Statistical trends being what they are, for the second quarter in a row, we seem to be experiencing a “regression to the mean” situation. Over the winter of 2013/2014, there was quite a bit of news and excitement (you may have heard about it) that drove our numbers to previously unseen heights. Over the last couple months there has been…virtually nothing news-wise. Small things mainly, but nothing really big enough to drive the same kind of traffic (not that we’d ever want to see anything like another Newtown). The resulting impact on our traffic is somewhat depressing, but nonetheless expected . . .
Up until the end of 2012, we had years of constant, steady growth based solely on our ability to entertain and inform readers. It was a slow burn, but important for one reason: it gives us a baseline. Using that traffic, we can extrapolate on the graph where TTAG should be naturally without the big breaking news stories. While we might be trending back towards that “natural” line, we’re still well above the mark — about five million pageviews per quarter above the mark, actually. So while we’re trending slightly downward, we are still beating the curve by quite a bit.
The reason for this summertime slump? Elections. Politicians (everywhere except California) are intentionally avoiding the the topic of gun control because they know there’s nowhere to go but down. Democrats have learned the hard way that gun control isn’t a winning platform, and Republicans will only get more riled up by gun-grabbing talk from the left. There’s really nothing to be gained, so while there have been a couple shooting events that seem to be perfect for a “think of the children” type appeal for more gun control measures, none has been forthcoming. That dynamic will go away after the first week of November, though, so what happens then should be interesting to watch from a pro-gun perspective.
While the pageviews are declining a bit, readers seem to be sticking around. There is a slight drop in readership, but it isn’t proportional to the dip in pageviews. We still hit the two million readers per month mark for the quarter so I’m happy, and I suspect that the decline might have something to do with the beginning of class and the end of summer. The good news is we’re about on the money for a “normal” level of readership given past performance.
And looking around the gun-o-sphere, just about everyone else in the space did worse.
|Website||Alexa Ranking (US)
|The Truth About Guns||4,756|
|The Survivalist Blog||7,737|
|The Firearm Blog||10,656|
|Guns & Ammo||14,575|
|Gun Nuts Media||77,734|
|The Gun Wire||84,500|
|Sipsey Street Irregulars||152,712|
|Moms Demand Action||137,902|
|Walls of the City||585,011 (G)|
|Mayors Against Illegal Guns||N/A|
(Numbers as of 10/1/2014 11:00 PM Central)
For the umpteenth quarter in a row, we beat everyone else in the gun blog world popularity contest. We also hit a couple new milestones on Facebook, soaring past guns.com to take the #2 slot in “likes” for all gun blogs. We think. Anyway, we’re getting a whole mess of readers both here and on Facebook.
What’s really interesting to note is that the Mayors Against Illegal Guns website has become so unpopular that Alexa.com doesn’t even have enough information to take a guess at its readership level. Sniff.
The reason for our sustained awesomeness: as always, gun reviews. Some blogs rely on breaking news stories to generate all of their content, so they only thrive when when news breaks. Take a look at the Alexa pages for our competitors and note how their stats resemble a roller-coaster. Ours, on the other hand, are relatively constant and the reason is our gun reviews.
Here are our top 25 articles for the quarter:
- BREAKING: Obama Administration Bans Import of Izhmash & Kalashnikov (Saiga) Firearms
- Gun Review: GLOCK 42
- AR-15 Rifle Choices
- BREAKING: Armed Doctor Stops PA Hospital Killer
- ‘Sons of Guns’ Stephanie Hayden Says Father Will Hayden Raped Her, Too
- Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield
- BREAKING: Remington Scrubs All Traces of R51 from Websites
- St. Louis Cabela’s Protects Guns From Looters
- Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport
- Oops: Red Jacket Firearms Loses Their FFL
- The Best Gun for Home Defense Revealed
- BREAKING: Sons of Guns’ Will Hayden Arrested for Child Molestation
- Red Jacket’s New Owner Speaks Out About Will Hayden
- Project Build: The Ultimate Mosin Nagant
- Gun Review: GLOCK 26 Gen 4
- BREAKING: Sons of Guns Star Arrested (Again) for Alleged Rape of 12 Year Old [UPDATED]
- ATF Just Approved the First New Civilian Machine Gun in 28 Years. By Accident.
- Moms Demand Action Group Asked to Leave Lansing, MI Kroger
- Gun Review: Glock 19 Gen4 9X19mm
- Gun Review: Ruger LC9
- Patriot Promotions Statement on Child Abuse Claims Against Sons of Guns’ Will Hayden
- 9mm Wins the Caliber Wars
- Gun Review: Smith & Wesson SD9 VE
- Gun Review: Century Arms Zastava N-PAP AK-47
- Red Jacket Firearms Fires Will Hayden Over Child Sex Allegations
Make no mistake, breaking news stories benefit us, too. But as you can see, the gun reviews hold their own and even surpass the “OMG look at this!” sensational articles over the course of time. I’ve been giving away the secrets to our success for years, but it doesn’t look like anyone else is paying attention.
So while we’ve been in a slight “correction” statistically, so has everyone else. More or less. I expect traffic to start picking up once again when the elections are over, but until then, it’s steady as she goes.