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Building My Indie Business

Week Notes #1

3 min read

I’m to going to try out writing these week notes in a retrospective style and see how that goes.

What went well this past week?

  • I finished writing and published my blog post ‘How to fix those confusing CORS errors when calling your Express API‘ on Tuesday (20th Oct). This felt like a real achievement as I started writing it a couple of months ago and really struggled with getting it structured in a way that I was happy with, so I put it on the back burner. I’m glad that I picked it up again and got it finished, as it seems to have gone down well with my audience: I shared it on the r/node subreddit on Wednesday (21st Oct) and it received 110 upvotes 🎉 So far the post has had 734 visitors (as of 25th Oct), and some nice comments like "Great article I needed this" and "Very helpful. Thanks for the article." – it’s great to hear that my posts are helping folk!

  • My ‘Learning Fastify’ video series on YouTube was shared by a couple of nice folk on Twitter this week (tweet 1, tweet 2), which contributed to 73 video views and +8 channel subscribers for the week, as well as a handful of new Twitter followers.

  • I created my first "cheat sheet" lead magnet – The Ultimate CORS Cheat Sheet – in Inkscape. My design skills are fairly limited, but it was really fun to put together. I’ve added it as a lead magnet for the newsletter signup form at the bottom of my CORS blog post. For future content like this I’m thinking I’ll try an online tool like Figma as it looks like it might be better suited to my limited design skills 😅

  • Kevin Cunningham – a fellow 30×500 student – dropped me a message suggesting that we do the pandemic equivalent of meeting for coffee (a video call!), as we’ve been overlapping quite a bit in various online spaces recently. We had a call on Friday morning – it was really nice to chat to someone else on a similar journey and share stories about what we’re both doing. We intend to have regular catch ups as a way of encouraging and keeping each other accountable. Thanks for getting in touch, Kevin!

  • I rediscovered analytics.twitter.com – great for understanding how things have been going on Twitter.

What didn’t go so well this past week?

  • Scheduling – I tried to pack in far too much. Just because I have ~4.5 hours available most mornings to work on things that I want to work on, it doesn’t mean that I can be working at a high level of productivity for all of that time. This sounds very obvious now I reflect on it. My daily schedules will now work on the assumption that I will be able to have just over 3 productive hours each morning. I’ll find out how this recalibrated schedule works this week.

  • Estimating task times – Similar to scheduling, I was massively over optimistic about how long it would take to complete certain tasks. Notable highlights: Finishing the CORS blog post, writing newsletter #5 (I ended up creating a companion mini "how to" for the tip), and creating the CORS cheat sheet. It’s made me recognise that I’m learning a lot of new things at the moment, and while I may get faster at doing them over time, I need to allow more time for them. I’m hoping that my reduced daily schedules will allow time for tasks which run over as well.

  • Spending too long on the wrong thing – On Wednesday I decided I was going to create a CORS cheat sheet as a lead magnet for my CORS blog post, as I was hopeful it would feature in Node Weekly on Thursday after its popularity on Reddit, and drive a bunch of new readers to the site. I prioritised the creation of the CORS sheet over pretty everything else on Thursday morning. Unfortunately Node Weekly didn’t feature the post, so what a felt like a smart tactical move to help bring in new mailing list subscribers didn’t quite pan out. I hope folks will still find the CORS cheat sheet useful anyway!

  • Skipped out on 30×500 – Due to being far too optimistic with my scheduling for this past week, I ended up needing to drop some things in order focus on tasks which I felt had the most value e.g. finishing writing the CORS blog post and creating the CORS cheat sheet. The things I dropped ended up being 30×500 course related, which was frustrating. I’m hoping that with a more realistic schedule this coming week I can make better progress with 30×500.

Actions

  • Create daily schedules based on the assumption of ~3hrs of productive time in the mornings.

Goals for the week

  • Publish 1 Ebomb (blog post) ✅
  • Send 1 newsletter to my subscribers ✅
  • Directly help 10 people ❌ (2)
  • Sign up 10 new subscribers ❌ (4)

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