The Truth About Watches Annual Report

Illinois Bunn Special pocket watch front

The Truth About Watches started last August – with zero viewers and zero page views. One year in, it’s time to report on our progress and future plans. But first, thank you for reading. We exist for one reason only: to provide readers with honest, fresh and funky watch-related content. No holds barred. This we have done, every single day since I first hit publish. So here’s where we are:

Traffic

TTAW monthly stats

As you can see, we’ve come a long way baby. The Truth About Watches is routinely getting more traffic in one day than we did in any one of the first three months – publishing the same amount of material.

As you may know, this isn’t my first rodeo. I also started The Truth About Cars and The Truth About Guns with zero visitors, zero page views. No advertising. No SEO expert. Just content, content, content. Day in, day out, every day.

Our traffic at The Truth About Watches continues to grow organically, for one reason. You guessed it. Content. Five-hundred-and-sixty-two posts so far, not including this one. Here are our top six posts since Day One.

International Visitors

The Truth About watches int. visitors

We get viewers from all over the world. (The reason we link to an online dictionary whenever we use big words.) It’s a long list – we get single visits from some pretty obscure places. Hello Bhutan! Good morning Zambia!

Popular Posts

TTAW top posts since start

There’s a LOT more info further down the list. Our “tail of the dragon” – the number of posts getting one or two views per day – is epic.

That’s the great thing about watch content: the vast majority of our posts are “evergreens.” Especially posts like Rolex versus Grand Seiko, designed for long-lasting appeal.

Drilling down a bit, the hits garnered by our G-SHOCK review shocked me. The Ball pocket watch post – revealing the guts of the modern company’s Secometer – was also a surprise success. We’ve taken on a new G-SHOCK writer and will continue to offer insights into pocket watch world – a personal passion.

Reader engagement

Our reader engagement sucks. I’m not sure what to do about that, save respond to comments and keep publishing compelling content. I’m not too worried about it. We’re building it. They will come.

Note: there will be no flaming allowed. Personal attacks will be deleted. Persistent offenders will be banned. Civilized discussion. That’s the way we roll.

New writers

Bell & Ross post

Finding new talent has always been one of my favorite parts of the blogging biz. Publishing work from people who write from the heart, with passion and attitude, regardless of their experience.

We’ve got a nice little roster going here at The Truth About Watches – Joseph Adams, Luke Ibis, Racer88, Franz Riviora, Oscar Klosoff, Ronnie Shreiber and others who dip in from time to time. I invite anyone from any walk of life to join the team (email robertfarago1@gmail.com).

And just so you (and the writers) know: as soon as there’s income, content providers get paid. That’s not going to be soon.

Future Content

Yema Flygraf Timegrapher

Reviews are TTAW’s heart and soul. We recently convinced some manufacturers to send us watches to review: Norqain, Sinn, Yema and Formex. We thank them for their willingness to face the truth about watches. Well, their watches.

With a bit of luck and persistence, the loaner trend that will continue. Meanwhile, we’ll continue purchasing watches to review. We’ll also begin attending industry confabs. If a watchmaker pays our freight, we will disclose it, and not let it affect our content.

Income

TTAW last week of August stats

Zero. Zilch. Nada. With that kind of traffic, why would there be? This business depends on eyeballs. Until we get enough of them – say 50k unique visitors per month – we don’t have much of anything to sell advertisers. And we are NOT going to sell watches.

We should hit that mark by the end of next year. When we do, we might accept advertising from watchmakers.

That assumes they’d want to. Given the feedback from watchmakers that didn’t like what they read, that’s quite the assumption. If it happens, we will not let the watchmakers change a word of our content. On that you have my solemn word.

Anyway, plan A: advertising from non-watch sources. But Plan A is about a year off, and there are posts to write.

Thank you

Thank you for giving me the chance to do what I love. I hope you have the same opportunity in your life. Otherwise, what’s the point – other than rent, groceries, kids’ education and that kind of stuff? And watches. Yeah, them too.

8 comments

  1. Reading every word from New Zealand.
    Your content style seems out of whack with the hagiography style of, let’s see, all other watch journalism. Early days I guess. Looking forward to your next website: The Truth About Travel Clocks. Also looking forward to your next anniversary post.

  2. Hello from Portugal!

    Nice to see such a transparent picture of your site’s growth and current situation. I just discoverd TTAW just a couple of weeks ago and I’m really liking the content. Maybe you should think about changing the design a little, perhaps with a publication logo to start creating “brand awareness” and turn the experience more visual appealing. Anyway, content is king and in that department you are doing a really good job.

    I’m glad I found your site. It’s nice to read some honest and really unbiased words for a change.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Always cool to read under-the-hood articles like this. I’m please to hear that readership is on an upward trend…with hopefully comments, and profits, to follow.

    As a graphic designer, I’m also glad to hear that there’s a new design coming. There’s a fine line between being minimal/authentic and just being plain generic…and TTAW (and for that matter, TTAC) is on the wrong end at the moment. I know visuals aren’t what set this site apart, and good design isn’t cheap, but if there’s one thing any business can learn from the fancy boys at Hodinkee, it’s that visuals count a lot in this field. Their attention to design, and honing their visual aesthetic, is what got them to where they are.

    I trust the editorial angle will remain the same, but I’m looking forward to seeing the new look!

  4. Some of the articles here hit the nail so square on the head that it is impossible to add further comment. I guess one could do the old agreement post, but that’s not really a discussion, is it?
    The fallback Questionbot or Questionator type article, which is just glorified response bait, is one method, even if it is usually very fluffy on the initial content.

    1. I’m waiting until our viewership is higher before a Question of the Day style post. I’d hate to ask and hear crickets chirping.

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