Empowering Creators with Tealfeed Co-founder Sourabh Kaushik by@jackboreham

Empowering Creators with Tealfeed Co-founder Sourabh Kaushik

Tealfeed is a knowledge-sharing platform that connects and empowers creators, keeping news informative. It is a superb platform, that some of us use at Hackernoon. In this slogging AMA, we were joined by Tealfeed Co-founder Sourabh Kaushik, we discuss everything Tealfeed, including future ambitions for the platform.
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Jack Boreham

I'm a journalist and writer. You can check out my work on my website: https://jackboreham.com/

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Tealfeed is a knowledge-sharing platform that connects and empowers creators, keeping news informative. It is a superb platform, that some of us use at Hackernoon. In this slogging AMA, we were joined by Tealfeed Co-founder Sourabh Kaushik, we discuss everything Tealfeed, including future ambitions for the platform. You can check out Tealfeed here.

This Slogging thread by Jack Boreham, Sourabh Kaushik, Mónica Freitas, Limarc Ambalina and Sara Pinto occurred in slogging's official #amas channel, and has been edited for readability.

Jack BorehamDec 23, 2021, 10:01 AM

Hey @channel, please join me in welcoming our next AMA guest, , the founder of Tealfeed. Tealfeed is a knowledge-sharing platform that empowers creators, connects people and keeps user feeds informative. It is a great platform that I personally use myself, and I know many of you also use it. 

Please feel free to ask Sourabh anything about:

  1. What Tealfeed is 
  2. How he came up with the idea of Tealfeed and its name 
  3. Informative content on the internet 
  4. Upcoming plans for the platform
  5. How people can join the platform and who is accepted 
  6. How Tealfeed is monetised 
  7. What his ambitions are for the platform 
  8. Other questions regarding Tealfeed
Jack BorehamDec 23, 2021, 10:04 AM

Hi , thank you for joining us, a pleasure to have you with us! To start, can you explain a bit about yourself and what your platform Tealfeed is?

Sourabh KaushikDec 23, 2021, 10:10 AM

Through Tealfeed, we are building a knowledge-sharing platform that keeps people’s feeds informative and helps them grow in their personal and professional lives.

At the same time, we are building Tealfeed to empower creators by providing them a platform where they could build their own audience, monetize their followers, get paid projects from brands based on their niche, all at one single platform.

Sourabh KaushikDec 23, 2021, 10:11 AM

I and Rohit Garg started working on our idea while we were still in college completing our B.tech education. We initially started with the idea of building a close-knit community where it was easier for people to share their experiences and learnings in the startup field. As more and more people started joining the platform and as we started talking to more of our creators, we realized the need to accommodate more topics on the platform and that gave birth to Tealfeed.

So, we launched this platform this year itself in the month of May and currently, we have 7000+ wonderful creators on the platform creating content in the field of business, startups, design, tech, self care, psychology, writing, and what not. Really grateful to our creators for joining us in our vision.

Jack BorehamDec 23, 2021, 10:26 AM

Your platform really does that! Having been a member for about a month, I love how it captures audiences for creators! How did you manage to get creator's onboard and market the platform for the average Joe who doesn't create content?

Jack BorehamDec 23, 2021, 10:29 AM

How does the monetisation work? In my opinion, the creator often finds it difficult to earn money through their work! It's a tough dog eats dog world.

Sourabh KaushikDec 23, 2021, 10:56 AM

When we started it out, we wanted to seed the platform with creators who are aligned with our vision to make a positive difference through their content. So, Me and Rohit started finding creators who are actively writing articles via their websites/online platforms and reached out to them for a one-to-one discussion. The one-on-one discussions with creators about their goals, aspirations, needs, requirements, and motivation helped us not only in onboarding them as our first set of creators but also helped us understand their pain points.

Even today, we try talking to as many creators as we can and understanding their expectations from the platform. This has helped us in deciding some of our upcoming features, for example, we would be soon launching a chat feature to help creators and users build meaningful relationships. Next year, we also plan on introducing more forms of content on the platform including videos, podcasts, short-form posts (currently Tealfeed is an article-only platform). We believe that if we focus more on understanding our creators and users, and if comes at the expense of having a not-so-exponential growth initially, that's completely okay because happy people are the ones who are going to become the advocates for us tomorrow.

Sourabh KaushikDec 23, 2021, 11:01 AM

Speaking about monetisation, July 2022 is when we are planning to introduce it. As you rightly pointed out, creators earning money online is a complicated space and we believe that happens because a single model doesn't work for all. So, here are three things we would be introducing on the platform.

