Retention on AVC

There was an interesting conversation in the comments to my Retention post that I thought I'd highlight.

Avc retention

I can't figure out how to look at frequency and recency data in google analytics by UV as opposed to total visits. So this analysis is probably flawed. If anyone knows how to do that, please let me know in the comments.

But assuming the analysis is not totally flawed, the loyal readership of AVC is between 200k and 400k out of a total of 1.7mm unique visitors last year.

That means only 10% to 25% of the total visitors are regulars. That's not particularly great retention from what I can tell. But I sure do appreciate all of you loyal readers.


Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    Quality, not quantity, dude.

    1. ShanaC

      something underpriced in the ad market

    2. LE

      All the press had to say was that Marilyn was found in the nude.People care about numbers because the press and now bloggers are obsessed with numbers and people believe and are influenced by what they read. Except when the angle is “boutique” or “look what we’ve discovered”. It’s easier to make a point with a number (remember why the Titanic sank they wanted to break a record to get press) than the same point with words. Maybe this dates back to before there were pictures in media and it was all words.

    3. Kirsten Lambertsen


  2. awaldstein

    I’ll let the analytics gurus teach me as they answer your questions.Your posts have a lot of topical diversity. Curious if you ran the numbers on MBA Monday’s whether they wouldn’t be different as the topic is very focused.Running the number of people who comment consistently against the number of consistent visitors will show some huge gaps as the number of commentors is I bet a tiny (really small) fraction.

  3. Chris Chaten

    Are you factoring in RSS readers ?

    1. ShanaC

      you would have to get that data separately.

    2. fredwilson

      no, but i do know that there are about 10k per day who access via RSS

  4. David Parker

    Regular reader here, but I hardly click through to the site. I read everything from Google Reader and only click through if I want to comment (which is very rare).

  5. hallson

    This also doesn’t take into account RSS readers. Given your audience, I would suspect that you have a higher than avg amount of subscribers that probably read your feed regularly but don’t visit the site itself. I know I fall into that bucket.

    1. Nicholas Petroski

      Count me as one of these – I rarely visit any sites regularly (other than reddit) because when I find something interesting, I just create a feed in google reader and sort them by topic. AVC is in my “startups” folder with a few other blogs that I go through ~ once a day. Anything I find SUPER interesting/helpful (begin ass kissing) like almost everything from this site (/ass kissing) I will clip into evernote. This system has worked for me for a while now.

      1. Jeffsauer

        Also an RSS reader who only comes to the site for comments/other features. I also send a lot of the “meaty” articles to instapaper and read it there. To further complicate things, I view your posts on at least 3 devices (laptop, desktop, ipad). I have a feeling that a lot of your readers also fit this description.

        1. Cima

          Count me in as one of those readers. It’s great to read A VC on a tablet like on Google Currents but features like commenting and video are better experienced on the web. Currents doesn’t show the comments so sometimes I end up clicking to see the post.

      2. Andrew Cross

        Agreed. I’ll come to site for the goodies that don’t show up properly on Google Reader or to comment (like now).

        1. John Risner

          Same. I read AVC through Reader-sometimes daily but if not I catch up on weekends. Go to site for the comments, and to check out voice bunny and other hacks

      3. Quan

        Me too, but I receive my updates through Email. I prefer to have content pushed to me, rather than trying to alter my daily routine to check on the new content. I felt I needed to visit the site this time though, didn’t want Fred to feel any less influential than we all know he really is 🙂

    2. jmcaddell

      Yep, me too. I only get to the site when I leave a comment (like now!). Otherwise I use the RSS readers. But I’m not sure how to count RSS subs, since not all subscribers read everything in their RSS feed.

    3. Dayna Gant

      Count me in that bucket too. And I know some folks that can only get the email while at work. Their employers have filters on work systems that preclude them from reading the comments.

      1. ShanaC

        🙁 I like it when people stop by and say hello

        1. Dayna Gant

          Thanks Shana. Feeling bold today.

          1. ShanaC

            bold is good, unless it is starbucks coffee. Boldness has always gotten me places. So feel free to be bold more often

        2. laurie kalmanson


          1. ShanaC


    4. ShanaC

      also hi rss readers, You should come by and talk and click through 🙂

    5. fredwilson

      i have 127k subs to my RSS feed and about 10k per day who access it

      1. Elia Freedman

        I am on RSS feed but click through every day to also read the comments and sometimes comment myself. I wonder how that is counted?

