OVER A MILLION PAGES AND COUNTING– A BIG MILESTONE AT MSCC
I remember the heady first days of MyStarCollectorCar.com. Daily page views on the site were measured in double digits back on April 2 2009.
That was the high water mark in April ’09 and it reflected the realities of a brand new online collector car site with no history and rookies behind the scenes.
Fast-forward to today–we clicked over 1 million page views on August 21, 2012.
You can’t predict the progress in a business like this because there is no playbook. Serious mistakes were made in the first few days.
You have to expect meltdowns when you insert two not so bright, over 50 guys into a world full of web platforms, uploading images, formatting text and inserting html links.
Fortunately I had a real-life guardian angel in the form of Mike. He set the site up and cleaned up every mess I made—and there were numerous messes. I remember shifting the whole page after I inserted a giant photo. Mike calmly cured the problem, explained the logic behind the online disaster and moved on until I did it again and again…and again.
Mike got firmer with his explanation but he never lost his legendary patience long past the point where I would have started punching information into a guy like me.
The monthly concept was another mistake. We started out with a monthly magazine format so that meant no updates or fresh material for a month. The idea was that you simply put a magazine out for a month and insert it on the cyber “magazine rack”. In other words, employ the same limitations found in paper publication – things like no daily additions to the site and forget about current photos or articles.
We believed if you saw something really interesting that day, don’t put it on the site until the next month. Rigid thinking is your enemy in this new world.
This was great for leisure time between months on the site but it was like owning a Hemi Cuda and using it to deliver pizzas. MSCC had all the potential in the world and we had none of the insight to use it properly. That’s what it’s like to ignore the immediacy of cyber world.
We finally realized the daily component to the site was essential then we veered off the road again with a daily dose of non-car related pieces. Things like TV shows, Hollywood stars, music stars and occasionally, political commentaries were added to the MyStarCollectorCar portfolio. That was a huge mistake even though it drove up traffic because it was the wrong traffic.
Car guys are focused and they sure didn’t care about issues such as how dangerous Justin Bieber is to real music. I’ve had thousands of conversations with car guys and the only focus is old iron. You cannot light up a car guy with a discussion about football because that has nothing to do with 4:11 gears, flatheads or classic deuce coupes.
This foray into non-car world lasted a few months until Jim talked to a guy named Robert Farago. Robert became a buddy and mentor after we submitted a few pieces to The Truth About Cars (a Time Magazine Top 20 blog of 2011) . He started TTAC but that’s only part of his extensive portfolio in the world of automotive journalism.
Robert has ventured into another world with The Truth About Guns — another highly successful website so his advice was pretty basic. He’s a “bludgeon you over the head” guy to make a point and his email advice was pretty simple – “DO NOT DO THIS!!!”…the boldface capital letters are his.
Robert explained, “just because you can do it doesn’t make it right. It’ll drive up your traffic but it’s not the traffic you want. You’re on the right track so stick to cars”.
That’s how it’s been for almost 2 ½ years and Robert was on the money with his advice. Since then the focus at MSCC is on the old car hobby and nothing else. This is a great world full of great people and most of it doesn’t even seem like work.
Picture this – a sunny weekend surrounded by classic old iron owned by guys who love to talk cars. As the old military recruiting ads used to say, “it’s not a job, it’s an adventure”.
The target audience is crystal clear in 2012 and the results were obvious when we ticked over 1,000,000 visits to the site. The growth is exponential and we expect to cross 2 million in less than year…we’re on pace for that number.
I hate to use a really worn-out cliché but “at the end of the day” the site’s success really belongs to the readers who buy into and totally understand what we’re doing at MSCC. We would never even hit 10,000 in 3 years, let alone 1 million without your support, your incredible talent, your dedication to the hobby, your unbelievable old rides and your willingness to let us tell your story.
Thanks for the first million.
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