Media

How Jonah Peretti built BuzzFeed into a content-sharing powerhouse

Jonah Peretti helped make Huffington Post a success, and now he’s turned BuzzFeed into one of the most powerful new media sites around.

BuzzFeed, founded in 2006, now claims that it has 30 million monthly unique visitors. Compare that to Gawker Media’s Gizmodo, which has 6.5 million, or the one-year-old Vox Media site The Verge, which has 3.1 million, both according to ComScore.

And BuzzFeed has advertising revenues close to $20 million per year, without carrying a single banner ad. (It focuses instead on selling sponsorships and custom campaigns.

These fascinating data points come from an in-depth interview with Peretti just published by Alyson Shontell over at Business Insider.

How does Peretti do it? By ignoring Google search results and SEO, and focusing exclusively on figuring out how to get people to share the posts Buzzfeed puts up.

Here are some of the pointers BI’s useful interview reveals:

  • How BuzzFeed combines algorithms and human editors
  • How Peretti managed to run BuzzFeed and HuffPo at the same time
  • Why Union Square Ventures almost invested in BuzzFeed
  • What Peretti really thinks about his site’s reputation as a purveyor of cat galleries
  • What’s next for Buzzfeed (hint: global domination)

Peretti has been unusually open about his strategy in the recent past, telling all for a February New York Times profile as well as a more recent in-depth profile in the Independent (UK), among others.

Read more on Business Insider’s profile of Peretti.