American Consumer News, LLC has changed a lot since December of 2006 when I started a now-defunct personal finance blog called Getting Green (which was later renamed to American Consumer News). In 2008, the company evolved from being a personal finance blog to a network of personal finance blogs. In 2009, the company started a separate brand called American Banking and Market News to cover the stock market and financial news. In 2011, the business transitioned away from covering personal finance all together and started offering information products and services to retail investors (which lead to the creation of the brand Analyst Ratings Network). In 2012, I used the web marketing skills I had to create a press release writing and distribution service called Lightning Releases. American Consumer News, LLC hired its first employee in 2013. In 2014, American Consumer News, LLC published my first book, 40 Rules for Internet Business Success. The company is always changing and there are two important milestones that have happened in the life of American Consumer News, LLC this week.
150,000 Subscribers and Counting
American Consumer News, LLC has done quite well with Analyst Ratings Network and Lightning Releases in the last four years. Analyst Ratings Network has done so well that the daily investment newsletter we publish (ARN Daily) has just reached 150,000 active monthly subscribers. That means that a group of people (almost) equivalent to the population of the city of Sioux Falls subscribes to ARN Daily. I couldn’t be happier with that number. Analyst Ratings Network’s revenue grew by 97.8% in 2014 and is now responsible for 87% of the company’s overall revenue, which leads to the second major announcement…
Lightning Releases has been acquired by ADR Investments LLC
While Lightning Releases also grew quickly in 2014, it was a small fraction of the company’s overall revenue and wasn’t a major focus or area of growth for the company. Late last year, I decided that it was probably time to sell Lightning Releases to a company that could better steward it. I attended a conference in October called Rhodium Weekend that focused on buying and selling income-generating internet businesses. I met two other entrepreneurs, Dave Parkinson and Andrew Pincock, at the conference who expressed interest in buying Lightning Releases after mentioning that I would probably be selling it in early 2015. They currently run a lead generation business in the legal industry and thought Lightning Releases would be a good growth opportunity for them. We agreed on terms in late January and the deal closed on February 3rd, 2015.
The Future of American Consumer News, LLC
In the last 18 months, I have shut-down, sold or given away all other parts of American Consumer News, LLC that aren’t part of Analyst Ratings Network. I’ve transitioned my consulting clients over to the team at Media One. I’ve shutdown several sites that didn’t generate revenue and have given others away. I’ve sold a few smaller income generating websites and have now sold Lightning Releases as well. American Consumer News, LLC is now effectively Analyst Ratings Network. I would probably change the name of the company if it weren’t such a hassle to do so.
For the rest of 2015, I have established some aggressive growth targets for Analyst Ratings Network. We’re aiming to have between 250,000 and 300,000 subscribers by the end of the year. We’re also targeting 40 million page views across our network of financial news sites in 2015 and hope to generate enough revenue to be on next year’s Inc. 5000 list. Wish us luck!