Hey! I am Rich, the maker of Failory, where I interview failed and successful entrepreneurs. A few months ago Failory became a transparent side-project and I began to share the numbers and strategies openly. Today, I have just published Failory June report.
June was a special month. I went on a trip for the first two weeks and I got completely disconnected from Failory. Despite this, I somehow managed to get viral on HN twice, which meant thousands of users into the website. The newsletter also grew a lot and Failory Twitter account got many new followers.
Go on reading to learn about the marketing strategies I carried out, Failory monthly numbers, a revenue & expenses report and my objectives for next month.
During the last few months, I haven't had the time and opportunity to try new marketing strategies and different channels, such as Pinterest and Quora. Instead, I got focused on building new cool small projects, which I am about to launch.
That's why, regarding marketing, I kept doing what it has worked before: Content Promotion and Social Media. Content promotion was one more time, the strategy that led to the biggest percentage of traffic in June. The main reason for this was getting viral on HN twice in the same week. Social media also meant a lot of traffic, as one of my tweets also got (kind of) viral. Lastly, the website's SEO ranking kept improving, which organically drove a lot of users into Failory blog posts and interviews.
I only published 4 pieces of content in June: 2 interviews with successful entrepreneurs, 1 with a failed startup owner, and a guest post article. 2 of these pieces of content went viral on Hacker News. So I can say that the 50% of the content I published in June went viral on HN!
The first interview that went viral was the one I published with James Rose, the founder of Content Snare. I published it on June 28 and promoted it on a few communities and websites. I believed that the story would fit Hacker News audience, as James used to work on a company when he got tired and decided to build his own SaaS. This sort of “overcoming stories” tend to do it well on HN, so I decided to put a lot of focus on promoting it correctly there. I chose a title, submitted it and sent James the link. When I refreshed the page only a few minutes later, the interview has already received +5 upvotes and was featured on the homepage. I immediately went to Google Analytics and discovered that +100 users were on the website.
The post ended up the day with 143 upvotes and 44 comments (mostly positive feedback).
The interview has already received 21,937 page views. 16,030 (73.07%) came from Hacker News and 3,615 (16.48%) from other direct ways.
The second interview that went “viral” on Hacker News was the one I published with Shanti, maker of Phez, a failed Reddit clone that rewarded users with Bitcoin. I also thought this interview was going to do it well on HN because it included lots of topics that developers are usually interested into such as Bitcoins, Ruby on Rails and Reddit.
After a few minutes of submitting the interview on Hacker News, it hadn't almost received any upvotes. However, some people then did it so the interview reached the front page of HN and stayed there for a few minutes. It only received 17 points and 16 comments, but it still meant a lot of traffic.
It has already received 3,000 page views, which means 4.44% of the total page views of June, and I still have to promote it in a few different communities.
I scheduled two tweets per day in June, even for the days I was on the trip. But this strategy didn't mean a lot of new subscribers and people getting to know Failory. Instead, what led to a big amount of traffic was a tweet I sent a few days ago launching the Open page, in which you can find a revenue & expenses graph, a traffic chart, and all my monthly reports.
I wrote this nice tweet with an attractive image and tagged Peter Levels, an entrepreneur with lots of Twitter followers who started with this /open page movement. Luckily, he re-tweeted it and lots of people saw it. The tweet has received 19,861 impressions, 574 link clicks, 94 likes and 9 retweets.
As I have already explained, I didn't have time to put a lot of efforts into marketing in June, so I did not carry out any SEO strategy. Anyway, organic search was the second acquisition channel that brought into the website the biggest amount of users (4,851), after “Social”, representing the 25.94% of the total (18,703). 4,698 out of 4,851 were new users which means the 96.84%. These users visited the website in 5,866 different sessions and the duration of the average session was 2:38 (not bad!).
Regarding the SEO acquisition, there were three pages that got almost all the SEO traffic of the month. Some other pages also received some clicks on organic searches, but they can not be even compared with the first three ones.
Something completely different happened with the queries. There are lots of keywords that got almost the same amount of clicks and impressions.
Let's take a look at June's numbers and analytics.
18,725 users entered to the website in June, 17,843 of which (95.28%) were new. They did in 22,942 different sessions and visited 67,657 pages.
Regarding Failory demographics overview, these were the top ten countries with more users:
The 18,725 users came from different channels. 9,208 (49.16%) did it from social channels (especially Hacker News and Twitter), 4,853 (25.91%) did it from organic searches, and 3,753 (20.04%) from direct channels.
Lastly, these were the pages that were visited by more users:
As I have already explained, I had a viral tweet which meant not only a big amount of traffic but also many new Twitter followers.
Failory email list had 4,690 email subscribers at the end of May. It now has 4,992. So, I now have 302 new subscribers. This means the list has grown by 6.44%, at a rate of 10.06 new email subscribers per day. Open and click rates have remained almost the same.
Revenue & Expenses
I didn't have the time to get any sponsorship in June, neither on the website nor in the newsletter. However, I earned some money from Amazon Affiliates. As two interviews got viral on HN, many people clicked on the link to the books recommended by interviewees and bought them. This meant 46 ordered items and a total earning of $36.76. Before this, I didn't believe that you could earn some real money through Amazon Affiliates, but I am now realizing how it works.
Regarding expenses, I only had to pay for the Webflow hosting, which costs $20. So June was a profitable month although I only earned $16.76.
Last month I didn't set up any goals as I knew I was going to travel. But let's set some easy-to-reach goals for next month:
- Get +20,000 page views
- Get +300 email subscribers
- Sell one sponsorship
- Launch a cool page or project
That's all for this monthly report. Thanks for reading!
Original report published here!