MinnPost’s monthly page views top 1 million

Every morning, I check Google Analytics to see how many visitors MinnPost received the day before and how many pages they viewed. It has been a lot more fun than checking how the stock market is doing.

One of the metrics Google measures for us is Monthly Page Views, which is the total number of pages viewed by all visitors over the last 31 days.

This morning, for the first time ever, our monthly page views exceeded 1 million.

Another measure is the number of unique visitors over the past 31 days — a unique visitor is one IP address. So if you visited the site from your home computer six times during the past month, you count as only one unique visitor. Yesterday morning, for the first time ever, our monthly uniques exceeded 300,000.    

These numbers are more than triple the traffic we had a year ago.

A caveat: This is a snapshot, and it’s a little like hitting a peak value for your 401(k): The results in the future may well be lower. In January, our last full month, our page views totaled about 830,000, and our average for November-January was just over 700,000 — double the three-month average of early 2008.

 

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Click on graphic to enlarge

 

Our traffic remains modest when compared with major Minnesota media enterprises like the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press and Minnesota Public Radio, which can drive traffic to their sites from their legacy print or broadcast media. And it’s modest compared with some web-only sites that serve a national audience, like Huffington Post.

But among web-only news sites serving a local audience, we think MinnPost  may be the most-read in the nation.  (If you find a site that beats us, let me know.)

Obviously, all of us at MinnPost are grateful for the growing readership. It’s a sign that we’re fulfilling a need for an audience of people who care about public-affairs reporting and analysis for our region.

But we need more than just traffic to succeed, because on the Internet, traffic is proving very hard to monetize. MinnPost is a not-for-profit, but its aim is to break even by 2012 on revenues from sponsorship, advertising and membership. Sponsorship and advertising revenues are growing, but in the current economic environment, they’re not growing as fast as we planned.  We continue to improve the value of our advertising proposition — we now target our local ads to locally based readers of MinnPost.com, with our readers around the nation and world seeing ads provided by national advertising networks. To learn more about advertising on MinnPost.com, contact Sally Waterman.

On the membership side, we are approaching 1,300 paying members. To break even by 2012, we need about four times that many — and that’s at our current tight expense budget, which leaves many great stories unreported. 

Since you can read the site for free, being a MinnPost member is a powerful statement of support for serious local journalism. If you’re reading MinnPost.com, but have not yet made that statement, please consider becoming a member at the $50 annual level  or higher, or $10 if you’re a student. And thanks for reading.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 02/20/2009 - 11:40 am.

    Congratulations, Joel.

    I enjoy reading Minnpost “as is”, but as some of the recent comments have made clear, I may be more unique than I’d wish.

    Minnpost’s success, in my opinion, is due in large part to it’s lack of spittle flecked, irrational, rage. In left wing internet sites that is a rare commodity.

    Personally, I find value in reading leftist publications, however, many people (too many in my opinion) object to reading material that does not ever reflect their beliefs.

    Conservatives such as Phil Krinkie are occasionally featured in the “Community Voices” section, but I wonder if adding a few thoughtful, regular contributors from the center\right might not enhance your credibility as well as your readership?

    Just a suggestion.

    I’ll keep reading and will continue to recommend this site (with the appropriate caveats of course 😉 to my friends and acquaintances.

  2. Submitted by Barbara Miller on 02/20/2009 - 11:49 am.

    Joel! Contratulations. MinnPost is such a welcome oasis in the journalism desert. (Too much coffee causes delusions of grand metaphors.) One million. Awesome. Thanks for the work all y’all are doing here.

  3. Submitted by Jeff Kline on 02/20/2009 - 04:42 pm.

    Keep going Minnpost!!! Keep going. If you write well; they will come!!!

  4. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 02/21/2009 - 06:51 am.

    Joel:
    The content is “fair and balanced” (sorry couldn’t help myself) and your blogger/writers clearly have their fingers on the pulse of the community.

    This website distinguishes itself from other local websites, in as much as it does not cater to a strictly extreme position.

    Your writers exhibit both knowledge of the subject matter and are not afraid to show some of the humor and or absurdity that is prevalent in the subjects on which they write. After all, there is a reason that your traffic is increasing.

    A collective “well done” to all your staff!

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