2015q1pvq Another three months have gone by, which means it’s once again time to peel back the curtain and give our loyal readership a heapin’ helpin’ of TTAG’s stats. Since we are an online publication, our revenue comes from how many readers (that’s you) we’re pulling in, and how many page views they generate. Most sites keep this information a closely-guarded secret, but in keeping with our tradition of openness and transparency we publish all of our numbers for everyone to see for themselves. So, how did we do this quarter? . . . Overall, pageviews are climbing steadily once again. Since the post-Newtown peak in January of 2014, we’ve been spending quite a bit of time “reverting to the mean,” and it looks like that process is complete and we’re finally back on track. According to my projections, we are still right on target for a roughly linear annual growth trend. For the quarter, we scored a total of 20,749,583 pageviews. 2015q1pv Month over month, things are proceeding very nicely. Our numbers are steadily growing once more now that things are back to normal — more or less. That little spike you see for January was the usual SHOT Show bump, and the abortive M855 ban nudged our March numbers quite a bit. In general, though, we’re seeing more traffic. Which is a good thing. What’s better is that it has picked up exactly where I hoped it would. 2015q1pvms We’re still not quite where we were last year, but considering that was fueled by the gun control furies, this year’s orange bars are much closer to an expected and “normal” increase. We’ll get back up there, but we’ll do it on our own merits, not because of another proposed assault weapons ban, Inshallah. The specter of gun control might be good for business, but I’d rather trudge along at our own pace than have to worry about all that again. Now, on to our visitors. 2015q1uv We’re maintaining a solid 2+ million unique visitors a month, as tracked by our friends at Google. We aren’t seeing the same sort of meteoric increase that we once saw during our initial rise to fame, but there is definitely a positive trend at play. Speaking of visitors, the average user session at TTAG is 2:26 long. So someone clicks on, reads something, and then clicks off about two and a half minutes later. That happened nearly 12 million times this quarter. If we use the average hourly earnings table from the US Government ($24.78/hour in February) and multiply that by the time people have spent on the site in total this quarter (481,459.5 hours) we can see that TTAG is responsible for $11,930,566.52 in lost productivity in the world economy. Yay us! Pageviews are increasing. Visitors are increasing. Things are looking up for TTAG. But the real question is how well we are doing compared to the rest of the field. For that, we turn to Alexa.com. They provide a numerical ranking for all websites in the world based on some fancy tech magic, and is a reliable impartial judge. Their ranking are like golf scores, the smaller the number the better you’re doing. Here’s how TTAG stacks up, along with some selected sights from around the gun world.

Website Alexa Ranking (US)
The Truth About Guns 4,059
Bearing Arms 5,950
The Firearm Blog 5,979
Guns.com 8,002
Concealed Nation 8,697*
Guns & Ammo 12,120
Gunbot 15,211
Ammoland 17,158
The Survivalist Blog 22,309
American Rifleman 22,796
ENDO 36,248
Monderno 54,514
Gun Nuts Media 69,182
SaysUncle 72,328
Sipsey Street Irregulars 73,079
The Gun Wire 78,888
JTT 66,724
Michael Bane Blog 116,372
Sportsman Channel 118,056
Moms Demand Action 164,846
NRA Blog 167,076
ExUrbanLeague 399,400
Walls of the City 1,195,392
Sheriff Jim Wilson 1,847,626
Mayors Against Illegal Guns Too Small To Measure

Numbers as of 4/1/2015

*Added 4/22/2015

As usual, Bearing Arms surges whenever something politically charged happens — and then falls back whenever the crisis is over. We’ve said time and again that our reviews are what drives our traffic, and that seems to be borne out in the numbers. Good gun content drives traffic, not sensational stories (HINT HINT, RF). Here are our 25 most-read posts:

  1. BREAKING: Federal Judge Strikes Down Interstate Handgun Transfer Ban
  2. Former US Soldier Hunts Poachers in Africa
  3. ATF Moves to Ban M855 And SS109 5.56 Ammunition
  4. Self-Defense Tip: Do Not Consent To A Police Search of Your Car
  5. BREAKING: Introducing the GLOCK 43, GLOCK’s Very First Single Stack 9mm
  6. BREAKING: ATF Releases Open Letter Claiming “Misusing” a Pistol Brace Makes It a SBR
  7. Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Erlanger (KY) Police Officer Darryl Jouett
  8. Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield
  9. Gun Review: GLOCK 42
  10. Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport
  11. AR-15 Rifle Choices
  12. Gear Review: 5.56 Muzzle Device Shootout
  13. Gun Review: GLOCK 26 Gen 4
  14. The Truth About Barrel Length, Muzzle Velocity and Accuracy
  15. Gun Comparison: Ruger LC9 vs. LC9s
  16. Combat Medic’s Advice: “Shoot the heaviest rifle round…shoot at what (you) can hit, and then shoot it again”
  17. Jesse James Releases New 30 Caliber Silencer, With some Bold Claims
  18. Goodbye .45 ACP
  19. Gun Review: SIG SAUER P320
  20. Gun Review: Smith & Wesson SD9 VE
  21. Gun Review: SIG SAUER P938
  22. Ares Armor Fires Back at ATF Using Coloring Book Illustrations
  23. Gun Review: Ruger AR-556
  24. Gun Review: Heckler & Koch VP9
  25. Gun Review: Taurus Millenium G2 – 9 mm

There are, as always, some high profile news stories in that list. But the recurring theme continues to be gun reviews. Lots and lots of gun reviews. They’re what we’re known for, and so we make a point not to f*** with our bread and butter. There are always those who accuse us of favoritism when we post a positive review and holding a grudge when one isn’t complimentary, but here at TTAG HQ we know the truth — that each review is our honest and factual analysis of that firearm. Because that’s what keeps our numbers going in the right direction, and messing with that to make some gun company feel better is the last thing we’d ever do. So on that little bombshell, it’s time to end our quarterly overview and thank you once again for reading TTAG.

