@ WebbyConnect: HuffPo CEO Betsy Morgan: We’re Ready For Post-Election Growth Too

As one of the more engaging elections in recent years enters the final stretch, the Huffington Post is riding a wave of political influence and enviable growth. But will that all go away after the election? It’s a question that haunts CEO Betsy Morgan, and we raised it again today as part of a panel she participated in at WebbyConnect. She said the site expected content to skew heavily towards politics in the second half of the year, but once the race ends, they’ll begin to increase the mix of content, which hopefully users will stick around for. Those users with an “obsessive behavior” that simply can’t get enough campaign news and chatter might visit less frequently, she admits, but hopefully most of them will turn to other content—from the economy to America’s perception abroad and issues of the new administration. “We’re really ready to capitalize on those users. That’s our core.” There’s no denying how much the site has benefited from the election season. Huffington Post’s traffic has quintupled in the past year with 4.5 million unique visits last month, WSJ reports. That’s more than double the traffic Drudge Report tracked last month: 2.1 million unique. A year ago, Drudge had 1.2 million unique visits to Huffington Post’s 792,000. Morgan said at WebbyConnect: “In the news-publishing space, there is now so many different alternatives and so many places you can go for news on the web. It can be just overwhelming.” Looking ahead, the site wants to drive more engagement with its audience and make sure they don’t “feel like they’re responding into a black hole.”

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