I knew from other LEGO projects that Christmas and Black Friday is the busiest season, and expected a traffic uptick for Brick Insights in December. But I was pleasantly surprised! With 8.2k users and 25.1k page views we did much better than the 5.3k users and 18k page views we had in November. I attribute this to a few things:
I finished a "recommended or not"-feature and added it to the widgets embedded on other sites. In addition to letting people know at a glance if a set has polarising reviews or not, it has increased the click-through rate quite a bit.
I improved the on-site SEO. I tweaked the meta description, and adjusted the schema markup (adding each review, not just the aggregate). Google (and Baidu, which was unexpected) picked up on this. Brick Insights is increasingly getting higher positions in the SERP according to Search Console.
Traffic is pretty evenly split between referrals and SEO at this point in time. We'll probably see a drop in January.
Work continues. I'm doing quite a bit behind the scenes: migrating to a new host, finishing a graphql api and improving the data quality.
The past two years have been interesting, and I'm glad to have built this project. It feels good to be near the stage where I can rely on the data enough to experiment with additional income streams. That will be my focus during 2020, starting with the following:
Predicting which LEGO sets will appreciate/depreciate in value (got a decently functioning model for this) and perhaps dabble in reselling
Selling access to the API
Using the API to sell desktop apps and detailed analyses to other LEGO builders and collectors
All while still keeping the main site free as a testing ground
It was a long road to get here, but it feels I've finally validated the usefulness of the data. I'm glad to have been able to contribute something back to a hobby that has given me a lot of joy over the years.