Business of News Hyperlocal news New media Newspaper websites Online news

Revenue-generating ideas for your website

This article, “15 Ways to Generate Revenue for a Community News Site,” was written for hyperlocal online news sites — the competitors of most newspapers. But some of these ideas can easily be adapted for use by your own newspaper’s website. Here the first one: “Find a topic of interest to an audience and a particular advertiser. Have the advertiser put together a video to be aired on the site as a webinar. Readers sign up for it for free. The advertiser gets the names and emails of the attendees as possible sales leads in exchange for a sponsorship fee. A real estate agent might conduct a webinar on how to shop for a home, for example.” Let’s imagine, for instance, that you have a restaurant that’s known for making the best apple pie in town. Take your Flip camera down to the restaurant and let the owner show how to bake a great apple pie, step by step, on video. Then he/she can talk about the restaurant and the other pies they make there. At the end of the video (and you promote this at the very first to keep people tuned in), you offer a recipe if you click on a link — that helps to build the owner’s email list with the captured addresses. And who’s going to help the owner with the email campaign and tie it into your print and Internet editions? Your paper, of course!

By Kathryn Jones Malone

Kathryn Jones Malone is co-director of the Texas Center for Community Journalism. She began her career as a staff writer at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, then worked as a staff writer for the Dallas Times Herald and The Dallas Morning News; as a contract writer for The New York Times; as a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly magazine; as editor of the Glen Rose Reporter; and as a freelance writer for numerous state, regional and national magazines. She teaches journalism at Tarleton State University.