It was another spectacular year for Elliott Advocacy. We exceeded every goal we set in 2019, thanks to you!
✓ We had nearly 11,000 cases, up 55 percent from last year.
✓ Page views jumped by 33 percent, to more than 13 million.
✓ We ended the year with nearly 27,000 newsletter subscribers, up more than 10 percent.
None of this would have been possible without you.
Your comments and contributions have powered these impressive gains. So before I continue, let me just say: Thank you! You’ve made 2019 our best year ever.
I’m also grateful to the volunteers who have helped this year with everything from advocacy to research. Their efforts have ensured that people get the help they need quickly. If you’re interested in being part of our organization, here’s how to join us.
What we did in 2019
This was our first full year as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We raised $31,481 from readers, which funded the continuing operation of this website and advocacy organization. (By the way, there’s still time to make a tax-deductible donation before the year is over. Here’s how.)
We also received an excellent report card from the consumers who used our free services to resolve their customer service problems.
I wanted to take a moment to list our achievements by department:
Advocacy – We have a small, dedicated department that handles intakes from our help form. During the summer, we routinely exceeded 1,000 monthly cases. At our current growth rates, it’s possible we’ll hit 2,000 monthly cases in 2020.
Editing – We have an amazing team in place. They handle all the editing for our posts and newsletters and they are helping edit some of the book chapters. (More on that in a second.)
Forums – The forum team has been very busy in 2019, with many cases getting picked up by the search engines. Traffic to the forums is at an all-time high.
Newsletters – We had to upgrade our servers to accommodate the new newsletter subscribers. We’ll be working on a redesign of the newsletter and expect to hit 30,000 daily subscribers in early 2020.
Research – Our dedicated research team keeps busy with updates and fending off the occasional lawyer with a takedown request. You know, where they demand that you delete information from your site — or else!
Doubling down on long-form journalism
You may remember that a few years ago, we were posting up to six new stories a day. They were short commentaries mixed in with “problem solved” stories for which this site was well known.
But that approach didn’t work.
Talking more doesn’t make you more interesting. It’s what you have to say, not how much that counts. We found that our readers were tuning us out and that the search engines stopped indexing our stories.
In the last year, we’ve doubled down on long-form, explanatory journalism. It’s often the best way to tell you about our advocacy. Many of our stories run more than 2,000 words and take weeks to research and write. They’re based on cases that can take many months to resolve.
The frequency of our stories has also decreased. We’re now posting three or four new articles a week, along with some updated reruns.
I continue to write about our advocacy for my syndicated news outlets, including Forbes, USA Today and the Washington Post. At the end of 2019, Spotify invited me to develop a podcast (details soon), and I finished the first draft of my latest book, Problem Solved.
I’ve also started posting some of my syndicated stories on my personal site. I’ve done this for several reasons. First, as Elliott Advocacy becomes its own organization, I felt I needed to maintain a personal presence online. But also, the search engines limit the number of stories they’ll promote on a site. So two sites are better than one.
All of the columns, podcasts and books are meant to call attention to the advocacy work we’re doing here on this site. So, for example, you’ll see links back to our company contact pages in my syndicated columns. More clicks to our nonprofit site mean more opportunities to help people!
Elliott Advocacy is positioned to help even more consumers in 2020. We can do it with in-depth stories that uncover the truth. We’ve also set ambitious targets for cases, traffic and newsletter subscribers in 2020. But our goal remains simple: to help you.
Thank you for being part of the effort.