Growth Marketing

How I grew CoSchedule into a $5MM+ SaaS company using this framework

I was half a decade into an agency job I was supposed to love.

On paper, that job was a great fit.

But in reality, there was this problem:

I didn’t fit in.

My work was my art. My coworkers, well, they couldn’t quite say the same – no one really seemed to care about what they were creating. It didn’t take long for my “dream job” to morph into a nine-to-five cage.

My (future) business partner and I were paddling in the same boat at this agency. After a couple beers one night, we decided to change our luck and build something we could run. Of course, we each had families, which meant we couldn’t just ghost on them because we were excited to get a new project off the ground. So every night, from 10pm to 3am, we hopped on a Skype call. Coffee pots sputtering in the background, we built Scriply, our first piece of software.

Today, I’m the cofounder and CEO of CoSchedule.

We’re a SaaS startup with users in 100+ countries around the world. In fewer than 4 years, we went from night-owl jam sessions to 8,000+ customers.

I share this so you know we didn’t go from zeroes across the board to thousands of customers by magic. (Or by dipping into the fat wallets of VC money.)

We bootstrapped this thing like you wouldn’t believe.

When we did our first demos with prospective customers to validate the product, it wasn’t even built yet. In fact, our “product” was a powerpoint deck with a UI and hyperlinks that jumped from one slide to the next.

The growth we’ve experienced hasn’t come by accident; it’s come by doing, shipping, creating, failing, learning… and never stopping.

How you take a 3 a.m. side-hustle to a growing startup

This is your inside look at how I grew CoSchedule with the One Metric That Matters (1MTM) framework, which is made up of two things:

  1. Focus
  2. Discipline

When you’re starting something that desperately needs customers – whether a side-hustle, agency or even a SaaS company – you need heaps of both focus AND discipline.

… If you’re in the nine-to-five cage with hopes of a brighter, freedom-filled future, this article lays out a path for you to consider.

… If you’ve already made the leap to the startup stage, you can pull specific triggers with focus and discipline.

… If you’re in an established company – but crave the results you know you’re capable of – there’s something for you, too.

… If you want growth, pay attention (and take the quiz at the end).

Hey nerd friends, meet your one metric to rule them all

The 1MTM framework, popularized in Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz, is simply this:

Finding the right metric to relentlessly focus on at the right time that’s appropriate to your stage of growth.

Croll and Yoskovitz describe the 1MTM as “the one number you’re completely focused on above everything else for your current stage.” Fundamentally, you focus relentlessly on what’s most important for your growth right now. Not in 6 months. Not in a year.

When I worked at the agency, it did not operate this way. For clients, we were expected to grow every “important” metric at once. This meant simultaneously:

Those are all awesome things. But when everything is a priority, well, nothing is.

As marketers, many of us face the new normal of a 72-hour work week. We’re all tapped for time. So trying to keep every iron white-hot is a recipe for burnout. For me, working like this equaled meager gains in many areas. Instead, we need to focus on sizeable gains in the most important area. That’s why we used the 1MTM framework for growing CoSchedule. It forces you to prioritize ONE metric. If a given campaign, project or activity does not increase your one number to rule them all, don’t do it.

This is, also, how you – as a freelancer, startup founder or growth marketing peep – should view your growth, analytics and goal-setting activities.

Bottom line: your goal metric reflects the stage your team or company is at.

1MTM works because it encourages two things: focus and discipline

Ingredient #1: Focus

1MTM makes you focus with laser-beam intensity on the one thing that matters most right now.

It’s NOT about being myopic. Rather you save yourself from diluting your growth potential by tracking 47 popcorn KPIs, like the myriad of metrics I had to grow during my agency days. When you have one primary metric, your eyes are locked onto your goal AKA the one part of the business you’ve decided to value more highly than any other.

To get CoSchedule off the ground, we needed leads (trial signups, demo requests, etc) so people would actually become customers.

Our focus was to master 2 fundamentals:

  1. Traffic: drive it on demand
  2. Build an audience you have direct access to

In a recent survey of 1,600 pro marketers we conducted, we found that qualified leads are the number one KPI marketers track. In order to grow, you need leads. If you’re getting leads, you need a way to nurture them. As Chet Holmes points out in The Ultimate Sales Machine, only 3% of people are ready to buy right now. You want to keep in contact with the 97% who are in the “not quite yet” stage. Not to mention that nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured folks.

