Starting a website: Stats and the Measures of Success

Hey, we are a month old now! Goo goo ga ga!

People have been asking lately, “How’s the website doing?” and I don’t really know how to respond. I’m just like, “Yeah, it’s great, it’s going well! I mean, I think it is! I don’t actually know! But I’m having fun!”

That part is true, that STET has been really fun so far. It basically gives us a reason to get free books, reach out to people we really like and get them to talk to us, and work on a nice on-going project outside of my current stale office day job. I’m also certain I’m turning into a better writer too, or that, I’m re-learning how to write better.


Hey, I think this is me! I’m the only “active visitor” on the site right now!

But how do you measure a website’s success? If it’s based on fun factor alone, then we’re doing prett-tty, prett-ttty well. If it’s based on what other people are getting out of STET, then that is something I can’t quiiiite answer yet, although early folks have started to tell us they’re discovering interesting stories through our posts (wooo, we’re all about the STORY here!!). If it’s based on stats and numbers, then who the heck even knows. (Me, I don’t know yet.)


It’s like a bad yo-yo diet.

In terms of PR, we’ve reached out to a handful of places in hopes that we could get a lil mention, just so there’s more traffic other than, say, Twitter (which is usually where we get most our hits from, either direct or via a Tweet from someone we interviewed). We’re still working on this but all I know is that doing PR kinda sucks and it’s awkward to be like, “Hey we wanna tell you about this site we just launched!” More to come soon.

Here’s a breakdown of followers we have so far, as of this morning on August 1, 2013. Most of them are friends but actually, we’re getting a handful of randos now too!! Das kewl shit.

Twitter: 49 followers
Facebook: 49 followers
Tumblr: 21 followers

In terms of website stats (thanks to Google Analytics), we’re at about 8,000 page views, 1,800 unique visitors, and they spend on average 3:30 minutes on the site. Not bad?

I feel like a scientist or something, stroking my chin staring at jargons and charts being like “Hmm yes, yes, yes, interesting,” and I actually don’t know what I’m looking at. Haven’t seen pie charts in years, people. I asked Maura what her dayjob magazine’s website hits are like, and she said something like “Three million a month” and I was like, Okay not the right website to compare STET to.



But still! We are getting nice feedback from friends and people we truly admire who are down to be involved with us (heh heh). What I’ve learned so far from this experience is that the more successful the interviewee subject is, the more likely (and more quickly!) they are to respond. I do think it’s true that the “success trait” comes with having a personality that is open to participating and being accessible. I sometimes work at this incredible brand called Baggu (yeah, they make bags) and a piece of advice that’s trickled down to me from Emily, the head honcho who is only a few years older than me, is that in order to run a successful business, you gotta get into the habit of responding back to emails. All of them. And handling all of them well. Here’s a sort-of related post that reminded me of this: “Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead?” via NYTimes

Alrighty, here is where we keep going…. see you on the upswing (hopefully!). Peace and cheers, friends!!