Anne-Laure (@anthilemoon) #030
100 articles, 100 days, and a $100K+ ARR community
WHY SHE'S FEATURED:
Left Silicon Valley and a job at Google to start Ness Labs
One of the OG indie creators who inspired me to start indie making
Started her newsletter, Maker Mind, in 2019 and has grown it to over 50K+ subscribers
Her Ness Labs paid community has over 2,500 members with an estimated $122K+ ARR
Learns in public as she gets her PhD in Neuroscience from King's College London
Is super gracious with her time, and adds a ton of value to the maker community
When Anne-Laure started her newsletter, Maker Mind, in 2019, she gave herself an ambitious goal: 100 articles in 100 days.
Of course, she didn't count weekends, because if there is one person who knows about the importance of taking breaks, it's Anne-Laure.
We've all heard many times–consistency breeds results. And this case is no different. This consistency led her to gain over 3,000 subscribers in just 2 months 😱. (For comparison, Maker of Habit has gotten just over 100 in 1 year).
But it wasn't just the consistency. These were quality articles that Anne-Laure put real hours into crafting.
Of course, not all of them were great (she admits some are a bit cringy to look back on), but she posted them anyways.
The key here is the focus of both consistency and quality over a long period of time.
It's a good reminder that there are no real substitutes for hard work. If you put in the hours, towards a sound strategy, you can expect results.
3 Strategies that Anne-Laure leverages in her work:
🔁 Reposting content on Twitter and Hacker News
In her own words, "I'm spending all of this time writing it already, so if 80% of the work is actually creating the product, why not spend 20% of my time promoting it?"
Taking the time to promote her work, which came easy for her since she was confident in the value it was bringing, was crucial towards building towards her initial audience of 3000 subscribers in 2 months.
💜 Asking, "How are you Doing?"
In 2022, everyone is talking about "building a community". But how do you actually do it?
For Anne-Laure, the community all started with a simple question. At the end of every Maker Mind email, Anne-Laure included a PS that said, “Please reply, tell me how you’re feeling.”
And starting March 2020, she started getting more and more replies. How were people doing? They were lonely and isolated.
And so she listened, and gave people a space to connect on topics around mindful productivity.
Creating a community isn't about creating a slack channel or Circle group. It's about asking people how they are doing, and listening to them.
🖖 Flexible Consistency
This strategy has helped Anne-Laure stick to her 100 articles in 100 days goal, and eventually write over 250 articles for her newsletter.
The key is "schedule over scope", meaning in order to be consistent and keep up your schedule, it may be necessary to reduce the scope in times where you don't think you'll meet the whole goal. For Anne-Laure, if she wasn't able to write a full-length article one day, maybe writing a short 300 or 400-word one would do for that day.
In terms of habits, I asked Anne-Laure what 3 habits changed her trajectory as a maker. Here is what she said.
3 Habits that Changed Anne-Laure's trajectory:
✍️ Writing every single day
Whether it’s writing in my journal, drafting blog posts, putting together my newsletter, or taking notes while reading books, I made it a habit to put my thoughts on paper — or, in my case, in a digital tool for thought. Writing is not only the most powerful thinking tool, it’s a scalable way to share your ideas, connect with other people, and learn from them.
👩🏫 Learning in public
Instead of waiting until I feel confident about a topic, I ask questions on Twitter, I share interesting thoughts that cross my mind, and I invite feedback on early versions of projects I’m working on. I also have a digital garden with public notes. It can be scary at first, but we’re lucky to be in a cozy corner of the Internet where people are kind and happy to help.
🧘♀️ Taking mindful breaks.
I used to stay for hours sitting in front of my laptop without taking any breaks, which was affecting both my physical and mental health. I’ve become a lot more productive and creative since I make it a habit to regularly get up and do something else: stretching, taking a short walk, or sometimes even putting some music on and dancing in my living room!
Thanks for sharing your habits with us Anne-Laure!
Oh, and one last thing! Stay updated on all the cool work of our past makers with the Maker of Habit Twitter list. It's an awesome way to feel more connected to the maker community.
Build new habits + stick with them
Harold is a quirky text-messaging bot that helps you build new habits with one text message a day. You can build habits like Anne-Laure like:
Did you learn in public today?
Did you write today?
You'll be surprised what can happen with just 1 text message each day.
Psst. I wrote a book!
The Honest Guide to Indie Making is everything I learned when I went full-time on my side project.
You can check it out here.