To nurture those leads, you need direct contact with them.

Which means – *ahem* – email. Such as an email list filling up with folks in the “not quite yet” buying stage.

And, finally, to build your all-important email list, you gotta have traffic to your website. So, you need traffic (to get those leads) and audience building (to grow a relationship with those leads) which are these two fundamentals.

Bringing us full-circle back to our two fundamentals:

  1. Traffic
  2. Build an audience.

Ingredient #2: Discipline

At CoSchedule, we evaluated all projects through the singular lens of our One Metric. You instantly know if a strategy is good or not, depending on how well it serves your one metric.

For us at CoSchedule, asking ourselves, “Will this help us achieve our One Metric?” helped to evaluate new opportunities.

Maybe it will. Or not. Ultimately, focus and discipline allow for the necessary behavioral changes to take place. To achieve substantive growth, both your mindset and methodologies need to change. In Lean Analytics, Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz explain:

“. . . if you want to change behavior, your metric must be tied to the behavioral change you want.”

For our purposes, I’ll paraphrase to this: If you want to change results, your metric must be tied to the results you want.

Because of my agency days – and focusing on 45+ KPIs to simultaneously grow – this approach appealed to me. See, it’s not doing more stuff. Instead, it’s focusing on less.

How CoSchedule used the 1MTM framework to grow

Step #1: Get Traffic

At CoSchedule, we had zero pageviews, zero email subscribers and no customers.

When I hired Nathan, our head of demand generation, I told him traffic was the only metric he should care about. In short: his job was to get pageviews.

Imagine you run a retail store and you need foot traffic, right? You need people milling around and looking at your products. To increase sales, you need people dropping by on a regular basis.

For us digital folks, this works exactly the same way. We need people on our sites because they’re our primary salespeople.

Your Step #1 could be one of these traffic-related options:

  • Pageviews
  • New visitors
  • Unique visitors
  • Search hits

You can’t sell to people who aren’t there. To get more customers, we needed more traffic.

So, we worked our tails off to:

While learning to drive more web traffic is a science (and art) to its own, your foundation starts with amazing content. At CoSchedule, we set our focus on creating amazing content to drive traffic. In fact, killer content is so central to our growth and marketing that we boiled down our strategy to three principles:

  1. Pinpoint what positively impacts a huge number of people in your audience
  2. Find those topics by analyzing your competitors and strategizing a new angle
  3. In your content, unite your audience’s interests with your company’s value

All of that helped us grow from absolutely zero traffic to 1 million plus pageviews per month (and roughly 400,000 unique visitors).

CoSchedule's traffic
CoSchedule’s traffic

Ever hear of a marketer named Noah Kagan?

He’s pretty sharp, starts cool things like Sumo and AppSumo and has a lot of people following him around online. Obviously, he can drive traffic with a few tweets and an email.

But what about a guy named Julien Marion? My bet is you probably haven’t heard of him.

Noah helped him build a brand-new website and grow it from zeroes to over 10,000 visitors per month. Without a large following or existing brand, Julien worked an astute plan to get there the old-school way: blood, sweat and clicks.

Julien's traffic spike
Julien’s traffic spike

How did he do it? He set a goal straight out of the holy 1MTM: 10k visitors in 30 days. 🙌

Step #2: Build an Audience

After the traffic is rolling in, you need to turn visitors into a loyal audience.

That means an email list!

While there are plenty of people busy pronouncing “email is dead,” other people are building lists and making bank with email. Honestly, if you’re not building an email list, you’re crazy.

In Step #2, choose your audience-related 1MTM for list growth:

  • Email subscribers OR
  • Community members

In the past four years, we’ve worked hard to figure out what works… and what doesn’t in email list building. Through copious testing, plenty of failures and eventual hockey-stick growth, we’ve learned exactly what works for us. Which are free software tools and content upgrades.

Today we grow by 20,000+ subscribers every month.

