We are fortunate to have a vibrant community of hundreds of members from all different places across the globe. We come together to talk about tools, tech, no-code and new ways to make creating & building even more productive than before.
At Makerpad we love sharing our member’s journey through learning no-code, using new skills in their workplaces, building projects and even launching businesses.
Each week we’ll be highlighting a member from our community and sharing their story, background and previous projects through our Member Spotlight blog post series.
This week we are chatting to Erwin Blom from Amsterdam.
Erwin is the Co-founder of fastmoving, tistv and Productschool
Hey Erwin, great to have you be part of the Member's Spotlight. Can you give us some background on how you got into no-code? How long have you been using no-code tools and what got you first interested?
I have been actively using no-code tools for the last two or three years.
What got me into this was the fact that I have a lot of ideas, I want to build things but I am not a programmer.
With no-code tools I am not dependent on others to help me to create. I can take the initiative and I can do it myself. I can approach projects with a DIY mindset.
That seems to be a common approach! So many ideas get created that would otherwise never have been made without no-code. So can you take us through some of no-code projects have you built in the past and what tools did you use for them?
I have built lots of projects over the years but I’ll start out by giving a couple of examples. The first project is Productschool where I teach people in the Netherlands how to get from just the idea stage through to creating a functioning product and also launching it to their customers. This is all done within 30 days and focuses on using no-code tools to build your idea.
Productschool has a blog, toolkit, community & courses. We built Productschool to contribute to the culture of creation and innovation by showing people how easy it is to make products and even companies with tools and techniques that are currently available. We help people to come up with new concepts and also to find inspiration for their next project too!
For this particular project I used Ghost to build a blog and I used the Podia online course platform to build out the educational environment. I decided to use Mailerlite to send our newsletter to our subscribers. Also we use Zapier to connect everything together and to automate as many processes as possible.
Another project I work on is Pip Blom Backstage. My daughter is Pip and she makes music as part of a band. Her brother (my son) is also a member of the band too and he plays guitar. They have been doing really well as a young band and have played Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds and other festivals. They were featured in the Rolling Stone magazine and also on BBC 6music.
As a band they were having a hard time this year not being able to play any live shows, due to Covid-19. They couldn’t play to their fans so we started Pip Blom Backstage, a members only community site for their fans. They post news, music, interviews, unique audio and video clips. There are three types of members who get different levels of content and exclusivity: free, premium & deluxe. The free tier keeps people up to date with what the band is working on. The premium level includes digital downloads and exclusives, like demo audio and behind-the-scenes content. The deluxe membership includes physical products like magazines and even personalised setlists. To build out Pip Blom Backstage I started by creating one page website with Carrd and then I built the mobile app with Glide. I build a lot with Glide so it made sense to use it. Again I used Mailerlite for their newsletters as I’m familiar with it from other projects. Zapier also helps out with the automation elements as always. I decided to use Memberful for the paid membership element and payment handling. We’ve only been doing this project for a couple of months and so far we have:
- 500 members
- 50 paying members
- 130 uploaded images by the community
The band members are having a great time doing this, the fans seem to really like it too. Their email address list is growing and the first few hundred euros is coming in monthly. It's a nice beginning to building their community and no-code has helped something good to come out of a difficult year.
It sounds like a good idea to build upon the tools you are familiar with and use them across several projects! So let's bring things up to the current day, what are you currently working on and what stage is it at?
Currently I’m building apps and then I sell them in the Glide template store. They seem to do quite well and they can make hundreds of euros per app.
At the moment my most profitable project is Productschool. I’m taking my no-code skills and teaching a Dutch audience to build apps, podcasts and communities. My community is more of a non-technical audience so no-code works really well.
I'm always working on new courses and apps for Productschool and most of my income is made through courses and company training.
It’s great that you’re taking your skills learned in the Makerpad community and converting that for a more local audience who otherwise may not be learning the skills you are offering. Thinking more of the future, what are you looking forward to seeing happen in the no-code space in the years to come?
I’m definitely looking forward to there being more no-code tools and platforms that make difficult processes simpler and easier. No-code will continue to help unleash creativity for lots more people and in many more different directions that we haven't seen yet.
Do you have a favourite no-code tool? And what's the next no-code tool you're thinking of trying out?
I build a lot in Glide, making and selling templates. Here are a couple of Glide templates I have built recently.
- Remote Work Toolkit (Tools and methods for remote working)
- Quiz Time (The ideal companion for a pub, pop or family quiz.)
I also really like Tripetto. Typeform is good of course, but I recommend people try Tripetto as well. I love it because everything you start now will remain free forever. Also you can embed Tripetto in Glide which is really helpful. Tripetto is also great for non Glide users as well of course.
In the future I’d really like to spend more time with Adalo as it’s such a powerful tool. I'm really enthusiastic about the tools that I already know but I’m looking forward to building lots more projects in future!
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Erwin! We look forward to hearing more about your journey soon!
Keep an eye open for our next Member Spotlight blog post coming soon!