Startup News 2.0: One Month Review

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A month ago, //Startup News went through an overhaul. Visually, editorially and in momentum. In this article, I’ll explain what our focus is, and how we’ve been going so far.

As mentioned in Marcus’s article, Startup News Revamp and the follow up piece by Jessica and I on the design, //SN recently had a facelift. That’s only part of the story, so let’s dig in and discuss it further.

This publication has been going for just over 2.5 years, and whilst co-founders Marcus and Patrick, as well as other contributors, have done well building up content and resulting traffic, //SN really hasn’t built revenue to a point that it is self sustainable.

It is a valuable resource for the WA Startup ecosystem, and deserves to continue in perpetuity. Without generating enough income to get some real focus on it, though, it’ll always suffer from other priorities.

In order for //SN to generate more revenue, it needs either more people donating (that’s easy and can be done here) or more frequent advertising revenue. I also know that to generate reasonable income from advertising, we need the biggest audience we possibly can.

To get a bigger audience, we need to do two things, and more consistently. We need to 1. publish more regularly (it was, for quite some time, fairly haphazard with new articles) and 2, we need to promote this content more.

Publish more regularly

We’ve posted at least one article per business day for the last four weeks, and we have a few weeks worth now scheduled up our sleeves. We’re encouraging others to contribute, have a new regular columnist in Lean Hackman, and also trying a few other strategies, such as the new weekly ‘wrap up’ articles published every Saturday morning.

Promote Content Further

This has been a focus of the redesign. We’ve created an easier visual flow on the homepage, with at least the last weeks worth of articles available from the homepage. This encourages people hitting the homepage to read more, and see more choice in recent content. Once in an article, every article now has a consistent related articles at the bottom, to encourage readers to keep reading, therefore creating more page views per session.

One off articles, such as my Top 10 Articles for Q1, 2016, also help raise awareness of older yet still relevant articles, and provides new content at the same time.

The weekly emails sent every Friday have also gained more attention; we’ve simplified and moved the subscribe box to encourage readers to subscribe (if you haven’t please do!).

We’re also trying to encourage more social media shares, by ensuring these icons and prompts are everywhere for our readers to click and share.

Encourage Advertising enquiries

Next up, we’ve set aside advertising banner space on the right hand side of every page. The justification here is that having your banner on every page is more valuable than just within one section, or simply the homepage. We’ve limited these banners to three positions, as this provides better exposure for our advertisers, and isn’t overtly distracting to readers.

We’ve also re-introduced sponsored articles. This form of advertising is becoming more mature across the globe, as more studies show they are just as effective, if not more so, than typical media rich ads, which viewers can become blind to, quickly.

We’re now actively soliciting new advertisers, so if you, or someone you know, may want to reach our audience, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Number Crunching

So now, lets talk figures. The redesign was approached so that at least five statistics increase over time. These are total sessions, total users, total page views, pages per session and session duration.

In human speak, we want more visitors, they should return more frequently, they also should stay longer and we’d like them to visit more pages.

So, how have we gone in just one month? Whilst it is still early to tell, it is apparent that so far, the redesign and the regular daily content has meant a lift in our numbers.

We’ve seen;

48.16% increase in Sessions
41.92% increase in Users
66.71% increase in Pageviews
12.52% increase in Pages / Session
33.32% increase in Session Duration

This is a great result, it means we have more readers, visiting more frequently, reading more articles and staying longer. The big test for us will be maintaining growth, and continuing to provide daily insightful articles.

I hope to continue this transparency moving forward, and give you, our fantastic readers and supporters, the occasional update on how we’re going, creating a valuable resource for the local ecosystem, that actually has longevity in it through income.

Now that you’ve read this, I encourage you to sign up to our newsletter, share this post everywhere, and continue your reading. Please make it a habit; we’d appreciate your regular attention.