A 2014 study by VentureBeat found email marketing generates $38 for every $1 invested-catapulting email ROI lightyears ahead of social, paid search, display, and other traditional ad methods. In other words, your emails enjoy about 350% more visibility than organic social messages. And that’s just on a bad hair day.

Our experience proves those stats are true. Email has been the largest contributing factor to our growth by a factor about 300%.

Email signups are a lead metric for us, meaning they forecast profitable action that will happen. The more email signups (AKA prospects) we get, the more marketing qualified leads (MQLs) we get. Put another way, every $1 we invest in email turns into $3.

This is a key reason why 1MTM has worked to increase CoSchedule’s revenue growth from $0 to $5MM+ annually.

Over a 4-week stretch, our email signups grew by 317% and our MQLs grew by 392%. While not very fancy, this graph shows how our MQLs grew concurrent with email signups. When our most important metric grows, so does our downstream, revenue-generating metrics.

Growth in MQLs over just 4 weeks
Growth in MQLs over just 4 weeks

When we used a verbatim customer quote as our subject line, we’ve routinely seen open rates from 70-90%.

Verbatim customer quote increases an email's open rate

We measure the results of our email nurture campaigns. The higher our open rates, the higher our conversions. Not rocket science, I know 🚀

For instance, this 77.54% open rate is part of a campaign nurturing signups to become qualified leads. This campaign – also called a journey in some email marketing circles – averages a 26.1% conversion rate.

Campaign's conversion rate to build our audience

So, doing some quick math here: a little more than 1 out of every 4 people who get our weekly email takes the action we’re calling them to. Higher open rates also correlate directly to this stat. The higher our open rates? The more qualified leads we generate. Therefore, the more revenue we drive.

See the deep connection between our email list and our revenue?

TWO insanely-actionable strategies that helped CoSchedule go from 0 subscribers to 350,000+ in 5 years

Subscriber Strategy #1: Content upgrades

A content upgrade is a companion resource to content like blog posts. They’re also called lead magnets or opt-in bait. Often, they are things like:

  • Templates
  • Calculators
  • Worksheets
  • Any other document that helps your audience put what you’re teaching them into practice

To use them to build an email list, we gate them behind an email opt-in form. So, your new potential subscriber gets the resource by when they provide their email address.

I know what you’re thinking: “I barely have time to write a blog post, much less create a content upgrade.”

But… what if you just created one fewer post per week and used that time to create a content upgrade? That trade would be worth it, methinks, because your list will grow faster – even though you’re publishing one less piece per week.

Content Upgrade #1 – Give away something you know works (and that you have stats to back up).

  • If you’re a copywriter, hand over a Word doc or PDF: “Grab these 5 proven formulas to rewrite your headlines for 347% more traffic.”
  • If you’re a social media strategist, offer some inspiration: “Get 3 all-star Facebook ad examples with CTRs of 63.8%!”
  • If you’re a freelance writer, offer a framework for your specialty: “[Case Study] Get the 3-part framework for creating high-converting case studies in under 20 mins.”

Remember the “10k traffic in 30 days” example I outlined above? After Julien Marion (and Noah) pulled it off, this challenge morphed into a beautiful content upgrade:

Use your experiments to make content upgrades

Give away what you know works, while simultaneously building your credibility, authority, and – most importantly – your email list!

Content Upgrade #2 – Swipe & transform your most popular blog post

At CoSchedule, one of our most popular content upgrades is from our most popular blog post of all time. In the last 12 months, it’s driven over 2.2MM pageviews. This is roughly 6% of all of our website traffic.

12 month traffic for CoSchedule's post popular blog post

From this wildly popular blog post, we created an infographic: a content upgrade that has the post’s unique data and research. Plus, it includes three Google Analytics custom reports so you run your own data.

No longer a blog post, this content upgrade is a high-quality, actionable kit with quality graphics:

Content upgrade from CoSchedule's most popular blog post

This content upgrade has generated 17,530 email signups alone – just from revamping a single blog post into a new format.

Best part? It was low effort to create. The Google Analytics reports were already created. And, so were the blog graphics, so we stitched them together to form the infographic.

Content Upgrade #3 – Free tools bring you free traffic

Another list-building strategy we love is free tools to help marketers stop losing traffic, increase social media engagement and up their email opens.

