avatarKatt // nocode-exits.com

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A No-Code Media Startup with a 6-figure revenue

The No-Code Success Story of Art West & NoCodeDevs

Hi, Katt here from No-Code Exits.

For this week’s No-Code success story I talked with Art West, the founder of NoCodeDevs. Learn how:

🎬 It all started with a simple newsletter 🚀 You should never stop launching 👀 He built the latest version with a fairly unknown no-code builder 💰The business model behind it all

Enjoy reading it and happy building!

An oily path

If you hear about Art his background, you will see that he has an untraditional background in the tech space… He worked in the oil and gas industry. “Oil and gas” I hear you thinking, how did he end up in the No-Code space?

Well, while Art was working as a project manager, he had to manage all kinds of projects. He often bumped into frustrations. And he wanted to use technology to make his job more streamlined and efficient.

He wasn’t a developer so building applications and systems was out of the question. And it was all before the rise of “No-Code”. He figured out a way to build some workflows and systems with the help of automations.

So years later, in 2020, when No-Code started popping up everywhere, it was a natural fit for him.

It all started with a newsletter

Can you still remember 2020? It was peak covid, everyone was at home with suddenly a lot of time on their hands and No-Code tools were accelerating.

Art tried to learn about these No-Code tools but he was overwhelmed by the amount of it. New tools kept popping up and they were all releasing at a rapid pace new features.

So to scratch his own itch Art started to collect and curate information of what was happening in the No-Code space and shared that on Twitter and in a simple newsletter: NoCodeDevs was born.

Launching all the time

And the newsletter was just the start of it all. Thank to building with No-Code, Art could ship new features very fast and grow NoCodeDevs.

  • In March 2020 he added a community.
  • In October 2020 he added a directory, challenges and bootcamps.
  • In December 2020 he added a platform to launch new No-Code tools
  • In June 2021 he added tutorials and templates
  • In September 2021 he added a chrome extension to watch tutorials
  • In January 2022 he added a YouTube channel
  • In December 2022 he added product boosts and upvoting function to the directory.

Not every new addition was a hit. But it powered their organic growth and led to the 3 core products NoCodeDevs focuses on today: community + content + tool directory with the following impressive numbers:

  • 40,000 Twitter followers
  • 10,000 newsletter subscribers
  • 2,000 Youtube subscribers
  • 600 tools in the directory

Lots of tools

Art started the newsletter on Revue, a simple Substack alternative. When Revue shut down he switched to Beehiiv.

For the website it was for a long time a combination of Webflow (to build the landing page), Jetboost (to add filters), Memberstack (to add authentication and payments), Airtable (as the database) and Zapier (to connect everything).

1,5 years ago Art switched his no-code stack to an all-in-one solution that is not so well known in our little No-Code corner: Editor X. The big advantage is that you can do everything with one tool: members, payments, CMS for the directory, blog, email marketing, automations, … And to power up your builds even more, it’s possible to add custom functionality with code. Art hired a Wix developer to built some custom features to make the platform completely tailored to their needs.

Money talks

I hear you thinking… “Cool cool but does this bring in any money?” Well, yes. NoCodeDevs operates like a media company. Monetization happens mostly through long-term strategic partnerships. They offer SaaS companies different Boost Packages to give exposure to their products through advertisements, videos, articles or visibility in the directory. Next to that, some revenue comes in through courses and one-off advertisements. Like that they were able to grow NoCodeDevs to a high 6-figure revenue per year.

Not giving up

The most impressive thing for me is that NoCodeDevs is still a side hustle. In those years, Art had moments he was almost giving up.

“In the life of a startup it sometimes seems that you should just quit but it’s really important to work through those dips and remember that there’ll be good days and bad days”

What helped Art to keep the motivation flowing is to automate the more boring work where possible. One of the examples he gives is the tool directory. It required a lot of time to manually add new tools and keep them up to date. Now, companies can submit their listing to the directory, manage and update their listing and even boost it. Everything is fully automated.

Another thing Art did was hiring someone to do marketing and partnerships and someone to help with content creation which helped to keep the workload more manageable. And I guess that means he could focus on what every No-Code maker likes best… build features 😇.

2024

Art sees a lot of opportunities for the coming years. One is to build a freelance marketplace, it makes sense as they already have the audience of No-Code builders. Another one is to productize something. NoCodeDevs has a huge consumer audience but they don’t have a product to sell to these consumers.

Other then that the mission is to keep creating amazing No-Code content and focus even more on video content.

“YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world so it’s key for our discoverability.”

It’s always darkest before dawn

His advice for no-code makers just starting is to research which tool might be the best for the idea.

“The best example is somebody trying to build like a directory type of site in Bubble. They get frustrated and ultimately quit because has a big learning curve. It would be a different story if they had started with Softr.”

Art also says that with the No-Code tools nowadays, the building is the easy part. It is important to realize that growth takes time. Don’t be discouraged, things will go up and down, keep your head up and focus on what makes your product unique.

Such encouraging words to finish ❤️ Don’t give up makers! Thanks for sharing your impressive story Art.

Read more inspiring stories of non-technical founders building profitable or acquired products with No-Code here

No Code
Side Hustle
Startup
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