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Launching 6 Job Boards in 6 Months

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gianluca_c

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Nov 3, 2021
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Hi fastlaners, i've been reading this forum for years and decided to open a thread to document my latest business endeavour.
For the next 6 months i will be building and launching 6 niche job boards.

Why Niche Job Boards?​

In my head I’ve rationalized that a job board is the simplest form of B2B internet business. Because it's relatively easy to code (there are even prebuilt templates for wordpress), it's useful and you can easily show and explain to businesses how you can add value.

I'm going to code everything myself mainly because i want the websites to be modular, super easy to browse and with super fast loading speeds. This hopefully will make me climb on google's serp.

Uncertanties​

the biggest question right now is how to get people to use my job board instead of linkedin/indeed/monster.
I have several ideas down the line but for now i will focus on 5 points.
  • good SEO
  • targeted ads
  • weekly or daily email newsletter
  • helpful UI: make it extremely easy for job seekers to find and apply to jobs
  • having a curated list of jobs: removing duplicates or ones with typos.

Challenge Requirements for the 1st of August​

all 6 job boards must be online and with the following features
  • a homepage displaying the latest jobs, with the top section containing the sponsored (paid) job posts
  • every job post must expand into a separate page, which has the full description, share buttons to share the job post on social media and the “apply” button
  • an email opt-in for people wanting daily or weekly jobs in their email
  • a way for me to manually add, delete and modify job posts
I will reveal the actual niches in the coming months. Thanks for reading!
 
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Why not one solid job board to focus on instead of 6 where you have no chance of giving each of them adequate attention?
Agreed, makes zero sense to create 6 other than it rhymes with 6 months.
 

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What’s the easiest way to test whether you can connect job-seekers with job-providers and/or provide value to one or both sides of that market?

What’s the easiest way you can test whether anyone will pay you?

What can you do to make a sale this week, rather than spend 6 months building stuff?
 

Andy Black

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I’ve rationalized that a job board is the simplest form of B2B internet business
I’ve rationalised that the simplest form of B2B internet business is to help businesses make more money.

Getting employees/freelancers is just one way businesses can make more money. I personally prefer helping businesses make more sales.

Just my 2c.
 

drahz

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This reminds me a slight variation of a challenge "12 startups in 12 months" popular in indie hackers community. It was started by Pieter Levels back in 2014 which lead to creation of nomadlist. Later on he created remoteok job board by leveraging his access to nomad community from the nomadlist. He is making around $200k / month (open stats, verifiable income).

Everybody is now creating todo list apps and job boards. I would say that the secret to successful job board is not clean UI or fast load times, but traffic. You either need a ton of followers looking for a job or do some kind of SEO, paid ads, etc. Doesn't make any sense to start 6 of them.
 

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This reminds me a slight variation of a challenge "12 startups in 12 months" popular in indie hackers community. It was started by Pieter Levels back in 2014 which lead to creation of nomadlist. Later on he created remoteok job board by leveraging his access to nomad community from the nomadlist. He is making around $200k / month (open stats, verifiable income).

Everybody is now creating todo list apps and job boards. I would say that the secret to successful job board is not clean UI or fast load times, but traffic. You either need a ton of followers looking for a job or do some kind of SEO, paid ads, etc. Doesn't make any sense to start 6 of them.

This 12 startups in 12 months is kind of like going on 12 different diets in 12 months. Completely misses the point.
 

drahz

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This 12 startups in 12 months is kind of like going on 12 different diets in 12 months. Completely misses the point.

For someone who started the "trend", it could be beneficial because it brought attention and press. It was something new, it brought followers. But now it is not that new, and not really that interesting. It makes more sense to do proper market research first, then to build MVP and do marketing. "Building in public" is the thing that seems to bring followers nowadays and makes much more sense, it is possible to actually build something meaningful with this approach.
 
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SinFa

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Why not a landing page for all 6 simultaneously, then focus on the one that seems to get most initial traction (after a PPC campaign)?
I'm planning to do something similar to the OP, but plan to go with 1 job board first. Just curious, what would you put on the landing page?

Is it something along the lines of "we're planning to make a <niche> specific job board, is this something you'll be interested in? If so, drop us your email"?

Also, it'll be great if I can get some insights on the angle of the PPC campaign - thanks.

Everybody is now creating todo list apps and job boards.
Is everyone doing a job board nowadays? What makes you think that? I might pick another project if too many people are doing it. Thanks
 

drahz

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Is everyone doing a job board nowadays? What makes you think that? I might pick another project if too many people are doing it. Thanks

For instance, just search "job board" on indiehackers, there is a whole group dedicated to that topic (a niche job board thread is there as well). I am not trying to discourage anyone from trying it, but a job board is among the easiest things to develop but super hard to market. If you (or anyone else) decide to go that route and create a job board, it would be amazing if you create an action thread and document your progress, good luck.
 