Alright, yes, you’re right: creating free software tools are a lot more work than blog posts. If you’re swamped for time right now, start with Content Upgrades #1 and 2 above, and work up to this one.

However, this one is a rockstar because we gate them behind an email opt-in. For example, our Headline Analyzer tool – analyzes headlines to optimize for maximum traffic – has driven 55,040 email signups. By itself.

Use a free tool as a content upgrade, like CoSchedule's Headline Analyzer

Ultimately, every new email address is directly connected to our revenue. This makes our tools an incredible investment.

Subscriber Strategy #2 – Build your community with this “Dropbox crazy-growth” swipe

For us at CoSchedule, we focused on Subscriber Strategy #1: Content Upgrades. However, Dropbox is the perfect example of this second Subscriber Strategy.

You’ve heard the story of Dropbox’s meteoric user growth thanks to their early referral program. Whenever a user successfully referred a friend to use Dropbox, each person got 500MB of bonus storage for free.

Dropbox's early referrer program is Subscriber Strategy #2
So easy to invite your friends to Dropbox

But what you haven’t heard is… their dead-simple delivery mechanism that performed so awesomely was email. In fact, Dropbox’s Drew Houston credits 35% of their daily signups came from this program.

Not only can you show up directly in your audience’s inbox on a one-to-many basis, but your emails are on a one-to-one basis.

Because your audience forwards their “get 500MB” invite email to their own networks. Since it comes from a person they already know, trust and like, that invitee is more likely to say “yes” to signing up for Dropbox.

Ask yourself: “What am I afraid of?”

To make these simple stages work for you, you need to honestly assess which stage you’re in.

That’s what we did at the start of CoSchedule. Our answer informed our decision-making process and helped us focus on the metrics that mattered, like driving traffic and email list growth.

Once you master them, you will be able to deploy, adapt, and improve them as you go. Just like we did at the start of CoSchedule.

~ garrett

Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash

About the author


Garrett Moon is the CEO and Co-Founder at CoSchedule, the web's most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on, CoSchedule helps more than 9,000 marketing teams stay organized in 100+ countries around the world.

Garrett is the author of the "10x Marketing Formula" and has been blogging and speaking about content marketing, social media marketing, and startup business for more than eight years. He's been featured on sites like Entrepreneur, Forbes, Adweek, and Content Marketing Institute.

  • Khan Ashif

    Really awesome post that you share with us,points are very clear and helpful.thanks for sharing.

  • Its a pleasure to read success stories of an Entrepreneur. I have recently started my Entrepreneur journey in 2016 and hope to achieve some of my goals by the end of this year. You are a great inspiration to us all. Best of luck and keep inspiring.

  • Fantastic post, Garrett. As a “business of one” I’ve been spinning my wheels trying to do it all. It’s only been in the last months or so I decided to focus on making great (or at least better) content in a bid to boost traffic. What’s really interesting to see is that you stuck with this philosophy and didn’t throw it away after your early startup days.

  • Awesome article, thanks Garrett! I love the idea of using a customer quote in subject lines and the idea of focusing on a single metric that matters the most is something that has served me really well in the past.

  • Richard Koolman

    Great article, finally someone who’s honest about the hard work that goes into starting a business!

  • Kirsty Fox

    I agree that focus is important. It also stops you from feeling totally overwhelmed! If you’re trying to do everything at once, you’re also being extremely inefficient. Love the phrasing of 1MTM, it really does focus the attention. Thanks so much for all that you’ve given – for an accountant it is exceptionally useful! (Give me numbers over marketing any day, I’m on a steep learning curve in starting my own business)

  • Yetta Moskowitz

    “The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want.”
    — Ben Stein

  • Jan

    Jo, goldangit, I friggin’ love you! One of the best decisions I’ve made was to reign in my wandering mind to laser-focus on one main source of inspiration, education + information when it comes to mastering this beast of online business, and more specifically conversion copywriting {which = working smart, to me}.

    You’re it! You never fail to put pertinent, relevant facts + folks in front of my eyes + brain. Gold, baby.

    Kissing your lotus feet . . even if they’ve been in shoes for a solid 72+ hours this week ;).