        1. Fernando Gutierrez

          And then you have email. I get the FeedBlitz email everyday. Many days is my only contact with AVC. I don’t make Gmail download images in most cases, so FeedBlitz can’t know I’ve read the post…

          1. Ricardo Diz

            Nowadays, I do prefer email subscription to RSS feed readers for some things I do want to read every time.

        2. Yaniv Yaakubovich

          I’m on RSS + click for comments too. A VC is one of the sites for which I click on each post to read the whole discussion.

      2. Donna Brewington White

        I was getting notices through feedburner for much of the last half of 2012 that stopped around the first of the year. This type of hiatus occurred before — stopped mysteriously and just as mysteriously started up again months later.

        1. awaldstein

          Interesting….I find that except for headline news or pure fact finding, there are few sites that I visit or read regularly where I don’t comment.Opinions and community interest me and if they aren’t there, I get bored.

          1. Donna Brewington White

            Same here. I do get frustrated when the comments are not disqus empowered.

          2. panterosa,

            I totally agree. But then I was schooled at AVC…

      3. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Are the Feedblitz email subscribers rolled up into this?

        1. fredwilson

          i believe so

      4. Ricardo Diz

        I have on my RSS feed to read on the go using Flipboard. Still, most of the times I do access it directly through my laptop browser.I rarely check the comment section on mobile (it’s a bad experience), so sometimes I check the article content on the go, and go for the comments once I’m in front of a laptop/ipad.

    6. Donna Brewington White

      “Given your audience, I would suspect that you have a higher than avg amount of subscribers that probably read your feed regularly but don’t visit the site itself.”Why do you think that is? And what is it about this particular audience that causes this result?

  6. David Miller

    Do you really care about retention the same way a business would? Retention numbers seem like a vanity metric that hide the real value, which, to me, seems to be access to and lead-flow for deals in the “large networks of engaged users that can disrupt large markets” space.I can’t imagine anyone has better visibility to that deal-flow and it’s largely due to AVC. What else really matters?

    1. fredwilson

      the engaged users are a big part of what goes on here

  7. Aaron Klein

    Considering that hardcore entrepreneurs working on products that build engaged networks are the core audience here, it seems like 100-200K is a solid number. How many of that kind of entrepreneur exists?

  8. Ashok

    Regular ‘followers’ are also subscribers to email digest. The regulars on AVC are indicative of percentage of followers who are also ‘active participants’ and leave a comment behind every now and then…

  9. Martin Collignon

    Does it take into account people like me who get a daily email?

    1. Christopher Fryer

      I’m the same way; I only read the emails and rarely visit this actual page.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        I love how this post pulled in so many of you who don’t normally click through.

    2. ShanaC

      No unless you click through. If I am not mistaken feedburner does report those numbers.

    3. fredwilson

      not if you don’t come to the web to read

      1. Martin Collignon

        I’m not 🙂 but opening it and reading it everyday!

        1. ShanaC

          why not?

  10. zalzally

    Lets also consider the inbox. We should actively measure email as another important UI for engagement and retention, aside from web, mobile, tablet, etc.

  11. Roger Ellman

    Always happy to be in the top 10%. Aww shucks….you can’t measure that devoted group!

  12. bruno boutot

    It’s in fact a very good level of participation and retention considering the standard of 1%-9%-90% of online communities: 9% is the “occasional participation” for which AVC scores “10% to 25%”. Not bad at all considering that this is not really a community since there is only one guy posting. Of course it is possible to reach higher levels of participation than the standard (for example) but it would change the nature of AVC.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Thank you for this 🙂

    2. Donna Brewington White

      “only one guy posting”Well some of the comments become mini (or not so mini) posts in themselves. Many of us who have become regulars have done so in large part because of the comments and interaction. This has led to interaction and even relationships beyond this site.BTW appreciate the insight you shared.

  13. ShanaC

    You do it in custom reporting, but that requires building out what you want. Custom reporting actually allows a lot of nifty things to happen (especially if you tie it into custom variables ….ooooo)

  14. SD

    Your uniques may be inflated by users who come to the site across multiple browsers/devices (I access avc through 5 different devices- my guess is that I am counted at least 3 times – assuming my iCloud safari and my chrome browsers are counted as 1 apiece across multiple devices)

    1. fredwilson


    2. kidmercury

      great point. i’m at least 3 devices. margin of error here is enormous.