SinFa

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For instance, just search "job board" on indiehackers, there is a whole group dedicated to that topic (a niche job board thread is there as well). I am not trying to discourage anyone from trying it, but a job board is among the easiest things to develop but super hard to market. If you (or anyone else) decide to go that route and create a job board, it would be amazing if you create an action thread and document your progress, good luck.

Ahh I didn't realize there's a 'job board' group, and a lot of dead job boards in there too... (broken links)

Yea sure, I'll start a process thread some time!

EDIT: Actually, I just started one already, but forgot to press enter here.
 
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gianluca_c

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Thanks for the input guys, you’re right I should’ve added a little bit of context.
Yes, partly Pieter Levels is what inspired this endeavour. I don’t expect to get media attention or gain hundreds of followers like he did, I just thought it would be a cool opportunity to share my journey, meet people with similar interests as me and perhaps get a little bit of accountability (and a$$ kicking).

Why not one solid job board to focus on instead of 6 where you have no chance of giving each of them adequate attention?
because of uncertainty and fear of failure. What if I pick 1 but then it fails? I’m scared of that. I’d rather slowly put my work into all 6 of them and then eventually drop the ones that are not working.

What’s the easiest way to test whether you can connect job-seekers with job-providers and/or provide value to one or both sides of that market?

What’s the easiest way you can test whether anyone will pay you?

What can you do to make a sale this week, rather than spend 6 months building stuff?
I see where you are going… All three answers do not involve building job boards but rather talking to both job seekers and job providers.

I used to help businesses with google ads, then with websites, then i switched to coding and selling software for a small business. I always enjoyed the building part much more than the talking part.

Andy your advice is sound, but if I follow it I fear I’m going to do more of the things i don’t enjoy doing and less of the things I enjoy doing.

But maybe what I could do differently is set up a twitter account right now and start tweeting out job openings.

Ahh I didn't realize there's a 'job board' group, and a lot of dead job boards in there too... (broken links)

Yea sure, I'll start a process thread some time!

EDIT: Actually, I just started one already, but forgot to press enter here.
feel free to pm me your process thread!

Update:
spent the past two weeks finding a good job posting api and coding the integration. Also worked on the database schema (very barebone, it’s just 3 tables). As of today i already have a database full of job posts ready to be displayed.

Right now I need to be very careful and only work on the very essential stuff, as i want to launch as quickly as possible.

Ok sorry i’m not sure this is interesting, what should i write about? I’ll think about something interesting for the next time.
 

Mathuin

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because of uncertainty and fear of failure. What if I pick 1 but then it fails? I’m scared of that. I’d rather slowly put my work into all 6 of them and then eventually drop the ones that are not working.
I suggest you read this thread

 

Charnell

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On mobile and just popped a melatonin so bear with me.

If you're trying to go fast, coding it all yourself is silly. Just go the wordpress route, spend $150 on wpjobmanager, and sell/market. Shouldnt take more than 10 hours for the first one, and much less time with the subsequent. Whatever one hits (makes money), custom code that one.

At this point it's much more important to get businesses on board than job seekers. Cold email businesses. Find someone overseas who'll find you a hundred contacts for $25. Get a thousand of them. Tell them to find senior HR people or business owners. Use a CRM/sales email tool that stops your sequence if they click the email (going to the site) or respond to you. DON'T OFFER FREE POSTS TO BUSINESSES, FULL STOP. $100, $200, $500 is peanuts when it comes to hiring, and you'll use that to run your PPC ads to find candidates.

Terrible example email to send out:

Hey [first name],
I just wanted to throw on your radar [your job board], a job board for [industry or location]. As a person in [industry or location], I thought it would be irresponsible for me not to let you know about [job board]. If you have any questions, I would he happy to answer them.
Your name and signature

☝ that corny email will make you money.

Now take the money made and get job seekers. PPC it up. As an SEO, your first site may get some traction by the time you get your 6th up and running. Schema markup so you appear on Google? Meh, fruitless.

Without knowing what your plan is, going for an industry or a location, if you go the industry route I would stick to one location initially. For example, solar energy industry jobs, but I would focus on southern California companies at first. Get your first few paying customers, geo ads for candidates, make sure the machine is working. Then start expanding. Much easier that 1 company in Seattle, another in Miami, and 2 more in Phoenix.
 
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Andy Black

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On mobile and just popped a melatonin so bear with me.

If you're trying to go fast, coding it all yourself is silly. Just go the wordpress route, spend $150 on wpjobmanager, and sell/market. Shouldnt take more than 10 hours for the first one, and much less time with the subsequent. Whatever one hits (makes money), custom code that one.

