11% growth, book launches and lead magnets – August 2015 monthly report

August was a big month for us. We saw our biggest growth of the year and launched a new site design. There’s lots of good news and a few challenges we are working through. Let’s see what happened in August.

11% growth to $74,543 monthly run rate

We had a very strong month of growth in August. We believe this is from adding our entry level plan back into our mix of offers. It returned in late July. The month before we had 87 subscription signups, the month after we had 122.

Dan has also been speaking at conferences across Australia, telling the story of WP Curve. We think this grassroots marketing is drawing new people to the business.

MRR

People, product and process

People

The team size is currently at 38. We dropped a few developers that were underperforming and Alex was hard at working finding new hires and getting them integrated into our team.

Product

Our customer happiness score dropped 4 points to 82 this month. This is partially from our increased response times (more on that below).

happiness

901 customers helped and 4246 jobs completed – The number of customers we helped remained about the same for August. Expanding our team and improving our first-response time should help us process more jobs and make our customers happier.

Jobs completed

Our first response time increased by about 7 hours this month. The return to our old pricing model and the surge of new customers increased the demands on our team. We are also working on ways to optimize our internal system which should help us process and respond to customers more quickly.

  • Average first response – 13 hours 4 minutes
  • Lowest response time – 2 hours 35 minutes – August 3
  • Highest response time – 23 hours 25 minutes – August 25

response time

Process

The new site design is something we have been working on for a long time now. It was a slow process, and we had to go through a few iterations and designers to work out something we were happy with.

We wanted something that represented strength and support and thought the bridge concept worked well with our name being about a learning curve. We began this project quite a few months ago but we’ve had our developers working on internal projects, so it’s taken us a while to get the site live. The feedback on the new branding has been amazing and we are really happy with it.

67,897 visits in August

Traffic dropped slightly to 67,987 sessions this month. We’ve lost some SEO traction on some of our classic performers and our new content did not get as many shares as we were hoping for.

Traffic sources

The simple trick for growing your email list by 10,000 subscribers (written by Walter Chen of iDoneThis) made the front page of Inbound this month. This is a community of entrepreneurs and marketers and an excellent source of traffic.

We also had a small stream of traffic coming from Elegant Themes. Elegant Themes is a leading marketplace for premium WordPress themes and plugins. They link to many of these monthly reports.

traffic sources

Top Pages

Our post WordPress speed – How to reduce your load time to under 1 second lost some organic traffic this month. Since this is one of the main problems we solve for our customers, we want to keep this post strong. We are considering creating a content upgrade to add to the post and finding new ways to promote it and climb back up in the rankings.

top pages

Content

Events

speaking

Dan spoke at 3 events in August. The Digital Summit in Brisbane and Melbourne and Problogger. Dan has been having a great time telling our story and spreading the word about how we’ve grown our business using content marketing. At each event, he ran into a lot of people who use the service, including many of the speakers.

Dan also released his book Content Machine which became a #1 best seller in web marketing on Amazon. It was downloaded 8,000 times in the first 3 days.

Email List Growth

We had a 3% growth in our email list subscriptions this month. This is from a few new lead magnets that we released to add value to some of our new and evergreen content.

We created the Trello quick start kit to add to our posts where we reference Trello. It is meant to give people a few templates for boards to get started with. We worked to make the board templates easy to use and flexible enough to fit many different team sizes and dynamics. One of the boards in this kit was featured on the Trello website as inspiration for content management. It was a big honor to be featured there.

The Critical tools for online business is a list of the tools that we use in our business and play a key role in our day-to-day operations. This is meant to help entrepreneurs find reliable tools for marketing, accounting, project management, customer service and tech support.

The Slack quick start checklist is an upgrade for our post The quick start guide to Slack for startups. It’s designed to take the key points from the post and put them in an interactive checklist that a reader can share with their team. We wanted to make it as simple and easy to use as possible because we understand how difficult it can be to change the way a team communicates.

Tools for scaling content marketing: 305 new subscribers

Website review template: 109 new subscribers

Trello quick start kit: 73 new subscribers

Slack quick start checklist: 17 new subscribers

Critical tools for online business: 10 new subscribers

Content overview

We only had 1 breakout hit this month. Though we had good comment engagement on our posts, we were disappointed in the number of social shares we are seeing on our content.

This month, we are going revisit our content strategy and rework our approach and goals for our content. We think this will not only make for a better experience for our readers, but also lead to more opt-ins and social shares. We’ll share the details once they have been solidified next month.

The simple trick for growing your email list by 10,000 subscribers: 75 Tweets, 1,364 visits

15 content research tools no marketing campaign should do without:  48 Tweets, 438 visits

The ultimate guide for reducing churn on your product: 45 Tweets, 543 visits

6 Health Hacks To Boost Your Productivity: 15 Tweets, 168 visits

The quick start guide to Slack for startups: 35 Tweets, 177 visits

A simple process for team task automation with Trello and Zapier: 31 Tweets, 1,014 visits

Amplifying your company’s growth through customer referrals: 11 Tweets, 196 visits

15% growth in traffic and pricing changes – July 2015 monthly report: 12 Tweets, 378 visits

5 sequences to get you started with email automation: 32 Tweets, 1,139 visits

Info about this report

We do these reports to help other entrepreneurs get real information about running a startup. Dan did the 1st report in 2012 when he was earning $0. Here is the full archive. Here is a post we wrote recently on some monthly income reports from other startups. If you like the reports, we’d love you to share it.

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About

Kyle is the founder of Conversion Cake . He is the author of "The College Entrepreneur" A book for students who want to break into entrepreneurship. Follow him @kylethegray

  • Hey Kyle, tried to download the trello quick start guide and it hasn’t been delivered. You may want to check to see it’s setup up with LeadPages or Infusionsoft so the lead magnet actually gets sent. Can you double check?

    • Hey Greg,

      Thanks for letting me know! I think I may have resolved the problem now. I can send you the boards if you write me – kyle at wpcurve dot com.

  • The new site design is pretty smooth!

  • Ryan Tan

    Hey guys, links for “Slack Quick Start” and “Critical Tools” are mixed up. 🙂

  • Excuse my stupidity, Kyle, but am I right in thinking that “monthly run rate” is the annual profit for the company projected from that month’s revenue and costs?

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