    I want that book. Thanks for introducing us. Garrett… I look forward to getting to know you better!

    Deep bow, you two. Deep. Bow.
    Jan Henrikson

    • Thanks so much Jan! You’re too kind! Hope you get your hands on a copy.

  • Dan Sparks

    This is perfect timing. I’m building my business and am pulled in different directions by all the shiny things. I just started narrowing down my to-do list to focus on only the things that matters right now to help grow my business. Which happens to be getting traffic and building an email list.

    The 1MTM framework really jives with me since it’s about context. It’s not saying 1 metric will forever be what you are working toward, but that you need to pick the most relevant one that will get you to your current goal. This will change as your business grows and you have different problems to solve. It’s not one size fits all instead it’s what fits you right now.

    • Love it Dan! Absolutely, our 1MTM has evolved as our company evolves and grows.

  • Meghan Watts Dicklin

    Laser focus is the only way to build a business while staying connected to your family. Way to go in figuring out how to clear out all of the clutter and go after what matters.

  • Write Now

    Garrett’s 1MTM strategy combines the legacy of 2 of my influential teachers in university:

    “There is no substitute for hardwork.” — from my Accounting prof

    “Work smarter, not harder.” — from my Marketing prof

    Thank you for sharing your growth hack secret!

  • Marnie Ginsberg

    Thank you, Jo, for providing such rich resources, as always! I got a lot of inspiration from this post but also followed several timely rabbit trails here, too, such as the SEO post. And Garrett, thank you for your example and the challenge. As an online entrepreneur who’s recently exited the start-up phase and still not reigned in my work hours….ahhhh…I need these reminders about focus and discipline and not over doing it…every day.

    I don’t understand, however, how being this simplified could work for many businesses. Just 1 metric? It seems that I’m constantly focusing on both leads and sales. I’m getting to a point in my young business where the sales system will be more automated; however, in these early years, it has taken a lot of work and testing to determine which campaigns yield the greatest conversions. And yet, obviously, incoming leads is also a top priority for any business.

    Whether I can reign in my focus to 1 or 2 goals, reflecting on this is another helpful kick-in-the-pants for me as I learn how to focus on the work that matters…and leave the rest on the cutting room floor.

    • Thanks Marnie! We certainly kept our eyes on other metrics, but we knew that our demand gen and growth efforts focusing on just one would ripple down and absolutely impact the marketing/sales funnel and the their respective metircs. Now that we’re a bit larger – each department focuses on their own 1MTM.

  • I love this post Garret. Thank you for sharing your strategy and experience with us.

    I’ve been dealing with burnout the last couple of months with trying to keep up with all the things when it comes to my business and my clients. It’s why I’m currently restructuring somethings now.

    I love this one metric to measure. It goes along with my current one goal at a time idea I had recently. It makes much more sense and doesn’t have you chasing your tail or context switching all day long. I believe I’ll be adding that to the new framework I’m putting in place to help me move forward.

    I’m glad this article ended up in my inbox today as it seems like the cherry I needed to put on top of my new focus. Thanks Jo for sending this out today.

    • You’re most welcome! I love it when the right message comes at the very moment you need it. Best of luck!

  • Catherine Troll

    Great post. It’s funny how we spend so much time trying to check everything off our ever-growing to-do lists, when really what we should be doing is figuring out what’s most beneficial to get done. We’ll end up with a much shorter list and a deep feeling of satisfaction at the end of the week. Less really is more when you prioritize.

    • Thanks Catherine! It’s so easy to become distracted with vanity metrics that make us “feel good”. The more focus, the quicker the real results you’re seeking will come.

  • Hi Garrett, I can identify so much with this sentence:

    When I worked at the agency, it did not operate this way. For clients, we were expected to grow every “important” metric at once. This meant simultaneously…

    I think 1MTM really has to come from the top, and management has to buy in to this idea. Only then can it be launched successfully across the company.

    • Great point Karen. Company-wide adoption is always the best. If you have to, start with what your department’s 1MTM should be and you’ll see the ripple effect across your company.

  • Patti Haus

    Turning a blog post into a content upgrade is brilliant! I also like the idea of focusing on one thing at a time. It’s much easier to achieve one goal and move on to the next instead of frantically trying to achieve all your goals at once.

