The Tennessee Star announced via Twitter Tuesday its online news site has been visited a whopping TWO MILLION times since its launch earlier this year.
Today we had our TWO MILLIONTH visit to the https://t.co/CucY9Mxgrh since our launch Feb 6.
Thank you, Tennessee – you're the BEST! pic.twitter.com/XOn5IM0Aui
— Tennessee Star (@TheTNStar) July 11, 2017
The Tennessee Star went live on Monday, February 6 and by the end of the month – just 22 days later – The Star was visited over 175,000 times.
“Tennesseans tell us that have wanted a fact-based news site with a conservative worldview for many years. That’s what we offer, and I believe that is the reason we have seen such a steep growth curve with no end in sight,” said Managing Editor Christina Botteri.
The news media upstart experienced growing pains almost immediately, requiring them to upgrade their servers months ahead of schedule.
After a strong inaugural month, visitors returned regularly and in growing numbers throughout March to stay current with the breaking developments surrounding Governor Haslam’s unpopular gas tax hike. Readership soared to over 285,000 within that 31-day period.
“In April, we kicked off our ‘Constitution Series,’ and saw another uptick in readership with about 370,000 for the month,” Botteri recalled.
The Constitution Series is an original series discussing the content and context of the United States Constitution, which will end in September with The Tennessee Star Constitution Bee open to Tennessee’s secondary school students.
“The Star reached its first million-visit-mark May 22,” Botteri said. “Now, only 49 days later we’ve doubled that number!”
The logarithmic increase in traffic can be traced directly to The Star’s coverage of the top three areas of most concern for Middle Tennesseans, as reported in the Tennessee Star-Triton Poll released last month, together with a fundamental understanding of the algorithms that drive social media traffic.
“Our poll results track with what we observe personally, which is that there are three over-arching areas of great interest for the people of Middle Tennessee,” Botteri said. “They are immigration, the repeal of the gas tax, and constitutional carry.”
“It’s like I’ve said before: people are deeply concerned about the very real issues of unregulated, lawless immigration policy; insatiable and cavalier government taxation and spending; and the seemingly constant infringment of their Constitutional protections by well-connected special interests. These are things that effect people in their every day lives, which is why no amount of name-calling by the Left or cheap speechifying on the Right will make it all go away.
“Middle Tennesseans are smart, hard-working people who – more and more – are telling us they are sick of the bickering and the rhetoric and are instead interested in solutions and results that are respectful to citizens. After all, they are the ones paying for it!” Botteri said.
This is the ‘America First’ perspective that fueled the Tea Party sea change from 2009 through the 2016 elections, that resulted in well over a thousand wins by Republicans across the country; the platform President Trump ran and won on; as well as delivering wins to the Republican candidates in each of the special elections so far this year.
The Tennessee Star’s news is delivered in a number of ways. The flagship website is the main hub of activity, with stories subsequently posted on Facebook and Twitter.
Weekday mornings, Botteri writes up a short summary of the day’s breaking news, which is emailed as The Tennessee Star Daily. Sunday afternoons, The Tennessee Star Weekend Review recaps the week’s biggest headlines. But the newsletter is very different than the many others that flood the conservative news marketplace.
“My goal is to keep it lightening-quick, super-fun, information-rich, and very direct. Sometimes I’ll discuss with our newsletter readers behind-the-scenes insights on developing stories or even shop-talk,” Botteri shared.
“I believe that’s why our open and engagement rates for the Tennessee Star Daily are off-the-charts,” she continued. “We regularly perform at multiples above the industry standard.”
Botteri also hinted that The Star may soon begin providing its cutting edge content in even more ways, though the specifics of how that will be done, she noted, will be announced in the near future.
“Our combination of covering the breaking legislative news, in-depth analysis about politics and policy in Tennessee, plus illegal immigration and refugee resettlement issues in a way not seen at all in other, mainstream news outlets in the Volunteer State put The Star at a distinct advantage over the established, corporate-run mainstays,” she said.
“We are incredibly blessed to have on our team subject matter experts that are among the best in the nation. They have demonstrated time and again an extraordinary level of expertise on the things that Tennesseans truly care about,” Botteri said.
“Our aim is to be the go-to, trusted platform for news, analysis and opinion in Tennessee. We’ve come a long way to meet that goal in a very short time – and it is all exhilarating and very humbling.”
The site is a for-profit enterprise, and has attracted a significant number of local advertisers since its launch.
“We have made a profit since our first quarter of operation, which is nearly unheard of for a new media start-up,” Botteri said. “It just goes to show you that our advertisers recognize that The Tennessee Star fills an unmet need in the Tennessee marketplace: objective news written from a conservative perspective.”