A Google Hoax and Other Tidbits From the SUCCESS.com Time Machine

When I came to SUCCESS in 2012, the magazine’s website had a sprawling editorial staff of—one. Today, the SUCCESS.com team is still small but we accomplish a lot to produce a growing and improving website. To celebrate the newly redesigned SUCCESS.com, we’re taking a look back at SUCCESS.com’s history to share a few lessons we learned along the way and thank you for joining us on the journey.


1. Hello, World.


This is how SUCCESS.com appeared in 2008, or more accurately, how successmagazine.com looked in our first year of publishing. The home page, which updated only a few times a month, featured the cover story as its primary featured article all month long. That’s 30 days of Tony Hawk, shown above. About 100 people visited the site on a daily basis and 57 percent of them were from the United States. 


2. We Became More Than a Magazine


SUCCESS.com early formatting

In 2012, we landed the domain SUCCESS.com and began writing articles and blogs exclusively for the website, which had about 150,000 unique visitors monthly. We posted the best articles from that month’s issue, or at least as many as we could copy and paste from a rudimentary PDF full of hard returns and odd formatting. (We’re still finding and cleaning those up.)


3. Turns Out Social Media Wasn’t Just a Fad


SUCCESS magazine on Facebook

We didn’t listen to the reasons why “You Should Quit Social Media in 2013” and began focusing more on our SUCCESS magazine Facebook page, which had grown to more than 300,000 Likes. We posted articles, motivational quotes about success, and reader polls. (Thanks subscribers!)


4. The Sweet Smell of Success


Google Nose

In 2013, Google gave us an unexpected April Fool’s Day gift, when they introduced Google Nose, “where you can go beyond type, talk, and touch for a new notation of sensation.” Want to know what success smells like? It’s a sweet aroma, and thankfully for us, it took April Fool’s Day visitors to SUCCESS.com, where a record 267,000 unique visitors landed on April 1. That one day of traffic equaled the number of visitors our site received on an average month in 2013.

Today, we’re thankful to say SUCCESS.com’s monthly traffic exceeds 1 million unique visitors and continues to grow every month. We grow because of you, the smart, motivated individuals who visit SUCCESS.com for their personal and professional development. Just as you continue to build your talents to succeed in the competitive landscape, every day our team works to improve and expand SUCCESS.com as a distinctive destination for great content.

One of the best compliments we’ve ever received was from David-Michel Davies, the president of the Webby Media Group, the guys who created the Webby Awards and judge a website’s merit for a living. During an interview at SXSW, I sat down with Davies and introduced myself and what SUCCESS.com is all about. He stopped me short, saying “I know, I love your site. I go there all the time.” 

I passed that message along to my team, who was surprised at the impromptu compliment. In fact, every comment—whether on Facebook, Twitter or email surprises us in the best possible way, because despite our name, SUCCESS, we always feel like we’re a work in progress. I think that’s our content resonates with many of you. We’re all in this together, learning and improving to create the very best version of ourselves possible. 

This proves that success is not a destination, but a journey. Its our privilege to help curate your journey with great, inspiring content. If we sound mushy, it comes from an amazing team that wholeheartedly cares for the site 24 hours a day.

Ok, maybe 14 hours—we do sneak some sleep and downtime in there, too. 


Journalist, podcaster and southpaw Shelby Skrhak is the former director of digital content and social media for SUCCESS.com. Before joining SUCCESS magazine, Shelby launched the weekly suburban newspaper Plano Insider, and covered topics ranging from cops and courts to transportation and fashion. Her handwriting should be a font.

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