December 10th, 2020
Apologies I’m publishing this on the 10th, way too late!

November was a great month. We are taking Starter Story to new levels.

$25.8K in recognized revenue, and over $32K in gross bookings. We saw 525K visitors to the website, and we added 5.4K net new email subscribers.

Lots of stuff happened this month, but I will try to break it all down:

Black Friday / Cyber Monday

We never participated in Black Friday deals in prior years, but I wish we did. This year, all we did was two email blasts and we sold nearly 200 new memberships!

We also set up our integration with Klaviyo where we can see direct revenue results from our email campaigns:

Lean SEO Course

In last month’s report, I talked about how we’ll be exploring paid courses and infoproducts on Starter Story.

Serendipitously, a couple of weeks later, I tweeted about this new SEO approach I’ve been working on.

The feedback was so strong that I decided to create and launch the first Starter Story paid course, Lean SEO.

That just released on Tuesday and we did over $25K in sales. Here’s the full details on that.

I’m looking forward to doing more courses on Starter Story, but I won’t be the only one doing them! They’ll be taught by the thousands of founders we’ve interviewed!

Where are people converting to subscription?

This month, I sat down for a couple of hours and really dug into:

(1) when are people converting?
(2) when they convert, where are they coming from?
(3) what parts of the site are they converting on?

My biggest takeaways on these were:

(1) people rarely convert right away (that’s even more obvious with how huge BF was)
(2) email, email, email! (over half of conversions are from emails)
(3) people convert on specific features, like our ideas page, moreso than on content

I’m glad I sat down and did this. It’s given me so much clarity on what we should be focusing on, and has allowed us to make decisions that have already materially improved the business.

Often, we got lost in the chaos of running our businesses that we forget to take a look at this kind of stuff...

More scale in content

This month, we’ve put a ton of effort in scaling up our content machine. More automation. More outsourcing!

We have 2,581 business ideas in our database now. Every new business idea is an opportunity for more data, more content, and more value!

November Numbers

- Monthly revenue (accrual): $25.8K (+51%)
- Traffic: 525K visitors (+22%)
- Content published: +228 (+14%)
- New email subscribers (net): +5.4K (+23%)
- Email collection rate: 2.3% (+10%)

Plans For Future

- Raise Prices

We will raise our prices in the new year, and probably run some sort of campaign around that.

Usually, January is a really big month for us, as people want to start a new business in the new year. December is already looking good, and the vaccine is coming… Entrepreneurship is going to explode in 2021 :D

- YouTube

We’ll push forward with our project to redistribute our content to YouTube. The money from BF + the courses will help with this. 

That’s another argument for selling info products, we can take that money and pump it back into the business flywheel.

- Ambassador Program

I’ve had this idea to hire people from different countries and communities to help us grow our reach in new audiences. 

For example, one of our team members, David, is from Spain and we’ve interviewed a ton of people from his network.

It’s really a win-win because these ambassadors provide a benefit to startups (PR), they get to interview these startups (expand their network), and we get good content out of it!

- More courses

Our goal is to launch 12 courses in 2021, but I think we can do way more if we get other people to launch their own courses on Starter Story.

I built this really cool tool that turns a PowerPoint into a paid course. Soon, I hope others will do the same!

Anyone reading this that has some specialized knowledge and want to do a course? 

More scale of content

Back in January, we set a goal to hit 500k monthly users for Starter Story. It’s pretty cool to see it get there!!

We 5x’d traffic this year, and much of this is thanks to the Lean SEO framework we developed around SEO and content.

But we can’t stop there. We are still barely scratching the surface.

There is so much more opportunity. We’ll continue to scale and push the boundaries of what seemed impossible just months ago.