We squeaked out another record month last month here at Think Traffic…
Welcome to another Think Traffic monthly report. If you’re new here, this is the monthly feature where I summarize how we grew the audience for this site over the past month, and explain what we’ll be doing to grow the audience further next month.
In this report, I’m also going to show you how Adam Baker and I successfully launched a new online product last month within a total of just two short weeks.
Read on for that, and also to find out what the next big challenge for Think Traffic is (and how you can help).
Inside a Quick-and-Easy Product Launch
Developing products to sell through your website or blog can be a major undertaking. It can be so daunting to create a product that many people give up before they finish, wasting time and effort and potentially derailing a decent shot at success.
That method can work well, but only if you have the stamina to finish the project and launch it and the guts to spend so much time on a product you’re not 100% sure will even sell.
The affiliate marketing course took me around two months to develop, and Traffic School took the better part of four months. Both were worth it (and will have sold a combined six figures by next month), but there was a lot of stress and doubt involved that I recently learned could be avoided.
That’s where The Hustle Project comes in.
About six weeks ago, I had never even thought about what would become The Hustle Project. Just two weeks later, Adam Baker and I had conceived, developed and launched a kick-ass new product and had earned ourselves a nice little recurring revenue stream from the effort.
Instead of the typical research-develop-launch model, this product followed the trial-launch-deliver model.
If you’ve felt overwhelmed at the thought of developing a full-featured online product for sale using the traditional model, you might want to consider this quicker method instead. I’m really glad I did.
Here’s how it works:
- Start by regularly trying new things with your audience. Try video, try podcasts, try webinars, try live meetups, try different topics, try partnering up with other people, try doing live streaming sessions. Do whatever you can to try new things, new topics and to deliver value in new ways.
- Pay close attention to what resonates with your audience and what doesn’t. If something fails miserably, learn from it and move on. If something you try gathers more attention and participation than normal, consider creating a product around it.
- When you develop your product using the “trial-launch-deliver” method, you’ll work on the marketing and selling first, then you’ll deliver the product after selling it. It’s a pre-sales model.
- Take what you learned from the successful trials and turn the best parts into the marketing for your new product. Use testimonials you gathered from feedback from your trial.
- Build pre-buzz quickly about what you’re working on.
- Launch your product and tell your buyers how it will be delivered (over time following the launch).
- Deliver your product, either live, or by dripping in the content you develop privately.
With The Hustle Project, it all started with my buddy Adam Baker (from Man Vs. Debt) suggesting that we do a free live webinar about online business momentum while he was in town on a road trip.
That first session went really well, and it got us thinking. People wrote us in droves saying how much they enjoyed it, and Baker and I had a blast doing it. During dinner after the session, we started talking about how we could do similar live sessions more often.
Over the following two weeks, he and I worked to develop a simple membership site where people could join the project and get access to recorded content, along with the schedule for upcoming live events. We focused on including only the features that were essential to the project’s success.
We launched the product with our first trial session available for download, along with a bonus of another pre-recorded lesson I had done for Traffic School.
Despite taking only two weeks to develop and the modest amount of initial content (we offered a special trial price to entice the first subscribers), we ended the launch with a nearly $6k monthly recurring revenue stream. How’s that for two weeks’ work? We were pretty pleased.
The best parts of this project (and this development method) for me are: the value we are delivering through this simple format, working with someone I respect and enjoy, knowing that we had an interested audience (given the feedback from the trial session), and how much fun we have on the live webinars. More and more I’m making the fun factor my priority factor in choosing projects to work on.
How could you develop something using this method for your own business? I’d love to hear your ideas and questions in the comments below.
This Month’s Report and Traffic
I was a little worried about whether we’d keep up the growth at this site last month, given I was pretty distracted while developing The Hustle Project. It turns out we squeaked out another record traffic month, with the help of a few guest posts and a very active inbound link from a friend.
We saw 29,639 visits this month (vs. 29,057 last month). That’s a massive increase of 2% 😉
Let’s look at some other stats for last month:
- New subscribers: 749 (+28% month-over-month)
- New comments (including my replies): 438 (+18% month-over-month)
- Retweets of new posts: 249 (-38% month-over-month)
Subscribers were up nicely again this month. Comments and retweets per post weren’t so strong, mostly because we didn’t have any single homerun post this month.
10 total posts were published last month (vs. 7 in the prior month), including 3 guest posts and two video posts:
- For Bloggers: How to Calculate Your Reader Awesomeness Factor (guest post by Betsy Talbot)
- How Three Triathletes Built a Million Dollar Online Business in Under Four Years (video post)
- How I Tripled My Email Subscription Rate (and Why I Switched from MailChimp to AWeber)
- Do You Suffer from Business Suffocation Syndrome? (guest post by Noah Kagan)
- Three Ways to Surround Yourself with Passionate and Successful People (Free Video)
- When Will Your Blog Reach Escape Velocity? (guest post by Danny Iny)
- Ask The Readers: Should You Be Intimidated by Competition, or Just Go For It?
- Sometimes You Just Gotta Hustle
- Coming Next Tuesday, May 24th: The Hustle Project
- This “Engaging” Secret Makes Online Self Promotion Virtually Unnecessary
There weren’t any homerun posts this month, just a lot of singles and doubles. Sometimes that’s exactly what you need to maintain momentum. Thanks Danny, Betsy and Noah for pinch hitting with some excellent guest posts last month.
Top Traffic Sources
I’d like to point something out from this list of top traffic sources above. Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income blog sent nearly 3,500 visitors here last month from one well-placed link to the 21 actions post.
Pat has a massive audience of smart and engaged fans, as evidenced by the 3 minutes and 37 seconds they spent here on average.
This is a graph of what happens when Pat links to your site from his blog:
Thanks again Pat, and I hope to be able to return the favor one day
Top Search Terms:
- think traffic: 530
- unique selling proposition examples: 379
- unique selling proposition: 356
- personal introduction : 271
- website traffic: 261
- unique selling point examples: 173
- thinktraffic: 168
- corbett barr: 137
- best sales pitch: 67
- smartpassiveincome everett bogue pat flynn: 58
The Next Challenge for Think Traffic
After 15 months of blogging here, I’m very happy with the growth, and so thankful for everyone who stops by here. Thank you for your support and encouragement, and for keeping me on my toes. It means so much.
Traffic is just one part of the puzzle, as you know. Engagement and conversion are the other two pieces, and while I’m happy with all three, I think engagement is the area where we can improve the most.
Specifically, I’m talking about the average time spent on this site (2:20 last month), and the bounce rate (about 72% last month). I don’t have a lot of examples to compare to, but I know that Pat claims a very low 25% bounce rate for Smart Passive Income, and over 7 minutes average time on site.
This may be apples and oranges, but I’d like to improve Think Traffic’s numbers up to at least 3 minutes average time spent on site, and down to a 60% bounce rate for starters.
I have some ideas for how to accomplish that, and I’ll be reporting on it over the coming months. I also have a critique of Think Traffic coming up by a special guest later this week. That will generate lots of ideas for me, and hopefully for your own site, so watch out for that.
If you have ideas for how I can improve engagement here at Think Traffic, I would LOVE to hear it. Please leave a comment below.
What Can I Help You With?
P.S. One more thing: this Wednesday (June 22nd), I’ll be hosting a free live webinar with Lewis Howes all about how to use LinkedIn to build traffic and generate leads for your business. This is powerful stuff that you can start using right away, and I’d love to see you on the call.
Register here to join:
Thanks as always for reading. You’re the best 😉