“Create Something Useful for Yourself.” – Rob Hope, designer and maker

Story by Rob Hope

South African designer, developer and maker with a passion for simple design

1. How and when did you make your first dollar online?

(I had made a few dollars through Google Adsense but this was my first real first dollar made online)

Back in 2008, freelance clients used to send me ALL CAPS copies to integrate into their websites. Frustrated at the noisy, sluggish, ad-layered online solutions out there to convert case, I bought caseconverter.com and built a minimal, nippy One Page web app.

I didn’t know how to code other than HTML, so ask my dev friend Nic to help with the PHP code. I paid him ~$20 for 2hrs work.

3 years of use later, I was intrigued by a marketplace called Flippa where you could sell your side projects. Case converting started to become more native in apps like Word, macOS, etc. – so I thought let’s try this out and put it up for sale with no reserve. The site had zero revenue and 21k visits per month all through organic search.

After 2 weeks I was flabbergasted to witness a last-minute bidding war that landed $805 USD – there was no going back after this. What a rush!

2. How long did it take between the idea and this first dollar?

3 years. Bought the domain in 2008, and sold the site in 2011.

3. What best actionable advice would you give someone who wants to start TODAY?

Don’t start by seeking cash-making ideas. Start by scratching your own itch by creating something useful for yourself. This will also create a better product as you know what it really needed to work. Then I guarantee you this will also be useful for someone else.

4. What resources would you recommend to a beginner?

Twitter for links/inspiration. Notion to organize your ideas.

5. Who would you recommend to follow?

Indie Hackers newsletter.

About Rob

South African designer, developer and maker with a passion for simple design

Now full time on One Page Love, Email Love, UX Love & the yo.fm podcast

Rob Hope

Visit One Page Love, a small corner of the Internet curating Beautiful One Page websites & templates.

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