Lydia Brimelow: VDARE.Com Year In Review
It was not a quiet year for VDARE.com.
In fact, it was kind of a roller coaster.
I’ll start at the end, with our year-end appeal: I want to thank everyone who generously gave to our biggest fundraiser of the year! It was a nail-biter in terms of meeting our goal, but I’m delighted to report that we, just like last year, not only exceeded our goal but also set a record for donations (at the last second!). Our goal was $100,000 and we brought in over $116,000 between November and January!
Web Traffic: Overall, our numbers are consistently up. We had a slight snowball in sessions over the course of the year, culminating in a 25% increase in
- sessions (4,957,864 vs 3,959,459),
- users (2,042,686 vs 1,630,536)
- and pageviews (13,038,344 vs 10,645,326).
That trend was echoed in our numbers of users. The bounce rate has decreased by 6%, although it took a jump in December, presumably because we had the fundraising layer up.
November was our peak month in terms of unique users with 231,540. Our slowest month was December with 160,888. December is traditionally our lowest month in terms of traffic, which I assume is a result of the intensity of our fundraising (the click-through layer also increases our bounce rate slightly), although I suppose it could also reflect the myriad of distractions the Christmas season brings to most of us.
December is an interesting month: despite the increasing bounce rate and reduced number of users, we see peak numbers in terms of time-on-site (4 minutes) and pages per session (just over 3). Does this mean that the fundraising and Christmas season skims off our most fleeting readers and leaves only the die-hards?
We had several major spikes, most significant being November 14 with 38,147 sessions, which was on a blog post titled “Trump Supporter Martyred: RIP Thomas Shaw Jr., 75–Stabbed By 21-Year Old Black Man,” by James Kirkpatrick, which went viral on Facebook. Other spikes included:
- Feb 2: Iowa Caucus
- March 18: This happened to be the day that Sanders conceded to Clinton for the Democratic Nomination, but our boost in traffic appears to have come from a link on Ace of Spades to a syndicated Ann Coulter column, Ann Coulter: GOP Voters Deliver Subtle Message—Die, Donor Scum!
- July 14: Here we were getting close to the GOP convention and tensions were running high. The main political headline on this day was Trump’s teaser regarding his upcoming VP pick, and Ann Coulter picked up and tweeted out Washington Watcher’s arguments against Pence, NO To “Hapless Jackal” Mike Pence Too! Trump Has Better VP Choices, not that Trump listened.
- July 20: Trump’s Republican nomination!
Social media also continues to grow. In the case of Twitter, exponentially.
- Twitter: Thanks to our dedicated tweetmeister (with occasional pinch hitters) we went from around 8,000 followers to 25,800 at the end of 2016. In the last three months of the year we earned an average of 672 link clicks per day from tweets and 921 retweets. Our best performing tweet was on November 9. Only four words long, it made 343,607 impressions and 5,309 engagements:
- Facebook continues to grow as well, although we have been dramatically handicapped but some algorithm changes that are, frankly, beyond our limited staff’s ability to untangle at this point. Facebook may be, for political reasons, destroying its usefulness as a portal. So while the number of people that have “Liked” our page continues to increase, our performance is down across the board over the year. Maybe one of our readers can give us some help with this issue?
Publications: Obviously, our main focus in terms of publishing is this here website. This year, VDARE.com we published 570 major articles, and 2180 blog posts. You wrote us over 300 letters.
We also produced some interesting side publications, and have had success with a new model of getting our publications out there while also getting valuable audience information and revenue. Last spring, we released the ebook, “On Trump,” which served as a compendium of VDARE.com’s coverage from our prescient discussion of his run in early 2015, to his meteoric ride to the top of the Republican ticket.
The yearly VDARE.com Anthology was scrapped this year, in favor of a more timely, more beautiful and more accessible Quarterly magazine, and subscriptions are steadily accumulating.
Meetups: 2016 was the year we really took VDARE.com on the road. Peter and I hosted VDARE.com get-togethers in Southern California, Raleigh, NC; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Nashville, TN; Washington, DC and New York City. Attendance ranged from 15-80 people in each locale, and all were enthusiastic. In addition, we met with many, many individual donors across the country. Perhaps the most dramatic was a fundraising dinner we held on Capitol Hill—two days before the election!
Revenues and Fundraising: Politics and social change are often long games, especially when you’re trying to turn a ship as large and malicious as the USS Treason Lobby. Our successes must be celebrated, and every day I wake up thinking “Isn’t it GRAND!” Trump’s Presidency has given us one last chance to save the country. But is it enough to save VDARE.com? I think so.
It’s no secret that we are a scrappy organization. Despite a couple of desperate looking months in the late summer – presumably as a result of our traditional donor base being distracted by the election fundraising – we did see moderate growth. Our donor base appears to be diversifying:
- Decrease in revenues per donor
- Decrease in number of gifts per donor
- 775 new donors!
- 69% donor retention rate!
- Overall total increase in revenues of over 50%
2016 was an incredible victory year for immigration patriots, and despite the inevitable growing pains we continue to experience as a burgeoning movement, I’m totally confident that the cat is not going back into the bag in terms of immigration, Political Correctness and American national identity. That said, I feel overwhelming impatience.
Our yearly budget for the entire organization is less than $500,000 per year, a drop in the bucket compared to our competitors.
Peter Brimelow, James Fulford, John Derbyshire, Steve Sailer, James Kirkpatrick – these people have made serious personal sacrifices for this cause. Year after year we have adapted to the increasingly Politically Correct environment that has so inhibited the flourishing of our movement. If this were a just world, these men would be publicly acknowledged as the heroes they are. Before they can pause to celebrate broader victories, we have to secure our position as the voice of the historic American nation. In order for that to happen, whether by VDARE Foundation or through other sympathetic institutions, we need three things:
- Venue security: we must have safe, reliable place to gather and speak without fear of violent Leftist lynch mobs or contract-breaching cancellations.
- Protection for individual patriots: we must develop ways of protecting the personal lives of our leaders from loss of privacy, property and employment as a result of doxing lynch mobs
- Cultural competition: we must provide an alternative cultural expression that will honor our heritage, pursue truth and beauty, and compete with the anti-American propaganda that currently dominates our televisions, art museums, civic and religious experiences and ultimately, battles for the soul of our nation.
The little taste of winning that we got in 2016 has only serves as an appetizer for our movement. The hunger we now all feel will propel us forward!
Lydia Brimelow [Email her], pictured right with daughter Felicity, is Chief Advancement Officer for VDARE.com.