Growth November 9, 2019

30k visits/month, what to do?

Aquiles Carattino @aqui_c

A couple of years ago, I've started a website: Python for the Lab which was a collection of articles complementing workshops I was organizing. The website organically grew to around 30+k visits/month.

Currently, I sell an e-book (between 2 and 5 copies per month), and offer to sign up to a newsletter, which has around 750 subscribers, but I'm not doing anything with the list yet.

My main problem is that the workshops I organize are for a specific niche, mainly physicists doing a Ph.D. or postdoc, but the audience of the website arrives looking for general programming information, not covered on other websites.

I would love to capitalize on the visits the website is attracting, but not sure how. I was considering adding some video tutorials, but they are very time consuming to produce with high standards and is a path hard to validate before producing content.

Any thoughts?

In any case, I will keep maintaining the website, because is a good source of visibility. But if it could be more than that it would be awesome.

  1. 5

    I suggest you to: 1. ask directly to your subscribers how you can help 2. improve the funnel.

    The fact that you have 30k monthly visitors but only 750 email subscribers tells me that the conversion rate should be improved or you are attracting not relevant traffic.

    You can easily understand if you are attracting the wrong people by looking at the time on site and the way the users interact with it.

    For sure, the funnel can be improved. The design is outdated. In the footer, you have "© Python For The Lab 2018", instead of 2019, which, combined with the design, gives the idea that you are actively working on the site.

    The offering ("Get relevant information") to your eventual subscribers is vague. Define a when (e.g. every Monday) and a what. The CTA could be more enticing, for example, start improving your python skills now. Add social proof.

    In some pages, you have the CTA button in green, in others in red. It won't make a huge difference, but it could still be better.

    Between the navigation and the "where to start" section, you give your users too many options. You should use those sections to send people where you want them to go.

    Asking people to buy the book to support you isn't an effective sales strategy. Most of those visitors are on your website for the first time, they don't care about you. Tell them what value they get from the book.

    Why did you choose that price? Are there many books that talk about the same topics? If not, you should consider a much higher price. I saw niche e-books sold for $100. At least, you could test and see the impact on conversions.

    1. 3

      Great reply

    2. 1

      Many of the things you mentioned are going to be solved in the coming two weeks. I've hired a designer to improve on the website. I paid much more attention to the content than to the looks of it, but it was time for a revamp. Let's see if that has any impact in the numbers.

      I am sure that people reaching my website are looking for answers that my book does not provide. I mean, the book is for a very specific niche, while the articles help a variety of programmers. I thought in trying to add a broader offer of books, but as you can imagine, writing books is a multi-semester thing, and without validation is a high-risk endeavour. Indeed, asking my subscribers, or even the guests of the websites is a good idea. As soon as the new design is out, I'll send them a message.

      You say that my subscription rate is low, what would you say is a reasonable sign-up rate to a newsletter? To be honest, I don't see value in newsletters, and thus I am very surprised that so many people decide to voluntarily give away their e-mail in exchange for something so vague as what I say on my website.

      I will think about the pricing of the book. It is symbolic, since they can get the book for free from github. Perhaps I could try the approach of leanpub, where people pay as much as they feel like...

      Anyways, thank you a lot for your feedback!

  2. 2

    A path you could go down is ads. You could partner with different companies to sponsor your emails that go out to your mailing list subscribers. You could also run them on the page.

    I'd also look into redesign/simplifying your above the fold content. I had a hard time glancing at it. Specially the mailing list form.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the feedback!
      The redesign of the website is on its way, this time done by a professional designer and not by me.

      I would really like to avoid going the sponsor way, I am a bit sick of ads online, I want to be a generator of value. In other words, I would like to be in the position of being a sponsor of a newsletter or website and not on the other side.

      In the end, I don't mind if my website doesn't make money, I enjoy generating the content. I wanted to see if someone with a fresh pair of eyes had an idea of what could be done once you are attracting this amount of people

    1. 2

      Thanks! Nice suggestions!

      1. 1

        You got it!

  3. 1

    For starter put there a donation button. Something nicely designed to attract attention. Lots of people using resources like yours are willing to support those resources.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the suggestion! I wanted to avoid the donate button, since I would prefer people to actually get something in return besides what I am already making public and free. Perhaps I can just give it a try to see what happens ;-)

  4. 1

    Hey there,

    Congrats on your monthly visits.

    I wouldn't sell ebooks.

    Here's why:

    • Writing ebooks takes time.
    • The price of an ebook sticks to under $19.
    • Ebooks offer limited perceived value.

    The good thing?

    Your website consists of limited and hard to find information.

    I would create something that I will sell right away.

    You should create a product on the get-go!

    Take a look at the product launch formula by Jeff Walker.

    You need to take a look at the Seed Launch campaign.

    You can google it.

    If you need help, you can hit me up [email protected]

    1. 1

      I'm not sure I understand what you mean by product on the get-go?

      I've googled Jeff Walker, it seems interesting, but also, there are so many barriers to get to the useful data that I just desisted. It made me feel like: "look, I make millions online, join my course" type of thing. Perhaps you have a more direct link to useful information?