    • Thanks Patti! Nothing wrong with some quick content hacking wins with your exiting content! Best of luck.

  • Hien Lam

    Thanks for sharing this story and this 1MTM technique. I’ve been using something similar to it without realizing there was a name for it.

    For me, developing this 1 metric to discipline and focus you require you to invest some time and energy to develop a vision for your business, product, or service. Where do you want it to be in X years? What will it look like? Having a clearly tangible vision helps me, and my clients, better distill the vision down to the most critical and essential goal or metric.

    Once we distill it down to the metric, we break the metric down into daily wins by determine what 1% of the metric is. This helps make it realistic everyday to work and accomplish something. On top of that, if you’re able to knock that out early, then it makes you feel better about shutting things down early that day.

    Thanks again for sharing this!

    • Great questions to ask to help laser in on that 1MTM Hein. Getting granular and identifying both lead and lag metrics give you a benchmark each week.

      • Hien Lam

        Another great aspect about this focus is that it helps you say no to things that don’t fit – even people. This makes me think of Facebook, Zuck, and Noah Kagan where Noah had a different 1MTM than Zuck, which led to him being let go.

        If people are on-board with the vision and the metric and they can see how they can contribute to it, they’re the right people for the job. If they don’t agree or don’t see how they fit into it, it allows them to confidently get off the bus and find a different one to jump on.

        I think I could keep replying to this chain with you and discuss this for a long, long time. 🙂

  • 1MTM is great but there’s one metric that is more critically important than just email subscribers, YouTube subscribers or traffic to your website. And it’s one that is the most important of all.

    Customer touch. Making your customers feel welcome; wanted; wonderful. It’s reaching out to customers via phone after they purchase a program. Talking to them on a regular basis to find out what’s working for them and what isn’t. Emails or videos (if you can’t do anything else) that make it seem like you’re talking just to them.

    And while it’s hard to measure that particular metric, it’s how you build your loyal customer base. Because those people become die-hard fans, who in turn bring in others, who in turn bring in more people. It’s no longer 6 degrees of separation – it becomes 5, then 4, then 3.

    You can’t please everyone all of the time, but you can certainly reach out to them 100% of the time. Especially with the tech we have today. There is NO excuse. And it’s one metric that isn’t trendy. It’s not affected by search algorithms. And it doesn’t care what programming language you use. It’s here to stay.

    • Great comments Sara. As we’ve grown, each of our departments have their own 1MTM that keeps them focused as well. Our customer success and support teams echo your sentiments.

      • Garrett, I’ve been using Co-Schedule for 2 years now and absolutely love it. You have that customer touch that so many companies are missing. Hands down, your company is the best – and as a marketer, I’ve tried them all!

  • LJ Shier

    Even employees are putting in far above the 40 hour work week. It’s insanity for anyone to put in that many hours. Any way you can simplify your processes to live life instead of merely being a paid slave is worthwhile. I’m a solopreneur who is still tied to a 40 hour job and building a biz as a side hustle. This article is appreciated as a way to improve my efficiency.

    • Absolutely agree LJ. 1MTM foocus allowed us to be much more pragmatic and efficient.

  • Giri S

    Absolutely inspiring!

    As I was reading this, my thoughts were: It takes deliberate effort to identify the one metric that matters to my biz. And given just how many things one juggles with as an entrepreneur in the initial years, unless I make it my goal to zero in on my metric and keep my eyes open to what truly matters and my definition for it, it just will not materialize on its own. And this post woke me up to both deliberateness and default outcomes. That’s powerful!

    • Thank Giri! It really does take discipline to focus. Vanity metrics are everywhere – best of luck!

  • Sophia Ojha

    Thank you for this phenomenally inspiring article! I am not running a SaaS company but a soloproneur wearing a 100 million hats – from creating content, to writing proposals to incoming inquiries, to researching ways to systematizing my business, to actually implementing the client projects, to learning about what I need to learn about. So clearly there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish all of this and at the end of the day I try to remind myself to be patient and keep making daily strides.

    I have already made creating weekly video + blog content my main focus whenever I am not directly serving my clients AND I am dedicating an hour a day to write new content (thanks to airstory). But have yet to put into place a tracking system.

