create a clear pre and post launch marketing and sales plan to make your side project successful. He distilled his knowledge and experience into these two checklists with clear directions for anyone new to them.
You can use the side project marketing checklist to create a long-term plan that will get your project out there and ensure it continues to grow. This includes helpful tips like email, social media, and blog setups, as well as using advertising channels as a soap box.
Read the sales checklist to learn how to create a sales funnel and focus on lead capture or lead generation to keep returning customers. Both lists are open source and free. You can also download them as printable files.
4. Bug (Web) and Creating a Side Project (Ebook): Handy Guide to Creating a Side Project
Failory is a place where startup founders can learn from mistakes, both of their own and of those of other entrepreneurs. It’s a combination of interviews with successful and failed founders to find out what they could have done differently, including a regular podcast about sideline activities.
The best resource, however, is a free e-book called “Creating a Side Project,” which contains 43 strategies and 59 tools. The process of building a successful side project is divided into eight phases: Idea, Business Plan, Design, Development, Feedback, Introduction, Growth, and Monetization. The book contains simple words and practical advice that are often repeated by respondents at Failory.
Failory also includes a section called Startup Cemetery. Here the team analyzes why large companies ultimately failed so you can avoid the same problems. They do case studies on companies like Vine, Yik Yak, Turntable.fm, Google Glass, and several other products to find out where it all went wrong.
5. Build in Public and Backlogs (Web): Learn how to openly create a side project
There is a new wave in product development that can give a big boost to anyone doing a side project. The “Build In Public” philosophy is to publicly document every step of your product and to avoid the eyes of the world from the start. Not only does this help you build an audience from the start, but it is also a great motivator to keep you going.
Everything you need to know is available at BuildInPublic.xyz. You read interviews from people who successfully set up their projects in public, and their advantages and disadvantages. You can find other great guides online, like Gaby Goldberg’s article and an article by Ryan Hoover, founder of Product Hunt.
If you choose to take this approach, there is an excellent app called Backlogs to use. It’s a Kanban board that is accessible to everyone so your users can see your product roadmap. They can give you feedback on features, chat to understand or explain things, and even invite voices and feedback.
Some “Build In Public” enthusiasts also like to face a second challenge. For example, you can make it part of a 100 day project or add bets to your goals.
Take time, don’t find time
Most of the time, the side project fails because you convince yourself that you don’t have the time. But if the always-filled calendar makes you believe, the fault lies in how you fill the calendar. You always need to have time for the side project.
Serial entrepreneur Shawn Blanc has one key piece of advice: you don’t find the time, you can do it. It is a necessary mindset change if you ever succeed in getting your side project off the ground.
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About the author
(1258 articles published)
Mihir Patkar has been writing about technology and productivity in some of the world’s leading media publications for over 14 years. He has an academic background in journalism.
More from Mihir Patkar
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