$66,596 monthly run rate, 11% increase in traffic, and big events – May 2015 monthly report

Welcome the May monthly report for WP Curve. Revenue remains about the same, but we have made some great progress with our content and traffic. Let’s see what happened in May:

$66,596 monthly run rate

MRR

Actual revenue is generally a bit higher than run rate because we only take 1/12 of annual plans into account in the run rate calculation and we have small amounts of revenue from other sources.

We reached 831 total customers with a slight increase of 5 customers for the month. Our run rate has grown from $66,154 to $66,596. We are going through a consolidation phase where we test prices and a few other things, and we are confident the growth will pick up again once that is complete’.

People, product and process

People

Alex has been away but Julie and Charles have been keeping the people stuff in order. Romar is doing a weekly team report so we are all up to speed on what is happening. Charles has been working on better processes for service delivery.

We haven’t been hiring because our current team is on top of our jobs. We have a few things we are working on over the next few weeks that should see us hiring again.

Our team is currently up to 40 members.

Product

Our customer happiness score increased by 2 points this month. We have been able to slowly push this score up over the last few months with new team and quality assurance processes. Our goal is to consistently achieve a score of 95.

Customer happiness

Featured Happy Customer – Joseph S. “Great just doesn’t cut it – Fantastic would be more in line with reality. Very impressed with the level and quality of service of WP Curve as well as the level of dedicated professionalism of your staff. Well done and keep up the fantastic work!”

907 jobs completed – This is a 4% increase over last month.

customers helped

Response time was strong this month, except for a single day that drove our average response time up. 10 hours and 59 minutes is not bad, but we have a goal of keeping this below 8 hours.

  • Average first response – 10 hours 59 minutes
  • Lowest response time – 2 hours 59 minutes – May 30
  • Highest response time – 3 days 0 hours – May 4

First response time

Process

Dan has been working with Bert and Andrew on our client system with a focus on automated billing and invoice management. Because we use Stripe as well as PayPal it’s a little bit tricky and has required a fair bit of custom work.

This is what the system does:

  1. Lists all of our clients by bringing in subscriptions from Infusionsoft and breaks them up into recurring and one off.
  2. It enables us to quickly search them.
  3. It speaks to Stripe to confirm that the payment has been made in Stripe and that they are an active customer. If there is no payment in Stripe, it will set them aside for manual review. It could be that they are a PayPal customer or it could be that they are no longer a customer or there is a payment issue and Infusionsoft hasn’t been updated. We have an automated process each month where the admin team checks the PayPal subscriptions (we only have a few) to double check that no one is slipping through. We set this up using Schedule Zap in Zapier which creates a task in Trello.
  4. There is also a failed payments tab for when payments fail, and we put them on a sequence in Infusionsoft to get them back on board. We have been doing this manually, but it will now be automated.
  5. It also enables us to quickly mark customers as VIP so their jobs only go through to the senior devs.

This has taken a fair bit of work but it will be nice to have this out of the way so we can get back to building features that directly improve the experience.

Website traffic

Web traffic increased by 11% from with 55,426 in April to 63,421 visits in May.

Web Visitors

Traffic sources

We were mentioned in a great post by Elegant Themes titled “The 14 Most Influential WordPress Businesses in Existence”. This brought lots of qualified and valuable traffic to our site over the month, and we were honored to be included in such an amazing list of startups.

We also saw a spike in traffic coming from StumbleUpon. The majority of this traffic landed on “Using Google Analytics to determine if your content is generating leads.“ Although this boost in traffic is nice, you can tell by the high bounce rate that it is not very valuable traffic.

Traffic sources

Top Pages

Our post “17 Slack integrations to spice up your team communication“ has been ranking well in search and driving fresh traffic to our site.

The new article “How Russ Perry grew a multiple 6 figure business in 106 days“ was a runaway hit on social media and was well received by our audience. It was great to see how encouraging our community and audience is for entrepreneurs doing great things. Congratulations on the success Russ!

top pages

Email List Growth

Our email list grew by 604 subscribers in May.

email

Content

Processes

We have been developing new email sequences as lead magnets for some of our most popular posts. We are close to implementing them on our posts that consistently drive organic traffic. We have also been developing a new content marketing email course that will share and explain some of our evergreen content strategies, as well as some new methods we have been implementing. This should be a compelling lead magnet for any of our posts that focus on content marketing.

Events

Dan has been actively getting out to events and speaking about the WP Curve journey. He spoke at 2 great events in May.

