As you may have noticed by now, Gabe, Adam, and I enjoy posting about a wide variety of topics on Mission Arabica ranging from our business, to inspiration, family, and of course coffee just to name a few. In these variety of posts it may sometimes be easy for someone to forget the true purpose of this website though, which is to help build an audience for Mission Arabicaâ€™s work to help third world farmers plant coffee, thereby improving their standard of living, access to clean water, medical care, education, etc.
So we decided that at the beginning of each month we would post an update to show what we have accomplished in the prior month. We will also let you know how we are doing compared to our goals and where we are heading in the coming months to make sure you know the full picture of what is happening with Mission Arabica and (if you are interested) how you can get involved as well. Just a bit of forewarning, these will likely be longer posts because we try to accomplish quite a bit in a given month. 😉
So with that said, lets jump right into it.
The Mission Arabica website officially launched on January 21st and overall, we are thrilled with the engagement we received from you our readers/fans. That engagement has definitely given us some momentum moving out of January and into the month this report is discussing: February.
During the month of February, Gabe, Adam, and I planned for one of us to post every Tuesday on a rotation. These posts ended up including:
Overall this schedule worked pretty well for us because it gave us enough time between posts to put together some high quality content. We are all pretty new to blogging and we are quickly realizing that a significant amount of time goes into making a high quality post. It may seem easy, but it is definitely not. That being said, it is absolutely worth it because we believe that extra effort is what really sets a great site apart from a good site and this mission means too much to us and so many others for us to cut corners on.
Something else we noticed is that the typical weekly traffic flow with a Tuesday posting schedule looks like this:
We had been seeing this trend over the last several weeks and really it makes sense because new content should hopefully drive more traffic to the site. However, the following week, we celebrated the one month anniversary/birthday of Mission Arabicaâ€™s existence by doing a giveaway. That date ended up falling on a Friday and this was the result.
What we took away from that is that having two posts per week seems to be pretty important from a traffic standpoint. So we have decided to ease into doing a couple extra posts throughout the month by adding these monthly updates as well as making the giveaway a monthly occurrence. We debated just jumping right to two posts per week, every week, but we were concerned that we would not be able to keep the quality component and we donâ€™t feel that is acceptable. So we will play it by ear and see how March pans out with these few extra posts.
New Social Circles
Another thing we learned is how important networking is. In February, we did a video with a coffee shop called Java House where they showed me how to brew coffee with a Chemex. (You can check out that video here) This post has been by far our most successful post and we believe that is because of a few reasons:
But most importantly in our opinion, was that we were able to reach a new circle of people that we had not previously had contact with. That new circle of course is the Java HouseÂ fans (if that is you, Welcome!). The great thing about networking is that it benefits both sides. I know because I heard from several Mission Arabica fans that said they now wanted to try Java House, so it really is a win-win situation.
This chart also goes to show the importance of this networking. It depicts that when we announced the video with Java House on Facebook, we received about 10 more likes in a two day period. Which for us is significantly more than normal.
Therefore, the takeaway from this is that we want to keep expanding our network to enter into additional social circles thereby increasing the Mission Arabica audience as well as the audience of the person we are networking with.
To accomplish our mission, we have developed multiple goals that are broken into three phases.
Phase I is our audience growth phase. The purpose of this phase is to tell the story of our journey as three average guys who are stepping out to try and do something tremendous in the world. The goal of this story is two fold:
To inspire others to follow our lead and take that step to do something great in the world. Don’t cut yourself short. Dream BIG and make it happen! You can do it!
Through telling our story, we look to increase the demand for the third world coffee we will be selling. This isn’t as much of a profit thing as it is an impact thing. In other words:
The greater our audience – the greater demand there will be for Lao coffee
The greater the demand for Lao coffee – the more plantations we can set up
The more plantations we can set up – the more farmers pulled out of poverty
Phase I Updates:
Likes at January 31: 187
Likes at February 28: 210
Increase of: 23 likes (12% increase)
Phase I Goal: 2,000 (1,790 more needed)
In regards to social media presence, Facebook has been by far where we have spent the majority of our time and efforts. This is also clearly reflected in the numbers as well. That being said, 2,000 likes is a pretty ambitious goal, but I still believe we can make it.
If you havenâ€™t liked us on Facebook yet, help us reach our goal by clicking on the Like button in the sidebar to the right.
Also, I wanted to point out the importance of sharing our content. When you like us on Facebook it helps you stay in the loop about what is going on with Mission Arabica. However, when you SHARE our content, it goes out to all your friends, many of which are not Mission Arabica fans (but would be if they only knew about us, right?! 😉 ) So sharing our content and encouraging your friends to check it out is huge for us and we really appreciate it!
