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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 4 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY, NPR, TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Celebrating 100,000 Readers

We didn’t expect this to happen—especially not this fast.

Cue the balloons, confetti, and cheesy celebration music—and join Ryan in his “artistic interpretation” of the Electric Slide. We started this website on December 14, 2010, and now, nine months later, it’s hard for us to believe that The Minimalists has more than 100,000 monthly readers.

We don’t typically report our statistics because stats can be misleading—or twisted to paint an inaccurate picture. Plus we don’t look at the numbers enough to report them regularly.

We are, however, thankful to’ve reached this milestone in an authentic way: we don’t use pop-ups, we don’t spam anyone, we don’t allow advertisements, we don’t push products on you, and we want you to visit our site only if you find value in doing so.

Which brings us to the stat we’re most proud of: over 10,000 hours per month, six minutes per visit:

Sure, it’s nice to have 100,000 readers, but that number is arbitrary and can fluctuate like the stock market. Besides, “total traffic” is not nearly as important as another statistic that often goes ignored: average time on site. We think of this stat as the “adding value meter.”

Because we focus on adding value rather than getting new readers, we’re most proud of the following fact: the average person who visits our site spends over six-and-a-half minutes per visit.

This might sound unimportant to most readers, but to put it in perspective: two minutes is good, three minutes is outstanding, and four minutes is almost unheard of in the online world once you have an appreciable readership. So, this statistic means that many people spend many hours on our site, reading through our journey and archives, applying our recipe to their own lives.

You can think of it this way: if there are more than 100,000 visitors per month at this site, and they average more than six-and-a-half minutes per visit, then people spend over 10,000 hours per month here, which means we have the opportunity to contribute thousands of hours to people each month—helping thousands of people live more meaningful lives.

So we’re not actually celebrating 100,000 readers; we’re celebrating over 10,000 hours of life-changing experiences each month, for which we are grateful.

The most shocking thing about this growth is that we have been sort of ignorant: we didn’t even know how to start a blog a year ago; we didn’t know how to design or code or do any of the cool stuff to make a website shimmer; and we didn’t have any long-term goals or plans to reach a mass audience. We simply knew we wanted to add value to people’s lives—that’s why we started writing essays about minimalism. It turns out that when you add value to people’s lives, they share your message with their friends and family—adding value is a basic human instinct. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for your support.

2014 Update: After four years, we recently reached 4 million readers. Thank you! Let’s keep growing together. If you don’t already, you can subscribe to The Minimalists for free via email.