One of the things that I talked about earlier in January as part of the changes that I was making to the overall Casual Marketer business was that I was putting in place some metrics for tracking progress and setting some KPIs for myself.
What I hadn’t really thought much about doing was sharing some of that information publicly or keeping everyone up to date. Over the course of the last few weeks, I had a few people ask me how I was going against my targets.
I understand the curiosity, that’s something that I often have with respect to how other people are doing.
I figured that what I would do is maybe a brief update every month on where I’m tracking against a few of those key metrics and what I’m doing to impact them either positively or negatively.
This isn’t about “accountability” – I’m covered in that department. I hold myself to a pretty high standard, I don’t need help.
I won’t be going into specific numbers, but I’ll talk about growth percentages against my targets and try to find some insight into why thing are the way they are.
This is also partly for me – it’s like my end of the month business analysis session.
Ok, here we go.
The first metric that I’m tracking is traffic to the Casual Marketer website.
Let me be perfectly honest, the traffic volume at the moment is embarrassingly low – it wasn’t something that I spent any real time on developing and that impacted me negatively in lead generation over the last two years.
For 2018, I’ve set a VERY aggressive growth target for myself with respect to traffic – to meet that number, I’m going to have to lift my content, SEO and social game for this site considerably.
Month on month, traffic is up to my site about 25% this month overall. There’s a 35% increase in search and a large uptick in social traffic as I’ve focused on those.
This increase has the trendline moving the right way, but I need to seriously grow that traffic over the next couple months to get the growing average up.
To meet that target, I’ve got my team going back, creating images for old daily emails and we’re publishing them as blog posts now – that’s a lengthy process, but we’re getting through it slowly which is good.
I’m also starting to share some of the daily posts in my Casual Marketer Academy Facebook Group which you’re free to join.
We’re going to do more work on this front in February and keep up the progress.
Email List Growth
The next metric is email list growth.
This has been disappointing in January, but I probably deserve it. I haven’t sorted out proper lead magnets and the overall strategy right now is being poorly executed by myself. I need to get this remedied in February. Having all this additional traffic come to the site and not capturing emails is pointless.
Overall, the list size was flat. I have an aggressive growth target for my list this year, so this was disappointing.
More work will need to be done here.
Udemy Average Monthly Revenue
Of my six core metrics, two are revenue related, but that’s kind of a misleading KPI because it’s a trailing indicator and there aren’t really any other leading indicators.
Quick breakdown on those two ideas if you’re not familiar.
A trailing indicator is a metric that tells you how successful something is after the fact – it measures previous outcomes.
A leading indicator is really a predictor that you’re moving in the right direction towards a bigger objective.
So in context – by tracking my traffic growth and my email list growth and driving those results, I know that revenue growth will be a byproduct of just making the right offers at the right time.
With respect to Udemy, because it’s largely passive for me, there really isn’t a set of leading indicators that make sense for me. I know some people track the number of courses they create because that does drive revenue, but I’m not interested in turning Udemy into a content creation job.
I set a number I’d like to get to as my minimum monthly revenue and am tracking my moving average monthly revenue to establish a trendline.
It’s trending up and as a moving average, it looks like I’ll exceed my target in August, which would be good. I’m cautious because January is always a good month on Udemy, so that skews results.
We’ll keep a watching brief on this in February.
Monthly Affiliate Revenue
I have had pretty good success over the years as an affiliate whenever I’ve concentrated on doing it properly. To get Casual Marketer where I want it to be at the end of this two-year cycle, I need to build a reasonable stream of affiliate income on a consistent basis.
To measure this, I set myself a very average monthly target, which should be entirely achievable this year if I do things the right way.
I keep talking about “doing it properly” and “doing things the right way”. That’s important – I’m not going to just start promoting everything. My focus will be on sharing stuff that I’m using personally and things I think might legitimately help people.
This month the numbers have been ok – basically, the trendline is headed in the right direction and at this rate, I’d hit my target later in the year.
There are two other metrics that I’m tracking that aren’t really relevant or interesting to anyone other than myself and they probably won’t move from month-to-month so I’m not going to talk about them.
In simple terms, I would say January 2018 has been a 6.5/10 for achieving my objectives.
That might be a bit harsh, but I think I let myself down with my lead generation efforts. That’s a critical number for me this year so I need to get my act together on that front and in February this is going to be a big area of attention along with continuing to grow traffic overall.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, you can reply to this and your email comes directly into my inbox.