Followers at January 31: 32
Followers at February 28: 38
Increase of: 6 (19% increase)
Phase I Goal: 2,000 (1,962 more needed)
Twitter is a social media platform that neither Gabe, Adam, or I have used prior to Mission Arabica. Â As such, we have not really spent as much effort utilizing it. Â However,Â in the coming months we plan on spending increasing amounts of time here in order to further our cause.
If you havenâ€™t followed us on Twitter yet, click here to join:
Subscribers at January 31: 19
Subscribers at February 28: 21
Increase of: 2 (11% increase)
Phase I Goal: 1,000 (979 more needed)
We are honored by everyone who takes the time to visit our site and like/follow us on social media, but I would have to say that our email subscribers hold a really special place in our hearts because they have gone above and beyond to say, â€œYes, I like what you are doing so much that I want you to keep me informed by email.â€ I donâ€™t know about you, but in this age of spam emails, I am not one to just go around and sign up for a bunch of mailing lists unless I really believe the content of those emails will be worth while.
We recognize that and therefore we do our very best to respect your inbox by typically only sending out one email per week with updates from the site. However, there really are more perks than that. Email subscribers are sort of on the Mission Arabica VIP list so when we do things like giveaways they get favorable treatment (i.e. in the February giveaway, existing email subscribers received 3 extra entries, and the winner of the gift card ended up being an email subscriber).
Lastly, and Iâ€™m excited to announce this, we are expecting to be launching the very first line of coffee for Mission Arabica (more details in a bit) and email subscribers will have the first opportunity to purchase it before it sells out!
The best part is that becoming an email subscriber is absolutely free. So if you are already an email subscriber: Thank You. But if you are not, it is super easy to sign up, just do so in the box below this paragraph.
The other aspect of Phase I is developing affiliate income to help us cover some Mission Arabica expenses. If you are not familiar, affiliate income is basically a commission for sending someone to a sales page of a website. If that person then goes on to buy something, we will receive an affiliate commission. We currently do this with Amazon. Whenever we recommend a product on our site and link to Amazon for that product, we will receive a commission if you go ahead and purchase the product.
The great thing is that this does not increase the cost of the product you are purchasing and this commission is not limited to just the product we linked to. For example, if we link to a coffee pot and you click on the link, but then end up purchasing a TV, we will still receive the commission on the TV as well.
Therefore, a super easy way to help out is when you are going to buy something on Amazon, just go through our affiliate link first. It doesnâ€™t cost you anything extra and Mission Arabica will end up receiving about 5% of the sale.
In the month of February we earned $48.61 from Amazon this way.
To make this even easier for you, just go ahead and bookmark/favorite this link and whenever you want to go purchase something from Amazon, just use this saved link for your convenience.
If you are not sure how to bookmark a link, Adam made a video to show you how. Just click here.
Total Site Visits
The final Phase I metric I wanted to point out is our total site visits this month so we can track it going forward. Hopefully we will see this number continue to increase each month!
Total Site Visits in February: 472
This phase will mainly focus around starting to buy and sell coffee from existing farmers as well as taking a trip to Laos.
I am excited to announce that Adam has been in contact with a coffee roasting company called The Bearded Apple. Now, I wonâ€™t spoil the whole story because Adam is working on putting together a video about it, but in short these guys have community improvement as a key factor in their business model and it just made sense for us to join with them to start producing the VERY FIRST MISSION ARABICA COFFEE!!! Now this coffee would not be grown in Laos, but it would be grown and purchased in a way that agrees with the Mission Arabica values and we will cover that in a series of posts before we launch the coffee.
Even though this coffee will not be from Laos, it will still help us reach our goals because for one, it will provide financial support. But for two, it will help us get familiar with the process of buying and selling coffee which will be a great skill to have once we are in Laos.
Trip to Laos
Another Phase II item that we have been discussing is planning our trip to Laos. We are currently looking at going the end of January 2015 because that is when the coffee harvest is. So we would hopefully be able to purchase some coffee while we are over there and sell it on the website as well.
This phase is primarily focused on actually setting up a coffee plantation. This is really the primary goal of what we are trying to accomplish, but more details of this will become available once we have made a trip to Laos. In the mean time we are continuing to learn about coffee and coffee agriculture to help turn this vision into a reality.
So as you can see, it has been a busy month and we have lots of great things we are working on. Iâ€™m definitely looking forward to having a great March and excited to see where this journey takes us.
Remember, we cannot do this without you! So sign up for our email list and share our posts with your friends on Facebook. We appreciate you more than you know and would also love the chance to interact with you, so drop us a line in the comments or on social media as we would love to get to know you better.
Thanks for joining this journey with us!