We’re back with our “becoming” series and this time we’ll take an inside look into TechCrunch. If you’re a tech nerd or running a technology startup, then chances are high that you already know about TechCrunch. Not only did the publisher change how the industry used to present the tech news, but they’re also one of the fastest-growing companies to emerge in the early 2000s. And we’re amazed at every level – from the marketing strategies to content model to subscription engines.
So, we did thorough research to know and understand how TechCrunch has been growing at a rate that most publishers can only dream of. This case study aims to answer all the questions related to their growth strategies and tactics. Hop on and let’s get started.
How It All Started?
TechCrunch started as a technology blog in 2005 by Michael Arrington (Src). It was a news blog that focused on tech startups being in Silicon Valley and reviewed new internet products and services. In the beginning, Arrington posted 3 to 4 blogs per day as he was working on another project Edgeio, founded by TechCrunch’s founding shareholder, Keith Teare.
Arrington continued posting tech-related updates and business-building techniques for startups from his cluttered office in his rented house. However, in less than two years, TechCrunch surpassed top bloggers, leaving most to wonder how the publisher did it.
By 2007, with just 3 employees and ~12,000 daily readerships (Src), TechCrunch turned a revenue of $3 million (Src) and of course, it was profitable. If you’re wondering, how the publisher managed to earn millions with just 12k visitors/day, you aren’t alone – we’ll get to that later.
Where They Are Today?
Today, TechCrunch is known as a massively successful blog covering a variety of news in the tech industry. With 2.8M+ Facebook followers, 10M+ Twitter followers, and 1.2M+ Instagram followers, TechCrunch has ballooned its audience reach across the platforms.
In terms of traffic, the US accounts for 46 percent of the total traffic and organic search is the primary traffic acquisition channel, standing at 45 percent.
Precisely, TechCrunch has 17.27 million monthly unique visitors (Src) and estimated to bag $22.5 million in revenue last year (Src). The total monthly impressions of TechCrunch is 33.84M and 100+ people are working for the media outlet.
From Zero to $10M in 3 Years
2005 – 2008
Leveraging Tech Landscape
Back in 2005 or 2006, there’s no social media platform like Twitter for tech entrepreneurs to connect directly with venture capitalists and there’s no way to specifically target the right audience within a platform. Startups and people involved in startups basically relied on news coverages and bloggers to keep up with the pace.
TechCrunch saw the gap in the tech and capitalized on it. While 12,000 readers a day isn’t much, it is more than enough to get engineers, industrialists, and investors under its blanket. The publisher specifically targeted “Web 2.0 companies” or Internet startups to attract decision-makers and interested VCs. Naturally, the blog was able to make connections via advertising and covering the best startups of the era. Catering to a niche helped the publisher to grow organically.