Can you believe it? Nearing mid-November, already? It’s hard to believe, but time is moving by quickly, and the Local Fourth Business/Revenue team is nearing completion of its main deliverable for the project: The Business “Cookbook.”
For the last two weeks, the Business/Revenue team has been cramping down, putting the final touches and design elements on our business findings and recommendations for the hyperlocal news entrepreneur.
Our “cookbook,” designed to provide a new way of thinking about making money in the hyperlocal space, takes a dive into some new ways of thinking: put audience first and foremost, not content, use academic research methods to more effectively assess your business environment and make better decisions, hire an ad sales manager, take traditional print advertising to the Web – static ads, instead of rotational banner ads, and much, much more.
By no means is this “cookbook” the only way of doing things; it’s simply our suggestions based on weeks and weeks of research and practice we’ve conducted in the Evanston, Ill., market. Anyone that chooses to pick up and read it should remember this: the main goal is to provide insight into how to research and make decisions, not exactly what you should do to make money – sell advertisements, events, etc.
In essence, not every hyperlocal market is going to require the same modes to create revenue; every market is too different for us to be bold enough to suggest that. Instead, the “cookbook” says, “Here’s a way to measure and identify the business opportunities in your market, and here’s how to take that information, analyze it, and put to use.” Some may find that there is a large revenue opportunity in their market for events, while others may find a course on community journalism plays well to your audience. In the end, it comes down to knowing your market – knowing it very, very well.
Some of our recommendations, as you’ll soon see, are going to require a lot of work – and perhaps a large cohort of staff members or people to help you out with the research. Our team was fortunate enough to have 15 team members at our disposal for our research. That most definitely is not the case for most hyperlocal news operations.
But each of our recommendations and research suggestions can be adapted and scaled down – an aspect our team made sure of when we developed the methods of research.
So keep checking back to LocalFourth.com, and keep an eye out for the online release of the Business/Revenue team “cookbook.”