It’s hard to believe that only a year ago, Patrick was busy cramming LLCs for Dummies, as we jumped off the cliff to independence. This will be the last update this year – completing a promise I made to readers of maximal transparency about this experiment – before we hit the acid test of annual renewals next month.
When asked what our goal was for 2013, for want of any better measurement, I suggested our editorial budget at our last corporate home, The Daily Beast. That was $900K in 2012. Well, we’re now at $818K – still agonizingly short of our goal, but plenty good enough to survive for now. I haven’t taken any profits or salary this year to make sure we have a sturdy fiscal ballast for whatever comes (or doesn’t) on renewal day next January 2. We’ve also added staff we didn’t have at the Beast – a technology wizard (former intern Chas Danner aka Special Teams) and a general manager for the whole enterprise (Brian Senecal) – and for the kind of posts on culture, religion, philosophy and art that are rare on the web but integral in my view to any civilized conversation. Almost everyone on the team started out as an intern; and everyone has health insurance from the internship on.
I can honestly say I’ve never worked with a more talented and decent crew of colleagues and friends than I do now. In our little boat on a very choppy media sea, we’ve been remarkably happy this past year. We’ve had a hell of a lot of fun and we’ve worked our guts out, as I’m sure you can see. Putting out this blog every day, while also finding a way to add Deep Dish, has not been not easy, even though my brilliant young team make it seem so.
You’ve also come through for us throughout the year after a spectacular start, for which we’re immensely grateful. Here’s the month by month revenue chart from March onward:
You can see the late surge, which we really need to continue if we want to make our goal. But we now have a total of 32,100 subscribers – a pretty staggering number in just one year with no business department and no marketing. If we can achieve a solid rate of renewals next month, we’ll be able to plan and budget in a way we haven’t been able to in this first ice-breaking, nerve-wracking year.
But this last update of 2013 is really about those of you who have read the Dish regularly all year and have yet to get around to subscribing. We know these are tough times, and we know procrastination runs deep in human nature. But our readers are our only revenue source – in stark contrast with almost every other site on the web. That keeps us honest and prevents us from sinking to the desperation of “sponsored content” or the page-view seeking gimmicks you see in so many other places. If you want this model to succeed, we need all of you. And we need you now.
So take a moment if you haven’t subscribed yet, get that credit card out of your wallet, and join the experiment. 41,000 of you have used every one of your free read-ons – which means you really are a Dishhead (sorry, you’re busted) but haven’t yet actually put your money where your eyeballs are. We need you; and, more to the point, we want you to be fully part of this, to join the 32,000 others who have made this year (and the next) possible.
It takes a couple of minutes and costs only $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year. Click here to subscribe. And have a great Christmas season from all of us to all of you.