In the six months since “The Dish” shifted to an independent, reader-funded blog, it has acquired 27,349 subscribers. Traffic dipped a little in the spring but has picked back up again, Andrew Sullivan says in a blog post.
Revenue is now at a gross $715,000 – with our stated goal remaining $900,000 for the entire year. It may seem like we’re well on our way, and we are, with 80 percent of our stated annual goal achieved in only six months. The caveat – and it’s a big one – is that the vast majority of our income came in the very first few days of the launch, and, because we didn’t even have our own site then, none of that was auto-renewable.
In March, Sullivan tweaked The Dish’s paywall model after the initial subscription rate slowed down; he tightened the meter from seven free reads a month to five over two months and announced a $1.99-a-month offer. (An annual subscription costs $19.99.) Sullivan, who’s “really trying to forge a new path here for online media,” says the monthly offer and gift subscriptions have benefited the site.
In his six-month update, Sullivan acknowledged some comments from subscribers. Their comments suggest that three main factors are important in getting (and keeping) subscribers: quality content, gentle reminders to subscribe and transparency about the site’s progress.