Follow-up: Micro experiment: classic truck niche domain + social handle

Looking at more takeaways from a micro experiment on a niche domain name + social handle. Another retro and check-in on @cheapclassictrucks.

• 893 words

• By Scott Mathson

In April 2021 I wrote part 1 of this - a micro experiment’s early analysis/retrospective - then reflecting on stats from 3 months of having domain name and its matching @cheapclassictrucks social handle. For more background around how/why I started this classic truck niche experiment, check out the first article here.

What can a semi-exact-match name and handle organically do on its own, without much effort and promotion?

Recap on

On 01/05/2021 I bought this domain and setup social accounts for CheapClassicTrucks. A silent launch with very minimal, upfront time and promotion investment. I was simply curious to see what this name could do on its own.

At that time, I had only spent about 5 hours putting together a few assets to run its validation test:

  1. Bought domain, spent ~2hrs building very basic submission page
  2. Spent ~2hrs creating basic imagery, creative asset templates
  3. Put 3 “coming soon” posts up on IG and didn’t touch social/website again until May 2021

At that time, 1 quarter in - 3 months later, with minimal effort put in, it had organically gained some traction.

Jan to Apr 2021, CheapClassicTrucks had:

  • 100 Instagram followers via exact match handle/name search
  • 10-15 posts and story @ tags, here and there
  • 900 unique web visitors over 3-month period via exact-match, type-in traffic
    • Oversight on my part: site wasn’t even submitted for indexing until I realized this and spent ~5min verifying/submitting sitemap in Google Search Console on April 03.

Where stands today

Again, this isn’t by any means a viral story. Is it even fully validated, and worth pursuing? I still don’t know yet. For now, I’m just having fun re-sharing some classic trucks that I’m occasionally browsing through anyways.

Since that original 3-months-in post, here are some updated stats. Now, a few quarters in - a total of 9 months later, and again with minimal time investment. Things have organically gained even more traction.

Jan through Oct 2021, CheapClassicTrucks had:

  • 600 Instagram followers via posts, recommendation + search discovery
  • Many DMs, story tags, and messages/comments show CCT is being seen as credible/appreciated in the space
  • ~2,000 unique web visitors, with impressions growing at a good rate since website content started being created
  • 28 webpages are now live + indexed in search (majority including re-shared posts/listings, some re-purposed blog posts)
  • 15 social posts have gone live, with decent engagement on each post Google indexed pages November 01, 2021 screenshot
CheapClassicTrucks instagram account November 01, 2021 screenshot
CheapClassicTrucks Google Search Console impressions graph November 01, 2021 screenshot

Google Search Console showing Impressions (purple line) growing, Clicks lagging.

I definitely spent more time on CCT since that initial retrospective post, yet it hasn’t been a heavy side project lift, by any means (this write-up is easily the most time spent on CCT-related things, all month).

I’ve shared 15 posts (and created a listing write-up post for each) between May - October 31, 2021 - averaging a light 2.5 posts per month workload. CCT social page followers, now at 600, have been consistently increasing. CCT organic website traffic is so-so.

Browsing classic trucks on Craigslist and other marketplaces is something that I do a couple of times per month anyways, primarily to value my own 1971 Ford F-250 pickup and to shop parts for that project pickup. When I see a listing that’s a great deal and/or worthwhile to create a short post about on CheapClassicTrucks, then I do so. Again, the cadence has been just a couple of times per month for the past 6 months or so.

I’m treating this all as an experiment, still. An experiment to see what a domain name/social page like CCT will organically do on its own, with a bit of my time invested here and there.

Perhaps I’ll build a proprietary marketplace to buy/sell classic trucks once a bigger audience has been grown here, or perhaps not. Perhaps a domain name investor will throw an offer my way, and I’ll then have more IP built-up to include in the sale, or perhaps not. Perhaps @cheapclassictrucks will grow into being a highly followed account like @classic_fordtruck_trader (67K followers), or @cheapoldtrucks (118K), or @cheap_classics (105K), or perhaps not. Perhaps I’ll start to personally blog about my own ‘71 F-250 project truck repairs, including tutorials and buying/parts sourcing tips, or perhaps not. We’ll see!

For now, I’m seeing what it does with this MVP framework and little time investment in-place. I don’t have any real expectations set for this, so as of now it’s neither exceeded or fallen short. CheapClassicTrucks is exactly what and where it is right now. I plan to continue to occasionally post/re-share people’s vehicle listings here, and see what the social page/website can continue to grow to.

Thanks for reading this update. What niche/market are you scoping out or running mini experiments in lately? Tweet me about it @scottmathson.

Are you into classic rigs, too? Follow @cheapclassictrucks on Instagram!

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