60 Day No Code SaaS Challenge. How to choose the best app idea to work on and validate a market
It’s James from No Code SaaS, this is the newsletter where I take you along on my journey of building a profitable SaaS business without code using Bubble.
I'm trying to build a new SaaS in 60 days and get it to $1000 MRR. This is in addition to the main app that I'm working on, UserLoop, which is a Shopify app for surveying customers, which is now my main source of income and is continuing to grow.
For this newsletter, I wanted to challenge myself to try and build a new app from scratch, and see how far I can get in 60 days.
This week, I’ve recorded a video exclusively for newsletter subscribers where I go through which tools I used to help me decide what app to build for the challenge.
This is the first time I’ve used Substack’s video feature, so let me know if this worked for you and if you find the inclusion of video content helpful!
This journey is about the process of building the app, figuring out the market, tackling marketing, advertising, and all that stuff. I'm planning to write about my progress in this newsletter as I navigate through the build.
This is just the second issue, so far. In the first issue, we started the challenge and set everything up, but now we're diving into what the SaaS is going to be.
Obviously, it's quite a tight challenge to do all of this in 60 days. So, I'm going to take you through a couple of the tools I've been using now, to work out what to build, and kind of take it from there really.
Here are all the tools I featured in the video, these are all great to have in your pocket when researching what app to build.
Google Ads Keyword Planner
The first tool is the Google Ads Keyword Planner. This tool is incredibly valuable and, best of all, free to use.
All you need to do is sign up for a Google Ads account. Once you're in, head to 'discover new keywords.' Here, you can start searching for keywords that you think people might search for your app.
This gives you some great information on how much traffic keywords are getting, and how much it would cost you to bid on that ad traffic.
The ultimate aim here is to evaluate if you can drive traffic to your app profitable using paid ads, given I’m on a 60 day deadline paid ads are going to be an important traction channel for me to acquire customers onto the app.
If you have a longer time horizon, the data here can also really help you with your organic content strategy. I use keyword planner a lot with my main app UserLoop to work out what keywords I should target to write blog posts for to rank organically. I’ve been fairly successful with that, ranking in the top few positions for most of my target keywords.
Keywords Everywhere Chrome Plugin
This is an amazing plugin for Chrome that overlays lots of useful information on top of Google search which can give you tons of insight on what other terms people search for when looking at your target keywords.
You can also buy credits to use in the extension which load in even more metrics such as traffic levels over time and CPC amounts, telling you exactly how much you’d have to bid on each keyword if you wanted to run ads.
This is a really cost-effective, easy to use and quick tool compared to more advanced packed like Semrush and Ahrefs - while they’re amazing tools they can be a bit overwhelming and pricey when you’re just starting out with deciding what to build.
Quick note - make sure you have turned off any ad blockers you’re using when you’re doing all this research. Obviously, you want to be seeing all the ads other people are running against your target keywords when you’re doing all this research!
You can install the extension here from the Chrome Web Store.
G2 App Reviews
It’s well worth taking a look through customer reviews on G2 to see what people are saying about any competitor apps.
This can be a gold mine of insights into what other tools do badly and where you can make improvements in your app build to attract customers.
Since you’re starting building your app from scratch, you have the advantage of avoiding any mistakes your competitors have made.
This can also be a good source of inspiration when deciding on your app’s marketing messages later on.
What are customers main pain points?
What delights them the most about these competitor apps?
You can learn use all this data from customer reviews to craft your own app’s marketing site and narrative.
Get started with searching for apps on G2 here, you should probably have done some keyword research before this to narrow down what kind of apps you’re going to research further into.
It’s well worth signing up for a free buyer account on Acquire.com to take a look through listings and get some insight into how much competing apps might be earning, and even get some kind of guide for what a potential exit valuation might be for your app longer term.
There’s tons of valuable insight there, and it will also act as a source of inspiration fo you when building your app - you can see the potential exit you can work toward in the future!
That’s it for this issue!
I hope this series will inspire you to start building your own SaaS business without code, I really believe there has never been a better time to get started.
In the next issue I’m going to start covering the build of the marketing site and app itself, with a goal of launching imminently.
Given the tight timelines on this project I’m aiming to launch as soon as possible so I can start testing out my traction channels.
I’d love to hear what you thought of this issue, do you like the video addition, are there other things you’d like me to cover, is there anything I can do better? Please hit the reply or comment button - it makes my day to hear from you and I reply to every message I get!
Happy building, James.
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