Ever had a job which is hard to describe to friends and family? Well, as an entrepreneur, that's definitely a problem I have. I'm used to being the Chandler of my friend group with an occupation no-one really understands. Just saying 'entrepreneur' doesn't really clear it up.
My friend Fiona asked a few days ago to explain what I do for a living so I figured I'd write this up for my friends and family. In a nutshell, I'd say I do content marketing and social media about the tech industry but that's barely really scratching the surface of what I do! You can also watch a recent interview I did in Spain about my websites. My friend Alex asked me loads of great questions!
Writing content for No CS Degree
A lot of what I do consists of writing content aimed at people learning to code. I interview people who have taught themselves to code or learned programming at coding bootcamps for a website I started in July, 2019, called No CS Degree. This consists of finding people who didn't learn to code at university, asking them if they want to be interviewed and then making and sending them a list of questions.
I then edit the article by adding links to other websites of mine, add images and basically choose a headline that will make people read it. I then send the article to over 3,300 email subscribers.
Over 3 years I've featured hundreds of stories of people who have changed careers into tech without going back to university including:
- Ben, who learned to code while serving in the Royal Marines
- Andrew, who switched from Starbucks barista to developer
- Ale, who made 15 times the local salary in Mexico with a developer job
- Emma, changed from a Beauty Therapist to Developer during Covid
I also run a job board on No CS Degree where I find jobs that are open to developers without Computer Science degrees. I then send these jobs via a different newsletter to job hunters. I'm happy to say a few people have found their first job in tech due to my job board 😀 (The job board used to be on a separate website address but I added it to No CS Degree in 2022)
How does No CS Degree make money?
Well, coding bootcamps who teach people how to code in an intensive time period pay me to do interviews with their graduates in order to build their brand and get more applicants.
I also reach out to other entrepreneurs, on Twitter usually, who sponsor my newsletters by mentioning their product. I get affiliate income if someone buys a coding course that I mention on No CS Degree. Companies pay for their job adverts to reach people who are looking for work. If interested, email me on email@example.com
Writing a startup newsletter, High Signal
In 2020 I started a totally separate website, High Signal, where people sign up to a newsletter in order to stay informed about start up news. The types of startups I cover in High Signal are typically 'indie hacker' or 'bootstrapped' companies where the founders haven't raised venture capital funding from investors.
So in most cases, these companies aren't trying to be the next billion dollar company so they don't have investors. They are more likely to want to make a six or seven figure income (which is a lot of money but is small potatoes in tech).
How does High Signal make money?
My High Signal newsletter makes money from ads. Founders read the newsletter so it's an attractive audience to reach. I'm lucky enough to have some very prominent entrepreneurs as subscribers. So I sell ads to people on Twitter.
I run a community for founders
Under the High Signal brand, I also run an online community for startup founders on Telegram, which is basically a better alternative to Whatsapp which is popular with people in tech. The High Signal community is great because I made a rule that only founders who have revenue can join.
So it avoids the common problem of people joining a group only to spam it with posts about their site. As everyone already has revenue, there is a much lower incentive for people to be salesy. In fact, another rule is not to be too salesy or self-promotional. It's basically more for letting off steam, talking about how our businesses are going and sharing advice.
We also do a live call on Zoom every Thursday where we have a chat and hang out. These are a lot of fun! As most of us are solo founders, it's great to have other people to talk to about our work and share wins or talk about problems we have. The community has a nice mix of different founders so people can share expertise easily.
Every month one of the calls features a special guest appearance from an entrepreneur. So I interview them for a bit and then people from the community ask them questions.
How does the High Signal community make money?
I sell courses on how to grow and monetize newsletters
Yet another project I have is making courses aimed at founders like myself. I have two courses on newsletters: one focuses on how to make money from a newsletter and covers areas like how to find sponsors and how to sell adverts.
The other course is about how to grow a newsletter and covers subjects like how to get people to sign up to your email, how to make sure they want to stay and where is best to promote your newsletter.
Both of these courses came about because I wanted to teach what I had learned over the past few years of making money from newsletters.
I do ghost writing for founders on Twitter
My most recent income stream is ghost writing on Twitter for founders and companies. Basically, I offer a range of services including;
- writing tweets in order to build their brand
- writing 'threads' (a long series of pre-written tweets that come one after another)
- converting blog articles, audio and video into tweets
- replying to other founders on Twitter to increase their network
- advising them on how best to grow their Twitter following in order to get more clients
Clients pay me on a monthly basis depending on what services they need. If you want help with your Twitter, give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org