I'm writing these posts as a monthly update on my progress of starting Starter Story, a website where I interview entrepreneurs on how they got started.
This is my December 1st update. You can read my November update here.
For November 2017, here were my goals that I set at the beginning of the month vs. what I actually did:
Overall, I'm happy with the results. I included a few extra days in October since I technically launched the site in late October.
The spikes are when I released each new interview. The first three spikes are only from promoting on my own personal Facebook.
The biggest spike there is when I asked my interviewee to share on his own Facebook, which brought in the most traffic. This was also the first interview that was written by the interviewee, rather than me. I think when people write their own content, they are more proud of it and more willing to share.
Aside from Facebook & Instagram, the only other promotion I did was on Reddit. This actually brought in some decent traffic. Nothing revolutionary, but I can see it being a nice growth driver in the next few months when I'm more focused on growth.
Although it's seemingly low, I'm really happy with this number. I'm happy with it because I got to 20 subscribers (my goal) sooner than halfway through the month.
Most of the subscribers came from my Reddit posts and comments. This gives me confidence that people on Reddit are interested in my website. This is one of my target demographics, so I'm stoked on the conversion rate here.
I got a good amount of traffic from Facebook, but most of them didn't convert to mailing list subscribers. This makes sense because Facebook referrals were interested in reading the articles about their friends and not necessarily interested in the concept of Starter Story.
I also do not have annoying popups on Starter Story asking for your email address. I just have a call to action to subscribe on the home page and at the bottom of the articles. More on that for another day.
This was the only goal I did not meet. I do have 4-5 interviews that are only a few days from being published, but I should have been more proactive about getting at this earlier in the month. The process of getting an interview live on the site can take up to 3 weeks from start to finish (I'm often waiting for people to actually write it).
But this month I spent a lot of time streamlining this process of getting interviews. I'm constantly thinking of and trying new ways to find interviewees. I've had a lot of luck reaching out to people through Reddit DMing.
I've also been working iterating on a Google Doc template to facilitate gathering the answers for the interviews. As this gets better, the better the interviewers answers can be on the first draft, allowing me to follow up less with revisions and edits.
I started the month thinking Instagram would be an awesome source of traffic. I was wrong. For the whole month, Instagram brought in 20 total sessions.
I posted daily content on Instagram and Facebook. Here's an example of some of the content I was sharing:
Although I seemingly was gaining a bunch of followers and likes based on my content, it turns out most of them were bots / spam. I further confirmed this after posting an Instagram story. No one watched it.
I'm going to use Instagram more sparingly from now on. Just going to post when I have new interviews, instead of daily content.
The holidays will allow for me to dedicate a little bit more time this month, and I now know of some methods that can guarantee me traffic. Here are my goals:
- 2,000 sessions
- 40 new mailing list subscribers
- 10 new interviews
This is double last month! Wish me luck!
I have also decided to start narrowing "niche" to e-commerce. Before, I was interested in interviewing any type of entrepreneur, but I think I should specialize. Right now, Starter Story is not targeted enough.
E-commerce is a huge industry and is still pretty broad, and I already have a few e-commerce interviews up on the site. This will also allow me to specialize the interviews and attract a community of readers that are interested in e-commerce. I will also be able to promote the content more naturally on other platforms.
Other than the re-brand, I'm going to start looking into promoting on Pinterest and Quora.
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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