At this point it's much more important to get businesses on board than job seekers. Cold email businesses. Find someone overseas who'll find you a hundred contacts for $25. Get a thousand of them. Tell them to find senior HR people or business owners. Use a CRM/sales email tool that stops your sequence if they click the email (going to the site) or respond to you. DON'T OFFER FREE POSTS TO BUSINESSES, FULL STOP. $100, $200, $500 is peanuts when it comes to hiring, and you'll use that to run your PPC ads to find candidates.

Terrible example email to send out:

Hey [first name],
I just wanted to throw on your radar [your job board], a job board for [industry or location]. As a person in [industry or location], I thought it would be irresponsible for me not to let you know about [job board]. If you have any questions, I would he happy to answer them.
Your name and signature

☝ that corny email will make you money.

Now take the money made and get job seekers. PPC it up. As an SEO, your first site may get some traction by the time you get your 6th up and running. Schema markup so you appear on Google? Meh, fruitless.

Without knowing what your plan is, going for an industry or a location, if you go the industry route I would stick to one location initially. For example, solar energy industry jobs, but I would focus on southern California companies at first. Get your first few paying customers, geo ads for candidates, make sure the machine is working. Then start expanding. Much easier that 1 company in Seattle, another in Miami, and 2 more in Phoenix.
Love the clear blueprint you laid out @Charnell.

Sooo many job-seeker searches on Google.

Might be worth doing keyword research first to check there’s people searching for jobtype-location combinations.
 

GSF

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Aug 25, 2012
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Hi fastlaners, i've been reading this forum for years and decided to open a thread to document my latest business endeavour.
For the next 6 months i will be building and launching 6 niche job boards.

Why Niche Job Boards?​

In my head I’ve rationalized that a job board is the simplest form of B2B internet business. Because it's relatively easy to code (there are even prebuilt templates for wordpress), it's useful and you can easily show and explain to businesses how you can add value.

I'm going to code everything myself mainly because i want the websites to be modular, super easy to browse and with super fast loading speeds. This hopefully will make me climb on google's serp.

Uncertanties​

the biggest question right now is how to get people to use my job board instead of linkedin/indeed/monster.
I have several ideas down the line but for now i will focus on 5 points.
  • good SEO
  • targeted ads
  • weekly or daily email newsletter
  • helpful UI: make it extremely easy for job seekers to find and apply to jobs
  • having a curated list of jobs: removing duplicates or ones with typos.

Challenge Requirements for the 1st of August​

all 6 job boards must be online and with the following features
  • a homepage displaying the latest jobs, with the top section containing the sponsored (paid) job posts
  • every job post must expand into a separate page, which has the full description, share buttons to share the job post on social media and the “apply” button
  • an email opt-in for people wanting daily or weekly jobs in their email
  • a way for me to manually add, delete and modify job posts
I will reveal the actual niches in the coming months. Thanks for reading!
I built a niche job board about 5 years ago on wordpress. I manually posted jobs and scraped relevant jobs from indeed. Not much happened for a few months and then all of a sudden Google started showing my jobs in top of search results and organic traffic started flowing through which was cool. Company's started finding the site and postings jobs themselves as well. I never monetised it or gave it any effort, forgot about it and the domain expired so it's no more.
Things I could have done instead of letting it die;

-create a blog and increase traffic
-social media content
-build email list of job seekers
-add premium job postings.
-reach out to companies advertising jobs elsewhere
-reach out to relevant brands for advrrtising sponsorship ops
-Facebook group for relevant job seekers
-build trust with businesses and offer other services
-sell the site and onto the next project.
 

MTF

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Update:
spent the past two weeks finding a good job posting api and coding the integration. Also worked on the database schema (very barebone, it’s just 3 tables). As of today i already have a database full of job posts ready to be displayed.

Right now I need to be very careful and only work on the very essential stuff, as i want to launch as quickly as possible.

Ok sorry i’m not sure this is interesting, what should i write about? I’ll think about something interesting for the next time.

With all due respect, you're approaching it from the worst perspective possible.

That of an engineer.

I've seen so many coders and other tech people approaching business this way and wasting so much time it's not even funny.

@Charnell is right.

If I were to launch a job board, and I'm not a coder, I would grab any of the dozens of no-code solutions and proceed straight to marketing. Nobody cares about your job posting API and database schema, whatever it is.

Also, if you have some money to spare, I'd consider acquiring an existing job board if you want to reduce the risk of failure. Try searching for them on Tiny Acquisitions or MicroAcquire. I remember one revenue-generating job board for the Caribbean region for sale and it looked so solid I myself briefly considered buying it.
 
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Andy Black

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GSF

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With all due respect, you're approaching it from the worst perspective possible.

That of an engineer.

I've seen so many coders and other tech people approaching business this way and wasting so much time it's not even funny.

@Charnell is right.

If I were to launch a job board, and I'm not a coder, I would grab any of the dozens of no-code solutions and proceed straight to marketing. Nobody cares about your job posting API and database schema, whatever it is.

