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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Thank You to Our (1.6 million) Afloat Readers in 2020

18th December 2020
A year end boating scene at Drake's Pool in Cork Harbour A year end boating scene at Drake's Pool in Cork Harbour Credit: Bob Bateman

Dear Reader,

At the end of another busy year at Afloat.ie in 2020, we want to express our thanks for your continued support.

Because of the generous backing from you and our other supporters, Afloat.ie is looking at another record year for visitors, with a significant 14% increase on 2019 figures.

Our website dedicated to Irish sailing, boating and maritime issues reached another high watermark, informing and entertaining a larger boating audience than ever before, and is now set to repeat that as we head into 2021.

The latest statistics show unique visitors to the site are over 1.6 million by year-end — a phenomenal number in what remains a challenging climate for online media.

2020 Stats for Afloat readershipsThe 2020 Statistics for Afloat readership showing unique 'visitors' to the site (top) and (above) the number of 'actions' or 'hits' of those visitors

Ironically, despite the challenges in 2020 with event cancellations due to COVID, interest in our boating and marine stories increased and this is reflected in many sections of the site. Afloat’s popular online format has a strong returning readership, with nearly half of daily visits being repeat readers, and with strong social media engagement.

Based on site analytics, 75% of our traffic is from Ireland, with a good geographic spread across the Irish Sea and into the west coast of Britain.

Most encouragingly, nearly two-thirds (65+%) of Afloat.ie traffic now comes from mobile devices — an important return on investment in the mobile site by our journalist and developer team.

What’s more, our website’s bounce rate (the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page) of 22% is well below the industry average of 40% to 60%, according to HubSpot.Together, those numbers make a strong argument for Afloat.ie growing as a go-to resource for an engaged audience with sailing, boating and marine interests.

Our high authority in the boating market is reflected, too, in Google and other search engines’ quick indexing of our stories, giving them valuable reach beyond our core readership.

All of this is a testament not only to our tight-knit and active community of readers, but also Afloat.ie’s combination of opinion, hard news and features which puts it at the very heart of the national — and increasingly international — conversation on sailing, boating and maritime affairs.

The growth this year is the fifth consecutive year of increase since the site broke the one million readers mark in 2015.

Last year marked the first time reader numbers broke the 1.5m barrier, and now that figure is climbing even higher. It’s proof positive that our mission — to provide Irish sailing and boating clubs, classes and the wider maritime community with a comprehensive, reliable and independent platform promoting our great sport to the wide and connected audience only the internet provides — is truly working.

This success, as we’ve said before, would not be possible without our full–time marine journalists and web developers, and indeed our advertisers and supporters who are dedicated to promoting Irish sailing and boating. Progress, like we have achieved to date, would not have been achievable without it.

As previously acknowledged, it remains a challenging climate for online media, particularly when it comes to monetisation.

Thanks to your support, however, we have not resorted to putting our content behind a paywall like other news websites — because we want to keep our marine journalism open to the widest possible audience, which we believe is one of the keys to our growth. The figures bear this out.

All of us at Afloat wish you the best for Christmas and 2021, and hope you will continue your valued support in the new year to come.

Stay safe

The Afloat team

Published in News Update
Afloat.ie Team

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Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

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We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

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