It has been a while since we updated our readers on our progress here at the Banter, so we figured our stellar traffic numbers in January would be a good time to do it.
The past month saw almost 4.5 million unique visitors come to the Banter - our second best traffic month to date (we had 5.1 million in August of last year). The huge traffic came largely as a result of a few big pieces that appear to have struck a chord. We published the uncensored Charlie Hebdo cartoons, praised Michelle Obama for not covering her head in Saudi Arabia, and laughed at Republicans for the bitch slapping they received during the President's State Of The Union address - all of which took off big time. We took a significant traffic hit after we made the transition to a paid content model back in October, so it was very motivating for all of us to see readers come flooding back in the new year.
While we're not overly concerned with traffic, it is nice to know that our work has the potential to be seen by so many people - particularly given we actively don't try to spam readers with viral content.
Most importantly though, our subscription sign up rate has remained very steady - something I feared would decline over the coming months. It hasn't, and we're actually bringing people on at a more consistent, predictable pace than we have over the four previous months (and judging by the last two weeks, it actually appears to be speeding up).
We believe this is due to our focus on quality over quantity, and our bet that readers are happy to become members if a) we do good work, and b) they trust us.
This doesn't mean that we are in the clear by any means - we have a long way to go before we stabilize and become self sustaining, but it appears to be moving in the right direction. So a big thank you our readers for reading us, sharing our work, and supporting us financially. You really are awesome.
Oh, and if you're not a member yet, please give it a try. If we suck you can cancel and send us hate mail :)