Huzzah! Met Our Fifth Goal, and on to the Sixth: Expanding Our Reach
If you don’t need to be persuaded to give but simply have not had time, please go straight to our fundraiser page to chip in!
Thanks to your generous and speedy responses, we’ve achieved our first five targets: investments in essential tech plumbing, bonuses to our loyal guest writers (who given their expertise, dedication and caliber of their work, deserve better than meager standard writer pay levels), increasing staffing to provide for continued expanded Links; supporting the comments section; and providing the staffing to provide our 24/7 coverage without burning out of yours truly. Let me stress again: your donations have and continue to make all these critical items possible. And at 1296 donors, we’re within striking distance of our new goal of 1350 contributors for this fundraiser. So we are raising our donor target to 1600!
Because this fundraiser is going well, we are including the goal of funding for expanding our reach. In this hostile environment for small independent sites, we need to be spending more time than we have to bring in new readers.
Our traffic is holding solid despite being downgraded in Google, like many independent websites like The Intercept, Truthdig, and Counterpunch. We have gotten a recent boost due to the many links we’ve gotten from mainstream sites due to triggering the sudden departure of CalPERS’ Chief Investment Officer Ben Meng. But the search engines prioritize for recency, so this bump may not last long.
While the good news is we are holding our own, the bad news is that despite the fact that our content has only gotten better (and we think more relevant) over time, we are working harder than ever just to stay in place.
So whether you are able to contribute financially to this fundraiser or not, spreading the word about Naked Capitalism is also absolutely essential for us to continue to thrive. Churn is a fact of life in any field; once-loyal readers drift away because their priorities or tastes change. So encouraging people who might like our work to check out Naked Capitalism is critically important (as is chipping in via our fundraiser page if you haven’t had the time to do so already)
We’ve considered and even spent hard dollars to go the path of SEO optimization with the supposed industry leader Yoast. It was an unhappy experience (see here and here for details; it’s quite the case study of poor vendor conduct). Please don’t spam us about SEO; we’ve concluded it’s a poor fit for a non-product site.
So what might work? The first idea would be for Yves to take up some of the requests she gets to be interviewed in podcasts, which she has been unable to accept even when from allies like John Donlan of Radio War Nerd.
We wish we had the time to do podcasts of our own, but doing anything in addition to what we do now introduces a lot more complexity (for instance, podcasts require not just specialized equipment but sound editing, and so more people which means more people and tasks to supervise, which lands on Yves’ desk and takes time away from producing written content).
But we can’t be assured, even if we took up all the high quality interview opportunities that came across the transom, that they’d come up regularly enough to increase our visibility.
The best short-term move would be to find the time to write for New York Magazine regularly (they have been willing to feature us as often as two times a month). Not only would this introduce Naked Capitalism to new readers, but as important, every article at New York Magazine links back to the site. Links from “authoritative” sites elevate our standing in Google and over time should somewhat offset the downrankings we’ve suffered.
We think this is an important defensive move given the increasing hostility of search engines and social media towards independent news sites.
In addition, those of you who encourage people you know to read the site might encounter some raised eyebrows when you recommend *horrors* a blog, while an introduction first to a New York Magazine piece and then to the site can counter knee-jerk skepticism.
The problem is I found it difficult to carve out the time because New York Magazine is a different audience and thus the articles require different framing and a different voice than I use here. They also often require more backup, since I can’t just refer to things we’ve run or linked to here. So they take more time to produce than a similar-length post at Naked Capitalism.
Even though New York Magazine does pay for each piece, it’s not enough to make up for the time I’d need for coverage by Lambert and Jerri-Lynn to make up for that. So we are setting a target of $9,500 for this goal and we are already $3,935 towards it. Notice we have kept this goal modest compared to the others.
The “extra coverage” would consist largely of having Lambert and Jerri-Lynn do Links more often (Lambert is also very fast at putting Links together; I am jealous of his speed). So rest assured, this plan will not lead to fewer original posts by me, just a rearranging of other work duties at the site. It is also possible we could hire a researcher to help with posts and New York Magazine pieces, but finding someone with the right skills and schedule flexibility is a tall order.
If we wind up not using all the funds in the goal to help with various external visibility efforts, they will go to support more original reporting. So please, help us be even bigger and badder by going to the Tip Jar and giving as generously as you can! Whether $5 or $5,000. They all help us make this site hum.