Building In Public: December 21 Update

Here we are three months into what feels like is going to be a long and slow grind.

I’m alright with that though – in fact, I’m enjoying the challenge as I’m kinda bored of building businesses at the moment.

Creating this blog, our newsletter ‘The Method’, and trying to write really useful content has broken up the monotony of operating in Covid. There are definitely challenges that are fun to solve but there’s also a lot of restrictions on what we can do, which means less opportunities and less fun.

Anyway, so we’re 6 weeks into publishing The Method and five’ish months into blogging. Before I get to the numbers – I’m going to present these a little differently moving forward. I’ll show totals for the life-time of the blog as well as change or increase for the month. See below;

Metric

Total

Change

Sessions

5,262

+2,847

Subscribers

78

+50

Articles Published

67

+20

Backlinks

50

+13

Keywords Ranked

12

+10

Domain Authority

8

+3

Money Invested

$522

$285

Looking back we did a lot better in November than it feels like. We more than doubled our total traffic and audience numbers and have started ranking for keywords.

We made a number of changes to the website, our newsletter and the strategy behind both over the past month.

Easily the most effective tactic we tested was creating a dedicated signup page for our newsletter and adding a newsletter signup to the above the fold section of our homepage.

This obvious hindsight change increased our conversion rate from <.01% to ~1% – a 10x improvement.

We had another two posts on Reddit go viral by our measly standards. The post below generated 300 website visits and many positive comments on Reddit. What I learned here is you have to provide upfront value. The more value I put in the post the better these do on average.

Many of my posts flopped as well. But the few that popped made a big difference.

Another big change that I expect to help us dial in our content over the coming months is setting up conversion tracking. Until now I had no idea what traffic sources or blog posts were converting.

And last but not least we tried our first newsletter cross-promotion with The Slice newsletter (well we paid them) for $20 which brought in ~7 new subscribers. The result i.e. cost per subscriber doesn’t matter much. I just wanted to test to see if it worked first.

Moving forward and on the advice of Tim Huelskamp from his ‘the newsletter crew’ podcast appearance, we’ve turned off google ads for now and will focus on creating a better product rather than growth. Or finding product/market fit as he called it.

Oh, we also had to let our writer Peter go and brought on Kristine to help with publishing and keeping us on track.

Looking forward to December, testing new types of content and new insights we’ll unlock. I’ll be stoked if we close out the year with 100 subscribers and a few more quality blog posts published.

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