  15. Tom Labus

    I think retention by topic or personal interest would be higher and more revealing.

  16. Ro Gupta

    i’ve always thought unique visit or visitor numbers aren’t really reliable on a yearly basis b/c of things like cookie deletion. might be safer to base off most recent month

    1. ShanaC

      so, you could do m/m

  17. JLM

    .I am not a regular……………..I am an addict.AVCers in unison: “Welcome, Jeff, you freakin’ addict.”Your audience is stronger than an acre of garlic.And they are very loyal. And nice.People like you, Freddie, and it shows.You provide superb content, conversation, comity and courtesy. You are a great communicator.Happy Valentine’s Day to the AVC-dom. I love you guys.JLM.

    1. fredwilson

      happy valentines day JLM. i suspect you do it right.

      1. JLM

        .I am sure you know this — you have pushed me into writing a blogwww.themusingsofthebigredca…Actually it is written by my car. Damn car is always eavesdropping.This is entirely your faultI wrote a blog post sending a Valentine’s Day card to America. I must have gotten 250 emails from people. Four comments and 250 emails. How bizarre.http://themusingsofthebigre…If there is anyone who needs some love today, it is the US of A.Fred, it continues be one of my greatest joys to read and comment on your blog. Thank you for making it so.You are a freakin’ genius.JLM.

        1. Cynthia Schames

          I love your new blog, JLM. Smart car, indeed.And as for my regularity here on AVC…yeah, I’ve been slacking actually. Building a new business has shifted my focus somewhat in the past few months…but AVC is like vitamins for the startup mind, and I’m feeling the need to take my vitamins more regularly.

          1. JLM

            .Vitamins, indeed!Well played.How goes the new ‘up?JLM/BRC.

    2. William Mougayar

      Amongst us addicts….I’m nipping at your heels, but not intentionally 🙂 see imageAddiction is definitely is a sign of LOVE. Very apt on this Valentine’s Day!

      1. Donna Brewington White

        No, no! Addiction is not love.Except in this one particular case. We’ll allow it. (Royal “we”.)

    3. Elia Freedman

      Same to you, JLM.

    4. ShanaC

      Happy Valentines Day to you (I got my first valentines present ever!!!)

      1. William Mougayar

        That’s nice Shana! CongratulationsMay you receive many more in the future.

        1. ShanaC

          🙂 I’m dating someone who celebrates it. Previous BFs did not, or I wasn’t dating them on Valentine’s day. so it is a first 🙂

      2. Donna Brewington White


  18. ShanaC

    I’m floating this by people here:It seems a lot of people aren’t aware of how to get these sorts of numbers out of google analytics for themselves, nor how to interpret feedburner numbers, how this affects stuff like a/b testing (or even where to look for a/b testing), and how this data would affect ad buying.If I ran a skillshare class on GA hacks, would people take it? I like making people more knowledgable, and it sort of bothers me that some of this stuff is a question (one of my personal career goals is to make myself useless by teaching other people how to hack through this sort of stuff the way I do)What do you think?

    1. Adrian Sanders

      I would.

    2. Rohan

      My suggestion would be to just to do it – you might be lucky to have one person the first time.But it helps getting started. Just approach it as practice.. you never know where it can lead..

      1. ShanaC

        true, but I’m curious as if there is a market.

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. ShanaC

            i’m lean especially because there is only one of me

        2. LE

          Marketing is not posting a question on AVC to see if there is a market. Reminds me of people who think marketing is getting on hacker news or techcruch.Ans. to the question here could be false negative or positive. Also it is commonly known that people will tell you they will buy something as long as they don’t have to part with money or actually do anything (codecademy – remember Bloomberg saying he was going to learn to code?)While I think it’s fine to teach others assuming hopefully you are looking to make money. I think you should wake up in the morning and think about how to take the skill you have and get others to pay big dollars for it. By “others” I mean businesses that you can charge real money for your services.By the way people pay for something they don’t have the time to do themselves. Don’t be bashful about charging you are providing a service which took you time to learn so you should get paid. Unless of course you are returning a favor etc or there is some other reason to give it away for free.

