Friday, April 1, 2011

We're Growing, and I Think That's Really Cool

You hear me talk a lot about the growth going on here at Central in Focus in my Nightly Notes. I talk about it a lot because I find it fun and interesting. And because knowing I'm writing stuff people actually want to read strikes me as both amazing and harrowing at the same time. I mean seriously, there have got to have been 20,000 other pages you would've rather viewed, right?

So I decided to make up some charts to let you know where were at. Because while other sites consider their data to be valuable information for use in generating ad revenue, I'm making a grand total of zero dollars and zero cents on this venture. Which means the data is worth exactly that much too.

Besides, blogs are never really just about the writers, they're about the community. As much as I enjoy putting my thoughts, ideas, and opinions out there, I like hearing back from you too. Hopefully you get something out of reading my work, and hopefully you fill my desperate need for virtual companionship by commenting. How else am I supposed to have outside contact with the world while living in my mothers basement after all?

Here's the basics.

Worth noting, my arrogance as a writer has grown at a rate directly proportional to the blue line.  

As you can see throughout most of 2010 I was writing for myself, and maybe the stranger who accidentally wandered into this house of horrors. Though we did start to see some improvement from October through December. In total, the site had 2,845 page views. Given that I didn't figure out how to block my own page views until Mid-December, we can also assume that a few of those page views were my own. Ok, most of them were probably mine. Whatever.

Recently however, things have really kind of taken off. The 1,800 page views in January we're more than half our 2010 total, and the February mark more than doubled all of 2010. And now with 21,400 page views in March, it's safe to say things are starting to get at least the tiniest bit serious. The 690 view daily average from March, extrapolated out over a full year is just over a quarter million hits. If nothing else, that sounds cool to say.

We also see consistent growth, and frequently explosive growth rates.

Those are some impressive percentages of course, but it's important to remember that it's easy to have growth rates like that when you're starting out (scale). Going from one reader to four, is 400% growth. It's also wildly unimpressive. Going from 100,000 readers to 400,000 however would be pretty insane. Our growth lies somewhere at the low end for impressiveness in "the grand-scheme" scale. But it's still solid and I'm darned proud of it.

That being said, CiF is a business (in a sense) like any other. Continued growth isn't a factor of previous momentum necessarily, it's about expanding your market share. We can do that in different ways.

One is product improvement. We can try to add more content via expanded coverage from me. But at a point, you reach one human beings content producing capacity and you need to expand to multiple human beings. Hopefully with the addition of Mr. McLaughlin, we'll be able to continue to add more content. We can also simply try to produce better content. Generally speaking the better your product, the more likely it is to be consumed. But you eventually run up against the inherent limitations of any product.

A second would be an expanded product line. Apple for example can only sell so many iPhones and iPods, regardless of how amazing they make them. But by finding a way to lead the tablet market with the iPad, they create a new market that can be exploited. Perhaps for CiF, that would mean starting a Podcast, or generating professional scouting reports with video analysis. It could be anything. But probably not a boat.

Another method for expanding growth would be through advertising. That can take many forms, and given our current ad budget of $0.00, the most exploitable options are probably word of mouth (grass roots), and social media. To that end I'm trying to learn how to interact with folks on Twitter. The following is pretty small right now, but hopefully with time and refinement, that too will get better. Maybe we make a Facebook page for CiF. I'm not 100% certain, but there is definitely room for growth there as well.

Ultimately however, growth will come via two important conduits. One of those is reader retention. Want to see CiF continue to grow? Bookmark us and visit frequently. The second is enhanced visibility. The better the CiF product gets, the more people will share it with their friends and link it on their websites. That's just kind of how it goes.

That means CiF, like any other business, is dependent upon its customers. I need you, our readers more than anything else. I need you to tell your buddy who likes the Indians about, "this cool new site you're reading." I won't hold it against you if you tell your lady friends I'm devilishly handsome either. Though that will likely require you to... embellish, and will certainly piss off my fantastic fiance. But hey, I'm game for anything that feeds into my narcissism.

With the 2011 regular season now upon us (finally!) I'm excited to bring you, my awesome readers, even more in 2011. And remember, if you like what we do here, share it with your friends and link to it on your blogs. After all, we're only as strong as our community.


  1. Congrats on the improving statistics! I'm sure it's nice to know that you no longer are just writing for yourself!

  2. Congrats on growth... build a twitter site and facebook site for fans to follow and link them together. Then put links here to both sites.