The Inquisitr Update: One Week In

It has been a little over a week since The Inquisitr launched and for me it has been a wild ride. My background in blogging has been as an owner for years, but after 12 months at TechCrunch and nearly 6 months prior to that I hadn’t run a reasonably high trafficked blog. I won’t make many of these sorts of posts (maybe once a month or so) but being part of the blogosphere is being transparent, so I’ll take the opportunity to share some stats, what we’ve done, and where we are heading in this post.

Stats

My first mistake was not implementing Google Analytics from day one, so I don’t have an impartial, non-Awstats based source from which to quote from.

According to Awstats, The Inquisitr has managed 225,000 page views as of 4am May 15, at an average of 15,000 page views a day. This number includes pre-launch, but likewise it includes our two biggest days.

The first full launch day May 6 resulted in 43,000 page views, of which half came from TechCrunch, and I’ll always be grateful to Michael Arrington for his wonderful send off and referral to people here. The biggest day came May 8 where this post hit the front page of Digg. Total for the day was 97,000 page views of which 28,000 came from Digg (there’s a flow on affect where other sites link in as a result of a Digg front page). The worst day was Sunday May 11 with 5,000 page views.

I’m not the least bit unhappy with these stats. I thought when I started this if I managed 100-200k page views in the first month I’d be going alright. I’d think that 300,000-400,000 (baring a couple of Digg front pages) is where the site will close its first calendar month.

Subscriptions

Before I start: why is it that years after being acquired by Google, is Feedburner still running its own user login system?

But I digress. When I started I was thinking that if the site did 500 subscriptions in the first week, it would be going well. A week and a bit later Feedburner reports just over 1900 subscriptions across all four feeds. When I started I thought people would go for the sub feeds more than the master feed, but surprisingly they haven’t. Of the 1900 all but approx 150 are for the master feed, with the bulk of the remainder subscribing to the tech feed. Feed back in terms of the content mix so far has been positive, but I still respect that people wont always want to read everything on the site, so the options remain.

Features

A lot of the extras on the site came post launch, mostly as I was focused on writing at TechCrunch up until that very last day; call me strange but as far as I was concerned, I was being paid to do a full time job and I did it until the last minute.

Since launching we’ve fixed a lot of things, like a couple of the quirks in the template, added bio details and contact details (including a submission form), and we’ve even launched a job board. The last one may be a little ambitious given the growth stage the site is at, but I’m happy that we can offer other sites, both in ad placement and display as a value add for those interested.

Other things added include Seesmic video commenting and support for inline FriendFeed commenting and display of any comments a post has on FriendFeed as well. As per my last post I’m also considering implementation of the Disqus commenting system.

Minor adds include a BlogCatalog widget and Techmeme Widget.

Advertising

I’ve tweaked advertising a little bit since starting, including use of Pubmatic, a company I saw present at TechCrunch40, for the sidebar 300×250 ad spot (hence the weird colors). I’ve also implemented some basic 125×125 spots firstly to see how they sit on the site, secondly to demonstrate them in the future. Total revenue since launch is just shy of $100. Not a lot (nor even remotely close to paying the wage bill) but after one week anything is a bonus.

I’m not going to start plugging advertising opportunities until the site has some more hard stats (say after a month, give or take). Having said that if you are interested in advertising please don’t hesitate in contacting me with your proposal: while the numbers are raw the cost is low :-)

Conclusion

My thanks to all those people who have given me support since launching the site last week. Also my thanks to our excellent writing team who cover things I cant during the US day. There is something magical about running your own site; part of me misses TechCrunch and Michael’s wise advice, but the thrill and challenge of building something you have a stake in is something that cant be substituted. I’m still guest posting on occasion at TechCrunch (had a post up the other day, with an exclusive coming this Tuesday/ Monday US time), but most of all I’m having some fun again and being myself more, without the stress of employer or trolls. I just hope that going forward you all like it.