Also, if you have some money to spare, I'd consider acquiring an existing job board if you want to reduce the risk of failure. Try searching for them on Tiny Acquisitions or MicroAcquire. I remember one revenue-generating job board for the Caribbean region for sale and it looked so solid I myself briefly considered buying it.
Quickest way to start and test the idea would be to use something like substack, up and running in minutes, if job seekers sign up to get jobs sent to them then you can build out something better.
 

Charnell

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-build email list of job seekers
If you build an email list of job seekers, don't advertise jobs to them. Instead, ask them if they know anyone for the jobs in the email.

Job seekers come and go (you know, getting jobs and not seeking a new one) so you should treat them as though their network is gold, which it is. Have those emails lead them back to your LinkedIn biz page w/ a direct link to the post and ask them to share it.

On the SEO/content front, one of the things I had success with was creating articles like "the best [industry] firms in [city]" type posts. SMBs love to see their name in lights, so when your premier career resource tool is showcasing them, they'll share it, they'll link back to you on their media pages, they'll use your job board.

And you'll rank when people search that (because it typically doesn't have much commercial functionality, so there is less competition to rank), those visitors will see you have a job board and start exploring. Or you can use them for lead generation and add another layer to your business.

Revolutions.
 
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Andy Black

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When will you help someone?
When will you make a sale?
These may help:
I’m case this gets dismissed out of hand because I link to stuff all the time…

I worked for a startup that crashed and burned (through €40m allegedly).

They had a large engineering team and the goal was to “build a social network”. There was little talk about what the people signing up wanted.

If you’re an engineer then be super careful making it your goal to “build a job board”.
 

gianluca_c

New Contributor
Nov 3, 2021
3
8
mom's basement
Guys thank you so much, I really did not expect to get this much value. I am taking notes and making the necessary adjustments.

Really thank you to @GSF and @Charnell, if melatonin has this effect on you i can't immagine what caffeine does to you!

I suggest you read this thread

love the story, yes that's true, i don't really know what it takes to build a business. since the "just focus on one" has been the most frequent advice in this thread, i guess i'll have to comply. I'll still launch 6 job boards because i made a commitment, but once i do that, i'll give my focus on just one of them. The one I believe will have more chances of success.


Love the clear blueprint you laid out @Charnell.

Sooo many job-seeker searches on Google.

Might be worth doing keyword research first to check there’s people searching for jobtype-location combinations.
google searches data is pretty much the only kind of market research i've done. I'm so lazy man.

so far i've chosen 3 niches, and all three of them have between 1'000 to 10'000 monthly searches on google in the united states alone.

if I add the location for example: "x jobs san francisco" then it drops to 10 - 100 which is still pretty good i think.


With all due respect, you're approaching it from the worst perspective possible.

That of an engineer.

I've seen so many coders and other tech people approaching business this way and wasting so much time it's not even funny.

@Charnell is right.

If I were to launch a job board, and I'm not a coder, I would grab any of the dozens of no-code solutions and proceed straight to marketing. Nobody cares about your job posting API and database schema, whatever it is.

Also, if you have some money to spare, I'd consider acquiring an existing job board if you want to reduce the risk of failure. Try searching for them on Tiny Acquisitions or MicroAcquire. I remember one revenue-generating job board for the Caribbean region for sale and it looked so solid I myself briefly considered buying it.

I agree, the whole "build it and they will come" is a very common fallacy among startups and engineers, and i certanly made that mistake before. I'm going to cut down on the time i spend developing and focus more on marketing and sales.

Update:

after the feedback i received 2 weeks ago, i decided to postpone indefinitely about 75% of the features i was planning on working on.

Job boards will be just a long list of job posts with a clickable "apply now" button and an input box where job seekers can submit their email.

I think i will be ready to launch at least 3 job boards in the next couple of weeks.

These past couple of weeks i also dropped 9'000$ to buy two .com domain names (that's about half a year of paychecks for me, im european). Was that a dumb decision? time will tell.

The reason is, having a good .com domain gives trust and authority to the visitors and businesses. Also allegedly it's good for SEO.

I could've saved 8'900 dollars and buy a .io or a .co or anything else, but i would feel like an imposter.

Again thank you for your input. See you soon!
 

Charnell

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These past couple of weeks i also dropped 9'000$ to buy two .com domain names (that's about half a year of paychecks for me, im european). Was that a dumb decision? time will tell.

The reason is, having a good .com domain gives trust and authority to the visitors and businesses. Also allegedly it's good for SEO.
Not going to touch on buying a few dotcoms at that price...

But now that you have, there you have it. Those are going to be the ONLY job boards you create until you break even. That's your new experiment. '6 in 6' can wait, now it's '2 to $10K.'
 
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