Stats for my projects this month:
- 4,187 unique visitors (+108% from last month)
- 7,753 page views
- 01:07 avg session duration
- 183 total beta signups
- 525 site visitors
Fantasy Congress (maintenance only):
- $358 revenue
Last month I said I wouldn't be working on my latest SaaS venture any time soon. Instead, I planned to spend May doubling down on building more websites with programmatic SEO.
Well, surprise surprise, my priorities made a complete 180 mid-month and now I'm hustling to launch a new SaaS.
Monetizing the experiment website
In May, I set out to add Adsense and Amazon affiliate links to my experimental programmatic SEO website. So far, the outcome has been less than desirable.
First, I was rejected from Adsense for "low quality content." This isn't a total surprise. I assume it has to do with the content on each page being so similar.
I'm not the only one who's been flagged for this before. And others have told me their site was approved after waiting a little and applying again, even without making any changes.
Getting started with an ad network like Adsense is something I'm eager to try. In an attempt to improve my chances of getting approved when I re-apply, I actually wrote a few articles for the site.
This might seem counterintuitive, since the purpose of the experiment was to see how far I could get with programmatic SEO. But, I don't see why the two strategies shouldn't be used in parallel. At the very least, I've spent considerably less energy getting to 4k visitors per month than if I'd started with traditional, long-form SEO.
To help me write content faster, I also got an annual subscription to Copy.ai (affiliate link, fyi!). I love this tool. The AI isn't perfect, but it's great for whipping up a quick rough draft and combating writers block. They have a generous free tier that I was completely addicted to (until I maxed it out!). I can't imagine writing content without it at this point.
After making some changes to improve internal linking and highlight my new long-form content, I signed up for Amazon Associates and began adding affiliate links to the site.
So far, I'm getting clicks every other day or so. But no one's made a purchase that can be credited to my account.
Lots of potential factors at play here I think. Am I getting enough traffic? Am I selling the right products? Should I highlight the products in a different way? Most of my traffic is on mobile. Can the Amazon app track cookies like a browser would?
I'm sure there are best practices for affiliate marketing, but searching around, I haven't found anything particularly helpful. Thinking of joining some affiliate marketing communities in hopes of learning from other's experience. If you know of any communities like that, I'd love to hear it!
Introducing PageFactory (originally "Opal")
I had three more customer interviews for my programmatic SEO tool in May that went really well. Additionally, more beta users were trying the application and sending me their thoughts on it.
The feedback coming in was really exciting. People began asking me when the product will be fully launched, and (unprompted) explicitly stating they would pay money for it. Unbeknownst to me, someone even wrote a guide on how to use the tool for programmatic SEO.
Through all this, something became clear in May that I couldn't see before: This tool promises something that people are saying they need.
Launching wasn't originally a priority because I wanted to validate the project before getting more involved. But, the feedback I got this month feels an awful lot like validation. As far as I can tell, the next logical step would be asking people to pay for it.
So, I started to prepare for a full launch.
First on the list was picking a new name for the tool. I was beginning to really dislike the name "Opal" (which I wrote more about on indie hackers if you're interested). But luckily, a name came to me that I really liked: PageFactory. After sharing it on twitter and getting a lot of positive feedback, I think it was the right choice.
PageFactory has my full focus going into June.
While people have shown a lot of interest in the tool as is, feedback has made it clear the beta version is lacking a few critical features:
- Usability by non-technical folks (making the tool more no-code friendly).
- The ability to publish directly to Wordpress.
I'm hustling to tie up loose ends and get these fixed ASAP. My plan is to fully launch the product, with these features, by end of June.
But hustling has never felt like my strong suit. Honestly, I'm kind of a sloth. It will be a real test of my abilities to ship this by end of June.
But tests are good, right? That's how you measure your growth. Shipping is a skill I so desperately want to be better at. So I keep pushing myself. 💪🏻