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Building Shepherd - 2022 features + traffic update!

Last month Shepherd.com had 48,000+ unique visitors, our best month yet! 🥳

Summary: December 27th to January 7th
I got a cold from hell on December 25th so I have been out of it. I just got back on my feet on January 3rd (I still think it was Omicron but the 7 rapid tests between my family say negative). This week was still pretty low energy and a lot of catch-up.
What have I been working on?
Team page!
I finally got a team page up, and meet the Shepherd team :)
Search + bookshelves coming January 17th
We are almost done with search and bookshelves and they will be launching around January 17th! I am so excited to get these key features out to readers. Try a preview of search here and bookshelves here.
I have about 900 bookshelves to set up next week. And, I have about 900 more bookshelves
New front page coming February 7th
I was really hoping to launch this in January, but it is going to take a little longer than I thought. It should be ready toward early February. You can preview the new front page here, although it is only 25% done (check back in a few weeks).
What features are coming in 2022?
We have some internal work we need to do to the backend in February that will take at least a month. And, then we will start working on the features below (not necessarily in this order).
  • Improved Recommendation Section - We will be updating the recommendation section on each book recommendation page to use the new system we’ve built (screenshot shared last month).
  • We will be adding individual book pages to celebrate individual books and help readers learn why that book is recommended (mockup coming in a few weeks if it is ready to share).
  • We will be adding a “books like” page to help readers find books like the one they love (mockup coming in a few weeks if it is ready to share).
  • We will be running a simple test to see how many readers are interested in a book recommendation newsletter. Once we gauge interest levels we will see how that factors in for the year.
  • We will be adding a free program to help authors with new book launches. As well as a program to help feature book-lists based around dates (like the anniversary of Pearl Harbor).
  • BIG ONE - I am also working to license book data (expensive). That will allow us to create genre pages and build out sections for children, YA, middle graders, and so on. This is a MASSIVE project and I am hoping to have it ready by late summer or late Fall.
I improved the FAQ a ton!
What else is going on? Traffic!
Traffic growth since launch from Google
Traffic growth since launch from Google
Traffic growth has been amazing!
For December we had 48,000 unique visitors and 75,000 pageviews. Traffic from Google was up 49% month over month which is fantastic!!! It usually takes ~3 years to rank for competitive Google searches so this is great to see.
2022 is going to be a huge year for Shepherd, and I am so excited!!!
Thanks, Ben
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Ben Fox

Follow along as I build the Shepherd book discovery platform (updates every 2 weeks).

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