When The Inquisitr hit the 3 month mark I knew we had to lift our game to survive. The site has always done well, and our Technorati stats are proof positive of that, but when you have a writing staff of 2.5 on top of myself, the economics become more interesting. I had originally set out to pay the sites writers on a combination of set rate and traffic performance, but the indicators I’d planned on using didn’t pan out. Hence I ended up paying them a set rate every month. The second month I must admit to flinching, but I knew they were doing a good job, even if the revenue wasn’t keeping up. The 3rd month was up, but not enough.
The good news is a couple of weeks into the 3rd month that our traffic is through the roof. We’d had 2 solid weeks leading to the last couple of days, a couple of 5 figure days in terms of traffic, but the better news was even the quiet days were twice the size they were even a month back. Then there was bigfoot. I’m still waiting on the final stats for the second day of Bigfoot traffic, but it’s likely 2 days of 100k+. I’m also still waiting on the latest RSS sub rates as I post this, but we put on a solid 500+ additional subscribers on the main feed the first day of the surge, and hopefully something close the second day.
TechWinter wrote a post August 8 (currently throwing errors, but link here) suggesting that the traffic was in some sort of terminal decline, but he used Compete, and it’s a seriously flawed way of tracking any site, let alone ours. That the site opened on a bang I’ve written about before, mostly due to a Digg day 3. The following 4 weeks were down, because unfortunately Digg traffic doesn’t convert into long term readers. Since that time though we’ve been on a steady climb north, and there has never been a climb down from about the 3-4 week mark in.
Will the site make it? Still can’t tell. The bar is set high for The Inquisitr, mostly due to the investment in a writing staff. Standalone without any paid staff it would certainly put some food on my table now, but on the same token could I have grown it that far without the support of our writing team? I would be lying to say we’re out of the woods yet, but the trends are positive and if it does fail, we’ll go down fighting. Alone, considering Technorati rank, traffic and even revenue, it’s a minimum $20-30k sale on Sitepoint, but possibly pushing $50k or higher. There’s great value there, and hopefully it will start paying for itself soon.