2012 was another banner year for Plunderbund. We broke several stories, some of which we actually got credit for! We’ll talk more about those in another post. 2011 was an historic year for the site and the state with all the SB5 activity and we will be challenged to live up to the interest and activity on the site in that year, but 2012 was still very solid for a “blog” that focuses not just on a single state but primarily a single issue: politics.
We feel like this year has demonstrated that we do it better than any other site and sometimes even rival the professionals who make a living doing this stuff.
I wanted to share some stats from the past year with our readers and, of course, thank you all for the great support you give us. It’s cliche, but true, that we can’t do any of this stuff without you. We are truly grateful!
Our biggest traffic day was – no surprise – November 6th. We had over 24,000 unique visitors on this day alone. Elections do that – especially Presidentials. Compared to 2011 this is a bit more as March 2 (SB5 protests) saw over 19,000 unique visitors. As I alluded to above, our consistent traffic throughout the whole of the SB5 fight enabled us to have the largest traffic year in the site’s history in 2011 and 2012 did not surpass that. We will be doing really well to accomplish this amount of traffic in years to come – and we’ll keep striving to do so.
We have a growing stable of writers and their contributions continue to add great texture and perspective to our coverage of politics in Ohio.
In 2012 we had over 912,000 unique visitors who took some 1.5 million actions on the site (mostly pageviews). To put that in perspective those numbers were 359k/600k in 2010 and 1.45 million/2.7 million in 2011 (that historic year we talked about). Very solid numbers for a lowly statewide political blog – no matter which way we lean.
We were cited more in the Ohio and national media than any other year I believe – and certainly more than any other blog. We published a lot of great stuff and sometimes our best doesn’t always get the most traffic. Below are the top posts of the year along with the top posts of each month of the year.
Top Ten Posts of 2012
5. Top 10 Songs About Racism (Yes, we think it’s weird too when a 2008 post gets in the mix of top 2012 posts! Gotta love SEO!)
Top Posts by Month
Mar 2012 (Also year’s top post)
Nov 2012 (#2 for the year)
Nov 2012 Honorable mention (#3 for the year)
Other Things of Note
ModernEsquire takes his leave. In February, we were sad to have to say goodbye to Brian Hester (aka ModernEsquire) as a regular contributor and integral part of the site. Brian was a friend of the blog for many years before joining us to create the Plunderbund you see today. He was instrumental in the vision for the site the past couple years and we continue to miss his voluminous output of highly researched and comprehensive political coverage. We still see him around in comments and elsewhere, but nothing like having old M.E. on the crew.
Lauren. Last year at Rootscamp we recruited Lauren Michelle Kinsey to write for the site. She contributed some great stories, insights, interviews, and videos. In 2013 Lauren will be doing most of her work at her personal blog and Huffington Post. She may write an occasional guest post here. We were glad to have her contribute and value her work in the Ohio progressive community!
Abe. 2012 Also saw us bring on as a regular contributor former Akron Beacon Journal and Washington Post journalist Abe “Grumpy Abe” Zaidan. We’re very happy to have Abe contributing regularly in addition to his work at his own blog!
Tip line. Sounds silly, but we never had a contact us type form before. We were previously only available via email until we put up a form to contact us about tips, story ideas, advertising, or just feedback. We’ve been blown away by the quality and quantity of information that comes our way through this channel and thanks to everyone who took the time to do so!
New shirts! We added 3 new tee shirt designs to our stable of gear and also a new gear page. They’ve proven to be very popular additions to our Classic PB logo tee.
Donate. In addition to buying gear, those who wish to support us financially (sadly not tax deductible) but don’t want gear can now do so through our donation page. We’ve had a couple nice contributions since putting this up and are very grateful for this!
Lunch with Ted! We had our first big contest to drive social media traffic and interest in the site. We gave our readers a chance to have lunch with former Governor and beloved Ohio Democrat Ted Strickland. We had about 300 people enter and spread the word. The winners were recently announced.
2013 Plans & Goals
We’ve come a long way since 2010 and plan to make even bigger strides in 2013 and beyond. In about a week, our core group will gather and talk about the coming year and what we want to do. Here are some things we’re thinking about:
- A newly designed site with more publishing flexibility
- A news feed that will allow organizations, politicians, and government entities to submit relevant political news and have included on Plunderbund
- A new separate site for gear with new additions including hoodies, canvas tote bags, pint glasses, and more!
- A job board where job seekers can find open positions and organizations can promote openings
- Diversifying advertising and focusing on local businesses
- Hiring a news editor and intern
Feel free to hit us up and tell us what you think we did well and what you’d like to see. You can do so right here. If you want to support the site by getting some gear, please do! If you want to just support us financially without the gear, you can do that too!