In a quest to dismantle itself and become more relevant in the 21st Century, IAC-owned About.com is launching another standalone vertical in the form of The Balance, a personal finance website tailored to today’s millennial.
The Balance is focused on making personal finance easy to understand, no matter where you are in life. The site will launch with more than 34,000 pieces of content written by 70 writers, all organized under the topics of personal finance, investing, money hacks, career advice, and small business tips.
“There are plenty of personal finance websites out there that cover various parts of the market, but we don’t think anyone caters to the same market as we do,” said About.com CEO Neil Vogel. “Most of our competitors cater strictly to the highest net worth people, but we want to help everyone get better at earning, saving and spending their money.”
About.com hopes the site will help users approach the big decisions in life, like buying an Engagement Ring or a first house, without all the formality and financial jargon of other sites.
The Balance isn’t About.com’s first standalone brand. In late April, About launched Verywell, a health and wellness site meant to combat WebMD with practical health and nutrition advice.
But Verywell and The Balance are just the beginning, according to the company.
About.com launched all the way back in 1997, and even though it has great SEO and troves of advice-based content, it doesn’t have a brand that relates to today’s internet user.
These days, the internet is fragmented into highly targeted websites, focused on a specific topic with a unique voice. Despite the breadth and quality of About.com’s content, it’s long needed a prettier outfit.
With the launch of standalone brands, that same content is more organized, easier to find, and placed in an environment where it belongs as part of a larger narrative.
“Nobody wants to get personal finance advice from the same site where they learned to bake a pie,” said Vogel.
Vogel went on to explain that there was a slight dip in traffic during the transition from About.com to Verywell, as Google was figuring out the SEO switch to a new domain. However, Verywell’s traffic is now up 25 percent from what it should be on About.com Health.
If The Balance can perform as well, About.com could be in a strong position heading into the new year with plans to launch new standalone sites.
But these launches aren’t without their challenges. Vogel explained that company culture is the biggest victim of these transitions, with employees working extra hard to launch a new site only to pick up and start work on the next one.
That said, the company’s advertising pipeline is 2x what it was last year, which is a good motivator to keep up work on the new sites.
You can check out The Balance right here.