Today marks the first anniversary of The Rational Walk website. I started The Rational Walk mainly to serve as a soap box for writing about investment related topics. Over the past year, the growth in readership has exceeded my expectations. This is due to a loyal group of readers who have made The Rational Walk a regular part of their daily routine. Here are a few statistics:
- A total of 334 articles have been published over the past year representing a mix of original essays, links to articles with brief commentary, and embedded video and multimedia content.
- The Rational Walk has approximately 500 RSS Feed Subscribers in addition to 100 subscribers of our email digest which provides content on days when new articles are posted. In addition, The Rational Walk has over 500 followers on Twitter and has recently started a Facebook page.
- Through syndication of content, The Rational Walk has numerous articles that have been published on Seeking Alpha, Guru Focus, and The Manual of Ideas blog.
- Articles on The Rational Walk have been mentioned on CNBC and TheStreet.com.
- In January 2010, The Rational Walk had 21,600 page views, 7,422 unique visitors, and regular readers from countries all over the world. 75% of readers are from the United States with readers from Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and Australia rounding out the top five countries.
The Rational Walk will continue to provide readers with useful business and investment content on a regular basis. This project was not started with a particular business model in mind but has begun to consume a more significant amount of time and attention. As the saying goes, “every tub must stand on its own bottom” particularly if opportunity costs increase over time.
We have been running selected advertisements for products or services that we consider valuable for the caliber of reader the site has attracted. The most visible advertisements have been for books that have been featured in articles or are otherwise recommended to readers. We have refused to run typical advertisements that appear on many finance related websites because the “get rich quick” schemes are overwhelming, impossible to adequately filter out, and entirely opposed to the purpose of this site. There is something horribly incongruent to see an article on Warren Buffett next to an advertisement offering instant riches with no risk over a period of 30 days.
Selectivity in advertising will continue to be our policy, but we welcome inquiries from potential advertisers who offer products or services useful to intelligent investors.
Up to this point, all content on The Rational Walk has been entirely free of charge. With a few exceptions, this will remain the case going forward. However, I am excited to announce that The Rational Walk will begin to publish some premium content in the future that will be of value to a certain sub-set of our readership. This will begin with a detailed valuation of Berkshire Hathaway which will be published shortly after the 2009 annual report is released later this month. Free content regarding Berkshire will still be provided in addition to the premium content.
As always, I welcome feedback from readers on how The Rational Walk can improve over time.