Grow Ensemble Community Update: August 2020

Building a Community Around Better Living & Better Business

by | Sep 10, 2020

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Hey there, Welcome to the first Grow Ensemble Community Update! 

Thanks to some inspiration from friends (Anders Ankarlid of A Good Company), I’ll be giving more inside looks at how our community is evolving over time.

I want to share everything we learn, apply, and test as we build a community around our brand and mission; so other impact-driven organizations can hopefully do the same. 

Let’s dive in. 

August was a busy month for us at Grow Ensemble, but it seems some hard work is paying off. 

A reminder: our primary goals are to:

  1. Learn (and apply) everything we can as it relates to leaving the world a better place than we found it. 
  2. Share everything we learn to bring more people into the community of more sustainable living and work. 

To attract and engage this community, we use content (blogs, podcasts, videos). Let’s share a look at how things are performing.

The Social Good Community Growth: Numbers & Milestones

✏️GrowEnsemble.com & the ‘Social Good Blog

grow-ensemble-aug-traffic

We’ve continued to see single-month highs in pageviews and users since November of last year. We hit 28,427 total page views in the month of August! A cool 5.15% higher than July.

wordpress-postsWhile the growth curve is stabilizing, that isn’t without a few identified reasons. As can happen with content-heavy sites (like ours) as they grow, the content needs better organization. Up until the start of August, all our content was attached to two singular blog-style feeds. One for our podcast and the other for our blog. 

However, now nearing 150 total pages/posts on the site, what inevitably happens is that older blog posts get buried away in the feed, making it harder for users (and Google) to access that content. 

So, in the month of August, we introduced a few different ‘content hubs’ to flatten our site architecture, making our content more easily accessible no matter its date of publication. 

This led to the creation of a few new pages; Sustainable Business, Book Reviews, Sustainable Products, and Sustainable Living

And, we refreshed some of our existing ‘cornerstone pages,’ the blog, podcast, and home page

hub-pages-august

Now, from any page on the site, more of our growing content library can be accessed with just a few clicks. As a result, we are seeing a ‘friendly’ response from Google, and as well we are seeing more users than usual return back to the site.

traffic-growthMaybe most interesting, this growth in August comes without us creating any new content on the blog. We’ve continued with steady publication of the podcast, but no new blog posts went out in August.

This is the potency of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and the evergreen “library style” content that we create here. We want all our blog content to have longevity to it! Both to be useful to searchers wanting to deepen their journey in sustainable living & work not just today, but ideally 1, 3, or 5 years from now.

To the podcast…

🎧 The Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Podcast

podcast-growth-august

The podcast continues to see significant growth as well! We saw a record number of downloads in the month of August. This made for two consecutive months of shattering previous record download totals. 

Tracking podcast growth is a little tricky. The analytics are a bit primitive. We also have a lot of moving parts with the community we are building at Grow Ensemble. We attempt to improve a lot of things at once. 

So, specifically tracking cause and effect isn’t always easy. 

However, my best assessment as to what’s led to the significant growth in the last 2-3 months: 

1. We’ve Leveraged Existing Traffic

If you scan back up to the shot of our analytics for the last 8-10 months, you can see we’ve had a reasonable amount of traffic. We’ve seen over 10,000 pageviews every month since April. To make use of that, we’ve begun creating complimentary podcast episodes to match with our most popular blog posts. 

2. Build Our Email List (& Share the Podcast)

Building off of point #1, we’ve focused a lot on growing our email list (see more below). And, each week with our Better World Weekly Newsletter, we are sending out reminders to subscribe and catch the latest episodes. 

3. Title Optimization

We’ve focused more on the titles of our podcast episodes. It makes a lot of sense, as an avid podcast consumer myself, unless I really love a show, I’ll determine if I listen to an episode or not based on its title. 

We have to hook! And, I think we’ve improved here, as we now write multiple potential titles, focusing on building curiosity and intrigue. 

4. Guests with Audience Overlap 

We’ve been very grateful to have some recent guests with strong audience overlap to our listeners. 

For instance, we’ve had the pleasure of hosting Kate Williams of 1% for the Planet, and Eric Nee from the Stanford Social Innovation Review to talk about positive social change

Many of their community members fit the mold for our typical listener demographic and they’ve been more than generous in sharing their features.

💌 The Better World Weekly Newsletter

grow-ensemble-email-list

Our email list grew 23% in August, growing to the mid 900s. That’s even with us cleaning up our email list and removing some 90ish cold subscribers (more to come on that next month). 

We’ve been attentive to make sure there are plenty of reasons and means for new site visitors to sign up for the Better World Weekly Newsletter

We want to make sure that the first time someone stumbles across Grow Ensemble isn’t the last time!  

However, simply, with more traffic both from the podcast and the blog we have inevitably seen that drive more subscribers.

