When launching Dronemade, we built it with drone travellers in mind. Looking into answers for those travelling abroad with their drones. Overtime, and thanks to our 1,700 members, we now host a ton of resources to help. We're extremely proud to be able to support so many members and another 10,000 visitors each month.
However, as the world started to halt, we saw an immediate impact forcing us to re-think our positioning whilst continuing to help you all. Having focused for the last 12 months on drone travels, we've seen drops in traffic resulting in revenue losses.
How Dronemade got affected by COVID-19?
To share our experience with you, it is good to know where we're coming from. For this exercise, we've taken our 2020 data and split it into two periods Jan+Feb & Mar+Apr 2020.
Dronemade's traffic Jan & Feb 2020
Pre-Covid, we experienced a steady & healthy website traffic of about 10,000 visits per month coming primarily from the US (16.5%), Australia (12.3%) & the UK (7%). Our traffic worked in cycles with busier times over the weekend and Mondays (#Mondayofficeblues).
During the same time-frame we'd welcomed 154 members from 57 different countries, contributing to our community. We've come a long way for this as the website was only launched in November 2018 and relies exclusively on organic traffic (no paid advertising).
Dronemade's traffic Mar & April 2020
On the 10th of March, 2 days before the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, we saw our traffic plummet. As all of us started to focus on our own safety and several countries closed their borders; travelling (with or without a drone) wasn't as attractive suddenly.
During these last two months our traffic dropped by about 50% and is now coming primarily from Australia with 17.4%. Memberships continued to climb but at a lesser rate with "only" 98 members joining our community between March & April 2020. 🖐 "Welcome to them"
A positive note (which seems to be lasting) is the bounce back observed since end of April 2020, time when several countries announced relaxing isolation rules or plans towards it.
What are our members now looking for ?
With 170+ countries drone laws, 100 airlines' drone policies, 60 drone reviews, thousands of aerial images and more.., there is enough to keep going on for a while. But what picked up these last weeks as isolation country policies were enforced for most of our members?
We've unveiled that our traffic currently primarily comes from Australia, and with 50 active members, it comes as a little surprise at first hand. However, when understanding and comparing countries' current approach to COVID-19, it makes a little more sense. Australia having managed to flatten the curve much faster than most western countries, it can be assumed locals are more "enthusiastic" to get back to normal life and resume travelling.
Since the beginning of the year, our data unveils that our AU users have been looking primarily to domestic travel posts. With almost 40% of their views for Australian State drone rules, this indicates to us an upcoming trend for our other members.
This is confirmed with our most recent data (last 2 weeks) unveiling domestic searches have now reached 52% ! We also note that the states most looked at have changed with Victoria taking 1st place in domestic search rankings.
A little more time will be needed to draw conclusions but a tendency is clearly coming up to us. Domestic travel might well be 2020's trend as international borders remain closed or heavily restricted for the foreseeable future.
How is our community reacting ?
Our members have shown some incredible support over the last weeks offering their help to keep our drone laws up to date and share travel experiences as time frees up for some. We would like to thank you particularly @Joel for sharing his insights and @Edgar for offering to write about wonderful Mexico !
We've also noticed that several members have been cancelling their upgraded memberships mainly due to income loss and we wanted to help where we could by:
offering a suspend option; instead of cancelling and resume when you're ready!
lowering our membership fee; to a flat $3/month for 100% content ! Learn more
This said, most of the content available on our website remains free and we aim to keep it this way. You can still help us by buying via our affiliate links Amazon or DJI which has no costs for you but helps Dronemade stay free for all.
What about the team ?
Thanks for asking ! With social distancing measures in place, we had to adapt a little bit our working habits despite being already principally online working as a distributed team. Being a tight bundle, we look after each other. Paul, our founder, got himself a new office mate to help him on a daily basis. What more appropriate pet than a bird for a drone fan ?!
We've also been working on cool projects to help escape and wonder while being confined at home. About a month ago, we've decided to compile some of our aerial clips from around the world and released a new series named "Our Planet"
Follow us on Youtube
"Mountains & Forests" (ep. 1)
"Oceans & Coasts" (ep. 2)
We've seen some fast changes and had to adapt quickly to some of them while continuing our mission to promote safer skies and helping out our members.
We sincerely believe drone pilots will be able to fly again but probably closer to their homes than usual. Health measures, political decisions and time will determine the story of drone travelling. In the meantime, we take this break to deepen our editing skills and uploading ever more aerial content to inspire in turn.