The Week magazine website is expanding its editorial team as a result of growing traffic.
The title’s UK-based site, which produces all of its content independently from the print edition and offers it free to readers, claims to have nearly quadrupled its readership in two years.
It launched in October 2011 and currently claims 2.2m monthly unique users, up from 600,000 in September 2013. The site rejigged last month to be optimised for mobile phones. It is funded by display and native advertising and by promoting other websites through featured links.
The print edition had just over 200,000 sales in February this year, and celebrated its 20th birthday in May.
Editor of Theweek.co.uk Holden Frith said the site would be turning a profit if it were not for investment in expansion, which will see the ten-strong team of regular staff journalists increased by two in the near future, with more appointments planned for next year.
Frith (pictured) said: “The website takes the spirit what we do in print and adapts it in such a way that it works online too.
“The magazine is the master of curating and digesting the press, which it has been doing for twenty years now.
“Online we do some of that too, but we also work to add more depth to stories with lots of profiles, Q&A’s and background briefings.”
Frith’s team, which caters for a younger and more international audience than that of the print edition, compiles daily news and business briefings summarised from other media outlets, alongside “one-minute reads”.
But the site also specialises in long-form content consisting of a series of articles on a single issue featured on a constantly updating page stretching back weeks or even months. Frith says that this format was "pioneered" by The Week. These pieces use information from other media organisations, with some original sources.
“A good example is with Islamic State, so when they first came to prominence we did a briefing, as nearly every other news organisation would have done.
“But whereas at other newspapers that original report would have been archived and forgotten about, we have updated the briefing as Islamic State has grown.
“This gives readers that sense of who these people are, where they have come from, how they have evolved and where they might be going.
“Unlike most publications, many of our most successful pieces are far longer than anything else you would find in our print edition, largely because of our approach of sticking with stories as they develop.”
Frith said the site is bringing in enough money to exist independently of the print edition, although he stressed there are no plans to do this.
The Week’s Australian print edition closed in 2012, although it still runs a separate newsroom in the United States for its American print and online products.
Any profits generated by The Week go to The Heart of England Forest, a woodland project in south Warwickshire and Worcestershire, which owns the magazine’s parent company, Dennis Publishing.
The Heart of England Forest was founded by Felix Dennis, who died in June 2014, and granted the charity ownership of his publishing company.