32 Responses to The Truth About TTAG: Q1 2015

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if MDA is getting a nice bump from TTAG. I’ve never once clicked on their site. It would be interesting to see how many readers here, are clicking on links to there. Or am I not paying attention enough (i.e. not looking for them cause i’d never go there) and does TTAG NOT provide any links?

  1. What happened to the Question of the day-post? The one about guns on Germanwings. Tell the truth now.

  2. Do those stats include the occasional stupid posts by Robert that get memory-holed when criticism starts coming in?

    It’s not really the Truth if you try to hide your mistakes, is it?

      • Dan, I screw up all the time. I just don’t try to hide it when I do. A simple retraction would be a lot more honest than just deleting stories and hoping nobody remembers.

        Especially when one of the posts in question included a comment from the author stating, “I stand by what I wrote” (or words to that effect), then the post was unceremoniously deleted a few minutes later…

        • There’s no effort to hide anything. If we print something that’s wrong, we run a retraction and correct it. If we post something that’s dumb or, upon reflection, not up to our standards, there’s nothing to retract. We just take it down.

      • Hm yes excellent point all stupidity is equal. In fact, here’s the last time I fantasized about breaching a cockpit security door with my 9mm:

  3. Sagebrushracer took my sentiment…I spend way too much time here. Funny but I can barely stand most of the gun sites listed. You’re doing a great job.

  4. “Since we are an online publication, our revenue comes from how many readers (that’s you) we’re pulling in, and how many page views they generate.”

    I have noticed the past few months the volume of posts had dropped to significantly lower than TTAG’s stated goal of one post per hour 9a-10p (and that obviously varies with breaking news). I guessed that RF and Dan had other areas of their business-personal life taking attention from TTAG.

    Adding Johannes Paulsen, more posts from Mike’s Stately McDaniel and others has brought the volume back to pre-slowdown levels.

    Yes, I’m fully aware article volume is in no way is an indication of quality, but it may have had an impact on past months’ page hits.

    Jus’ sayin.

    Keep on keep’in on, TTAG. Yours is my fave firearm blog.

  5. Here are our 25 most-read posts:

    2. Former US Soldier Hunts Poachers in Africa

    Right, “read”.

  6. Hey yo, here’s some truth for TTAG. Keep Robert away from the bud and the keyboard, at least at the same time. Yeah, I saw the Germanwings article before it went down. Never mind that the airlines would likely not allow carry on their private property regardless of laws, but have you been concealed carrying a shotgun lately? Any ideas on how to breach a cockpit security door with a pistol?

    Don’t post if you’re going represent the 2A crowd as a bunch of half-cocked afterbirths. Some of the Texas OC crowd was doing just fine on their own kthnx.

  7. Does the average American really only earn $25/hour? Ouch.

    But since TTAG readers are more tech savvy than average, and probably have higher disposable income (to cover all that ammo), I suspect we average quite a bit more…which means TTAG is even more of an economic burden. 😀

    • $25 an hour is equal to $52,000 a year which is higher than the US median household income. $25 an hour is obviously the mean wage not the median. More than half of Americans make a good bit less than that, as anyone who is not pig-ignorant should realize.

  8. “TTAG is responsible for $11,930,566.52 in lost productivity in the world economy. Yay us!”

    Number is way too low. Using Anti-Gun/Anti-Rights/Liberal/Progressive Math rules and techniques, the number is 568 times under reported. And because of your stance on guns in general, you are responsible for the lives of all victims the Anti-Rights crowd deem important enough to pimp to the media and strike fear in the minds of the ignorant.
    Those they don’t point out, such as self defense successes, do not count. But you are still responsible for evil.

    On a related note, doing math with liberal formulas, this kept popping up in my work..:

    If this “hate blog” on the topics of freedom, rights, firearms and self reliance can’t be controlled, common blog sense action will be imposed. Waiting periods, background checks and limits on the number of words and more infringements are the only way to make the children safe. The Children!! The Children!!

    Weird. I suggest to anyone considering using Anti-Rights/Anti-Gun/Anti-Freedom/Liberal/Progressive math, to avoid it all together. I am now damaged, and I am having random flashbacks of Ted Kennedy hula dancing. And my hair hurts.
    Don’t do it.

  9. Glad I contribute to page views daily. Been here from the start.

    Still bitter I didn’t get my TTAG Founding Member t-shirt I ordered. But not too bitter.

  10. “Good gun content drives traffic, not sensational stories (HINT HINT, RF).”

    The sensational stories are what drive me away from the site. Focus on guns, even if that mean politics that are DIRECTLY related to gun, and TTAG will be fine. The whole reason this site attracted me in the first place: Keeping it about guns, period. No more clickbait, please.

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