Lessons from writes.so ☠️
 
4 minute read ⏰
 
Writes.so was a no-code blogging platform aimed at easily getting a personal blog up and running. I was riding on a glorious excitement wave until I crashed hard and everything flopped. Here are the lessons I learnt.
A straight-to-the-point free blogging platform. Simple to use, built-in CMS, themes, custom domain and more
A straight-to-the-point free blogging platform. Simple to use, built-in CMS, themes, custom domain and more
 

Don't Start a Project Without Thorough Research

I noticed there wasn't an easy no-code solution to get a blog up and running. I did some googling, tried searching for a solution. Thought "how hasn't this been done already?". And with that 15 minute research done and out of the way I decided to start building something on my own.
 

Simple Ideas Are Often Not So Simple

It would be easy right?
  1. Create a simple CMS
  1. Host content on Vercel for free
  1. ???
  1. Profit
 
As you can imagine things started to get complicated pretty quickly. I created a script which first registered a new user on my backend, then a new sub-domain on Cloudflare, then created a Vercel project using their unofficial API, then created a Github repo for the user to manage their blog and finally had to sync the repo to Vercel.
Okay great. Now how are they going to update their blog? What about themes for their blog? What about an 'about me' page? What about image upload? How is everything going to relate in the database and where am I going to store their content?
 

Do Not Register a Company Before Revenue

I am deeply embarrassed by this one. No revenue, no company. Simple.
I was still riding my excitement wave. Luckily, in the UK registering a company doesn't require that much work and only costs £12. The hassle it brings though is definitely not worth it 🙅‍♀️
 

Then Came the Last Days of May

A trap had been lain. About 80% of the project was done, my weekends spent coding away jumping through too many hoops to get something done and then...
 
 

It was too good to be true

I fell right into the trap. Once I started talking to people about my idea, they all said something along the lines of: "oh, so something like X". Turns out this has been done before - I wasn't surprised at all. Trust your gut, or, just do your research!
Me realising how easily I convinced myself that this was "never been done before!"
Me realising how easily I convinced myself that this was "never been done before!"
 

The Great Crash

The excitement wave I had been riding on finally crashed. About 80% of the project was complete, but my lack of motivation scooped far too low for me to want to continue.
Some would argue to push through and just release it. Sure. But then you bring on the burden of maintaining the project, customer support, expectation to release new features, fix bugs, and actually have a good product.
Considering the MVP was an entanglement of soggy spaghetti, I decided it was not worth it.
 

Some Positives

I registered (in my opinion) some pretty good domains:
  • writes.so
  • writeonthis.page (credits to my brother)
  • writesonthis.page
 
Luckily for you they are now on sale!
(I was indecisive for what name to go with so I just bought all of them 🤦)
 

Conclusion

If I had spoken about my idea to people before jumping straight to building it, I would of realised much sooner that this already existed. Do more research and understand that being excited for something is good, but it can easily blind you as well.

TLDR

  • Don't start a project without thorough research
  • Simple ideas are often not so simple
  • If it feels too good to be true, it probably is (classic)
  • Do not register a company before revenue hits
 
Now the important part - don't repeat these same mistakes!
 
Thanks for reading 🙂
 
Published on 6th December 2020

Written by Alexandar Gyurov

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