As promised in my first email to you, this is the first traffic and income monthly report. Yay!
I have to admit, it’s quite nerve racking writing a transparency report. Especially one for the first 30 days of a website’s existence but that’s a big part of what this site is about. Showing you the real way to build a highly trafficked and income generating blog site.
That said, I’m fairly happy with the progress and I’m looking forward to next month’s report already. Let’s get to it.
Noteable December Happenings
- Site went live with 3 posts on November 30th.
- 7 additional posts published.
- 10 draft posts started (ideas baby).
- Christmas happened and our kids enjoyed it:)
Traffic started at zero but as of today, I’ve gotten 2,986 pageviews.
In the image below you’ll see that most visits came from social networks. Those were Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Pinterest.
The direct visits were the result of me actually emailing people and sharing the link in private messages asking people to check out the site.
The email visits were the result of the email I sent to a small portion of our FooPlugins customers.
Referrals were other sites linking to SucceedWithWP.com and the result of me commenting on other sites and including this url.
Organic search were visits from Google search results.
What I did to promote the site
When I first began thinking of building this new site, I started by researching.
If you don’t know, I had two other sites dedicated to WordPress tutorials but these were focused more toward people who wanted (and liked) to get their hands dirty with code.
After joining several different blogging groups I quickly confirmed my suspicion that there are many people out there using self-hosted WordPress that don’t care at all about code and are using it for a pure blogging experience. Furthermore, they’ve heard you can make an income from blogging and are anxious to do so.
Every group has different rules concerning self-promotion and it was (is) somewhat difficult to manage them all. However, I’ve found that simply being a proactive member and helping people with advice when I can, leads to natural curiosity about me and what I do.
In other words, fill out the bio section of your personal Facebook profile with your elevator pitch and a link to your site. It’s important and people WILL look.
If you need help organizing your Facebook group posts, check out Manda Northern’s free Facebook Group Post Planner spreadsheet. She recently shared this in a Facebook group and it’s super useful.
I actively use six different Twitter handles with varying numbers of followers. All but two of these I would consider “leftover” handles from previous ventures but I still see some engagement so I make sure to post to them anyway.
My main Twitter handle is my oldest one, @wpmodder. Most of my followers are there and the majority of them have some kind of vested interest in WordPress.
I saw more Retweets on my Twitter profiles than I’ve seen in a long time. Another indicator that I’m publishing content people enjoy and can use.
One boosted Facebook post ($20)
I created a post on the SucceedWithWP Facebook page just for boosting. I tried boosting an article link previously and didn’t see much traction, so I wrote a new post with some more compelling copy.
This was the post. Notice the copy here. I’m showing social proof by giving a number of members and also including a call-to-action by asking “Are you going to join the party?”
This ran for just 24 hours and here are the results.
The important part here is the number of “Post Engagements” or actual clicks. I paid $20 for 48 clicks to my site in 24 hours. That translates to $0.42 per click. Not bad.
And looking deeper into my MailChimp list signup stats, I gained 24 new email list subscribers and members in that 24 hour period.
Those numbers mean nothing in terms of income at this point, but they will in the future.
Email to segment FooPlugins customers
Ok. I realize that most new bloggers won’t have access to an existing subscriber list, but that doesn’t mean you can’t leverage someone else’s list (see the cross-promotion section below).
FooPlugins has been in business for almost three years. We have a large customer list. However, I sent an email promoting SucceedWithWP to just a small portion of that list by segmenting the campaign recipients and only sending to people who have shown an interest in building businesses, not just using our plugins.
The content of that email was framed in a way that let our users know they were one of the first to be notified and that I was “pulling back the curtain” and revealing how I start, build, and succeed at WordPress-powered business building (and how they can too).
I also performed AB testing on the subject line I used. Below are the results of the winning subject line.
The next step in leveraging our FooPlugins subscriber list is to do some deeper segmenting and send another campaign. This will happen in January.
Worked some initial cross-promotion deals (that haven’t happened yet)
As you might have noticed by now, getting traffic and signups to a new site takes a lot of legwork and time.
One of the areas I focused on this first month is to personally connect with people running related businesses in the WordPress community. More specifically, businesses that offer products or services that would benefit from being promoted on this site in one way or another.
I’m still working on these cross-promotion deals but at least a couple of them look solid and will likely happen next month. Combined, these two companies have subscriber lists totally 90,000. As you can imagine, even getting a small portion of those users to subscribe or become members on this site will be a big win.
And keep in mind, nothing on this site is really monetized yet except for a few affiliate links in my tutorials.
This is what you’ve been waiting for right? Drum roll please!
But that was completely expected.
I have no products for sale. I don’t have the traffic required for passive affiliate link clicks. I have no premium membership subscriptions. Yet.
All of the time and effort I’ve spent so far has been used to create and solidify the framework of this business. This is not a get rich quick project. It’s about creating a sustainable, long term and reliable income by providing quality content and advice for others.
Patience and perseverance is key.
Canva for Work
Canva is free and you should start using today. I pay for their Canva for Work plan and here’s why.
I’ve tried others and keep coming back to Hootsuite (Buffer is also awesome). If you want to try Hootsuite Pro, use this link to get a free 30 day trial.
Facebook boosted post.
Total Expenses: $51.90
December Net Profit
In retrospect and what to do next
Overall, I’m pleased with the progress of this site so far and the engagement I’m seeing from visitors but I’d like to see more activity in the member forums. I think that might be one of the biggest challenges I’ll face in the coming months. It’s no easy task to compete with Facebook groups, but it’s possible with the right incentives for members only.
More tutorials, more social engagement and more cross-promotion with other sites will continue to be my focus over the next 30 days. I just have to keep getting the word out at this point.
As always, I appreciate you following this journey and welcome your feedback, encouragement or advice.