LinksSpy – Monthly Income Report April 2015

I am again pretty late with my income report for April 2015. LinksSpy has lost about 10% MRR in April.

But before I dive deep into this, first let me get some boilerplate out of the way.


You can find all my income reports here:

These are the ground rules for my income reports:

  1. I publish income reports for two reasons: a) Accountability helps me push forward. b) I know that most of us compare ourselves to internet-famous people like Patrick McKenzie, Brennan Dunn, Nathan Barry and others. I am no stranger to that and it is hard to feel good comparing yourself to them. Well, compare yourself to me and you’ll feel better instantly 😉
  2. I will only cover what I make from LinksSpy – no consulting, no day job
  3. I am terrible at accounting – so most numbers (especially expenses) are not 100% accurate.
  4. I have an agreement with Nathan Powell of that I will stop income reports by the time I hit $1,000,000 annual run rate. According to Nathan that should happen sometime in June 2015 – we’ll have to see about that (It’s pretty much out of the question at this point 😀 ).

The Numbers

Last Month’s Revenue

In March monthly recurring revenue (MRR) for LinksSpy was $1,296 from 38 customers.

This Month’s Revenue

In April MRR dropped to $1,158 MRR coming from 36 customers at the end of the month.

MRR growth graph for LinksSpy

MRR growth graph for LinksSpy


Due to the way LinksSpy is set up my costs are relatively low. It was one of my design goals to keep most things running on Heroku‘s free tier. This is partly because I’m really cheap and – more importantly – because I didn’t know how well LinksSpy would do and I was afraid of catastrophic failure.

Total expenses:

  • $36 to Heroku for database, SSL and Papertrail
  • $67 in Stripe fees
  • $49 for Drip
  • $12 for
  • $10 for Google Apps/GMail
  • $40 for PerfectAudience retargeting
  • $70 to oDesk for research
  • $195 for blogging services
  • $7 for Github
  • $8 for Calendly
  • $8 for Dropbox
  • $20 for
  • $55 to oDesk for five articles of my next big content piece

The totals for this month are $591.54.


LinksSpy made a profit of about $566 this time. I’m going to spend it somehow. Probably on a ticket to MicroConf Europe.

Traffic 543 sessions 1,106 sessions


OK. This month was bad. I lost a good chunk of MRR and didn’t make much progress on other fronts.

The new feature (a.k.a. new data provider) does not seem to provide a lot of value to the beta testers. I guess it needs more work to better show off the value. I invested a bit of time to improve it, but it needs more.

Secondly, I wanted to improve the onboarding, but didn’t do anything about it. Well, I’m keeping that on the list and will hopefully get to it in June (I’m writing this at the end of May).

Lastly, I evaluated the content marketing I was doing in the past. I tried to use a tactic that I learned from Ruben Gamez. I hired a writer with a larger audience to write content for the LinksSpy blog.

The idea is that the writer will bring their audience to your content. In my case that amounted to roughly 300 visitors total at the price of $1,000. I don’t think that the experiment worked – at least not in its current form.

I still think it is a good tactic, but it sure needs some fine-tuning to work properly.

What to Focus on Next Month

Well… I didn’t do much in May either. So I’m not going to talk a lot about it.

My Takeaways

I need to find a traction channel that brings in much more traffic than I currently get. In the past my biggest success was knowing people. I might just have an idea for a traction channel that produces content to publish and helps me connect with other people in the industry. We’ll see how it works – if it works.

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About Christoph

Christoph lives in Munich, Germany and is bootstrapping his own SaaS application as a part-time entrepreneur.

He likes to write on this blog about anything of relevance to single-founder bootstrapped software startups.


  1. Hi Christoph,

    Really like the numbers you share in your income reports.

    I’m gathering a whole heap of income report data for a regular roundup post on my blog and would love to see your May numbers so I can feature you in it too. It’ll be a great way for more exposure to your blog and your software too!


    • Christoph says

      Hi Raj,

      thanks so much for the compliments.
      I’m working on providing another income report, but it’s less important than customer service and product development. Please understand that I release them as soon as I get to it, but no sooner 🙂


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