GE 196: How Chris Coyier Grew CSS-Tricks to 7M Page Views/Month, 300K Followers and 24K Email Subscribers (podcast) With Chris Coyier

Chris Coyier

Hey everyone, in today’s episode, I share the mic with Chris Coyier, the founder of CSS-Tricks, CodePen and Shop Talk Show.

Listen as Chris shares the numbers (revenue, page views and listeners) for all his businesses, the most important thing he’s learned when it comes to building a community, why sponsored posts are the best revenue generators for him, and the difference between failing and giving up too soon.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: How Chris Coyier Grew CSS-Tricks to 7M Page Views:Month, 300K Followers and 24K Email Subscribers TRANSCRIPT

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:36 – If you enjoy the content, leave a rating, review and subscribe to the Growth Everywhere Podcast
  • 01:31 – Chris has been running CSS-Tricks for 10 years now and thinks the name of the company is dorky
  • 02:37 – Everything Chris does is centered on building websites
  • 03:08 – Chris is comfortable and content with how his business is doing right now
    • 04:36 – CSS-Tricks has 7 million pageviews a month
    • 05:26 – The newsletter was just launched last year and has 24,000 email subscribers
    • 05:48 – In Twitter, CSS-Tricks has over 300,000 followers
  • 06:40 – Chris does not subscribe to the idea of artificially growing his email subscribers
  • 07:22 – The month over month growth rate is probably sub-one percent
  • 08:12 – Chris’ secret to building a community is by using an authoritative, but friendly, tone
  • 09:56 – The comment form is regulated
  • 10:32 – Aside from Chris, CSS-Tricks’ team is composed of part-time writers
    • 11:14 – Chris prefers that the writers write about what interests them
    • 11:35 – Chris writes at least 20 articles/month
    • 12:39 – The posts are either the normal traditional blog post or the link post
    • 13:01 – Chris writes for about 1 to 2 hours
  • 13:31 – Eric says having a good product and organic keywords draws people to the site
  • 14:48 – Ads are one part of how Chris generates revenue
  • 15:41 – Chris discusses the business model for CSS-Tricks
  • 16:17 – Chris’ take home for CSS-Tricks is around $100,000
  • 16:47 – The page views for CodePen is at about 15-16 million, without embeds
    • 17:02 – Two of Eric’s developers came from CodePen
    • 18:30 – CodePen started as a demo tool that Chris made with his friends
  • 19:05 – The pricing plans for CodePen will be changing soon
  • 21:03 – A million users have signed up for CodePen
  • 21:17 – CodePen has 3 co-founders and 8 people total, who work on the app
  • 22:20 – The podcast is Chris’ smallest project and he has recorded 253 episodes with his friend, Dave
  • 23:03 – Any good story about building websites is the focus of the show
  • 23:07 – Chris interviewed the guy who hacked CSS-Tricks in his podcast
    • 24:01 – The hacker called the host and got access to the site
    • 24:24 – The hacker just wanted to get server access as he was into bitcoin and got excited about what he could do
  • 24:44 – Chris thinks the audience for his podcast is into the tens of thousands
  • 25:05 – Consistency is the key in building a community
  • 26:10 – There are 2,725 posts in CSS-Tricks, right now
  • 26:50 – What’s one piece of advice you’d give to your 25-year old self? “Go for a run a little more often”
  • 27:22 – What’s one new tool you’ve added in the last year that has added a lot of value? Zoom and Get Lab
  • 29:08 – What’s one must-read book do you recommend? Design for Community by Derek Powazek
  • 29:37 – Connect with Chris through his email, Twitter, GitHub and CodePen
  • 29:53 – End of today’s episode

3 Key Points:

  1. Being nice to others goes a long way when it comes to building a community.
  2. Creating unique content that is of great value will result in page views for your website.
  3. Being consistent is key when it comes to growing your business and community.

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