Episode 43: How CobaltApps found a way to $20k in monthly revenue

At the MattReport, we’re always looking for new and interesting ways folks have launched their WordPress business.

Some people believe that there’s no difference in a WordPress business, than say, a banana stand — I disagree.

Enter Eric Hamm creator of the Catalyst framework and the Dynamik Website Builder to challenge just that thought.

Eric has a tremendous story about starting out as a web marketer who taught himself how to develop a free WordPress theme that matured to a $20k monthly revenue business.

WordPress entrepreneurs unite! Let’s dive in…

Interview with Eric Hamm of CobaltApps.com


(upset there’s no video? Sorry! My laptop died last week and good ol ex-IT manager forgot to backup his files! So potentially I’ve lost my last 5 interviews and that’s going to cause quite a headache for my past guests. Here’s to Apple being able to fix everything…)

Eric and I had a chance to chat before the interview and it was clear that he had a TON of stuff to talk about.

We fly through the history of his WordPress career starting from consulting on WordPress sites with bigger name bloggers like Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.com and others that are popular today and saw tremendous growth back in 2008.

The concept of Frugal Site Design was born and Eric quickly realized he needed to shift to a digital product. Not only was his own brand name hurting him, but he wanted a more consistent passive income.

Thus, Frugal theme was born and received a good boost from the connections he made in the internet marketing space.

I love the idea of connecting with folks that have a larger audience to get your name out there.

Service is like running; Product is like riding a bike

I loved this little analogy that Eric brings up.

Think about running up a hill on a hot summer day.

It sucks right?

If you’re on a bike, once you get to the other side of the hill you can coast a bit. That doesn’t mean you can give up on peddling, but to gain momentum is going to be a lot easier.

On the flip side, as someone who enjoys to run, finishing that 5 mile run and tackling the hills can feel really rewarding.

What do you prefer?

Finding a new audience

So I don’t want to ruin all of the surprise, but there’s a big lesson in cultivating an audience in this episode.

That’s exactly what Eric is leveraging by moving his Catalyst customer base of around 6,000 to StudioPress more dominate pool of 90,000.

Find the right audience for your product or service and capitalize.

I hope you enjoyed the first audio only episode of the MattReport — if you did consider subscribing to my newsletter or tweeting this out to other folks who might find it interesting.


What’s in your toolbox: Forklift 2

Outro music: Pain and Jeopardy by Just Plain Ant



10 responses to “Episode 43: How CobaltApps found a way to $20k in monthly revenue”

  1. Awesome and inspiring interview. I totally relate to having cheap clients with big expectations, “Less you charge more they want.” I been driven to figure out ways to move away from clients. -Thanks!

    1. Thanks Riley, glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Hey Matt. Really enjoyed the interview, and great to hear more from Eric in his own words about the shift in focus for Cobalt Apps among other things. Having Started WP developing under Frugal and jumping straight on board with Catalyst, I have 100% faith in Eric to keep supporting his customers with the best web building solutions available for WP.

    The lightning round was pretty funny BTW.

  3. Yo that outro is dope.

  4. Cool episode, very informative. Eric is cool dude. He shares a lot of things other founders would not.

    1. Absolutely. He’s awesome and very insightful, would love to have him back to share some deeper insights.

      However, he caved tot he pressures of the lightning round — haha!

  5. MattReport Episode 43: CobaltApps

    […] into a $20,000/month business, and the recent CobaltApps decision to support StudioPress. Go to MattReport to discuss this […]

  6. Thank you for this interview Matt.

    Came across your website a few weeks ago and still have a lot of catching up to do. This is one of the first interviews I listened straight from the beginning until the end, Eric had answers for everything until it came to the lightning round hehe. Loving the outro as well.

    1. You’re welcome Danny, hope you enjoy the show.

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