📼 *New* Our Grow Ensemble YouTube Channel

youtube-channel

Our YouTube channel is now up and running! We are a bit ‘green’ to the world of video production, but we are getting ourselves going here. I’m most obsessed with those kick-ass title cards…(thanks, Sameer & Rebecca!). 

So far, we are only publishing our full-length video podcast episodes there and the short promo clips that come with them. 

However, there is more video content in the works! Stay tuned, and subscribe!

Launch of our Better World Business Growth Workshops!

This was really exciting. We hosted our first-ever Better World Business Growth Live Workshop. We hope that these can become a reliable and consistent resource for social enterprises, purpose-driven businesses, and nonprofits to hit both their impact & organizational goals. 

We plan to cover everything from the ins and outs of digital marketing (our strength) to bringing in guest experts to share their wisdom for things we can’t adequately speak to. 

This month, we covered the topic of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and we were pleased with the reception!

better-world-business-workshops

We had 32 sign-ups to watch the workshop live or via the replay. 😎

These workshops will always be first available for free! Anyone interested can attend the live workshop or catch the replay that’s available after for the next 48-72 hours. 

After that, we’ll then store these workshops away in our training library where they can be accessed (with bonuses!) for a 1-time purchase. Or, businesses and organizations can get access to all the workshops as a part of their membership to our Better World Business Growth Community.

Shh…Coming Soon — Grow Ensemble Cause Campaigns!

One of the reasons that we didn’t publish any new blog content in August was because we were taking a pause to reassess how we can make this thing that we love to do and think we do rather well (create content), even more impactful

While it’s fun to see the community grow around Grow Ensemble, the increased pageviews and podcast listens are only as significant as we feel it’s actually leading to tangible positive change in the world.

That change, being that more actions are taken, big or small, towards living and working more consciously and sustainability.

So, while over the last 10 months we’ve published content on everything from the benefits of composting, to responsible tourism, and mindless consumption, we thought more focused, serialized content (created with the support of committed partners) would be more effective in inspiring the action we’d hope to see. 

With serialized, cause campaigns, we can orchestrate taking new and existing members of our community from becoming problem aware to feeling resourced with information and potential solutions big and small to take action. 

And, with our approach to content being one that builds a library vs. a traditional media publication, we continue to see people finding our resources months from now. This, in contrast to the traditional spike and fall you see with most media outlets (or, even most blogs really). 

So, with a few causes and areas of interest in mind, we are seeking businesses and nonprofits who would be interested in partnering with us on the campaign.

We’ve actually committed to join forces with one partner in the space of better-business already! More to come on that soon. 😎 

If that at all sounds like you, your business, or nonprofit organization, reach out to us here, or send me an email – cory {at} growensemble.com. 

Up Next in…September 

With summer coming to a close and the final month of Quarter 3 upon us, we still have plenty going on! 

A few things coming up in September that we are most excited about: 

Calendar for 2020 Cause Campaigns—We’ve been having chats with potential partners already and hope by the end of September to have our schedule set for the remainder of the year. 

Securing a potential Grow Ensemble HQ—Annie and I are in the process of purchasing our first home in San Antonio. We found something that has a detached guest house we may be able to turn into an office space/podcast studio/etc. 

Next Better World Business Growth Workshop—This month’s workshop will cover blogging and creating engaging content to help build community around a brand or organization and its mission. 

*We’ll also have our first workshop, on SEO, up in our new training library available for purchase. 

(Re) Launching the Better World Business Growth Community—Along with the launch of the workshops is the restart of our community for purpose-driven business, social enterprise, and nonprofit leaders. 

Work on our B Corporation Certification—We’ve scheduled serious work on our B Corp Certification, led by Annie, to be tackled this month. We’ll talk more about that process in future updates! Striving to achieve the score necessary (80) by the end of the year. 

More GREAT Podcasts to Publish—Always, the list of podcast guests who are willing to sit down with us for a recording baffles me. These are universally such humble, generous, and inspiring people in all that they do. 

Scheduled to air in September…

End Note

Thanks for reading this Grow Ensemble community update! I hope you enjoyed it and have a great month to come. 

Cheers,

-Cory

P.S. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to subscribe to The Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Podcast!

Subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts!…

👉Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or others!

P.P.S If you are work within or run a purpose-driven business or nonprofit organization, consider joining our Better World Business Growth Community

This community provides the resources, support, and accountability for impact-driven professionals & social entrepreneurs to hit their impact and growth goals.

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2 Comments

  1. BERONICA MORALES

    Very inspiring to find knowledgeable words from all of you, given guidance with motivation to our existence to learn of how to explore our purpose of life given or receiving and apply to ourselves and for others; doing something — profit or non-profit..

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Cory Ames

      Hey Beronica,

      Thanks for reading! We appreciate the support.

      Reply

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