Remember when, just a few months ago, most of our daily news revolved around the Trump Presidency? Those days are over—and news publishers are beginning to see a concerning, if predicted, trend.
In what many are calling the “post-Trump slump,” top news publishers have seen a drop in website visitors. Between January to February of this year, the New York Post noted a 26% decrease in unique site visitors, while the New York Times saw a 17% drop.
In contrast, during the Trump presidency the Post added over 3 million subscribers, and the Times added 4.5 million. Politics aside, Trump was good for the publishing business.
At OpenWeb, we observed a similar trend. Throughout his presidency, ‘Trump’ was consistently the number one trending topic across our publishers’ communities. After Trump left office and was no longer the center of the news cycle, our law, government, and politics publishers saw a 70% decrease in mentions of Trump in their communities.
Why did this happen?
2020 heightened the public’s appetite for news: between a global pandemic, global protests against racial inequality, a US election, and an already-heightened news environment covering the daily moves of the Trump administration, publishers saw unprecedented increases in readership. The pace of news around those topics has slowed in the past few months, and as a result fewer readers are visiting and refreshing their favorite news sites with the fervor they previously had.
Now, publishers are looking for new ways to attract and retain readers. And at OpenWeb, we know there’s one powerful strategy that needs to be at the top of that list.
News publishers: Drive loyal, registered readers in 2021
It’s impossible to predict the news cycle, so publishers need an effective way to engage and retain their existing readers.
Publishers who invite their readers to interact and comment on their own website rather than across social platforms, stand to grow and nurture a loyal community of registered, highly engaged users. For example, one of our news publisher partners was able to leverage their traffic from 2020 to do exactly that, leading to a 196% increase in registrations.