After almost two months of radio silence, it’s time to say something: I’ve made some big changes, and even more changes lie ahead. I can’t wait to tell you about them.
Here are the highlights:
✓ While this newsletter was on hiatus, we hit some important new records that will surprise you.
✓ My nonprofit organization, Elliott Advocacy, starts its spring fundraiser this week. And I have new reasons for you to be a part of the important work we’re doing.
✓ I’m launching my personal website, Chriselliotts.com, with my nationally syndicated columns and lots of great new features.
Chances are, you’re subscribed to this newsletter because it’s the only place you can find an eclectic mix of consumer news, travel intelligence, advocacy and personal travel narrative.
Whether you’re reading a Navigator column in the Washington Post or a Forbes column or a syndicated Problem Solved feature in the San Jose Mercury News, you know there’s a common thread: my unapologetically pro-consumer approach to journalism.
Before I get to the details, let me double down on my commitment: I’m here for you. I wouldn’t be here without you. I owe you, dear reader, everything.
Traffic and cases are through the roof
If you read my consumer advocacy site, you know that we’ve been really busy. But we’ve been breaking one record after another, in practically every category. Check out these April numbers:
✓ Pageviews rose 37 percent from a year ago to 1.1 million — a new record!
✓ We had 967 cases, up 98 percent from a year ago. That’s also a new record.
✓ Email newsletter subscribers rose 11 percent to 24,511. Yes, also a new record!
Interestingly, my staff and I made a decision late last year to focus on quality instead of quantity. Rather than clogging the internet with short, and often un-engaging stories, we dropped down to only a few lengthier pieces that had lots of value. Our readers and the search engines liked that.
The result: record traffic and cases.
By the way, if you have a consumer problem, please contact us now. We’re here for you.
Now more than ever, we need your help
But this is no time for self-congratulation. The more traffic and cases we receive, the more I realize how great the need is. There are hundreds of thousands of consumer problems out there, but only a few true consumer advocacy sites.
As a nonprofit, our funding options are limited. We can’t run ads or push points-earning credit cards on our audience. Instead, we really on you to help pay the bills for keeping a world-class consumer organization running.
Speaking of which, our long-overdue spring fundraiser starts next week. I hope you’ll consider putting your name on this list of supporters. Your financial help will make a real difference and will directly help other consumers.
The American economy is flush with profits, which is not a bad thing. But some of those profits have come at your expense — dishonestly collected from customers who unwittingly purchased a highly restricted airline ticket or an appliance with a flimsy warranty. My team of advocates fights every day to create a more fair marketplace, where you actually get what you deserve.
We definitely can’t do any of this without you. So please consider becoming an underwriter now.
One more thing. It’s about time I formally introduce my personal website, Chriselliotts.com. I started it a few years ago to support my latest book, How To Be The World’s Smartest Traveler. Soon, I began posting regular updates to it and sending a weekly newsletter.
When Elliott Advocacy became a 501(c)(3) organization, with its own original stories focused on our cases, I began publishing my syndicated columns on Chriselliotts.com. You’ll find all of my Forbes, USA Today, Washington Post on the site, plus both of my syndicated columns, Problem Solved and The Travel Troubleshooter.
Last week, I took the last step toward making the Chriselliotts.com a full-fledged news site by adding Disqus comments. (If you’re reading this on the website, you can scroll down and leave a comment now.)
I have mixed feelings about separating my personal work from the advocacy, but I know that it’s necessary. I will continue to give 110 percent to both sites and will, of course, always be there for you if you need me.
I’m so grateful for your support. Without you, I would not be able to advocate for anyone. Your questions, comments, clicks, likes and dollars keep this advocacy going. I feel so lucky to have you as a reader and friend.