Tropical Think Tank

Chris Ducker’s Tropical Think Tank was an amazing event. 50 entrepreneurs, strategically ‘stranded’ on an Island resort in the Philippines, with non stop entrepreneurial activity.

The first 2 days were the speakers dinner and speakers mastermind. It was a great opportunity to meet some online legends and discuss business with some very smart people. Some of these included John and Kate from Entrepreneur on Fire, Lewis Howes and James Schramko.

The following 3 days were jam packed with keynote talks and mastermind sessions. In the afternoons there were dinners and parties and of course podcasting in the pool.

You can check out the podcast here: Poolcast II LIVE from Tropical Think Tank in Cebu Philippines

Dan made lifelong friendships and had an amazing experience. If you ever get a chance to go, it’s highly recommended (there are only 50 tickets each year).

Here are a few posts with more detailed wrap ups of the event:

http://kellyexeter.com.au/tropical-think-tank-2015

http://www.themerrymakersisters.com/tropical-think-tank/

Dan spoke on the first day of the general conference about how he started WP Curve and grew it through content marketing. This was part of his upcoming book http://contentmachine.com/.

WP Elevation Recurring Revenue

Towards the end of the month Dan presented at Troy Dean’s recurring revenue workshop in Melbourne.

This was a one day workshop, but jam packed with amazing speakers like Nathan Chan from Foundr mag and Ed Dale from, well he pretty much invented internet marketing didn’t he?

The content was first class and the 50 attendees started building an actual recurring revenue business that day.

We aren’t sure what Troy’s plans are for the model, but if you are interested in building a business like WP Curve this was an excellent place to start.

You can find a writeup of the workshop here

Dan spoke about building WP Curve and how he went about making decisions early on to ensure long term growth.

Content overview

May was a fantastic month for content. We saw a strong increase in traffic and lots of engagement in comments and social shares. 6 out of 10 of our posts were breakout hits this month, and 2 more posts were only a few tweets away from being considered a hit as well.

How Russ Perry grew a multiple 6 figure business in 106 days – 2,903 visits, 50 Tweets. It’s also worth noting this post scored 259 Facebook likes/comments and 91 posts on Linkedin.

The step-by-step Facebook retargeting guide: Get more conversions from your existing traffic – 2,082 visits, 103 Tweets

Content marketing, the most important startup growth channel [SURVEY RESULTS] – 1,263 visits, 149 Tweets

How to revolutionize your team communication with Slack – 1,202 visits – 50 Tweets

Minimalist design: an offer you can’t refuse – 1,171 visits, 52 Tweets

How to design customer success into your content strategy 444 visits, 50 Tweets

Where to work? home office, coffee shop, or coworking space? – 738 views, 42 Tweets

A simple system for effective team communication – 281 visits, 30 Tweets

How to turn duplicate content into search traffic using WordPress tags – 501 visits, 27 Tweets

$66,154 run rate and content updates – April 2015 monthly report – 293 visits, 8 Tweets

Any questions?

Please let us know in the comments below.

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

  • DirtCheapStartup

    Big fans of everything you guys are doing. Crazy fast growth is great but quality growth is hard…Also worth every penny! The transparency here is very motivating!

    I was actually really inspired by your story and after reading the 7 Day Startup (twice) decided to launch a lead magnet marketplace http://www.marketingmarket.net (think themeforest for lead magnets)

    But will also be launching along side of it, a monthly plan whereby customers can signup for Lead Magnets as a service every single month…

    Check out the free template (no email optin required) at marketingmarket.net/free

    We would be honored by your feedback 🙂

    • Cool idea man, join the 7DSU Facebook group if you want direct feedback on stuff like this. Good luck!

      • DirtCheapStartup

        Dan! Thanks so much for the feedback man. Will be joining ASAP!

  • Harry

    Its a very good run rate in a small amount of time. I have followed your journey from your last business and I would love to have those stats coming in from content marketing. I have also implemented a content marketing strategy though I’m finding it hard to get myself to stick to sitting and writing. More power to the both of us.

  • Valeriu Vetiul

    Hey Kyle! Can you tell me which plugin (if it’s a plugin) do you use for the newletter subscription box at the bottom of the post?

    Thanks!

  • Hi Kyle, impressive figures!

    I’m putting together an income roundup report and would love to feature your blog on it if I may?

    In the meantime keep up the good work.

    Raj

  • Hamid

    @disqus_THHKKV3m5L:disqus since you sound trustable do you have contact information where you can help me source?

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