I started Components UI on March 2020. It started as I little side project that has grown and now has a family of products available. This is a review of what happened in 2020 and how to project stands right now. If you want to learn about the future of Components UI, you can click here.
Table of Contents
A slow burn
For privacy reasons I don't share specific financials results about my projects but I want to share some of the trends and general results from the project.
As with any new project, I didn't have any following on social media or an email list. This is something I regret and advice anyone wanting to begin a new project to start building a following as soon as possible. Start building a following even if your project is not fully formed.
Once the first version of Components UI was ready I just sent a tweet about the project to my small following. Some people started to share the tweet - even the creator of Carrd - and that translated into some initial sales. I kept tweeting about the project but found myself doing a lot of input and getting a small output. Since I don't own the Twitter platform and they can change the rules or algorithm, I decided to start blogging and focus on content marketing and SEO.
Content marketing and SEO are a long term strategy but once you gain momentum you can disconnect the input from the output, meaning I can put less work but gain more from that work. Here's how the trend of sales for the 2020 looks like:
As you can see from the graph, Components UI has been a slow burn. I didn't get a bunch of sales and visitors when I launched. Instead, it has been growing consistently every month without doing much work. An important disclaimer: it's not that I didn't work on the product since the launch, it's just that the work was done upfront with updates along the way instead of doing huge amounts of work constantly.
Content Marketing and SEO
Traffic from Google has been growing since the launch on March which means that the content marketing and SEO strategy is beginning to show results. As of this writing, the traffic from Google and web search is greater than the traffic from social media (the opposite was true during the first months of Components UI). This is important for three reasons:
- I don't have to keep tweeting to get traffic
- I can scale the traffic to a more targeted audience
- I own the platform: Even if Twitter shuts down or changes the algorithm, I still own the content on my blog — and my email list — so that I can keep bringing traffic in
This is not to say that I don't like Twitter or that I won't tweet about Components UI. I will still share my progress and updates on Twitter but vanity metrics like followers, retweets or likes are not the endgame. I rather focus on building content, building a direct channel of communication with my followers and keep developing assets.
Systems and copycats
When building Components UI I designed different systems that allow me to run it very lean, with automated processes and without much overhead so I can focus on other things like developing a better product, marketing and growth.
All this work was done upfront with maintenance and small upgrades along the way. Like I said before I designed systems and process that allowed me to disconnect the input from the output, meaning I can put less work but gain more from that work. You can read more about the systems I developed to run Components UI here: Connecting the Tools: How I built and manage Components UI [part 2]
Once Components UI gained a little bit of popularity I started to notice a few copy cats which I think is very common on products in general. Although people can just copy or clone your product or services they can't copy the systems and assets you have built. They can't copy how you run and operate your projects so you can always be ahead. Copying or cloning a product might be easy but copying a system requires a lot of time and expertise.
"As I build publicly, I want to be as honest as possible about my journey. Rude refund requests exist! People copy your stuff! The best way to deal with bad situations is to have an unwavering belief in what you’re doing & surround yourself with people who lift you up." - @JanelSGM
A family of products
As of this writing, there are 5 core products under the Components UI brand:
- Components UI: A collection of pre-built components and templates designed for Carrd.co
- Build UI: A compilation of video and written step-by-step tutorials to help you build complex components into your Carrd.co projects
- Dark Mode UI: A collection of pre-built components and templates designed for Carrd.co in Dark Mode
- Templates UI: Beautiful templates designed and built for Carrd.co
- Components UI en Español: Una colección de plantillas y componentes pre-diseñados para Carrd.co
Right now I'm focusing on improving and growing Build UI and plan to ship version 2.0 of the product very soon. This will be a free update to everyone that has already purchased the product.
Looking into the future
I learned a lot of lessons during the building and growing of Components UI this past year. I decided that I want to build an asset instead of just build products based on my identity. I want this asset to stand up on its own and not depend on me specifically to grow.
I wrote a more detailed blog post about the future of Components UI where I laid down my strategy going forward to build an asset and to serve new markets. If you are interested in reading the Future of Components click here.
If you have any feedback about the product or want to discuss the current state or the future of Components UI and digital products, reach out to me on Twitter at @oscaroarevalo or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.