Challenge to self:
Until July 4th next year, I'm going to operate a mainly sales calls and content writing system, using certain content themes, AIDA and list-building tactics, gathered from various sources over the years. Ideally I would like 500 articles produced by July 4th 2017, so that’s 10 per week. I doubt I can sustain that level with freelance and agency work and sales calls to do at the same time. But I am planning to repurpose content from my sales handbook for translators, for the small business community. That will help somewhat - 50,000 words in there for re-purposing.
If I can get 10 articles a week out, then, I’ll be in good shape. Each article at the moment is bringing in an immediate 1-2k, better ones 5-10k, with a hopefully long-tail effect of 1000 per month each. If that holds true and I get out 40 articles per month, that should be 40k visits cumulating month on month. With the odd hit, hopefully, to bring in more.
Of those visits at the end of year 1, I’d like to have converted 2% to the mailing list and 1% of those to sales, with between 100-500 paid accounts being the target. That would give between £2500 and £12,500 per month. It would require 10k on the mailing list, needing 5m views over the year. Sounds tough from here. But this is the internet, and I’m driven, so let’s have a go at hitting those targets through systematic content creation (inbound) and sales calls (outbound). I’ll report back monthly.
Immediate changes I'll have to make (see, it's working already!) are to focus on the mailing list and the 'plans' page. More sign-up boxes for the list, less plans and a simpler sign-up process. I also need to fix a few minor bugs in the backend and add a few more minor but crucial features (archive projects, invite translators, etc.) before I'm happy getting on the phones and demoing the site. I also need to get the marketing message through more directly. So plenty to be getting on with and hopefully I'll be able to report back some interesting results every month.
Caveat: I’m allowed to use PPC to achieve that, and will report on any PPC involvement, but want to rely on content for this first year.
PS - Would be great to have company on the challenge. If you're a solo-bootstrapped SaaS not really out of the gate yet on sales, get in touch!
EDIT: This post had a great response and I've received much valuable advice as a result. I won't, however, be writing up the results of the challenge on this site. This site will take on a new focus, one that every small business site should have; the target user. My target user has shifted somewhat following the response to this post. I'll leave it here to be buried away under newer posts, for posterity, but will write up about the challenge elsewhere. That will be either somewhere it can be easily found (Medium.com, for example) or somewhere related to me (my own personal blog).
Please continue to get in touch if you're on a similar path!