I'm having to do some serious thinking about the future of this Blog. As you can probably tell, I love doing it and the feedback (both on the blog and privately by email) is great. However, it's taking an increasing amount of time, and if I fail to upload something new every couple of hours you all start emailing to ask if I've died or something! I've broken several exclusive news stories, and, I think, influenced the direction of a few others over the last few months. On the negative side, doing a blog if you're in active politics is bound to make you a few enemies. More than a few people believe the blog is at least partly to blame for me not being on the 'A' List. That's as may be, but hasn't affected what I write, and it won't. As you can see from the Hit Rate Graphs, the number of people who visit the blog every day has grown hugely, since I restarted in December. More than 114,000 individuals visited the blog during May, with 188,000 multiple visits. This was more than double April's total. This is a phenomenal performance for a blog that is less than 6 months old. Guido outperforms me, with 150,00o unique visitors and 211,000 multiples and I suspect that ConservativeHome does too. I'm sure we all share many visitors.
So what of the future? If I was working in a normal full-time job, I doubt whether I could keep the momentum up. It is almost impossible to earn money from a blog - the adverts you see down the sides of the blog generate very little if anything and I will probably do away with them. The only way to generate revenue is to attract sponsorship from those who wish to "get at" the political community. Virtually anyone who's anyone in Conservative politics (and beyond!) reads this blog - I'm told that the Party Leader and Party Chairman have been known to visit, along with many other members of the Shadow Cabinet. Most of the political lobby look at it once a day at least. The same goes for Guido's and Tim Montgomerie's blogs. Guido's post today makes clear that like me, he's feeling the strain and even thinking of taking on a "Mini" Guido to help him. It seems to me that the only way we can survive, improve and expand what we do is to take on some degree of financial sponsorship. So if anyone out there has any ideas on what they'd like to see here in the future or their company might fancy some kind of sponsorship deal, please do get in touch.
In the meantime, thanks to all of you for visiting so regularly and making it so enjoyable.