Entrepreneurship Journal, 9/14/2018

Last time I wrote I described the failed launch of a Ruby testing course I had created. I launched the course to 271 subscribers. When the dust settled I had made exactly one sale for $49. One sale out of 271 subscribers is a 0.37% conversion rate. Not great.

I had said in my last email that I was going to regroup and maybe try launching another product when I had about 500 subscribers. I only have a little over 300 subscribers but I did in fact launch something else. It went a little better this time.

Some time ago, maybe a couple weeks ago, I put up a sales page for a 2-day online Rails testing workshop. I didn’t make it available for sale. I just put a link to get on the waitlist. Six people signed up for the waitlist.

Yesterday, kind of on a whim, I replaced the waitlist link with an actual purchase link and emailed my list, letting them know tickets were available at $50 apiece. Two people bought pretty much immediately and then one other person bought not long after. I’m much happier with this launch than the last one. Three people out of 308 bought, for about a 1% conversion rate. A 1% conversion rate isn’t terrible, especially considering that I didn’t put a whole bunch of time and effort into trying to make this launch really effective.

My plans as of now are:

  1. Have a call with all three Ruby Testing Workshop buyers to understand exactly what their situation is and what kind of help they need
  2. Design the workshop to specifically address the needs of the buyers
  3. Get testimonials from the buyers, maybe even video testimonials
  4. Based on what I learned from this workshop, make my workshop sales page much crisper (my sales page is currently pretty vague because I’m honestly not super sure yet exactly what people want to learn)
  5. Relaunch the improved workshop

I figure if I tailor this workshop to precisely match what these 3 buyers want, there will be more buyers like them. I kind of believe in the idea of finding my “super fans” and then dialing in everything to specifically address them.

I also want to mention that The Ruby Testing Podcast is doing great. Check out the stats.

As of today, September 14th, there have been 827 downloads this month. Based on that I can expect about 1800 downloads by the end of the month for September, about twice what August was. I’m really blown away by the growth. I haven’t been doing anything special to promote the podcast.

I thought it would be a little challenging to get guests but not only has almost every guest I’ve asked said yes, but four people have reached out to me and asked to be a guest. I would actually prefer to spend less time on the podcast and more time writing articles but good guest opportunities keep popping out of the woodwork.

My plan as of now is to stop scheduling new guests so I can spend more time on writing. In my experience so far, writing is what gets subscribers.

In other news I’m speaking at a conference next week, DevOps Midwest in St. Louis. This will be my first conference talk ever. Three weeks later I’m giving my second conference talk ever at Little Rock Tech Fest in Little Rock, AR.

Another interesting thing: a week or so ago somebody found awsrails.com, a site I had put up about a year ago. This was a little after I had decided not to do AngularOnRails.com anymore. I thought maybe AWS + Rails would be my new focus. That exploration didn’t last long. But almost a year later (like 4 days before I was going to let awsrails.com expire and fade into the mists of time forever) somebody found it, contacted me, and asked me to do a project for him. I had to charge a lot in order for it to be worth it to me, but he was okay with that, and now he’s a client. It’s been a good experience so far. Things go so much better when clients find me than when I try to go after them.

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