Most founders dream of making $10,000 in monthly revenue. One founder who has made that dream a reality is Benjamin Houy, the founder of French Together, an app which teaches you useful French in 15 minutes per day. He even taught himself to code and built out the app himself. Read on for his tips for entrepreneurs and to discover how he hit $10k a month in revenue.
Can you tell us a bit about French Together?
French Together is a French language learning blog and app that helps English speakers prepare for real-life French conversations. An average of 200,000 French learners read the blog every month and there are currently 829 paid subscribers to the app which equals to a MRR of £7,763.
In addition to this, I also earn 10 - 20k per year in affiliate income by promoting other language learning products. My income can be hard to predict but I expect to pay myself a salary of 70 - 90k this year.
Why did you start French Together?
After graduating from high-school, I taught French and English in Korea and found it difficult to find good conversational resources. There were lots of courses teaching the name of flowers and body parts but very few teaching the actual everyday phrases people were using. Most courses were also heavily focused on grammar. The result was that most students knew lots of grammar rules and random vocabulary but could barely express themselves.
So when I came back to France, I decided to start a blog teaching conversational French and sharing my best language learning tips. I didn't really plan things through and just started publishing one blog post per month. I had no clear monetization plan but I knew I wanted to work for myself and create something different so I figured it was worth a try.
How did you first monetize French Together?
I think my first earnings were from affiliate commissions. I initially promoted French courses from other brands as well as other related services such as tutoring, VPNs etc. I briefly tried using Adsense but quickly stopped due to low earnings and a general dislike for ads.
After a while, I self-published a book sharing language learning tips, tools and strategies and sold it on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble etc.I don’t remember how much it earned but it was enough to pay for many of my bills at the time (I lived in Berlin which was pretty cheap back then.) Another cool benefit of having published a physical book was that people took me a lot more seriously. It’s basically what convinced my family that my business had a future.
After the book, I created a course about French idioms and expressions. This product did okay but never really took off so I stopped selling it and gave it away as a bonus after a while.
All these products were nice but what I had always wanted to do was create an actual French course so I got to work and spent a few months working on a course teaching French through everyday conversations. This is the product I worked on the most by far and the one that earned me the most. It’s also the product that has paid my bills for the past 7 years.