          1. ShanaC

            That is starting to hit me more and more. Unfortuantely I have a bashful streak because I want to also be nice/understanding, but I am starting to temper that.I’m finding that people are screwing up ginourmously with their marketing and analytics. And I am getting burnt up by the fact that I know I am undermarket. Someone here is gently providing coaching to get me out of the bashfulness, because it a bit ridiculous at this point

          2. William Mougayar

            How about if you started blogging about it?That way, people will discover your wisdom & you never know where that leads.

          3. ShanaC

            planned, first going through site redesign (just saw basic version last week)



    3. Cynthia Schames

      I’d take your skillshare on that.

    4. Mac

      It’s Sunday night and I’m just catching up with A VC having been off the grid for a week. I’d also take your course on Skillshare. I think it’s a good idea.

  19. Richard

    You could get additional insight into this by applying a cox proportional hazard model. It sounds challenging, but if you can handle regression it is not that much harder. Basically , you would pick a few possible explanatory covariates. (Subject of post, whether the visitor commented, whether you personally interacted etc.) The results will tell you the increase in odds that each covariate has on your retention rate, i.e. your comment increases the probability of retention by a factor of 5.

  20. William Mougayar

    If you want that data out-of-the-box, then install Woopra and fire it-up. They even have an Android app. http://www.woopra.comThe cool part about it is it will also break down usage from mobile to desktop, in addition to retention data out of the box. You’ll have a view on your daily, weekly, monthly actives at a glance, plus a lot more.I’m a big advocate because we use them religiously at Engagio. Let me know if you need some help 🙂

    1. NatalieIssa

      Thanks William! As you said, Woopra has a very easy to use retention report that works out of the box. If you want to get fancy, you can also customize it to measure retention for different reader segments, such as those who have commented, as William suggested in another comment.

      1. William Mougayar

        Good. How do you track the commenters- via their disqus user name? That would be priceless data.

        1. NatalieIssa

          You could track “comment” as a custom event and use that to segment the report. In the new version (coming soon :)), you can even segment by how many times readers have commented in order to see your retention of frequent commenters. For example, you could generate a retention report for all readers who have commented at least 3 times in the last 30 days.

          1. ShanaC

            how, if I am not mistaken disqus is loaded from a separate html file not on this server, and instead on disqus’s

          2. NatalieIssa

            @ShanaC You can track commenting using a callback function. More info here:…@William Mougayar Thanks – appreciate it!

          3. ShanaC

            oh god that is going to look messy once in system

          4. William Mougayar

            Wow. That’s powerful stuff for all Disqus sites. You should be a marketing partner with them. I will introduce you @danielha

    2. ShanaC

      there are a lot of services that are starting this. The problem is cookies.

      1. William Mougayar

        What is the problem with cookies?Woopra is an established customer analytics platform. You drop asynchronous code in your app or website, and it tracks user-based events, actions, flows, etc Knowing that you love analytics, you should check them out 🙂

        1. ShanaC

          how much detail do you want me to know about you? I don’t care (you’re just a datapoint in the world of analytics), but you might

          1. NatalieIssa

            I agree @ShanaC that some companies, like online publishers, mostly care about aggregate traffic data and “impressions”, but customer focused companies like SaaS and e-commerce do care quite a bit about individual level data. Our CEO wrote an amazing post related to this topic:

          2. ShanaC

            but that is where the creepy comes into play. You care too much, you become a bit more, but the system doesn’t know know me. I mean, it can’t correlate what cookie I eat with tea with whether I will buy a shirt

  21. phantomjamesHRH

    I don’t think media usage patterns changed, when media went from analog to digital.In the radio business, the breakout was lower: 8-10% hardcore audience, everyone else casual listeners (unless you had a red hot morning show, which had higher retention).Are they CONSTANTLY releasing new code @ DISQUS? I am on a laptop that I hardly ever shut off & I am having trouble signing in (which I should not have to do in the first place, should I?)#annoying

