Some of the biggest fans of my blog have been telling me to:
a) stop talking about how much I’m loving AOL
b) stop bitching about people ripping us off
c) get back to my roots and talk about business issues
OK, OK… fine. I don’t have to keep all our deets a secret any more… that’s true. Our future is not going to be based on the tiny details as much as it used to be, but rather the big picture stuff (i.e. finding and keeping bloggers, integrating our blogs into AOL’s traffic machine, and building system to scale to 500 bloggers and 300 blogs).
So, here is a start that Judith and I got obsessed with over the past year: blog posts per month and % of contracted blog posts completed. Now, posts are not everything. Doing 30 posts a day on your blog does’t make it a good blog–we all know that. However, given that we have quality controls in place it is a valid thing to look at. Here is a look at blog posts per month:
Another interesting thing to look at is the contracted blog posts vs. the actual blog posts. This number has averaged around 70% this year. However, the contracted posts number is always going to be about 10% higher because you might contract someone to do 100 posts a month on October 25th and in the October stats it would show they were contracted for 100 and delivered 15. In other words, we never took the time to take out people who started later in the month. It seems that we can get in 80-85% of the contracted posts we do each month. What does this mean? It means that a) we over-estimate what bloggers are going to do, b) a certain % of bloggers get busy with their lives and don’t hit their post target, and c) you gotta overbook your contracted posts by about 15-20%.
I’m leaving that big image big so you can read it… yes, i know it’s breaking my design.
Anway, there you have it. Now, I’m sure someone will do some wacky “my blog is worth $18,478,908.23 according to Tristan’s wacky logic” tool/post. Let me tell you one thing: blog posts and inbound links don’t mean a thing if you don’t have earnings and revenue.
The only thing that matters when you build a startup is earning, revenue, pageviews, and the growth of those three. By far the first two are the most important. DO NOT build your business to flip or you will get burned. Build your business to be SUSTAINABLE. That is what Brian, Judith, Peter, Jade, Ryan, Barb, Mark, Shawn, and I did with Weblogs, Inc. We built the company to be SUSTAINABLE. As in we make enough money every month to cover the bills, make a profit for the shareholders, and continue to grow. On that note, can I say I’m totally sick of the Web 2.0 vibe? It seems the concept of Web 2.0 is build a couple of AJAX features, put a slick wrapper around it, call it a mashup/remix of INSERT TWO OR MORE SUCCESSFUL WEB BUSINESSES HERE, and wait for someone to buy you. Oh wait, that’s a whole other blog post. 🙂