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How I tripled my MRR to $3.1k in 3 months - Part 1

I’ve been selling courses for over two and a half years on my website, justdjango.com and started working full time on it from March of this year. Since then, I’ve documented the most important decisions I’ve made so far, and how it’s affected the revenue of the site.

This is part 1 of a series of articles I'll be writing about the significant changes I made to my site that helped increase revenue and other metrics.

Part 1 - Subdomain
Part 2 - TBA

This post is specifically about the effect of moving my courses' website to a subdomain.

TLDR;

Moving to a subdomain helps filter out people who aren’t really interested in your courses, at least that's my hypothesis.

Why I moved to a subdomain

The reason I did this was that I had future plans to transform the root domain into more of a central landing page. It would have a contact page, a short about-me, and promote my freelancing work.

But the main focus was to drive people towards the learning platform, on learn.justdjango.com


After effect

I set up a tracking goal in April to see how many people would click on the call-to-action that redirected them to the subdomain.

Plausible goal

Unfortunately, I didn't track this back in March so I can only assume the traffic has been the same or worse. Using Plausible Analytics, you can see the redirect goal achieves just under 20% conversion.

This is quite a big decrease in the original traffic that used to be able to signup for the courses straight away.


Impact on finances and growth

The courses were moved to a subdomain in early April.

Finances

This table compares the numbers for the month of March (before subdomain) and June (3 months after subdomain)

I need to make it clear that moving to a subdomain was not the only big change I made to the site. I made several large changes and I don't think this one helped as much as the others. But I do find it interesting because the number of signups decreased (as we saw from the Plausible data), but the conversion rate increased significantly.

I'd like to believe the increase in the conversion rate is related to the subdomain move because it largely filtered out people who were not interested in taking my courses. The remaining 20% of traffic that went through to the subdomain were much more realistic customers. I can't say for sure that it did help, but I just have a feeling. I'd love to hear your take on this!

Quick related sidenote

Logging in with Google is both good and bad. It’s good because it allows people to quickly login with just a click of a button, which is very convenient. It’s bad because it allows people to essentially window-shop. You can login with Google, take a look around, and then leave and forget about it. Whereas logging in with email and password, to me, feels like it requires a little bit more interest to create an account. If you have an opinion on this thought please leave a comment below. I'd love to discuss it.

  1. 2

    This is really interesting.

    Can you go into more detail on WHY you think the subdomain filtered people out.

    Reason I'm asking is because I can't get my head around why a general user would care. They just click buttons and go to pages; I can't see how it would affect them if they click signup and it goes to

    domain.com/signup

    or

    signup.domain.com

    1. 1

      You're right, a user wouldn't care about what the domain is.

      I think the reason this filtering happened was that the courses were on the original domain for quite a while (more or less 1.5 years).

      As an example, in my YouTube videos, long before the subdomain move, I had been promoting my website. After moving to the subdomain, those people that watched those old YouTube videos and went to the root domain were now greeted with a new website that they couldn't login to (as shown in the YouTube videos). So I believe the people who were not as interested in the courses would just close the tab and move on. Whereas people who were more interested in the courses would see the link in the navbar, or the CTA, and click to go to the subdomain.

  2. 1

    Very interesting. Do you have data before march? To compare to with COVID changes

    1. 1

      Unfortunately, not much except financial data from Stripe

  3. 1

    Congrats man! really insightful post too. Cheers

  4. 1

    great read, where do you host your courses?
    do you have free sample/preview courses?

    1. 1

      I host them on Vimeo. Yes, there are a couple of courses that are available for free on the website when you signup.

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