Sourabh KaushikDec 23, 2021, 11:14 AM
  1. Revenue sharing with creators (on boosted/sponsored content)
  2. Individual subscription (creators would have an option to put a paywall in front of their content which could be accessed via their paying subscribers)
  3. Offering them paid content projects through brands

I would explain why we chose these three models as a part of our platform. There are creators who already have their own set of followers, then there are ones who are just starting out or may not have an existing set of followers, and then there are ones who focus more on creating content for brands. All these creators have different requirements, and a single model might not be the best possible way to cater to all of them. Creators can choose to utilise any of these models (or all of them) to start earning on the platform. Our end goal is to build a truly sustainable knowledge-sharing community led by creators. People see creators doing what they love for a living and aspire to follow that path. We are on a mission to turn their dreams into an ambitious career, empowering them with content monetisation tools and a platform to foster lasting communities.

Mónica FreitasDec 23, 2021, 11:14 AM

Hi, great to have you here. What would you say are the main themes discussed on Tealfeed? What makes this platform stand out from the crowd?

Sourabh KaushikDec 23, 2021, 11:36 AM

Thank you for the question Mónica Freitas. The most active topics on Tealfeed currently include Technology, Business, Design, Gaming, Blockchain, Personal Growth, Self-care, Psychology. We would always keep the platform and knowledge free on the platform (individual creators can apply paywall in front of some of their content though). How a user onboarding process works on the platform is, whenever someone signs up on the platform, they are being asked about their interests, and their feed is curated based on it. As we keep conversing with our users and creators, we have realised that many of them would want their feed to be about the content from people they follow. So, we actually provide two feeds:

  1. Home feed- based on a combination of user’s interests, people they follow, and more such parameters
  2. Following feed- based on content from people a user follows

Any user is free to seamlessly switch between the two feeds. People in a society behave according to the norms of the society. People tend to do things that provide them rewards and shy away from doing things that might punish them. An online platform is no different. Through Tealfeed, we intend to democratize knowledge and build an online community where not only creators have incentives to create good content but users too have motivation (would be rolling out features in 2022 to reward healthy content consumption habits) to consume content that would, in turn, boost their own personal and professional growth.

Limarc AmbalinaDec 23, 2021, 12:08 PM

Hey I've been in contact with your team before so I was happy to see you become a Slogging guest thanks for joining us. Since there are lots of players in this market, how do you differentiate yourselves from other blogging platforms for professionals? Newcomers might ask, how is this different from the mediums, http://dev.to's and even the tumblrs and blogspots of the world?

Jack BorehamDec 23, 2021, 12:35 PM

I agree! I think a client-facing approach works. Having 1-1 discussions is an excellent way to spread the word and get genuine writers on board. But getting writers on board and having a community engaging with one another are two separate things. That monetisation plan sounds amazing and will help out many creator's. What are the challenges of introducing so many models? How will you overcome them?

Sara PintoDec 23, 2021, 12:51 PM

Hey , glad to have you here! I see there's a lot planned for the platform, that's exciting! Can anyone join Tealfeed and have access to the information there? How's the process to join in?

Sourabh KaushikDec 23, 2021, 2:31 PM

Hi Limarc Ambalina, have always enjoyed your writeups on Tealfeed. Thank you to your wonderful team for inviting me here. The platforms you mentioned are some really wonderful ones catering to the needs of its community in their own unique way. Through Tealfeed, we envision providing creators with a single platform for their multiple needs. You want to host different forms of content, you can do it on Tealfeed. You want to build an online profile that could help you get projects, you can do it here. Want to monetize your content, you can do that too. Want to communicate with your followers and other creators, that would be possible on Tealfeed too. The concept of Creators’ economy has been booming like never before. And, the first step towards helping our creators in creating content that can create a difference in their lives and others, is to simplify the process for them. The reason we have been talking more about creators is that the content has to come first so that we can make the feeds of our users better. We are drowning in information but starving for knowledge. And, if we have to change that, it has to start by empowering creators by making the process easier for them. And, that’s the vision and plans that we share with our creators and users of why they should give Tealfeed a chance.

Sourabh KaushikDec 23, 2021, 2:44 PM

Jack Boreham, when we talk about creators on a global level doing different kinds of jobs and having different goals and expectations from content creation, one of the major challenges is to understand their expectations and understand the patterns. For example, in region A, the idea of freelancing and taking up paid projects might have not been that common as compared to region B. And monetary expectations can also vary depending on the experience and the median scale in a particular region. To take all of these factors into consideration and develop a model that works well for people across different regions is a challenge we are working hard on to ace. And, these regular interactions with users and creators from different parts of the world have helped us gain a deeper understanding of their processes, expectations, motivations, incentives, and a lot of many more such important things.

Mónica FreitasDec 23, 2021, 2:49 PM

That's awesome! How did you come up with the name Tealfeed?

