Another week, another episode of The Numbers Game! We’re taking a look at the last six months of The Podcast Host right up to today – from the failure of FanFission to the launch of The Podcast Host Academy, it’s fair been an exciting time!
We’re also delving into the realms of our (excuse the techie term) key performance indicators (KPIs), looking at the trends of our web stats. The lessons for this week came down to sharing the load and sticking to your niche, with the experiment continuing to look at leadmagnets on the site.
And lastly, the homework: set up an welcome sequence with three emails using a provider like Convertkit. Enjoy!
Story | Going Free, Premium Upgrades and the Failure of FanFission
In last week’s episode we left you off in September 2016. Now, we’re bringing you right up to speed with all the action from the last six months.
Robert, our Content Manager, left us to train in lecturing – around the same time Colin was publishing posts on Problogger and promoting The Podcast Host to a wider audience.
The most important part to come during this period was in membership. In October/November we got ready to launch FanFission, our website for the coaching within The Podcast Host.
“I wanted FanFission to focus on podcasting, but draw in much more around blogging and video. It’s about creating and growing fans. That’s the whole point: Fan-Fission.”
But, after two months of building, the launch didn’t go as well as was hoped – getting 15 sign-ups from a target of 50. It became clear the FanFission message was a step too far. We’d moved too far away from podcasting and people didn’t really know what we were offering.
Not only that, but people couldn’t commit the time to another $50 monthly membership. They realised they’d need to put in at least five hours a week learning, contributing or going to live sessions to get their money worth.
Our solution? Lower both. We decided to bring down both the cost of the membership and the time commitment.
We focused on what we love doing and what our audience enjoys – free content. Then, we gave the option of a premium tier to get the extra stuff like courses and live sessions.
And that was all launched a couple of weeks ago. We put an email out telling people about the change and now it’s just a slow funnel to try and direct people to it, also using on-site and paid ads.
That brings us up to the present day. We’re putting out as much free content as we can, generating affiliate income and revenue through sponsorship and advertisement, as well as the upgrades section: The Podcast Host Academy.
Data | Key Performance Indicators, Trends and Web Traffic
In this segment we discuss the four Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that we track regularly – our web stats, income, email and content output.
Because they're changing so frequently, there’s no point in reporting on these every week. Instead, we’ll show trends on a monthly basis, starting with web stats on the first week of every month, income on the second week of every month, email on the third week and so on and so forth.
This way, we’re cycling a different topic each week, giving you a good idea of the trends and progress that we are making.
This week – it’s the turn of web stats.
The base aim we have is to grow our web traffic by 5% every month, with an aspirational target of 10% – which we more often than not achieve!
Over the last 30 days we’ve had 60,000 sessions, which is up 25% than the previous month, and 48,000 users, which is also a 25% increase. Growth has been pretty mental over the past 3 months, partially because of the success of our Audio Fiction section of the website. It's a pretty under-served area of the written world I think.
For the number of page views per visitor, it has always remained fairly low, with people only viewing 1.43 pages per visit. The average person also spends around 1:40 minutes on the website, which is down 8% on last month.
That’s all for this month’s web stats. Next week: income.
Lessons | Find a buddy: Share the load, solve your problems and stick to a niche
This week’s lessons come from launching the FanFission membership site and the mistakes that came from that.
FanFission was just a step too far away from podcasting. It’s easy to sell people a targeted niche and that’s what FanFission fell down on. It was a deliberate move – trying to widen our scope out from podcasting on it's own to more general audience building. The plan was that that would include video, too, but I think it was just a step too far away from our core audience.
“Pick out a niche and nail it down. There’s nothing to stop you widening it out later, but I think with FanFission we just tried it a bit early.”
The other lesson learned was that working with other people doing the same thing (ie. creating a membership site) can have so many advantages. We had a group of three people who buddied up to launch our own membership sites all together. Despite the fact we were working on different niches – everything from photography to charity services – and had different problems, it was easy to ask the others for solutions. The larger problems remained the same no matter the niche.
You aren’t working together, but instead in parallel, and the work is so heavily shared that it's hugely useful.
Experiment | The results: Testing a Generic Leadmagnet on Specific Website Sections
Over the last three weeks we’ve installed some new custom leadmagnets on the site.
We have our Ultimate Kit Bag pdf, our Skype Interview Guide and our Fiction Podcasting guide, as well as our generic ‘How to Podcast’ ebook leadmagnet on all the rest of our pages.
Last week, we decided to put the generic ebook leadmagnet across all sections of the site, with varying results. The point was to measure how successful it was in specific sections of the site since each section has a slightly different audience with quite varying aims. This section specific baseline gives us really solid numbers to then test against with our custom leadmagnets.
The ebook on the equipment pages got a 1.58% optin rate, which compared to 0.53% on the Skype pages and 0.34% on the fiction podcasts pages.
The response was the greatest on all our remaining articles, with a 1.85% optin. It seems this is because these pages are often for beginners, so a ‘how to’ guide would be more appealing.
The plan is to run this experiment for another week to give us a baseline to compare the custom popups with.
Your homework | Set up a Welcome Sequence Including Three Emails
In our previous episode we got you to sign up for Convertkit. The next step we have for you is to create your first welcome sequence. Get people on board, let them know your brand and what’s to come.
Create three emails that go out automatically to follow that lead magnet you have set up:
- The first one: Let them know what’s coming, thank them for signing up and let them know what to expect from the mailing list.
- Next: Tell a story behind the business – let them get to know you. Reveal a bit about the brand and its personality.
- Finally: Teach something. This could potentially come first to get people to buy into the list, but it’s a quick win. They know you, teach them something really good and they’re hooked.
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