Parts 2 and 3 of this series covered legal issues and journalism. Now I’m going to cover that big elephant in the room: money.
Much (most, all?) of the hyperlocal efforts at the moment are voluntary, passion-driven projects. Many I’m sure cost only time; it’s easy enough to run a site on WordPress.com for free for example. However, plenty are paying for web hosting, travel, equipment and more. And while most hyperlocals aren’t for-profit ventures, it’s far better for them to be not-for-profit than anything else.
So how do they achieve this? Here are a few suggestions;
- Advertising – e.g. using a system like Addiply
- Business directory – like that in use on Visit Horsham
- Estate agent listings – the newspapers do it, so why not us?
- Job listings – same as above, why not?
- Selling content – articles could be sold on to franchises like AboutMyArea, The Best Of or even local newspapers
- Print version to be sold in shops
- Classifieds (perhaps using Oodle)
- Eating out guide, with restaurants given opportunity to enhance their listing for a fee
- Entertainment guide with a similar option for venues
- Sponsorship – for example, the sponsor of the local football team may sponsor all the posts about the club
- T-shirt range – like BiNS is doing
- Gifts & novelties – sell locally significant stationery, stickers, posters, flags, anything!
- Lead generation for local businesses (thanks to Craig McGinty)
- Targeted affiliate stories/advertising features that relate locally, e.g. to the local football team (c/o Craig McGinty again)
- Swapping services for adverts (okay, not strictly making money but could pay/provide for much needed resources (via Ventnor Blog)
- Market research (from Martin)
You might think, “Phil, why are you giving us all these ideas, surely this is stuff you should keep to your chest and make lots of money for yourself!” Maybe, maybe not but we need to get serious about making hyperlocal pay so let’s talk about it.
Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments and on Twitter #HLA.
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