OnStartups

Insider Peek At Data From Two Years Of B-List Blogging

Posted by Dharmesh Shah on November 12, 2007 in anniversary 5 Comments

This week, OnStartups.com (the blog you are now reading) turned two years old. Woo hoo!

Hard to believe another year has gone by since I posted "Data Points and Delusions Of A B-List Blogger" marking the first anniversary of this blog.

First off, my thanks to all the readers out there (many more than I ever thought there would be). Clearly, without you, OnStartups.com wouldn't be what it is. And, I'd feel awfully silly talking to myself all this time.

Now, on to some of the data (all of this data is from on or around Nov 5th, 2007):

1. RSS: 7,797 subscribers (was 2,300 subscribers a year ago). I think this is pretty good growth in a year. I attribute a lot of this growth to the fact that this blog provides a full RSS feed (making it easy for readers to get the entire content in their favorite reader) and the fact that the feed is auto-discoverable and relatively prominent.

2. Email subscribers: 732 today (vs. 354 last year). I'm not surprised that the rate of RSS subscriber growth is faster than the rate of email subscriber growth. I'm encouraged that more and more people are figuring out RSS. It's the way to go.

3. Articles: There are now 226 articles on the site (vs. 158 articles last year). There about 213,000 words of content now vs. 160,000 words last year. This means there were 68 articles posted in the past 12 months. A little more than 1 a week. This is a pretty decent pace, but much slower than my first year. The reason I'm writing less now than back then is that I was in grad school at the time the blog started, and had much more free time (thesis not withstanding). Now, I've got a fast growing startup that's consuming just about all of my time. Having said that, it seems that the blog has enough momentum that despite the less frequent posting volume, traffic and subscribers are still growing.

4. Communities: I've created several auxillary groups and communities (here and elsewhere). If you're a startup fanatic and looking to join others that share your passion, I encourage you to use one of these to "connect" to other startup folks. They're all free and take just a few minutes to join.

OnStartups Group on LinkedIn: 1,208 members

OnStartups Group on Facebook: 515 members

OnStartups Group on StumbleUpon: 8 members (just started this a week ago)

5. Traffic: Interestingly, this is stayed steady at around 800-,000 visitors a day.

6. Search Engines: The site gets about 45% of it's traffic now from Google searches, which is pretty cool. Here are some of the search terms that OnStartups.com ranks on the first page of Google for (and hence gets some traffic from):


* startups
* always be closing
* sales tips
* selling software
* software startups
* startup websites
* joining a startup
* pricing models
* startup equity
* startup blog

Note: One of the features of HubSpot (my startup, which offers internet marketing software) is to do a rough estimate of the value of the organic/natural search traffic. HubSpot estimates OnStartups.com is getting about $4,100 worth of traffic every month. I find this very, very interesting as it is close to the $4,000/month I've been offered in the past for putting ads on the site. But, this could just be a coincidence.

7. Technorati Rank: Dropped from 3,600 last year to about 18,000 now. This is explained by the fact that Technorati bases it's algorithm on recent inbound links (acquired in the past 6 months) and I'm not getting inbound links at the pace I was before. Having said that, I don't know that the Technorati rank means that much anymore (but I could just be bitter about my deteriorating ranking).

If there's anything you want to know about OnStartups.com, just leave a comment. I'm happy to share any data I have.