My fellow Woodyboaterions.. I sit here this morning overlooking the magnificence of Lake Cyberspace. And take this moment of reflection to pass on to you our current state of the union.. Time passes by so fast as we all age. We forgot to take notice back in October… We turned 4 years old, that right, 4 years ago I sat down in front of my computer and said, what the hell.. 12 year old girls can do this.. So can I.. It was not as easy as I thought, and I learned one thing.. 12 year old girls are smart.. But along the way, we grew.. reader by reader.. one at a time, from just word of mouth. I recall the first 1,000 hits.. took months.. then 10,000 in one year.. amazing, stuff. Last fall on our third year, we decided to grow a bit, change web formats and ask for sponsorship help to see how far this crazy dream can go.. We set out to reach 500,000 hits.. that was the goal.. And it was ambitious since in 2010 our hits totaled 250,000 I had faith in my self for the first time in years, and faith in Texx and the gang that makes all this happen.. And most of all, our sponsors had faith.. to be honest after they all jumped in, I just sat in the corner and stared out the window in amazement that this was happening.. You can not imagine how much fun this is for Texx and I to do…. We talk at 3 AM many a morning setting up for the next day.. It has never felt like work.. I thank all of you for that.. Now..
The state of our union.. As stated, we set out to have 500,000 hits, I am proud to say that this year.. 2011 we have close to 4,200,000 hits… Thats right.4.2 million, with over 1 million visits.. and roughly 60,000 unique visitors.. On any given day 20,000 hits with around 4,000-7,000 visits.. This is all from our server and Google analytic’s. Wyoming still.. crickets… Africa gives us more real traffic.. Speaking of which, we did weed through all the search Robots and spambots.. We average over 1500 spam comments a day. We are around 1800 stories and now on a dedicated server.We are on every page of any classic boat image search…and climbing in search status in more terms daily..
The costs.. Now, since this is a private web site, disclosing costs seems strange, but, since in a way you all are Woody Boaters.. And contribute to this. Here are the numbers. We made $29,000 in sponsorship money last year. The cost of doing WoodyBoater was $34,000.. Between, Party’s, Travel, Cameras, Hotel Rooms, Web Hosting, T shirts, Contributions to AVON, it all added up much faster than we all thought.. I know many of you like the tshirts.. We break even on those at 15 bucks, and shipping takes it tole on time, so we are in the works with a fulfillment house that can handle all that. But it’s not a money maker. None of this… Cheaper than owning a boat though.. HA… Ugh…So.. How do we continue? It’s simple.. You just read, play and comment, tell folks about Woody Boater, link us to your site.. Facebook “like” us.. What ever you can do to grow readership..When we show up to shows, those free press passes help more than you can imagine.. With close to 20 shows visited a year.. But in the end, WE JUST WANT YOUR EYEBALLS… no biggy… it’s all about your eyeballs.. The more eyeballs, the more our sponsors get out of it. Marketers want to be seen, noticed and shopped.. And for gods sake, shop our sponsors FIRST. Tell them you saw them on Woody Boater.. We are very careful about who is a sponsor, these are GOOD companies with great reputations. They are not just there for money.. . The good ones deserve to be prosperous.They of course don’t want your gooey eyeballs as payment..
The future. The future looks brite. We are growing at a nice clip. Our readers are younger than most other classic boat audiences..35-60 years old so they are not dying.. I think… And we are on top of technology as much as we can be within relevance and reason.. No twitter, no real need since twitter does not really apply.. We are also making some subtle design changes.. In fact have made several in the past week.. Nav Bar moved up top, More favorite of all time stories, from 10 to 20, We have de linked over 50 links and will be doing more since Google thinks we are a link farm and de-values us for that.. Sorry.. The left side will be for community, clubs, Boat Buzz and good things, the right for sponsors and the center will stay the same with some tweaks.
I hope you keep enjoying Woody Boater, we have some fun plans for next year regarding more Shoot Outs, a big event in Algonac in June, and of course the mother of all events.. Tavaras with the grand unveiling of the On Golden Pond main Picture Boats with Katz’s marina on what will be the 30th anniversary of the films premiere. Thanks again, for reading and making this a joy to do each morning.
Matt & Texx