1,000 To 10,000 Users

Long time, no type, so here goes another bloggity post/newsy update: The network of headline-driven media sites, aka The Press Enquirer, I’ve built over the past several months has now garnered more than 10,000 monthly active users. I credit that to several sites spiking unexpectedly, which drove traffic past the 10K mark. Unfortunately, that also means traffic dropped subsequently but, irregardless, the 10K mark is still within the projected timeframe of the overall user growth of when I was expecting to hit that milestone.

The ugly: There are several things I’ve learned, thanks to implementing good ol’ GTM, which are that the sidebar Badges aren’t as enticing as I thought they’d be. What are Badges, you might ask? Ah yes, allow me to explain: I’ve always hated those IAB-sized 300×250 ads you see everywhere online, so I decided to create a new ad format called Badges. They’re small circular image adverts that open up into modals upon clicking on them. Badges come in three sizes, too, and utilize a masonry grid, which I thought would be a nice touch for mobile. That’s where things went wrong. My “thought” told me, “hey, wouldn’t be this a neat a idea?” The market told me, “no, nobody gives a crap.”

More ugly: I’ve experimented with Google AdWords and Amazon Affiliate links, but the money I got out of that wouldn’t even cost my server bills, let along my domain name renewals. Ugh. I’m just now at the point where I’m testing out different content within my Promo Blocks (more on that in another post), which aren’t as spammy as regular sponsored content goes.

Overall, I like the traction I’m getting with every site I launch, yet it’s equally frustrating to see that a lot of my hypotheses aren’t turning out as I hoped they would. But… better the Red Pill than the Blue Pill, n’est-ce pas? Onward.