Build In Public

  • Created by Ilango Rajagopal
  • Created on 30 Sep 21
  • 8 Highlights
Published a project
Build in public

Launched my weekend project: Aurelius


Aurelius is a beautiful, minimal writing app.

I've wanted a better place to write for a while now. Aurelius was inspired by Blurt (which was acquired and is no longer accessible). I tried other writing apps but none I quite liked. So I decided to build my own.

Here are the features that Aurelius has right now:

โœจ Focus modeย 
๐ŸŽฏ Writing Sessions w/ target word count or timeย 
โ˜๏ธ Save your work to the cloudย 
๐Ÿ”— Share a private link to your postsย 
โšก๏ธ Writing Streaksย 
๐ŸŽต Music player to help focusย 
๐Ÿฅ… Daily writing goal

One decision I made is to not have a landing page. Aurelius is a writing app and that's what the focus is on โ€” writing. So the home page is the editor. No sign up required to write. It's great for one-off writing sessions. You can download your posts as markdown (more formats coming soon)

But signing up gives some nice goodies like tracking writing sessions, saving posts to the cloud, sharing private links to posts, daily writing goals etc.

aurelius.ink

Build in public
Weekly Update #5

Hello everyone! I sort of didn't stick to the tasks list I set last week. Most of what I did was actually prep work, learning things I didn't know in SEO and content marketing. It was totally worth it. Here's my weekly progress update for https://useherald.com:

๐Ÿฅ… Goals for the past week:

  • Put marketing plan in to action
  • Add banners feature in the widget
  • Show an example of banner on the website
  • Ship waitlist feature (last one before I launch)

โœ… Finished:

I spent most of the time learning SEO and copy writing for landing pages. I got some very useful feedback for copy writing. I'm working on updating the copy for the home page.

  • Did some SEO work
  • Started a blog for Herald and wrote an introductory blog post. Couple more articles in progress.
  • Add banners feature in the widget
  • Ship roadmap feature (only the dashboard part. Public roadmap is almost done. Went with roadmap instead of waitlist because I needed it for Herald)

๐ŸŽฏ Actionable goals for this week:

  • Update home page copy using keywords
  • Create features page
  • Update product images
  • Finish public roadmap page
  • Launch!! ๐Ÿš€

๐Ÿ™ƒ Struggles

It's been nearly a month since I started working on this. I've made good progress too. While I could keep working on it, I'm not gonna wait anymore and just launch. Herald has enough basic functionality, enough to show what's possible. So it's time to launch.

Optimized SEO
Tested for Accessibility
I spent about 30 minutes optimizing Herald website. It's a Next.js site so there were some built-in performance stuff in there but I'd made some mistakes as well.

I also learned some new stuff from Next.js SEO course. After the optimizations, this is the Lighthouse report:


Build in public
Weekly Update #4

Hello everyone! I hope you're having a fantastic weekend. This was a pretty good week. I finished all the tasks I set out to do and did some more work. Here's my weekly progress update for https://useherald.com:

๐Ÿฅ… Goals for the past week:

  • Add ability to create custom changelog templates
  • Add pictures of widget and public page to home page
  • Figure out how to get signups
  • Deploy app in the monorepo
โœ… Finished:

  • Add ability to create custom changelog templates
  • Add pictures of widget and public page to home page
  • Figure out how to get signups
  • Deploy app in the monorepo
  • Add banners feature in the app dashboard
  • Add a simple blog to write about Herald
๐ŸŽฏ Actionable goal for the this week:

  • Put marketing plan in to action
  • Add banners feature in the widget
  • Show an example of banner on the website
  • Ship waitlist feature (last one before I launch)
๐Ÿ™ƒ Struggles

I've made this mistake before and I'm on the verge of doing it again. As a developer, I like to build but I haven't spent nearly enough time on marketing. That changed this week. I've been studying how to go about marketing my product. This week I'm slowing down the building a lot (whatever coding task I set are pretty trivial) and work on some of the marketing stuff I've planned. Honestly I feel like I'm way out of my depth ๐Ÿ˜…, and feel anxious but I gotta do it. That's the only way to reach my goals.

Built a feature
Deployed a Web App
Phew ๐Ÿ˜Œ Long day but I shipped a few things for Herald.ย 

โœ… Deployed the web app ย 
โœ… Fixed the issue I had with showing the widget on the site! Now I'm dogfooding my product. Hit that bell icon to see it in action.ย 
โœ… Custom changelog templates
Build in public
Hello everyone! I hope you're having a productive Monday. Here's my weekly progress update for https://useherald.com:

๐Ÿฅ… Goals for the past week:

  • Update the home page with better copy
  • Add signup form
  • Fix Netlify build issue when using the widget
  • Work on the public changelog page
  • Add ability to create custom changelog templates
โœ… Finished:

  • Update the home page with better copy
  • Add signup form
  • Work on the public changelog page
  • Fix Netlify build issue when using the widget
๐ŸŽฏ Actionable goal for the this week:

  • Add ability to create custom changelog templates
  • Add pictures of widget and public page to home page
  • Figure out how to get signups
  • Deploy app in the monorepo
๐Ÿ™ƒ Struggles

No struggles as such. Figuring out the Netlify build error took up more time than expected. I didn't end up finishing the custom changelog templates.
Build in public
Built a feature
Here's my weekly update for the past week:

๐Ÿฅ… Goal for the week:

  • Update the home page with better copy
  • Add signup form
  • Work on the public changelog page
  • Add ability to create custom changelog templates
โœ… Finished:

I didn't finish much this past week. Mainly some bug fixes and some changes to the public changelog page. I started on updating the landing page copy and putting up a sign up form but didn't finish it so I'm gonna carry them over to the coming week.

๐ŸŽฏ Actionable goal for the coming week:

  • Update the home page and make it live
  • Add signup form
  • Make subdomains work for public changelog page
  • Add ability to create custom changelog templates
๐Ÿ™ƒ Struggles

I honestly though I could finish all of it. I spent most of my free time with family since they were visiting so no regrets about the pending tasks. The struggle now is to get back on track and continue shipping.
Built a feature
Build in public
Started a project
+ 1
Herald is a updates-as-a-service application to announce product updates, feature releases, and in-app banners to increase feature adoption, and user satisfaction.

Here's my first weekly update:

## ๐Ÿฅ… Goal for the week:

- Get the widget hooked up the API and fetch changelogs from it.

## โœ… Finished:

I already had some of the dashboard ready and had wired up the database to create, update and publish a changelog. This week I got a basic version of the widget up and running. It calls the API endpoint, fetches the changelogs and displays them.

I also deployed the widget as an NPM package so it's easier to install. It only support React applications. I've plans to support other Frontend frameworks and a plain HTML version. The NPM package is available as "@useherald/react-widget".

## ๐ŸŽฏ Actionable goal for the coming week:

- Update the home page with better copy
- Add signup form
- Work on the public changelog page
- Add ability to create custom changelog templates

## ๐Ÿ™ƒ Struggles

I wanted a working version of the widget on my home page so there's a example I can point to. But the deployment script on Netlify always throws an error and stops. Building in my machine works. I'm yet to figure it out but I'll do that next week.
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