  22. LE

    “I can’t figure out how to look at frequency and recency data in google analytics by UV as opposed to total visits””That means only 10% to 25% of the total visitors are regulars. That’s not particularly great retention from what I can tell. “Management by numbers. To me none of this matters at all. is a side business for you “friends with benefits”. It’s not something that you can spend more time on other than a tweak here or a tweak there. You’ve got bigger fish to fry. As well as date night and a family as well. I (as well as others) can think of many ways that you could greatly increase retention on the blog. But you’re not going to have time to do those things.Your time is spread thin among to many things already. Business (and if you consider AVC a business) is full time. You can’t spend part time and expect to have full time results. Investors are people like Henry Kravitz who (as I”ve mentioned) fire people who want Henry’s opinion on sign usage at a newly acquired hotel chain. Business builders are people like Henry Ford who obsessively ruled over every detail of the massive River Rouge assembly plant or Sam Walton or others. Investors rely on getting the best people and letting them do their shit. Business builders think their shit doesn’t stink that they have the best ideas. (Lest anyone think I only know what I read or watch I’ve also interacted directly with business builders who sweat details and have seen the results that they have had by attention to the small stuff which does matter.) The internet is different because it’s more like “put your hand out and catch the business”.You are an investor that’s what you do and that’s what you are good at.Just my style and not criticizing anyone who does but I never managed by numbers or really paid much attention to them. (Never managed weight by the scale either.) At the “factory” you know by the tempo of the floor, the phones ringing, the way people move, if you are making money or not or have had a good month.

  23. alanmcgee

    the numbers in this GA report are calculated per unique visitor, so your assumptions are correctyou’d also want to consider offsite readers like myself (e.g. rss, email) not captured in this report, who would bump up the loyalty

  24. William Mougayar

    Also, another data point is about the Commenters. I recall you said that there are about 1,000 active commenters, so that’s an even smaller percentage of the overall readership.I bet if you ran Retention on the Commenters, it would probably be better than overall retention.

    1. fredwilson

      the commenters are the most active cohort by a lot

  25. Elia Freedman

    Interesting choice of posts today. It’s the “showing Fred some love” post on Valentine’s Day. 🙂

  26. Emily King

    This is probably only the second time I’ve been to the avc website, but I read the rss feed in my google reader daily.

  27. Brian Rogers

    Hey, I think I can help you out. We have the ability to create an engagement score for your website visitors based on things like duration on site, visit recency, number of blog articles looked at, and so on.With this data we can break down your traffic into not engaged, semi-engaged, and engaged. You can then work on getting more folks engaged (which means they read your content, come back frequently, etc).Here is a blog article I wrote about something similar we’re doing with our site –…If you want, you can then use this information to actually create dynamic content on your site and really engage your users to move the needle on the engagement score.

    1. ShanaC

      Can I kvetch a bit.I hate scores. Why does everyone want one. They often don’t relate to immediate KPIs. Even when we talk engagement, we should talk about it terms of KPI (i mean, does it matter if it is a short visit if the thing that was supposed to get done got done)/endrant

  28. Ryan

    Yeah!! Loyal reader here in London, never commented before, work in a totally different industry, but enjoy reading your post every day.

    1. fredwilson


  29. Kimberly

    Well this is my first day. I’ll be sticking around. 🙂

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Welcome, Kimberly. It only gets better.


        OR ELSE.

    2. ShanaC

      Welcome. We like people who stick around. Advice: Pester people with questions, they tend to answer them 🙂

    3. fredwilson

      great. welcome!

  30. Carl Rahn Griffith

    Quality vs Quantity 😉

  31. Brandon Kessler

    I feel so strongly that the killer feature missing from most blogs (including a prominent link on this one — it’s buried) is Blog-to-Email. If Disqus had a prominent Subscribe to This Post button at the top of their comments (versus their subscribe to comments), retention would go way up across their entire network. And, the notification email doesn’t have to contain the full blog post, just the title and a few lines so we’d all click to read and comment via the full thing on your site. Reading via Feedburner discourages commenting.I had read your blog weekly for years before subscribing to email updates via an IFTTT notification, after which I immediately started reading it daily.

    1. fredwilson

      i’ve been offering blog to email since day oneit’s under the RSS button.i think i have something like 10k subs that way. i have 127k total subs on RSS

  32. Rebecca Herson

    Count me in the RSS numbers. Read all your posts and draw inspiration from them. Such a pain commenting on my phone which is where I catch up in the few moments of down time. Had to break my silence though and let y ou know I’m here and appreciate your insights!

