As I’ve been working on a new design and approach to this blog/newsletter, I have been diving into the analytics to understand what all of you are doing with it.
Here are some charts and tables:
1/ The web traffic (desktop and mobile) has risen and fallen over the years, driven by SEO and other factors. MAUs peaked in the 2012/2014 period in the 300k range. It has settled in more recently at 80-100k a month.
2/ The email “newsletter” subscriptions have risen a lot in recent years. For much of AVC’s history, email was not a particularly popular way to read this blog, but in the last four or five years, it has grown a lot, to about 30k active email readers.
The top 50 blog posts of all time are an interesting bunch. Most of them have been written in the last five years, but there are a few that go back to 2009 and 2010.
Clearly there is a lot of value in the archive and I want to flesh that (and search) a lot more in the redesign.
It also want to make the email subscription work better. I have heard from many who read via email that it could be improved. So I will work on that.
Hi Fred:Your blog is a treasure. I look forward to reading it on a daily basis and have shared specific posts and the blog in general with many people. I normally read it through an RSS feed. I am curious to know what your analytics say about this method of consuming it. Which readers are more popular, whether that whole sector is still falling or has stabilized…Thanks!
Yes, it would great to know if RSS is a thing or not in 2019 beyond personal preferences. It is clear that went down in the past but it is interesting to know if it has stabilized or is in free fall mode.
With the rise of podcasts, RSS is far from over.
here are some stats on my RSS feed (see the attached screenshot). 30k subscribers, about 11k of them are active currently https://uploads.disquscdn.c…
Hi Fred, I’m a long time reader of the blog (8+ years and I’ve never missed a post). My preferred method is consuming the content via RSS reader as well; I use an app called NewsBlur, which helps me keep track of content that I haven’t read. The benefit is that I can batch up content from my favorite blogs and read them whenever I want. The downside is that I don’t join the discussion on the blog very often. So I’m part of the 90% who consume but don’t interact. Once in awhile you’ll ask a question that will get me to the website to interact. Anyhow, thank you for the daily routine!
I wonder if there a correlation between posts in the past that drew huge positive comment strings and overall viewership.
What’s the churn rate over time?
100% over 100 years
Would it be possible for you to give a bit more info on sources on the Web side of things ? I’m especially curious about how meaningful RSS and, separately, algorithmic lists (“news for you” etc.) are, compared to search, links in other publications, and straight bookmarks.In any case, thank you and congrats for your interesting blog.
see above (in the comment thread) re: RSS
Avid reader since 2011 here, and indeed I switched from visiting the blog to reading the email only since 2016. I only go to avc.com to write comments occasionally. Emails are my avc push notifications, and I like them.
The all-time most-read post here has only been viewed a total of 73k times in its entire 10 year lifetime.While a certainly respectable number, that’s remarkable to me. I would have expected an order of mag more.
Any notes as to stats accuracy?How many of the views are possibly bots etc? Or is that at least attempted to be stripped?When people read a post only via email, as opposed to just being subscribed, are those mail opens actually recorded as hits? (Do you have an embedded hidden pixel in the emails, otherwise I’m not sure of a way to achieve this) ie: how do you know they are actually “active” subscribers?Because if such mail opens/reads aren’t really tracked, then maybe that accounts for the perceived drop in viewers conciding with increased email readership. Etc…
Looking forward to an AVC Renaissance 😉
I’ve fully converted to email as a way to consume. I only visit the site to comment or search archives.
Those reading via email might use it as their RSS Feed, and open articles in a browser.
Interesting post! I have always enjoyed reading, and appreciate the work you put in to provide worthwhile reading material every day. Thanks Fred
People are tired about reading about SV and all the kumbaya and way overvalued startups and follow your passion stuff.
“Content is king” I keep reading and learning from the blog & diverse range of comments IMO style over substance is layer cake …
It’s always been a very enjoyable part of my early day. A stop by AVC to learn something new and see all the varying insights through the comments. It’s a great service that takes a lot of time and effort on your part to make it outstanding. Thanks.
Looking forward to the changes! I’m one of the users that switched from using the website to reading it from my email about a year ago. For me it was less steps to read the blog. I don’t get involved in discussions either.
I almost always read by email but I pop it open in a web browser when I want to see what people are saying. I love that the embedded images expand when you expand your email window — easier to see those screenshots of the data.
There was a time when I would not think of reading the email version without clicking over to read comments, but now I am one of those email readers many days.Even so, I would be a staunch protester against removing commentsLooking forward to the changes. Seems this has always been a positive.Crazy to think I’ve been reading here for over a decade.
Have you thought of creating a library for a younger audience ie. K12 students ?
It’d be interesting to dig into the details of that archive traffic (referrers, next visited page, etc.). 30k email subscribers is impressive!
I’d be most interested to see the Disqus comments, engagement statistics, how they have changed over the years.