I’d like to preface this by saying that it’s not intended to be a complaint, or to blame anybody for my perceived shortcoming. I understand there’s a lot that I still need to do to achieve the level I desire, and that there are things I could have done better/differently along the way. This is just a commentary on a process that I’ve been through. A sorta “results report.” Cool?
I’m learning that no matter what I thought in the beginning, getting traffic and conversions is a lot harder than it seems. Even having big names promote your work and appear on your site is not a guarantee that visitors will come, or that those who do will hand over their email address.
My site’s been up and running for about half a year. In addition to tapping into some pretty big pools of potential visitors, I’ve had some pretty good exposure with people of influence. Some of that exposure has been by my design in the form of interviews. Some has been to my surprise.
In the beginning I was really excited. I was so extremely hopeful. I was going to hit 10,000 subscribers by Christmas 2015, I just knew it!
Hehehe . . . that girl . . .
First, I sent out an email to all of my friends and family. “I did it!” I told them. After 9 months of pulling my hair out, I finally launched my site. I invited them to sign up for my email list so they could hear about what was going on. 2 of them did. 2. And neither was my mother.
I did B-School last year. So, I’m part of a huge FB group: 4300 strong. Loads of people launch their websites into that group . . . and there’s a lot of curiosity when somebody does. How does hers look? What is she selling? Is she prettier than me? Does she have 10,000 subscribers yet? Oh my goodness, is she going to be on Marie TV??????
I was sure that when I launched into that group, I’d get 176 subscribers. (I don’t know why I had that number in my head.) The day I did my big unveiling, I had 578 visitors stop by. Exactly 0 of them subscribed. I think 3 commented on my FB post. Clearly I hadn’t done anything that was impressive, or made very much sense to that audience.
I braced myself for all the traffic. I polished up my opt-in, ready for all those downloads. I waited with baited breath . . . for all 19 people who drifted over to read my article. None of whom subscribed.
After that, last fall, Jeff was super generous and posted about me on his Goins, Writer FB page. A cool little write-up about how he believed in what I was doing and believed I would succeed. He encouraged people to check out my work.
I was so humbled, and so grateful.
It got some good play in the FB comments. But I can’t say that it really generated any traffic over on my site or upped my FB like-count. He was even super cool and tweeted about me at the same time and encouraged his audience to go follow me on Twitter – about 5 of them did. There was a mention on Instagram, too. Not much came from that, either.
I did 6 really cool interviews with some pretty big names:
- James Clear (a quarter-million email subscribers)
- Jeremy Cowart (a million social media followers)
- Jeff Goins (over 100,000 subscribers)
- Chris Marlow (Founder of a global non-profit)
- Trivinia Barber (Amy Porterfield’s assistant/owner of Priority VA)
- Kary Oberbrunner (author of 6 books)
That. That was going to make a splash, I was just sure of it. Right?
Well, not so much. Even with half of my interview guests promoting our interview to their audience, it didn’t really bring the throngs my way. And of those that did come, a much smaller number than I would have anticipated actually signed-up with me.
Plenty of great stuff did come from the interviews and the experience itself – most importantly all the people that were helped and educated by our discussions. But in terms of audience building, they were quite short on ROI.
In addition to all of that stuff, I also outfitted my site with all today’s hottest “must haves”:
- The expensive subscription to LeadPages – that has captured not one single address. Not one.
- The SumoMe “slide in” box – that one’s caught a few.
- The MailMunch “top bar” – the best converter of the three.
But just having these on my site has not created mad conversion. In fact, the emails, ads, and affiliate webinars from these companies drive me crazy. Cuz they market and say that their thing is the thing that’s gonna make the difference. It’s not. Their thing alone is not gonna do it.
Seriously . . . all that stuff – seems like any one of them could have brought the house down, right? I sure thought so. And as they passed by, one by one, and didn’t do what I thought they could/should do for my lead capture, I watched my initial platform-building fantasy drift away, and the cold pavement of reality take its place.
It’s important to note that I don’t expect those influencers to do the work for me, nor do I think that I don’t have more work to do. In fact, I absolutely realize that I have loads more work to do.
And, when all this stuff was going on, there were some inherent problems with my overall package – website clarity, my opt-in wasn’t good (still don’t have a good one), I didn’t understand how to promote them well, that kind of thing. (There is a huge learning curve here. I’m still on that curve.)
The point is that these kinds of “events” and site upgrades, in-and-of-themselves, weren’t enough to get loads of traffic or gobs of subscribers. And this really was a wake-up call for me.
And I think it’s important to note that I’ve done some pretty in-depth analysis of what I need to do better and what is/was missing from all these instances. It’s just way too much to include here.
The bottom line is that it’s a building process. One that takes time and effort and consistency. And what I’m learning is that:
- there are a million pieces to this puzzle
- we don’t necessarily know what pieces we need at what time
- we don’t really know how exactly the pieces go together
- the process will look different for every single person
I’m learning that to get the droves of traffic and subscribers requires a special cocktail of somethin’ magical that I’m still cookin’ up.
And as long as I stay true to the heart of my mission to help people, I’ll get there.
It just. Takes. Time. Loads of time.
And work. Lots and lots of work.
So, have you steeled your heart, prepared for the wake-up call, and committed to the long-haul?
Will you share your traffic/conversion story with me? I’d love to hear about your experience. Drop me a line in the comments, hey?