We’ve now formally closed out the first quarter and I’ve tabulated my KPIs for March 2018, so I guess it’s time to get into breaking things down a bit.
I’ll start with a bit of commentary in general about the first quarter before getting into the specific KPI areas and talking about performance.
Right off the top, I’d say that from a personal satisfaction perspective with my performance, I’d give myself a 6 out of 10 for March and realistically, for the quarter as a whole.
Getting my book out the door in March was a highlight and I’m pretty proud of myself for that. Not only that, I got the Audible and Paperback versions published as well, so that’s pretty cool. If you haven’t picked it up yet, I’d love you to buy it and leave me a review on Amazon.
The other thing that’s gone well is the Casual Marketer Facebook Group over the last two months. We had big growth months in February and March which is awesome and if you haven’t joined, you should. Over the last week or two, I’ve fallen off the wagon in sharing content driving people back to my website because of Easter and a few other things going on, but I’m going to sort that out in the next day or so.
Looking forward to this coming quarter, there’s going to be a big focus on getting some existing projects completed and setting myself up for a big second half. I think I was spinning too many plates this last quarter, so it’s a matter of cutting down and just clearing the decks over the next three months.
Alright, let’s see where we ended up against the KPIs for March.
March was just a continuation of the effort that I started in February to drive more visitors to the site via my Udemy students and the Facebook Group. Traffic was up 114% from January to February and adjusted for the few days in February, March was up 25% again.
That’s not a bad result, but it’s not great either for a couple reasons.
The biggest one is that Organic traffic was only up 20% month on month which is a bit low. I deserve that mediocre result because other than publishing these emails and blog posts, I’m not really doing much to drive that result. The second quarter will have some work in it for fixing this, but the real effort will happen in the second half of the year.
Also, I lost momentum on driving traffic from the Facebook Group to the site – that hurt the last week of the month a fair bit, so I need to sort that out in the next day or so and get it back on track.
So traffic growth is always good, but to reach my goal for the end of the year, I need to grow traffic to the site by 35% per month, compound growth from here on out.
I’m optimistic about that goal still, so that’s good.
Email List Size
Last month I described the results in this area as a “funny” because there were a bunch of soft bounces that pulled down the numbers. I also mentioned that I am pretty aggressive with cleaning out old addresses so that tends to have a negative effect on the aggregate number.
This month had another one of those weird events – Yahoo culled a bunch of emails from their service. Maybe they were old or whatever, but I woke up one morning and saw a ton of subscribers had “hard bounced” overnight.
Overall, a bunch of my growth got eaten up by that, so the number didn’t quite grow the way I wanted it to.
That said, in under two weeks, there was a 2.5% total list growth from people buying my book and joining my list, so that’s exciting and shows that strategy works.
To meet my end of year target (which was pretty aggressive), I’m going to need about 17.5% month-on-month growth of my email list which will be tough unless I seriously lift my email optin game.
Which will be something I spend some time on in this coming quarter and throughout the second half of the year.
Udemy Average Monthly Revenue
Not much to talk about here – I was expecting an average month in March and it ended up being slightly better than average which is good for me. March 2018 was up 50% over March 2017, so that’s solid.
I think I’m still on track to get to the average monthly figure that I’m looking for by the end of the year without really having to do too much.
But I am going to do stuff – in the second quarter of this year, my plan is to release at least one new Udemy course on my own and MAYBE a second one with my friend Scott Duffy (although this one could slip to July).
Udemy is also spinning off a nice volume of people now into my Facebook Group and back to my website, which is a good outcome long term.
Monthly Affiliate Revenue
Slow month on the affiliate side as it relates to Casual Marketer. Last month I had the unexpected windfalls for TransferWise and some old Kindle revenue, but no such luck this month.
I’m not fussed about this result because I wasn’t really expecting it to pick up until sometime in the second half of the year when I knuckled down on some of the bigger revisions to the Casual Marketer site. That’s also still planned, so we’ll see about getting traction as the back half of the year wears on.
In terms of where I am against the KPI for the year? Well, the windfalls have thrown out the numbers – so in terms of statistics, I’m way ahead. But in terms of it being a consistent earner, I think I’m on track.
Again, a passing grade for the month and the quarter, but it was one of those average 6 out of 10 quarters. My goal for the year is to be a solid 8, so there’s work to do which is great because it gives you something to shoot for.
I think in the next month or two, I’m going to rejig the KPI categories a bit so I can take into account more broadly my focus on growing the info product part of the Casual Marketer business – courses on my own site, Udemy and books as well.
The upside for you reading this is that you’ll get more insights into how and why I’m doing things within this part of my business.
Anyway, I’m still happy with the progress for the year so far, but it’s time to start getting a bit more serious because to meet my targets, in a few important areas, I need to start pulling some big numbers and if I don’t start, they only keep getting bigger and harder to do.