  33. Kyle Short

    You know, 10%-20% devotees is not bad at all. Your blog is treated well by Google and surfaces in a lot of different hot topic searches. Interpreting your numbers is a matter of perspective and I read it to mean that you have a strong base, and SEO dumps a lot of new readers on your lap every month on top of it.I found you’re blog when I started reading about startups, prepping for my own. I quickly became a devotee, but not as an active return visitor here…rather, I’ve dug up almost any video I could find on YouTube with you as I learn better through video…

  34. Richie S

    This gets at a bigger issue of retention on the web in general, which is quite low. We had the issue with Facebook and brands where in order to access over ~20% of their fans they had to pay. Or on Tumblr where even if you have 100k followers, you only get ~120 likes per post (this is based on observation). If the post is promoted, it is higher, but not by much. But since posts don’t get old on Tumblr as on other networks, it can get better. The issue of low retention on the web would be a great post (or book) by itself. Lots of questions about it that are unsolved.



    2. laurie kalmanson

      10 percent becoming loyal customers is a lot

  35. Jevgenijs Kazanins

    Custom Report should help: start a new customer report and select “Unique Visitors” in Metrics Group and “Count of Visits” in Dimensions. This should show unique visitor count by the number of visits in a given timeframe.

    1. Jevgenijs Kazanins

      “Count of Visits” can also be replaced with “Days Since Last Visit”

      1. ShanaC

        or you can do both in dimensions

      2. Jevgenijs Kazanins

        adding “Source/Medium” as the second dimension, would also allow you to see what was the last referrer for visitors that let’s say visited your blog at least 10 times (as a way to check if your regulars are coming from Twitter, directly, or from RSS).

        1. ShanaC

          there are a zillion ways to do this. None of which fully answer the questions of “what is retention” – because it depends on how you think of retention as a KPI

    2. fredwilson

      thanks. i will try that.

  36. Donna Brewington White

    Given the vastness of options on the web this is actually quite impressive.But the numbers don’t tell all. For instance, the web of relationships and interactions that AVC has spawned which are an extension of AVC. And the ideas that are generated and percolating out there that will probably at some point benefit your deal flow.It is interesting the people that tell me that they read AVC regularly and I never see them here.AVC is more than a blog, or even a community, it is a locus. I am sure that for many of us, it is never far from mind.Happy Valentine’s Day.

    1. JLM

      .Damn, Donna, Willie? Willie? Really?Well played!And on Valentine’s Day and with the most brilliant selection ever.GOOSE BUMPS!On Earth as it is in Texas, today and forever!And, remember this, Willie belongs to Texas. Willie is Texas. And it does not get better than that.JLM.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        Willie’s from Texas?If I know that I will be in the car for more than a couple of hours on open road, I almost always have “the best of” Willie along for the ride.

    2. Guest

      .OK, now you have started something here.Did you know that Elvis sang that song?Listen to this and tell me who sings it better?…Not too many folks can say they schooled Elvis. But I think Willie did it.JLM.

      1. JLM

        Awwww, Disqus misbehaving.JLM

      2. Donna Brewington White

        Schooled him, kicked butt, and took names.

        1. Mac

          Hi Donna. It’s Sunday night and I’m just catching up on A VC having been off the grid for a week. Nice selection. Willie schooled a lot of people in a lot of things….which you could probably do with a SkillShare class. Just saying…..

          1. Donna Brewington White

            Welcome back to the grid, Mac. I hope it was time well enjoyed.Thanks for the vote of confidence. I just happen to have an idea percolating about that very thing. But everything takes so much timeeee.

    3. JLM

      .Elvis sang that song but Willie ate his lunch?…Texas, it just makes stuff better. Not our fault.BTW, Disqus misbehaving today.JLM.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        Hey JLM! Disqus does seem to be acting up. But I still love it/them.Elvis who?Happy Valentines Day!

  37. Dariel

    I seldom visit your site, but I always read it via Google reader (today is an exception because I’m posting this).

    1. Donna Brewington White

      It’s always great to “meet” one of the google reader/rss AVCers who ventures over to the comments.

    2. ShanaC


  38. matthughes

    That retention rates seems pretty great actually – I’m glad I’m part of that group.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      I’m glad you are too, Matt. 🙂

      1. matthughes

        Thanks Donna. 🙂

  39. markslater

    25% retention is very good.

    1. ShanaC

      considering these people drive pageviews, yes. Most content sites can’t do that.

