The end of 2020 was huge for TechRaptor. We hit all-new highs for both pageviews and revenue for three consecutive months, and we were able to really carry that momentum into 2021. It set the stage for a complete website overhaul, pay raises across the site, and continuing development of features to consistently improve the site for our readers. 2021, in short, has been a fantastic year for us to grow and improve what we're doing day after day.
As the Founder, CEO, and spreadsheet fanatic, I wanted to share some of our success for the year, and how we're looking forward.
TechRaptor 2021 - By The Numbers
This was such a huge year, which saw growth for our site in numerous areas:
- Pageviews: +175% compared to 2020
- Revenue: +205% compared to 2020
- Total Articles: 4,172 (+4% compared to 2020)
- Podcast: 800+ listens over the first 13 episodes! Subscribe via your favorite platform!
For comparison - we were just 4% pageview growth short on the year to do more pageviews than 2013-2019 combined. Such a staggering and immensely exciting data point!
We've got big plans for 2022, and I can't wait to get started. For a bit more about us, OutVoice also interviewed me this year to discuss our story as well as how we use OutVoice to pay our freelancers on publish! (Pitch Features) (Pitch Guides)
TechRaptor 2021 - What We Did As An Outlet
We went into 2021 with the goal of making some major changes to our brand, our website, and how we operate as a business. With our growth in 2020, we were able to expand development of the site, as well as pay across the site.
Exploring Acquisition and Investment
This year was the first year I've had serious discussions about being acquired or selling TechRaptor. Through those, I made a few realizations about what I "want" from an acquisition, and also realized there's so much more to do as an outlet and a brand.
To be clear, I'm not actively looking to sell TechRaptor. More than anything, going through the steps with a few companies was a learning experience for me. I learned A LOT from these discussions and decided they weren't right for me, TechRaptor, or my staff.
I don't run TechRaptor for the money. I don't take any money from the business at the moment, and prefer to focus any/all revenue on the site and especially the incredible people who work with me.
Would it be cool to sell for a chunk of change? Yes, but what I realized is that building this site is one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life, and to step away or let someone else lead the vision doesn't feel right. I may consider it with the right offer, but to me - right now we have phenomenal leaders and team members who are setting us up to become a top website for gamers to visit on a regular basis. We've got some incredible things coming, and the number to make me step away from this site or accept a reduced role would have to be mind-blowing.
We've doubled or tripled site metrics (pageviews and/or revenue) for three straight years, and we're far from done. In 2022 we're going to go hard and do it again!
Looking Back, Refocusing, and Staying True To Our Mission
We made a difficult decision in May, something we'd been discussing internally for a number of years. We decided that some of our older content, which didn't meet our standards in recent years, should be outright removed rather than remain up. While I won't go into detail on this recap, you can read all of the details here: How We're Continuing To Fulfill Our Commitment To Quality.
Rebuilding and Preparing For The Future
One of the most exciting things for me this year was hiring a development team and redoing the entire site's design, architecture, and improving site speeds in a major way. This new baseline has allowed us to roll out new features like the Game Release Calendar, GREATLY improve searching, improve our Game Pages, launch PWA (TR app on your phone/computer), and a number of other quality-of-life improvements.
We're committed to making TechRaptor a better place to visit month after month, focusing on User Experience, while also carefully balancing monetization to ensure that we're maximizing revenue without compromising your experience. I take that very seriously, and it's a big reason why we're making a change in January to our commenting platform to not only add new features to the site - but also reduce the overall "weight" of each page.
I've got a number of targeted features planned for 2022, and I can't wait to let our readers get their hands on them! That said, if there's a feature missing you'd love to see - please chime in and let us know!!
Doing More As An Outlet
TechRaptor serves millions of people, and it's my belief that with that visibility we should also be doing more to help others, share marginalized voices, and publish stories that have deep meaning to others.
In 2021, we started donating monthly to Safe In Our World since May and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. We donated to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, and urged our readers to do the same. We also donated to Hope for Haiti during this year's devastating earthquake.
If we can do more as an outlet, we should make an effort to do so. In 2022, we're pledging to donate at least 5% of our revenue to worthy causes such as Safe in Our World.
TechRaptor 2022 - What's Coming
The start of 2022 is going to be crazy, and I'm not just talking about the crazy number of games coming out! We've got some key things planned for 2022 that I'm really excited about, and even more I haven't even started planning yet!
Commenting Improvements: January we're starting off strong with a brand-new platform for commenting, and the ability for you to follow topics, authors, and games you're interested in. Get the latest news in your inbox or directly on TechRaptor daily! This platform will also be lighter than the existing platform, allowing you to load the site faster.
Team Growth: We grew the team in 2021, but I'll be re-opening applications January 1st, as well as putting out callouts for freelancers more often. If you have something you want to pitch, let's work together, and if you're interested in joining the team to do consistent content - you can apply soon on our Write for TechRaptor page!
Pay Growth: We had some big expenses in 2021 that dampened this a bit, but I'm planning on raising pay again this year for our team. While our Features & Guides rates are stellar, other areas need some improvement.
Membership: A big reason we rebuilt the site this year was to prep for future feature growth such as membership. We're still working out the details, but we plan on having free / paid membership with benefits like Ad-Free and more. Details to come as we get started!
Content Growth: We've published a record number of reviews and previews this year, but we want to do more of them, as well as expanding video and feature content. We want TechRaptor to be a place you can come to every day for a new feature, review, or something else that might interest you!
That about sums up 2021, and our plans for 2022. While 2021 has seen the continued stress of a global pandemic, gaming has been a bright spot for many of us looking to explore a new world, connect with unique characters, or process complex emotions and feelings. Our goal in 2022 is to continue sharing this passion with our readers and a deep love of gaming with others.
To those of you who read our content, come back daily, or interact with us across any platform - thank you.