Sourabh KaushikDec 23, 2021, 2:50 PM

Thanks for the question Sara Pinto. Yes, Tealfeed is completely free and accessible to all. You can simply visit http://www.tealfeed.com and click on Get Started to sign up via Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Email. You would be asked to choose your interests from a variety of topics and would be provided with recommendations of creators based on your interests. And, that's all you need to do to get started to Tealfeed. If you want to post an article, you can click on "Create" after you sign up and start writing and publishing on Tealfeed. Would like to invite you Sara on the platform to check it out!

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Sourabh KaushikDec 23, 2021, 3:03 PM

Mónica Freitas, to the founders, a startup is like a baby, and to name a baby is one of the most special moments. So, thanks for asking about it. The colour Teal is a combination of blue and green, and stands as a symbol of open communication and clarity of thoughts. In Tibet, it’s symbolic of the infinity of the sea and sky, while it is the color of truth and faith for Egyptians. So, in our case, we wanted to provide people with a feed that’s an infinite source of knowledge and where people could place their trust in the information they are consuming. And so, we decided to name our platform Tealfeed. Also, the colour Teal gives us a unique brand positioning and brings some uniqueness and freshness.

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Mónica FreitasDec 23, 2021, 3:31 PM

That's a beautiful analogy! Love it! Also, do you know who your primary audience is in terms of demographics?

Jack BorehamDec 23, 2021, 5:35 PM

I can imagine it must be tough! But I love the ambition. I personally cannot wait for your platform to start monetisation. Have you thought about developing an app for Tealfeed? Would it help with monetisation as increased accessibility could benefit creators?

Limarc AmbalinaDec 23, 2021, 5:43 PM

Thanks for your answer one thing I've just personally been wondering is what was your decisioning behind rebranding from Cofounders Town to Tealfeed? You know I've been following you for a while since I know you from those days 😄

Sourabh KaushikDec 24, 2021, 11:01 AM

Mónica Freitas, we fall more in love with the name Tealfeed when we see people around us relating to it too, glad that you too can relate to it. A large number of our users and creators are from countries like India, USA, UK, Canada, and there are a few more countries which are climbing up the charts in the last few weeks. We have been working on getting the concept of our platform to people from other regions too, and the response from people has been amazing. We have been also witnessing more people in the age group of 18-35 using our platform as compared to the other age groups.

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Sourabh KaushikDec 24, 2021, 11:17 AM

Jack Boreham, yes we are planning to launch the app somewhere mid-year in 2022 itself. An app provides more control and accessibility especially when we talk about building meaningful relationships with one's audience. A full-fledged monetization (pilot-testing would start earlier) and the launch of the app are two important developments that we are planning almost simultaneously.

Sourabh KaushikDec 24, 2021, 11:25 AM

Limarc Ambalina, the ones who have been associated with the platform even before it was named Tealfeed are the ones who have been instrumental and pivotal in making the platform into what it is today, so thanks for your constant support. As I mentioned earlier, we started with building a community where people could share their experiences and learnings about startups and businesses.

But, as people from different personal and professional backgrounds started using the platform and started sharing their knowledge from various domains, we started feeling the need to accommodate more topics and give the platform a name that could give everyone a feeling of belongingness and inclusivity. And, that's when we thought of naming the platform Tealfeed!

Mónica FreitasDec 24, 2021, 12:11 PM

thank you for your answers. It's really interesting to get these insights.

Jack BorehamDec 24, 2021, 12:43 PM

So we have monetization, any future plans/ambitions past that? 😄

Sourabh KaushikDec 25, 2021, 7:30 AM

Jack Boreham, Ultimately the goal is to build a platform that creates value in people's lives through content and provides the amateur and professional creators the tools that could help them avoid unnecessary hassles around content creation. The idea is to make the journey of becoming a content creator very easy and accessible for anyone and everyone who would want to start sharing their knowledge.

People look at successful individuals and aspire to become like them, people dream to become successful one day. We would consider ourselves very privileged if we get to become a part of this journey and help people in achieving their personal and professional goals. This was the idea we started with, this is the idea that drives us today, and this would be the idea that would be the deciding factor in all the features we would be launching on the platform in the future.

Jack BorehamDec 25, 2021, 8:55 AM

Thank you, . Super insightful; we can't wait to see the platform grow. That's a wrap on the AMA, any closing thoughts? How can people join/find Tealfeed😄

Sourabh KaushikDec 25, 2021, 9:01 AM

The platform is available at http://www.tealfeed.com. It's free for everyone to join, gain knowledge, and start creating content. You need to simply visit the platform and click on Get Started to signup via Google/Email/Linkedin/Facebook. Select your favorite topics, follow the top creators, and you are all set. Looking forward to the suggestions and feedbacks from the people of this wonderful community.

Sourabh KaushikDec 25, 2021, 9:04 AM

Thank you Jack Boreham, Limarc Ambalina, Mónica Freitas, Sara Pinto, and the entire HN team for having me here. It's been a wonderful experience talking about the platform here. A very Merry Christmas to everyone. Stay safe, take care:)


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