  40. Vangroovy

    Hi Fred. Because you post almost daily I come in directly to the website each morning, unprompted. It is very much part of my morning routine, like coffee or on good days brushing my teeth. Yours is also the only blog where I always head into the comments which you ‘manage’ beautifully. For folks who generate web content less ‘predictably’ i rely more on twitter. Joe

    1. Donna Brewington White

      You speak for many of us.And on the days that I don’t get to stop by in the morning or during the day, I almost always make it part of the evening routine. Except my evenings tend to sometimes overlap with mornings EST..

      1. Cam MacRae

        You reckon your evenings overlap… you should try mine!

    2. ShanaC

      Why do you rely on twitter for people who do lower management? What about twitter do you find engaging there?

  41. JLM

    Donna Brewington White…Many folks do not realize that Elvis sang that song before Willie.Willie schooled Elvis.…JLM .

  42. David Petersen

    “That means only 10% to 25% of the total visitors are regulars. That’s not particularly great retention from what I can tell”Seems excellent to me.What is the highest retention rate you have ever seen?

  43. Pete Griffiths

    Is it just me? It feels like 10-20% is great retention. Are you judging this with respect to some industry norms you can share with us?

  44. jason wright

    it would be helpful to see the avc numbers in a picture. my brain responds well to that sort of thing. source, flow, volume, in nice colors, for the wall. limited edition, signed ‘Fred’. could be worth something.

  45. Dasher

    AVC reminds me of the show ‘Cheers’, a favorite of mine. ‘Where everybody knows your name’… Sam, Diane, Carla, Norm, Cliff, Frasier, Woody, Coach they are all in here 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      yes. i have made that comparison as well.

  46. steve


  47. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    I don’t think all visits can be treated equal and for a blog such as this I view the number of comments as an excellent indicator of engagement. Also, the influence of this blog is immeasurable – one recent example was the HBO post!

  48. Guest

    Did you take into consideration the readers who are following you over RSS ?

  49. Aviah Laor

    Better to measure retention without say top 10 or 20 most poplar posts

  50. Phil Anderson

    Keep in mind in this day and age of mobile devices, that GA considers these 4 “different people” because of the cookies – My work computer, my home computer, my iPhone, my iPad. If I clear my cookies or use incognito mode, the situation is even worse.

  51. jason wright

    less is more. i syndicate to very few feeds. it’s got to be good to get my subscription.

  52. Steve

    even Sunday, Fred.

  53. DonRyan

    I’m a loyal reader but do so via RSS so I only visit the page to comment (like now). I think your reach is much greater than the numbers are suggesting.



  55. Vlad

    Does it count people on the rss feed?I read regularly, but through google reader (I’ve heard people say they’ve stopped using it, but it works for me). I only click over to the site when an image doesnt load or something like that.

    1. Vlad

      And the whole comment thread below me says exactly that. Sorry.

      1. ShanaC

        it happens

  56. Jake Stein

    You can actually run a cohort analysis in google analytics to understand retention, but it’s pretty complicated. We’ve seen a lot of people get frustrated when they try, so we wrote a blog post with instructions and examples:

  57. Bruce Warila

    I launched a group blog a few years back (1M+ uniques a year). When I ran the blog I optimized for retention and there were no banner ads. A small media company runs the blog now; they have ads; they publish a LOT of articles; Google organic traffic has gone way up; retention has gone way down.When I look at this, it seems to me that advertising (CPM driven off of Google organic search) and optimizing for retention (a quality metric) are at odds with each other? Quantity and not quality are driving the growth of the site, and this has driven up ad revenue (I suspect). I wonder if this happens everywhere?

  58. ahoova

    I read all my blogs in google reader. I prefer the basic view and the content in the same format. At times I will click through, but that is a rarity.

  59. panterosa,

    @fredwilson:disqus I have an icon just for AVC on my iPad and phone. Have been reading on the site for 3+ years. I hate when I don’t have time to comment, which is recently, and sometimes I have nothing to add. I am here for the posts as well as the community. I have sent many people posts of yours and it’s likely you have some new readers from there.

  60. Aaron Klein

    Agreed.By the way, we never formally met but I was aware of your BD work for Seeking Alpha. How is your new startup going? Are you talking publicly yet about what you’re working on with Market Realist?