CSS Grid is an insanely powerful new technology for the web. It's not really new, but a lot of people don't really understand fully how to use it.
I wrote The Grid Gospel as part of the #2WeekProduct challenge on Twitter. A handful of other people were inspired by this tweet:
My advice to first-time info product creators:— Daniel Vassallo (@dvassallo) July 26, 2020
1. Start with a very small product.
2. Choose a topic you know well that will almost write itself. Avoid doing research.
3. Timebox production to 2 weeks.
4. Charge $10.
5. Promote it!
All the lessons are in #5. Best of luck!
Basically it was a push to create some sort of informational product that you can sell, only give yourself 2 weeks to finish it, and sell it for $10. Seemed like a pretty decent challenge to partake in.
Given the limited time span I had to pick something I was already pretty knowledgeable about, so I knew it was going to be based around CSS. I'd had the idea of doing a book about CSS Grid for a while and then I got invited to do the #2WeekProduct challenge I figured that was a pretty great time to do it.
It started life as the "Untitled CSS Grid Ebook" before I settled on "The Grid Gospel". I didn't want to get too hung up on the name and the branding before I'd even wrote the thing, but I still wanted to tweet about it to build hype.
Here's the Twitter thread I kept of my progress over the 2 weeks.
Starting TODAY, I'm taking part in a 2 week Info Product Challenge.— Jack Harner 🚀 (@JackHarner) September 5, 2020
Over the next 14 days I'll be developing an e-book tentatively titled:
"Untitled CSS Grid E-Book"
👇🏽 Follow Along 👇🏽 https://t.co/P3nVgUQ9ul
Missed The Deadline
I had originally planned to launch on Friday, the 14th day of the challenge. However it was Wednesday and I knew the book wasn't going to be ready. I pushed my launch back to Monday in order to give myself the weekend to really get everything in a place where I felt comfortable taking people's money.
I was disappointed with myself, but a few days late is better than not launching at all.
Things I Would Do Different
Just thinking back on everything, here are a few things I would change about the experience.
- There were several days where life happened, and I made 0 progress on the book. I tried not to beat myself up about it, but if I had done at least 1 or 2 things on those days anyway, I probably would've launched on time.
- Build more hype around the product, but as my audience grows that will get easier.
- Have a better plan of what needs done with specific micro (daily) deadlines. Keep the train moving.
Overall, I'm Happy.
At the end of the day, I didn't really expect anyone to buy it, and now that people have, I'm blown away! It was nice to finally finish something and I feel like having that self imposed deadline was really helpful in pushing the project forward. Most of my work these days have been pretty free-form so it was nice having some structure.