New to the monthly retrospective? This is a monthly business-in-review post that'll cover the following:
Health of the business
Bug fixes + features
Previously, March proved to be my most successful month-to-date based on new customers and total amount of monthly revenue. Did April overtake that? Well let's see 😉
🗓 April 2021 Goals In Review
First, let's review the goals I set for April and how I matched up:
Release 2-4 premium Intro to Three.js lessons ✅
Release 1 long-format Intermediate Three.js course ❌
Fix dark-mode styling for mobile forum ✅
Fix overflow mobile bug on video comments section ✅
Reach $300 MRR (6 additional subscribers by end of month) ❌
Overall, pretty good. Although I didn't release the long-form Three.js course, I got it all recorded and am almost done editing, so that'll be complete for this round of goals. Very close to the $300 MRR as well, so on my way there too.
In the end, I obtained 5 additional subscribers, and got up to a max of $271.5 MRR. The end MRR for April was $241.5 since I did had 2-3 churns come in at the end of the month. Nevertheless, I'm extremely happy with how things have been progressing and I see hope for this becoming my main business gig at some point in time more than I ever did before. Guess that means I'll have to amp things up to hit the goal for May 😎
💰 Business Review
Thinking March would be one of the hardest months to beat in terms of raw revenue and MRR, I was floored to see the line-graph continue to trend upwards. With $698 of total revenue, April easily surpassed all previous months since the inception of Chris Courses, including the record breaking month of March which had $421 total in revenue.
Customers and churn remained about the same, so where did this big influx of revenue come from? Well from yearly and lifetime membership purchases. I typically have someone subscribe yearly or subscribe for the lifetime plan every other month or so, so seeing those on the list within the same month was a welcomed surprise.
So is there any correlation yet, what did you do specifically to increase your revenue while maintaining net-positive subscriptions?
Well, here's what seems to matter:
Releasing new content consistently (at least one vid every 2-3 days)
Keeping audience updated on Twitter
Posting transparency updates just like this
The more I release videos consistently while keeping my audience updated through Twitter, the more consistently I see subscription and course purchases. For instance, I had one Chris Courses user reach out to me through Twitter mentioning he recently purchased the lifetime membership. We had been talking a bit prior to his sign-up, but it seems that he found me through Twitter directly, and that his main reason for purchase was a result of the updates and communications I posted there.
He provided me feedback on what kind of content he wanted, I started production, and based off that, he made his purchase. Super great on this user to trust me with delivering the full course he was looking for, but I'm happy to say that the first 2-3 hours of it will be delivered within the first half of May as I'm already 1/3 the way through the editing process.
⏯ Course Updates
In April, I released a total of 12 new premium tutorials here on chriscourses.com.
The majority of these tutorials were part of the Intro to Three.js Course (https://chriscourses.com/courses/threejs/videos/crash-course), exhibiting how to add premium effects such as a 3D star-field, event based camera movement, and seamless transitioning into other site pages.
12 tutorials in one month is a lot, but, I'm always down for a challenge—let's see if we can beat the mark and hit 13 in one month instead.
I have one long-form intro course coming out for free on how to create a 3D globe environment in Three.js, loaded with techniques on how to develop custom shaders and more. That should be out this week, and then I'll be diving straight into the premium lessons on that course on how to add dynamic data points across your globe, similar to what you can see on github.com's homepage as of this posting.
After that, I'll be doing a complete CSS course with quizzes, code challenges, and more for anyone looking for knowledge on how to become a CSS pro. I honestly thing responsive design with CSS is my strongest skillset, so I'm happy to share what I know with the world so others can make some badass mobile responsive websites.
🐛 Bug Fixes + Features
I've squashed quite a few annoying bugs the past month and have added a few new features, here they are:
🏆 April Monthly Goals
Release one long-form CSS Course
Plan CSS course integration with quizzes and code challenges so everything meshes well
Reach $300 MRR (3 net-positive subscribers by end of month)
Although I won't be able to record much during the first half of May (I'm currently working remote away from my studio back home), I'll be editing pre-recorded video heavily and creating quizzes / code challenges along the way.
With that, I leave you with a simple, but effective quote from the art master himself, Pablo Picasso:
Action is the foundational key to all success.
Thanks for reading.