    What I take from this article that I will immediately implement is:
    1. Set aside an hour this weekend to identify what is the 1MTM in my business.
    2. Create a spreadsheet to track that metric starting now.
    3. Consider the advice of creating one less weekly video/blog and creating a content upgrade instead.
    4. Identify which video is most viewed on my YouTube channel and which article is most read on my site. Create a content upgrade to serve that question for my audience.
    5. Then create more content that would support the most wanted content on my platforms.
    6. Read this article again in a month (on July 14th) to see what else I can learn from it.

    My 6 Takeaways! This has been a very productive read. Much gratitude!

    • So many great takeaways Sophia! Solid game plan and hope to get an update on July 14th.

      • Sophia Ojha

        Thank you, Garrett. I will keep you posted 🙂

  • Nicole

    Love. This. Post! My internal marketing role seems to be all about adding a million things to the to-do list and it can be difficult to prioritize just one metric. But this makes so much sense – with the “one metric to rule them all” focus, you can take concrete actions to move the needle. Thanks for sharing. Super valuable.

  • Holly Hester-Reilly

    I am such a huge fan of this level of discipline and focus. As a product manager by trade, I learned quickly to make prioritization decisions. Now when I work with people building businesses or products, I push them to pick their one key metric, to identify their one initial target audience, to settle on the one pain point they are solving. This radical focus is really the only way to build something great enough to gain traction in the crowded marketplace of the Internet. Thanks for sharing how you got this done for CoSchedule. Understanding your focus on traffic to start is really helpful, as a lot of times when we’re building something new we read so many articles about improving conversion…it’s easy to forget that conversion isn’t anything without the visitors to convert!

  • Sophia Ojha

    Thank you for this phenomenally inspiring article! I am not running a SaaS company but a soloproneur wearing a 100 million hats – from creating content, to writing proposals to incoming inquiries, to researching ways to systematizing my business, to actually implementing the client projects, to learning about what I need to learn about. So clearly there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish all of this and at the end of the day I try to remind myself to be patient and keep making daily strides.

    I have already made creating weekly video + blog content my main focus whenever I am not directly serving my clients AND I am dedicating an hour a day to write new content (thanks to airstory). But have yet to put into place a tracking system.

    What I take from this article that I will immediately implement is:
    1. Set aside an hour this weekend to identify what is the 1MTM in my business.
    2. Create a spreadsheet to track that metric starting now.
    3. Consider the advice of creating one less weekly video/blog and creating a content upgrade instead.
    4. Identify which video is most viewed on my YouTube channel and which article is most read on my site. Create a content upgrade to serve that question for my audience.
    5. Then create more content that would support the most wanted content on my platforms.
    6. Read this article again in a month (on July 14th) to see what else I can learn form it.

    My 6 Takeaways! This has been a very productive read. Much gratitude!

  • Gary Spinks

    I would hazard a guess that staying focused and making the best productive use of time is something most people find difficult. It’s about finding ways that work for you (I see a lot of ‘advice’ which says ‘do this’, ‘use this’, ‘this is the way that works’… and it just doesn’t work for everyone. I do like the idea of a narrow focus and then shifting the focus to the next ‘narrow’ thing. And, on the subject of emails, totally agree…. emails are a great way to get connected, keep people engaged and get people to move to the buying stage. What surprises me is (a) how few emails some companies/individuals send out (b) how badly so many are written, and (c) how ‘lazy’ emailers can be with their content. Maybe it’s just here in the UK?

    • Great thoughts Gary. No arguing, it’s easy to be disctracted with other metrics, but we did the research and knew that the focus we had would create the ripple effect needed to move the needle on other metrics farther down the funnel. And yes, building an email list is paramount, but can all be for not if it’s not used effectively and with purpose. Well said, and no, not just in the UK!

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3 essential copy techniques to use daily
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How to write a long-form sales page using survey data
A super-speedy formula to find VoC
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Optimize your email sequence with Trello
How to research a blog post
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How to do a content audit
How to know what your visitor’s thinking
Creating a launch command center
A 3-part copywriting process for newbies

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Blog post formula for authority building
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