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How Dianna Allen built Budget Meal Planner with No Code using Wix
5 min read

How Dianna Allen built Budget Meal Planner with No Code using Wix

Budget Meal Planner
How Dianna Allen built Budget Meal Planner with No Code using Wix

Hey! What are you working on and what led you to building with no code? Have you got any previous experience of building sites/apps?

I’m working on Budget Meal Planner. BMP helps people eat for $5 a day by providing weekly meal plans and other resources, such as calculated recipes.

Thanks to the fitness world, meal plans get a bad rep these days. Repetitive, boring, and no flavor. That’s everything I didn’t want BMP to be. First of all, we’re budget-focused, not fitness-focused. Sorry, but our meal plans aren’t going to get you gains. Secondly, every weekly meal plan is based around a different theme. In the past this has been Caribbean,Tex-Mex, and Potato.

Aside from that, BMP has always put inclusivity first. Our meal plans share imperial and metric conversions, as well as offering vegetarian alternatives when possible.

I chose to go the no code route with this simply because time is money. When I first started this project, it was simply a newsletter. I only allowed myself one day each week to focus on BMP because until it proved itself worthy, I wanted to put in as minimal effort as possible. Let’s just say in the past year I’ve wasted a lot of time and effort on failed projects.

After growing my mailing list to over 1,000 subscribers in just two months, there became a demand to have past meal plans accessible. That’s when I knew it was time to expand the project and build it into a proper website. But like I said, time is money, and I was not about to sit here and code a website for an entire week (or longer). That’s when I knew no-code was the best and quickest solution.

What platforms and tools have you used to build Budget Meal Planner? How long did it take to build?

When BMP was only a newsletter, I used Mailchimp to essentially run the project on. I utilized their feature to build a landing page to capture sign-ups, and that was all. That took about an hour to get everything set up.

Once the demand came to expand the project, I went with Wix to get set up quick and easy. Within 6 hours or so, I had my website up and running and completely functional. Also future-proof. I made sure to look for a platform that would allow me to have shop and membership functionalities.

Aside from Mailchimp and Wix, the only other tool I need is a word editor. I don’t need anything fancy, Pages is enough.

How have you gone about growing your user base? What has been most effective?

From the start, Reddit has been my main source of growth. You have to realize, there are millions and millions of people on Reddit. If you take it upon yourself to find subs where your target audience hangs out, well that’s a gold mine for you.

With Budget Meal Planner being focused on food and budgets, I knew those were my keywords to search. And let me tell you, Reddit and their search function makes putting your project in front of people who need it so much easier.

I found a few subreddits and posted long-form, honest content. I was giving away exactly what my newsletter contained in the most personal way possible. You know, I was talking like a real human looking for a discussion, rather than to simply sellout.

The response I received was huge. My post was getting so many upvotes, so quickly that eventually it hit the trending category for a little bit.

Since this was when I was testing the waters with whether or not the idea I had was even good enough to act on, all I did was include a little link at the bottom of each post. It said, “If you like this content, I’m thinking about sharing these weekly, sign up here to let me know if you’re interested.”

And within a few days, my mailing list went from 0 to nearly 300 people.

I still continue with this method, but being careful to not do it often. I aim for one quality post once a month in a few subreddits. Trust me, Reddit knows spam… and once you’re associated as a spammer in a subreddit, there’s no going back. I’m also continuously seeking out new subreddits to post.

I even made my own!

Have you monetised it yet and if so, what is your revenue model?

I haven’t monetized fully yet, however I do have the master plan laid out and a little bit of it in effect.

To start, I’ve created an ebook to sell: In Season. It’s all about eating seasonally and providing recipes to help people learn how and what to cook. I wanted to create an ebook from the beginning of this idea because I knew it could potentially become passive income. It also helps establish credibility for my website by filling it with more diverse content.

The ultimate plan, however, probably won’t go into effect for a few months. I want to focus on growing a large and loyal audience first. Then, when I feel that I have a true following, I will transition my content to be only accessible with a membership.

It won’t be expensive. After all, my target audience includes many people struggling with finances. So, a mere $2 or $3 a month seems fair. If I can get 500 people to pay that, that’s at least $1,000 and for me, that covers living expenses.

My monetization plan is very humble in comparison to many others, but it’s what is enough for me. And once that’s in effect, I will come up with a new plan to scale it.

Aside from the real plans, BMP still does have an existing MRR of $55 that’s completely donation-backed. This is through the use of Patreon.

What has been the hardest part of building, growing or monetising Budget Meal Planner?

Building Budget Meal Planner was easy, monetizing is still a challenge to come, but growing… growing is definitely the hardest. Some of you may be reading this and thinking, “but you got 1,000 subcribers in just 2 months!?” You’re probably missing the point of how hard I worked for them. I didn’t just wait for things to come, I spent days and days researching my audience.

And then there comes the day, where you must find other areas of the internet to find your project. This is where I’m at currently. If I continue with Reddit, I will be overstaying my welcome for sure. So, now it’s back to the drawing board of where I can seek out more users.

But, to grow I should expect this to be a constant cycle.

Do you have any tips on building, growing or monetising a no code product/business?

Be consistent. Once it’s built, it’s not the end. That’s when the real fun begins, in my opinion. Take it as a challenge each day to see if you can grow it bigger than yesterday. I measure everything by numbers, and some people may be anti-analytics, but that’s the only way I can compare day to day success.

With monetization, I can’t say there’s a specific formula that will provide results. But, gather your audience first. If you don’t have an audience, there’s no one to sell to. Don’t rely on SEO, instead get people talking about your product and using it. Reach out to people, ask them to try it, ask them how it can be better.

Where can we find out more about Budget Meal Plans and connect with you?

If you want to learn more, you can follow the general project over on Twitter at @hellomealplans, and you can follow the behind the scenes of the project and my daily efforts of growing it on my personal at @diannamallen. I’m generally quite active on my personal and I welcome friendly faces to join in my conversations!

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