I recently glanced at our SEO videos subdomain and was disappointed with the layout and formatting, so I spent the last couple days adding videos, categorizing them, and adding introductory text. With that subdomain only having 1% of our overall traffic, it hints at how bad the old formatting was. Please let me know what you think of the new subdomain.
Things have been going quite well since we formally launched the SEO community and training program.
- I have been blown away by the quality of discussion on the forums. On more than one occasion I have opened up a number of tabs for answering different questions, answered a question, and then looked at how great another answer was by different members who answered quicker than I did, where I erased my answer to write "____'s answer was better." It is inspiring to see the community work out that well so early on.
- In less than 2 months since formally launching I have made over 2,000 forum posts, and it seems this business model scales better than the old model and offers much better interaction between clients and I. Rather than trying to rush to get through all the emails (as one does when they get 100's every day) there is enough time to really interact with customers. The back and forth and variety of participants really enhances learning, and helps me focus on what training modules to create.
- Yesterday I figured out how to embed YouTube videos in the forums, and today we got cool new smilies (white hat, black hat, Google, spam, money, and a cheers mug)
- The first month after launch I was able to make 4 video PowerPoint training modules. I got nothing but great feedback on those and want to see if I can create at least a few of them a month. Ideally I would make one a week, but eventually I will end up running out of topics at that pace. I have not been creating much video content for the blog because I want to make most of that stuff subscriber only. I probably need to figure out some balance on this front.
- In the last 3 weeks we had 2 conferences and finished up taxes, and yet were able to keep up fine with both the forum and email. That bodes well for future growth potential and scalability.
- I use Google Docs to take notes on what to update and what to add to our monthly newsletters. Google recently over-wrote one of these, but luckily I had a saved offline copy and was able to restore it.
- Recently I did way too many interviews. I think it is important to be aggressive with self promotion when you do new launches, but I bet my interviews would have been better received if I spaced some of them out. I got to feeling a bit unoriginal because when you do that many interviews the questions tend to overlap, and so do some of the answers.
- The developer of our Rank Checker extension just had another baby (or his wife did). So updates to that will take a bit. I plan on creating a bunch more software, but much of it will likely be decentralized due to the added reliability and cost benefit of decentralization. The decentralization does not lock in users as well as the centralization model does, but at the end of the day if the product is better that is all that matters.
- In the background of all that I did a joint venture partnership with another big player in our space. I just saw the first version of some of that work and it is looking quite exciting. More news on that front coming soon.
The percentage of site traffic that comes to our blog is now down to ~ 40%. I hope to keep growing traffic, but drive that down to about 30% by the time the year is out, through expanding our training program, community, and tools offerings. There is lots of growth opportunity in creating more tools and improving the integration between our training modules and our community forums.
I have a couple more blog posts I want to make in the next few days, but I am going to start focusing more efforts on cross integrating the community forums with the training modules, and looking for other ways to add value to the membership area of the site.
There are also a few lead content ideas kicking around in my head. I hope to have at least one or two of these done before the month is out. Thanks for reading even though my publishing has been a bit sporadic. Hopefully a few of those features will help make up for that.
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