I recently got asked an interesting question by a comedian and I thought I’d share my answer with you here. First, here’s the question:
“In your estimation — what’s a good number of visits per day to a comedy website? Or, let me ask it this way — let’s say you were the agent/manager of a comedian who hadn’t quite broken through yet (so not Louis CK, Chris Rock, etc). How many visits per day/per month would you want to see that comedian have to his/her website each day/month?”
Now obviously there’s a ton of different variables that go into answering this question including what your personal goals are, what kind of content you’re posting on your website, and who is actually judging your traffic numbers (for example, an industry person more comfortable with the digital world would likely have different expectations than a industry exec who is clueless about the Internet).
And to be honest, I don’t have a specific number in mind. However, I do have some benchmarks I would consider in assessing a comedian’s website traffic. Here’s what they are…
The More Targeted Your Niche, The Lower Your Traffic Number Can Be To Be Impressive
In order to properly assess the traffic you get to your website, the first thing I’d want to look at is what your niche is (if any) and what the visitors to your website are interested in beyond just you. This is because the more specific your niche (and therefore the more targeted your audience), the more valuable it is to people who want to reach that niche.
On the flipside, the more general your audience, the bigger your traffic number needs to be in order to catch the industry’s eye.
For example, having 10,000 people visit your website who are just general comedy fans isn’t likely to be that impressive because there’s lots of websites out there that reach a lot more general comedy fans.
But having 10,000 people a month visit your website who are like comedy AND yoga (to use a totally random example) suddenly becomes a lot more interesting because that opens up more monetization opportunities both on your site and offline in the form of corporate gigs, a themed tour, merchandise, sponsorship, etc.
When agents and managers assess your career potential, they’re looking for two things: talent and the ability to generate money. It’s easier to generate money in a niche so therefore the amount of traffic you need to catch somebody’s eye is a lot less.
The Number Of People You Influence Is More Important Than The Number That Follow You
Website traffic, just like social media follower counts, can be an incredibly misleading number. Just because a lot of people come to your site, that doesn’t mean those people care enough about you to actually buy tickets to see you perform or support any of your other projects.
For example, I’ve had millions of people visit my personal website because their friends saw a cool video that I posted one day and shared it with them. But are they actually influenced by me to the point that they would care about other things I do? In some cases yes, but in most cases probably not. My traffic is larger than my influence.
If I were an agent or manager, I’d be much more interested in the number of people you can convert into action – purchasing something, sharing something, etc. – than I would in the raw traffic numbers you have to your site. I’ll take the comedian who can get 1,000 people to actually do something over the one that can just get 100,000 people to their website any day.
Where Does Your Traffic Come From?
Another important traffic benchmark is understanding where the traffic to your website comes from. Does most of your traffic come from your email list? Does it come from your readers sharing links to your site with their friends? Does it come from search engines where people are searching for you? Does it come from me linking to you in my Connected Comedy Daily? Does it come from search engines where people are searching for things that you happen to be posting about?
Each of these will tell me something about how “real” your audience is and how potentially valuable they are. All traffic is not created equal.
In addition to where your traffic comes from, I’d also want to know where your traffic lives. Do most of the visitors to your website live in your hometown? Do they live in the US? Are they global? And how does that mesh with your goals for your comedy career and whatever my plan would be to help you get there as your agent/manager?
If You’re Not Growing, You’re Dying
Finally, I’d want to see how the traffic to your website is trending. Lots of people have big traffic swells for various reasons so a single month’s traffic can be misleading. I’d hope to see consistent growth over a long period of time – at least six months probably.
If I’m going to invest in your career in part because of what you’ve done attracting website traffic, then I’d want to get a sense of what I could expect as far as continued growth. And I’d also want to see that when you do get traffic spikes, that those numbers are converting – into email subscribers, ticket buyers, return visitors, and true fans.
Fine, I’ll Just Give You A Number Because That’s What You Really Want
Ok, now that I’ve given you a million things to think about while dodging the main point of your question, I’ll give in and give you an actual number.
100,000 visitors in a year.
If I had to say what an impressive number of visitors to your website would be, I think that would be the starting point.
But there’s a catch!
I’m going to say 100,000 based on the expectation that those are unique visitors and that you’ve managed to convert 10% of them into email subscribers! Because if you don’t have a way to connect to those visitors, their visits are meaningless.
So, what I’m really saying is that if you have used your website to build a 10,000 person email list – then I think an agent/manager would be a fool not to at least meet with you.
PS: Here’s my advice for how to grow your mailing list and here’s some suggestions of what key stats you should know about your website traffic.