September 3rd, 2020
August 2020: Biggest month in Starter Story history in terms of traffic, revenue, new email subscribers, and content published.

Last month, we had over 120k unique visitors (+19% MoM) according to Google Analytics. Our other analytics tool (which is less prone to ad blockers) is reporting 263k visitors.

This growth is directly the result of our intense focus on experimenting, producing, and scaling our content machine. We published 198 new pieces of content in August. We will continue to grow this number by 20% every month.

This is continuing to pay off as we are seeing big growth in traffic from Google search. Here’s a look at Google search impressions over the last 6 months. Yesterday, we had 139k impressions, the biggest day we’ve ever had:

We are constantly testing and experimenting with new forms of content that will drive traffic to the website. For example, our business name ideas experiment is really starting to pay off.

Here are some more types of content we are experimenting with:

  • Business Ideas for [Insert Niche] (we now have over 1.1k business ideas in our database)
  • Startup Costs Pages
  • Business Ideas in [Insert City]
  • ...and many more

Many of these experiments do not pay off though. For example, we have been working hard on our start a business guides, but we’re not seeing much growth. Our goal is to quickly identify winners and double down, while moving on from the losers (easier said than done…)

Once we find something that works, we build processes and automation around it so that we can keep publishing more content in the future. 

We also added a new team member, Anjali, to the content team. We now have 6 people working at Starter Story, crazy!

Revenue: Our revenue (on accrual basis) for August was $12,714, the highest all time, and a 3% increase over last month.

Premium subscription: We grossed $11,432 in August. Unfortunately, that’s about a 20% decline over the previous month. I think this was due to us taking away the “lifetime deals” and that August may be a slower month in general (summer?).

Email list: Our email list is now at 22K+. We added 2.7k net new email subscribers in August (+39% MoM). We converted 2.66% of unique visitors into email subscribers. I’m excited about how much the list is going to grow as we keep increasing the top-line numbers. Still so much room for improvement in that conversion number too.

The new format of the newsletter is working, too. We have seen open rates increase from 17% to 27%, and click rates from 3% to nearly 6%.

Last month we saw our best month in terms of clicks inside emails:

August Numbers

- Monthly revenue (accrual): $12,714 (+3%)
- Traffic: 120k unique users (+19%) (this is a GA number, i think
- Content published: +198 (+70%)
- New email subscribers (net): +2,700 (+39%)
- Email collection rate: 2.66% (-15%)



Just like last month, we will continue to laser focus on content: Experimental content. New content. Scaling content.

Our goals for this month: 

- Publish 240 pieces of content
- Execute content experiment around creating an LLC in [insert state]
- Implement an internal tracking system so we can understand how changes to our content are affecting our ranking in search engines (going to be epic)
- AB test lifetime memberships vs. first-year discount
- Come up with more data points for businesses and business ideas (market size, startup costs, etc)


Over the next few months we’ll put our heads down and drive towards our goal of hitting 500k monthly uniques by the end of the year.

This is a very ambitious goal but I do think it’s possible with our current strategy. We have a better grasp than ever on how to grow to Starter Story through content and we’ll continue to iterate on this strategy.

For the next few months, we’ll be less focused on monetization and more focused on growth of the top line. We have a lot of runway and we plan to invest a lot of this back into the business.

Recently I wrote a bit about my vision for Starter Story: the tl;dr is that we are building a media machine that will one day rival Forbes and with technology & data angle like Crunchbase, with an angle on small business. 

Eventually, we will hit 1M monthly users and then 10M/month, just gonna take some hard work and a bit of time :) 

As the world keeps changing and more people go to start their own online business, we’ll be the best resource on the internet to help them with that. Let's do this!

Thanks for reading!