Looking Back On The Past Two And Half Years.

On a cold October day in 2007 I sat down in front of my computer and said to myself..” Self, you need to learn about all this social media stuff you are spouting as the future” So… I picked a topic, a passion… the restoration of Sylvia to try it out. I thought, I will do a posting a week and that will be that. If there are readers, fine, if not, fine. It’s about learning a new way to communicate. As things started to develop I realized that the hobby had no such outlet yet and the only real communication was a couple magazines, two forums  and  boat shows. Nothing spontaneous and news related. I also felt that if you were new to the hobby, your only source of general beginer information was through boat brokers, ebay or clubs. And if you were at a club web site or on the forums it could be intimidating to jump in and look like a complete novis. And since I am comfortable in my ignorance regarding these boats and in a new communication format.. What the hell. I got nothing to loose and everything to gain. I recall folks from the ACBS asking, what was my motivation? There had to be a secret reason that I was doing this. Why would someone spend each day doing a story on Classic boats? Where is the money, Where is the pay back.. The answer was, and is very simple. The reason is because its fun, and in a strange way, it’s helpful to my sanity. I get to each morning of my life, go boating. And if I can share that with the world.. All the better, I get to go boating with a mess of fellow Woody Boaters, and that’s a thousand times more fun than doing it alone. So.. little did I know the ramifications of such motivation…

I just looked over our reader stats… To date.. There have been close to 500,000 pageveiws, with close to 90,000 unique readers, who, half of come back for more to the tune of close to 300,000 visits. Remember this is not a web site with boats for sale or other content. It’s really one page with a new story each day.. These are amazing numbers for the format we have, and based on the size of the hobby, exciting to say the least. It means we are reaching new boaters, we are reaching around the world as well. Woody Boaters in Russia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Finland, Germany, France, Australia, Serbia,Yes even Africa.. The only place that we never seem to crack… Wyoming… What in the heck is wrong with Wyoming.. Ha…  We are now humming along at over 30,000 pageviews a month with about 13,000 visitors and 7,000 unique readers a month… If I am not wrong here, and I might be. That now makes Woody Boater the most read publication of sorts in the hobby. Bigger than, the Rudder, and Classic Boating. I realize it may be like comparing apples and oranges. But 7,000 unique readers is a good number, We are also in some cases the #1 lead for our sponsors. Last year for example we drove over 14,000 readers to one of our top sponsors. With a click rate of over 8% OK that’s geek talk.. BUT, in the world of banner click through rates.. 0.10% click through rate is trophy worthy.. 8% is almost unbelievable.. in fact I don’t believe it, but my web geek people and there calculators tell me its so. So, that’s it. You have just wasted a good 5 minutes according to my stats on reading this, and you have nothing to show for it. Other than we have bored you with me isms.. We here at Woody Boater consider each reader as part of the family. I suppose it’s nice to know from time to time, that everything is good in Woodyboaterville. So from all of us here..Pat your self on the back… And thanks.. You all make this fun…If you are in Clayton this year.. Stop by and say HI! we will all be there for the first time since Mt Dora. Texx, Krunch and I… We will be the ones with the hats on!

16 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Matt, all of us owe you for setting up Woodyboater. Now if I could just learn to do the geek posting stuff….and you could just learn to spell…..but hey: I am up on the railway this week….will be cruisin soon!

    John Rothert

  2. WoodyBoater
    WoodyBoater says:

    spelling is so over rated! I will be in LA this weekend. I am on a shoot on Monday.. I am hoping to get Betsy up on the railway in a couple of weeks.

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I start my day with you! It is nice to be on the water first thing in the morning. Thank you for doing all of the hard work!


  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:


    I'd like to see and hear more about Betsy. What is interesting is your transition from Runabout to larger boating. What is that like and can you describe it to us.

    Regards and great work

  5. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    I like the suggestion about describing the moving process from a trophy BB to a big, slow but classic cruiser. That is quite jump!

    I'm sorry not to be able to make Clayton this year, but with Mt. Dora/Tavares, Tahoe, Sandpoint, Portland, a club event at my lake, Flathead Lake and the International in Michigan either under my belt or on the schedule, I am full up. Hearing about it from you and Texx will have to be good enough for me.

    Keep up the great work!

  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Matt – You have done a marvelous job and we all are greatly appreciate it. The success is directly attributable to you passion and enthusiasm.. I check out your site all the time. I love the way you capture all the news about the Classic Boat world and shows. In fact, I thought this was what the ACBS was supposed to do. So it is wonderful that you showed up on the scene. You captured all us boat lovers.

    Best always


  7. Rick
    Rick says:

    This site just "feels" comfortable, kind of like the bar Cheers. Come in, relax, have a drink and lets talk old boats with friends. Keep it up. Oh, I'm probably responsible for a number of those daily page views as I check back to see what new comments have been made. Spelling is usually good for a grin also. Sorry, couldn't help myself.

  8. Chad Durren
    Chad Durren says:

    Sometimes I'm upset with Matt when he gets up late and makes me wait for the story to change. And when he takes the weekend off, I feel helpless, with no direction. How does he expect me to start my day without a boat story?

    All kidding aside, your little social experiment has taken on a life of it's own. I look forward to each click. Someday, we can update the banner like McDonald's, to read "over 1 billion served".


  9. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I'm addicted to Woody Boater too! And so is Captain Beaunay. He starts to rattle his sabre if I don't pull you up everyday!

  10. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Everyday including the days without posts to see if there is a post, several times in fact. Keep us guessing. Plus I try to throw a quick comment here and there. To join in the fun. Thanks Have fun in the 'River' take a picture of all the boats and of course please do not forget the Lymans, Sea Skiffs, lapstrake galore.

  11. Captain Nemo
    Captain Nemo says:

    Matt-By your description sounds like you have created a monster. I've been hitting your site nearly from it's inception and it's been fun watching it morph into what it is today. Hope to run into you at Clayton.

  12. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    "Why would someone spend each day doing a story on Classic boats? Where is the money, Where is the pay back.."


    Love your stuff, and glad you're sittin' pretty Cap'n.

  13. Jay Wagner
    Jay Wagner says:

    Matt and Texx and the rest of your staff, I really can’t thank you enough. I had a stem cell transplant on 11-12-12 and this site has helped me thru the tough times. I found out about this site from Jim Staib & Wil Vidal,and I really like all the great stories and comments. I’ve even commented myself! My docs say my curing progression is doing well so I might even get to meet you guys at a nearby show in 2013.i do have my orange sons of varnish shirt ready to go! Thanks again for all you do!

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