August 27th, 2020
As founders, we all have some sort of vision and questions and goals, but I think it’s important to write it out sometimes. This isn’t formal, just some of the thoughts in my head today.
The goal for the end of the year is to get to 500k users/month.
We have steady revenue streams and a lot of runway, now is time to focus on building channels of growth.
And by growth, I mean, how can more people find the website? How can we find new “sectors” of people that are interested in starting a new business? Maybe it’s people from India? Maybe it’s people that are looking for business ideas? Maybe it’s people stuck in their corporate job?
How can we find more people that are interested in starting their own businesses that don’t even know a resource like ours exists? How can we demonstrate that we have all of this value? How can we get them to come back? How can Starter Story continue to help them throughout their business journey?
I think that SEO is the most important thing we should focus on right now. There is still so much more potential for us here. I think we can grow it 100 to 1000x. The thing is, SEO is something that grows beautifully over time. We are working our asses off today, and seeing some good results, but I have a feeling it will pay off like crazy years down the line.
If we just focus on SEO, I am confident that one day we will reach 10M uniques/month. It will take years, but look at Hubspot and look at Crunchbase.
We have a business model that works right now, and we have dozens of business models we could explore in the future. Courses, more advertising, paid products, etc, all of it built off of the backbone of a massive organic channel.
But for now, what we have is working. Just time to focus on GROWTH.
What’s the goal of Starter Story? Simple. To help founders with their business. Whether they have a business yet or not, we make content and features to enable them.
What we have done very well so far is our interviews with founders. We did it in a way that was better than nearly all other written interview content on the internet.
Interviews are maybe 1% of the potential of an online media business. There are many more different kinds of content that we will be exploring over the next few years.
What about people in the idea stage of their business? We will help them find business ideas. What about people that want to come up with a name for their business? We will help them find a name. Looking for a manufacturer for your products? We help you find one. What about people that need legal paperwork and formation stuff? We will help them set up their business.
^^ And that’s just four examples. There are hundreds of more things we can do.
Starter Story will be a big brand name like Forbes. It will also be full-featured and full of data like Crunchbase. We will monetize like The New York Times.
We will be focused on small, online, work from home businesses. In the next 10 years, these kinds of businesses will explode in popularity. Everyone and their mom will be starting their own business. More people will be fed up and want to leave their corporate jobs. This is only the beginning!
Sometime in the next few years, there will be a “tipping point”, where this “start your own business fad” will become mainstream and trendy. We will be ready for that and our business will explode.
On the internal side, Starter Story will be this new “hybrid” of a media business that I believe will emerge over the next 20 years. We are not a blog and we are not a community and we are not a newsletter. All of these blogs and course sellers will evaporate. We stand the test of time.
We build VALUE FOR THE LONG TERM, we are a living breathing thing that evolves with the times. We are a media company not a blog!
So, how to grow to 500k/month users by the end of the year?
Continue to experiment, build, and scale content. Go harder every month. Outsource aggressively.
It should always feel like we are “doing too much”. That is a good thing. It should feel ridiculous how much content we put out as a team of 4 people. That’s because we are doing things different. We are not a blog!
We should embrace these differences and not follow what other people are saying we should do. We are stretching the limits of what people think is possible as a very small team. One day, we will be a case study of the “new media”.
We must think “big”. How can we publish 100 excellent pieces of content per day? I know that might sound crazy, but it is possible with the right approach, hiring, business model, and with automation.
We need to implement systems and processes that enable this. And more importantly, set really ambitious goals, every month bigger than the last.
We must always focus on the integrity of the Starter Story database. It is and will be our greatest asset. Collect as much data as possible. Our data should be accurate and up to date. It should intertwine and integrate with everything else, because it allows us to build features in the future with ease.
We should never write one-off blog posts because we feel like it. We should never follow the flavor of the week’s content. We write things that last decades and will be constantly updated.
We approach content with scale. Instead of one article, how can it be 100 articles? How can we build systems around it and, for example, interview over 1000 founders that result in 1000 articles? (we already did that)
We should also focus on tweaking existing content. We still have so much to learn about SEO and what works. Don’t always focus on new content and features, how can we can get #1 on Google on our old stuff?
Last week, we had our biggest week in organic traffic, and the week before that was the biggest, and then the week before that was the biggest too. Traffic is going to grow as long as we keep doing what we’re doing.
We are already so far ahead of the game when it comes to other media businesses. We are set up for a big success. When this is all over, we’ll be worth millions.