Month One Summary: Front End Remote Jobs Relaunch
A quick summary of what I've done one month after deciding to relaunch Front End Remote Jobs!(You can read more about why I decided to relaunch here: Relaunching Front End Remote Jobs)
For my first month, my focus was on:
- relaunching with an MVP
- starting to recover any SEO I had accumulated in the past
- figure out and set up some initial growth engines.
I'm proud that I was able to ship something quickly! I made the decision to relaunch on 11/14, and then two days later shared out the first link to the redesign on LinkedIn. I started posting the first new jobs a on 11/17, and then relaunched to the existing newsletter on 11/18!
I like that I was able to move quickly, ship a barebones redesign to get traffic coming back to the site and then start to iterate on some SEO improvements with the redesign.
The main metrics I'm tracking right now are website traffic, newsletter growth, and SEO impressions / clicks.
As far as website traffic, I'm very pleased with the first month. I had 1300 unique visitors. Over the same period in 2021, I had 328 visitors, with much more content and SEO going on at the time. I feel good about 4x growth!
Most of my traffic this first month came from the weekly newsletter, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Google and Brave search started showing up in the list later as well as some referral traffic from Github, dev.to and Front End Masters (these were pre-existing from work I had done in 2018-2020).
- Net subscriber movement: -14
- Current Subscribers 1,364
- Open Rate: 37%?
I started with a pre-existing newsletter with ~1380 subscribers. Some had been subscribers since 2018! And some subscribed over the course of the last year and had never heard from me.
I didn't know what to expect when these users started hearing from me again after a 1 year hiatus. To my surprise, the relaunch email I sent had a 45% open rate! The open rate has been consistently above 30%, which is higher than it was for all of 2021. That's also been surprising.
There have been some unsubscribes every week, but honestly less than I thought. I'm hoping over the next month or two the net subscriber movement will start to be positive. I am considering doing a list cleaning sometime soon to purge un-engaged subscribers, but not positive on that yet.
My main goal for SEO this month was to get the site indexed again. I did!
Additionally, the site got ~1000 search impressions and 7 clicks from organic search. Not a ton, but didn't expect much here after the bulk 301 redirect I put in place in July.
I'm hopeful the upward trend will continue.
What I Shipped
A summary of what I shipped this month.
A full redesign!
Instead of salvaging the stack I had before, I started fresh. I thought I could build something quicker by starting over and without bringing in technical debt from before.
I felt good about how quickly I was able to put something together that looks decent! Things I feel are missing right now:
- a proper logo would be cool
- main navigation is a bit plain
- better buttons / calls to action
Before: The site I designed in 2018 (I am not a designer.):
After: Starting from scratching using ChakraUI in 2022:
My main focus on content this month was making sure there were jobs for people to browse. I curated ~15 jobs. My goal is 3-5 a week. The more jobs I curate, the more social posts go out and the more traffic I get from the newsletter.
- Job listing page (example)
- Automated tag pages for
- Seniority (ie Senior front end developer jobs)
- Region (ie Remote front end developer jobs in North America)
- Fallback page for technologies / seniority that don't have jobs yet
- Since I cleared out all the old jobs from 2018 - 2021, there are some pages that have back links that I didn't want to lose (ie Junior Remote Front End Developer Jobs)
- I created a dynamic SSR page for seniority and technology tags that don't exist yet to try to capture emails if people end up on those pages.
- Migrated analytics to Plausible, and using a proxy serve the script from my primary domain to get more accurate analytics
Tools and Resources
- Plausible Analytics - migrated from Google Analytics. Plausible was so easy to set up, I have a first party proxy so I have a more accurate view of analytics (no ad blockers blocking the script!)
- Gatsby - tried and true for me. Been building with Gatsby since 2018 :). In particular, Gatsby's support for SSR was new since the first version of this site, which helped me build out some of the nice fall back logic
- Ahrefs - free site dashboard for tracking down SEO crawl errors
- Blogging for Business course - this has been helpful to learn some of the basics of SEO strategy
- Lean SEO - I've been going through this course to help map out an SEO strategy. I really like the focus on experimentation and "minimum viable content".
- My "region" pages are the first experiment from a Lean SEO methodology perspective.
In the next month, I want to expand SEO strategy to more blog posts using methods from the Lean SEO course I mentioned above. I've been building up a list of possible content types and topics to choose from and I hope to ship at least one experiment (3 posts total).
I'll also probably look at putting up some kind of page for hiring managers. Not sure what I want to put on there yet, but I do want people who are interested in posting a job be able to reach out!
I also want to make sure my social media strategy is fully automated. It's most of the way there, but not quite where I want it to be yet.
Thanks for reading - I'll see you in January!