Entrepreneurship Journal, 4/24/2017

I’m going to separate this Entrepreneurship Journal entry, and maybe every entry for a while, into three sections: Product, Training and Development.


I recently came up with a four-step plan for Angular on Rails:

1. 3X opt-ins/mo
2. 2X average sale size
3. 2X traffic
4. 2X average sale size again

I realized later that my plan has a flaw. When I was talking about 3X’ing my opt-ins per month, did I mean 3X the opt-in rate or the absolute number of opt-ins? I think I meant the absolute number of opt-ins, which is problematic. The absolute number of opt-ins could be doubled by simply doubling traffic, which would make the goal of increasing opt-ins kind of irrelevant.

I don’t care that much anymore, anyway. Look what I recently did to my opt-ins:

drip opt ins

You can see that my opt-in rate had been kind of falling for a while and then in the last two weeks it shot back up. I think this is because I added an “ad” on each page for my Free Guide. If you click the ad, it takes you to the home page, where you can opt in.

free guide ad

I also did some certain things to try to 2X my average sale size. Previously, I had three product tiers: $39, $89 and “custom”. My average sale was something like $37. (A lot of my products are bought at a discount with a coupon code. That’s how the average can be less than the cheapest product.) The sales page really steered people toward the $39 product, too, because I felt like the $89 product was out of date and I didn’t really want people to buy it.

Then I refreshed my $89 product and changed the prices to $49, $99 and $250+. I also steered people toward the $99 product. Two times $37 is $74. My thinking is that if most people buy the $99 product, that can get me up to a $74 average.

So that leaves just two steps of my plan:
– 2X traffic
– 2X average sale size again

Doubling traffic is no big mystery. If I write more blog posts, I’ll get more traffic. 2X’ing the average sale size again will be a little trickier but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

But hang on. Something weird got thrown into the mix. My April started off really strong but then I went 10 days without getting a single sale. This made me step back and re-evaluate things. I figured something might be really wrong.

stripe april

Well, I checked some numbers and ran them past some people and it looks like my conversion rates are fine. Here’s what they are:

– Site-wide opt-in rate: 2.45%
– Opt-in rate from my home page: 24.07%
– Sales page to checkout: 6.45%
– Checkout to purchase: 45%
– Sales page to purchase: 2.9%

According to some people I trust, these numbers are fine. They say what I should focus on is traffic.

Now that I look at it, 10 days with no sales isn’t that crazy. In January 2017 I went 11 days with no sales. I had a 7-day stretch in February with no sales. In March I went SIXTEEN days with no sales. So yeah, I think I just need more traffic.


I have two training engagements coming up soon: one week-long class from May 15 to May 19 and a 5-week bootcamp starting June 12. Preparing for those two classes will fill up the majority of my open time between now and June 12. So I’m not really trying to take on any new work between now and then.

I do need some work for after the bootcamp ends, though. Right now I have two concrete training leads in the pipeline.


I haven’t written any production code for a client since the end of February. This is probably the longest I’ve gone without writing code for money since 2009 when I quit my job in Austin and moved back to Michigan. It’s great.

Having said that, I wouldn’t mind picking up another development gig as long as it were the right kind of project. It’s easier to find coding work than training work and at some point before long I’m going to need some money. I’m planning to reach out to people in my network over the next several weeks to see if I can rustle something up.

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