What to avoid when building a new job board?

Hi! Reaching out because I'm building a job board focused exclusively on the Portuguese startup scene: #startupjobspt

I was wondering if you have any advice regarding mistakes at this stage/what to avoid. — I want to create something without putting too much effort, in order to validate and see if we're adding enough value. Using Airtable to do so.

Anyone can start a job board these days. Software-wise anyway. The difficult part is having a targeted audience that employers are willing to advertise their job listings to.

So try to avoid making that same mistake. Building a job board without an audience.

To build a successful job board you either need perfect timing (e.g. start a remote job board a few years ago), great marketing that differentiates you, or an existing audience (started as part of BetaList) to promote it to.

I argre with Marc here, You need to build a job borad with aduidience. Brecause if not, there's not a value to it. What's your Job borad about? Do some research.

Biggest mistakes I see people make building job boards:
- too broadly targeted without a niche = too much competition = won't get traffic = no revenue
- too niche targeted = not enough traffic = not enough job posts = not enough revenue
- can't get traffic as they have no audience
- bad SEO optimization = won't rank well = won't get traffic = no revenue
- wrong estimate of possible revenue = you do really well and get all the traffic you can get = not enough traffic because niche too small and you won't be able to pay your bills

I'd first estimate the revenue you'll be able to make from a job board before starting it.

You can estimate the revenue a job board (and any site) can make pretty accurately from its traffic.

Remote OK gets 343,000 uniques per month and makes $323,000/year, or an average of $27,000/month. That means one unique visitor is worth $0.08 or 8 cents. Other sites will be around that range of $0.05-$0.15 too.

Washington Post gets 2.4B annual uniques and makes $300M/y in revenue. That's $0.12 per unique visitor.

Nomad List gets 4M uniques per year, makes $300k/y or $0.07 per unique visitor.

So my point is traffic is convertable to money in quite a consistent formula at $0.10 per unique visitor.

That means if you'd like to make $2,000/mo from your job board, you'll need ~20,000 unique visitors per month, or 666 unique visitors per day. That seems low but it's probably quite daunting to get that, especially if you limit it to a local market like Portugal instead of worldwide.

Most job boards I see people build get maybe 1,000 visitors per month, which translates to $100/month revenue. Not good.

You need to figure out if your niche of startup jobs in Portugal can get you that amount of traffic. If it can, then go for it! I target an international audience of probably mostly US and EU, so let's say 750 million people. Portugal's population is 10 million. If we translate that, and I do 343,000 MAU with $323,000/year, then for your Portugal targeted niche job site that'd be 4,500 MAU with $4,306/year or $358/month. This is napkin math though but not unsubstantiated.

So happy to read your feedback, Pieter! Portugal is definitely a small market and my main goal is to create some value for the local startup scene. Not expecting to pay the bills and I do agree with @marc when he says that the difficult part is having a targeted audience that employers are willing to advertise their job listings to.

The job board would be be connected to a Slack community focused on the Portuguese startup scene (already exists) and my hope is to work alongside incubators and coworking spaces to make it more relevant.

I didn't think about SEO optimisation. Thank you for the tip!

Pieter advices are spot on. Like he said, you must validate your economics first and before anything else.

Second, you must validate that you can build your audience. It roughly means what are the acquisition channels you can activate?

Are you connected in the Portuguese startup scene?
On the potential employer side AND on the potential employees side.

Because, indeed, a job board is just a specific case of a market place.

Finally, from the tool point of view side, you can do it with many solutions. An Airtable embedded, sheet2site (the @AndreyAzimov great no-code website builder) or, if I may reference my own project, with RoleUp

I wish you all the best. If you want to talk more about your project, please, feel free to contact me.

Thanks for mentioned
I have 1 client who is running a remote job board for Latin America: DM me if you want to build similar website.