2021 is finally coming to a close after seemingly taking forever and flying by all at the same time. A lot has happened for us here at GunnersDen.com and we have grown tremendously over the past several months.
Let’s take a look at some of our accomplishments if you care to go on this journey with me.
Branching Out –
The biggest accomplishment is that I branched out on my own full time.
Those of you who know me understand that I’ve been growing this website in my very part time over the past five years. I had worked tirelessly for other companies for nearly a decade writing content, filming videos, going to trade shows like SHOT, etc.
In 2017 I was hired as the managing editor for ConcealedCarry.com where I served faithfully for the next four years. I used this blog (Gunners Den) only as an experiment to test what was working in the blogosphere with SEO and other things.
There were years where I only published a handful of articles during the course of the year for that reason. I didn’t want to have a conflict of interest, all while keeping in the back of my mind that at some point it wouldn’t make sense to work for other people.
I hadn’t even started to run ads on this site until about a year or two ago because it wasn’t a goal to make money with it.
In April of this year I left, promising to never again grow another website but my own.
After testing some SEO or writing tactics that worked here, I implemented it to Concealed Carry’s website with great success. I helped to grow that website to what it is today and I remain friends with the owners, as well as the guy currently running content over there, Matthew.
This website grew to to the point where it was time to go.
We now get well over 100,000 pageviews per month, and over the past 30 days the blog has gotten almost 95,000 unique visitors.
In April, the month I went full time here, we had 61,000 visitors, of which only about 40,000 were from searches or direct.
The above mentioned 95,000 visitors were all organic or direct. Meaning that folks typed GunnersDen.com directly into their search bar, or searched for something leading them here.
In other words, we’ve more than doubled our presence where it matters.
I’m not done yet.
Looking Forward –
2022 is right around the corner. I’m looking forward to getting back out to Vegas again for SHOT Show. Some people think I’m nuts for going but SHOT is always a catalyst for growth. Our trip is booked and unless something drastic changes we’ll be covering the show floor, as well as range day once more.
And, since 2022 is less than a month away, SHOT show 22 is also only about a month and a half away.
Diving in even deeper than that, is continued growth. I plan to grow this website to 350,000 unique visitors by this time next year which is doable but impossible for me to do alone. To this date, I’ve grown this blog to what it is mostly by myself (and by the grace of God).
Giving credit to some folks who have helped me like Joe, Terry, and Eve is important, but for the most part it’s just me. Out of the 668 articles currently published, 651 of them are mine. Those don’t include the few that I’ve written with a pen name during a small experiment I conducted using a brand new author profile for SEO purposes.
2022 should see the addition of at least a few more paid content creators. I’ve given myself a small, but inflationary, budget to help bring more readers.
Also, I plan to up our publishing schedule and hopefully take a step back to let someone else do the editing and publishing in the later half of the year. I’d like to get back to my roots as an OP-ED writer, as well as run only the business side of things.
Other media channels:
YouTube continues to be a thorn in my side. I hate the platform but they are a necessary evil at least for the time being. 2022 will see us using them more for reviews and other video content.
Also something else that has been on my mind since 2015 is starting a podcast of sorts. A lot of folks don’t realize this, but in 2015 I had recorded a podcast when I worked for a different publication but I ended up leaving after finding out they were an anti-gun “gun publication” and the podcast episodes were lost forever.
But I did record a couple of episodes with a guy named Mike who is a 2A attorney up in Pennsylvania. I may fire this back up at some point this year as my time allows.
2021, while a crappy year for hopefully obvious reasons, was certainly a great year for this website. We’ll continue to grow and develop the way we do things with the goal of bringing you the best gun content you can find anywhere on the interwebs.
I have nothing to hide. These are the goals, and I’m glad you’re here to help me along the way.