From Blog to $40M/Yr, 23k Customers At Moz With Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin

In Episode #368, Nathan interviews Rand Fishkin, who calls himself “The Wizard of Moz.” He founded Moz in 2007, and they made $39 million in revenue in 2015. Join us as Rand shares his unique journey with Moz and his own insights to what makes businesses like Moz successful. Listen as he tells hid difficult experience of deciding to handover the reigns of CEO for his own company.

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Famous 5:

  • Favorite Book? – The Billionaire Who Wasn’t
  • What CEO do you follow? — Heather Brunner
  • Favorite online tool? — Buzzsumo
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?—Not quite.
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Software engineering. Stick with the girl you’re dating—she’ll be a great wife.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:10 – Nathan introduces Rand Fishkin
  • 01:35 – Moz is a software company that assists with SEO
  • 02:05 – Founded in 2007, but first existed as a blog
    • 02:35 – The blog was an advertising tool for Moz
  • 03:20 – They had 400 people sign up in 6 months
  • 04:00 – 2007 revenue was $850k
  • 04:25 – Rand admits to being an amateur at the beginning of Moz
  • 05:20 – Great marketing and retention are super important to consider
  • 06:25 – 2015 total revenue is $39 million
  • 06:40 – Churn was 6.3% in April 2016
    • 07:30 – The logic behind good and bad churn rates
    • 08:00 – Churn is not the only thing that matters
    • 08:45 – It’s ok to start out with a higher churn
    • 09:15 – Different types of churn
  • 09:35 – Upsell revenue
  • 10:08 – They have not hit net negative revenue churn.
  • 11:00 – Customer churn and revenue churn
  • 12:10 – Average customer cost is $119/month
  • 12:33 – Customer acquisition is more complicated because Moz has several different products
  • 13:25 – Lifetime value
  • 14:20 – They want to be conservative with marketing
    • 15:00 – They want to lower churn
    • 16:05 – The Costco example
  • 16:48 – Rand replaced himself as CEO
    • 17:05 – His own decision due to issues with his mental health
    • 17:45 – It was a painful experience
    • 18:00 – Now he is feeling much better
    • 18:15 – He now runs a couple of their products and does promotion and content creation
  • 19:05 – moz.com/rand or @randfish on Twitter
  • 20:35 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. A churn rate is much more complicated that one month’s percentage.
  2. Find ways to have conservative marketing costs.
  3. Let your challenges take you to new and more fulfilling places.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.