Fueled by politics, blog traffic rockets
Thursday, January 8th, 2004
Looks like political weblogging is going into orbit. Judging from the ads being pulled from our server, daily traffic this week is up 30% versus good days in December. Glad we invested in that new Rackspace setup last fall.
Reading the history of any newspaper, you’ll find two engines driving step-changes in audience levels: the sustained narrative of a political race or lower prices.
Blogging has both.
With 170 million Americans online and only 3 million of them reading blogs, we’ve got a lot of upside.
What would happen if blogs selling ads grow 30% each month through November? Without adding new blogs, Blogads will be serving 96 million impressions monthly. Ahh, the joys of compounding.
I’ll try to post something tomorrow graphing current traffic growth. To try to better reflect this momentum, we’ve changed the way we forecast monthly impressions on our order page. We used to tally the prior 30 days, but now count the last seven days impressions and multiply by four.
(Footnote from New York Times history: October 10, 1898: “In a gamble, [Adolph S.] Ochs lowers the price of the [New York Times] to 1 cent [from 3 cents.] Circulation triples within a year, to 76,000 from 26,000, and advertising revenues soar.”)
Update: Here’s the graphic I promised. Most recent data is at the left.
BTW, another thing to notice… blogs are read during the work week, during the day. Ergo: most political blog readers are people with jobs, people with jobs with computers, people who are actually taking time away from their jobs to look at blogs. These are the “knowledge crafters” who advertisers crave to meet. Put it all together and you could argue (I sure do!) that these readers are 10-fold more engaged than the folks wandering by the average television at 9PM on a Tuesday night… the folks most political advertising is currently wasted on. Here’s the day graphic. The leftmost edge is 8.40AM EST. Over the next four hours traffic will rocket as people in across the country roll into work.