My brother Ben and I have run a small web development shop for the past 4+ years.  We are self-taught and specialize in building websites, web apps, and WordPress development for clients of all shapes and sizes.  We’ve completed projects that range in size from $500 (our first project) to $100k+.  I do the front-end design and development and specialize in HTML, CSS, Javascript, WordPress and a little PHP.  Ben does the backend design and development and specializes in PHP, mySQL, WordPress and a little HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

Last year we did fairly well with our little dev shop bringing in over $190k.  We split everything down the middle, and have basically zero overhead, so we were able to save a decent amount of what we’ve earned.  Over the 4+ years of our business we’ve been able to double our sales every year.  This has been both exciting and exhausting.  We have been doing everything ourselves, sales, maintenance, coding, bookkeeping, testing, etc. etc.

Could we have outsourced a lot of what we did?  Absolutely, yes.  Why didn’t we?  We really wanted to learn how to code.  At one point we were building projects for 20 clients simultaneously.  This forced us to define our systems and processes quickly and really learn how to make things work.  Was our code shit?  Oh yes much of it was.  Did everything we built work?  No not always. But if it broke we fixed it.

Ultimately, we learned how to code.  Mission accomplished.  Now it’s time to move forward.  We scrimped and saved as much money as we could because at the end of the day we knew we wanted to be building our own ideas and projects.  We have a pie in the sky idea that inspired us to continue down this path of learning to code.  However, we don’t have a monetization strategy for it and we don’t want to take money from investors.  We want to do things the old fashioned way, bootstrapping our business.  So we’ve decided to pursue a very limited number of income generating projects.

Ideally we want these projects to be as hands off as possible.  We’re used to wearing all the hats and grinding out hours for dollars.  We want to leverage our years of experience to create things that hopefully create some sort of passive income.

TemplateLauncher.com is our first experiment in trying to create passive income.  We were researching one of our ideas and came across a site called LeadPages.net.  I don’t remember exactly how we found it but we were studying customer acquisition and some how we ended up with a LeadPages.net account.   LeadPages is an awesome sales tool for creating landing pages and tracking conversions.   From there we stumbled on to the LeadPages.net template marketplace.  What we saw was an opportunity to sell to a large captive audience with limited competition.  LeadPages has over 35,000 paying subscribers, doesn’t take a cut on premium templates sold through their marketplace, and has only a handful of authors that are creating and selling templates in their marketplace.

Every month we’ll share our income generated by each template as well as any other opportunities that may arise from building and selling templates on the LeadPages marketplace.  We’re launching our first template before Thanksgiving and we’re hoping to have a second one launched for black friday.  We’ll see what happens…