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Building One Of The World’s Biggest Tech Blogs From New Zealand: ReadWriteWeb Founder Richard MacManus (Part 4)

Posted on Saturday, May 1st 2010

SM: You have always stayed focused on quality content and good analysis.

RM: From the very beginning I have believed that analysis is important. I strive for thoughtful posts about technology that illustrate where technology is going. I highlight trends and the latest products. Throughout ReadWriteWeb’s history that has been the focus, and it remains so today even though it is a proper business now.

SM: Has your focus been primarily on Web applications?

RM: Yes, Web applications and trends. That is probably one of the key differentiators for us, that we are focused on explaining the trends, and we look at what is coming up. A lot of other blogs have focused on the latest products and the business side. We have always been focused on the technology side.

SM: You probably have a greater portion of the developer world following you.

RM: Yes, we do have a good following in the developer world. As the site has grown, we have also earned a following from business users who want to know what is coming on the Web. They also want the latest trends explained to them.

SM: Do you have any analysis of your demographics?

RM: Yes. Our audience is definitely an influential audience today. It tends to be highly educated and well-paid individuals.

SM: What percentage are developers versus non-developers?

RM: We don’t have any sets on that. We use Crowd Science to get demographic data, and FM has some as well.

SM: When FM is pitching, what are they selling?

RM: They are selling a technology blog. They are selling it as a higher-end blog and try to get higher CPMs for us.

SM: What kind of CPMs are you getting, and how does that relate to what is happening in the tech blog advertising world overall? CPMs have gone all over the place in the past five years.

RM: We know have a COO, Sean Ammirati, who handles all of that stuff now. Thankfully, I don’t have to deal with that anymore. Having said that, I think the CPMs can have a wide range. At the low end they can be around $5 and at the high end they can be at $30. All of our spots are always sold out.

What we are trying to do this year is position ourselves a little more in that high-end market. When we compare ourselves to TechCrunch or Mashable, we find that they do more traffic than us. They are our primary competitors. Combined, we are the top three blogs in the space. They have more page views and content and pump out a lot of content every day. We are more focused on the quality rather than the quantity.

SM: From what I understand, TechCrunch has around 8 million page views a month and does around $8 million a year at 50% profit.

RM: Our page views have grown a lot this year. We are nearing 5 million. We are at 4.7 million at the moment. It has grown significantly in the past six months.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Building One Of The World’s Biggest Tech Blogs From New Zealand: ReadWriteWeb Founder Richard MacManus
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