Planet Princeton aims to be "an online forum for all things Princeton," covering highly local news, events and community issues.
Greater Princeton area - 08540 and 08542 zip codes
My newsletter, a recent addition, is my best engagement tool in terms of getting feedback and financial support. Push notifications are also a driver of engagement and support. More people are commenting directly on the site as a result. Social media engagement has declined but the newsletter and push notifications have made up for those losses. I used to be very fixated on the number of social media followers I have, likes, pageviews, etc. While one can't ignore those stats, I now look at whether I'm being effective in a more holistic way -- It is hard to measure, but if people are commenting, bringing up my stories at town forums, writing letters to the editor, and people of all ages are engaging and commenting, then I feel I am being successful. I also care about community members engaging and working to find solutions to problems I cover. Planning and development, taxes, and education are big issues here as Princeton becomes less affordable and property taxes increase.
Revenue is always a challenge, of course. The biggest challenge I see is communicating effectively with readers and business owners so that they understand how my site operates and makes money. People make assumptions that ads bring in a ton of money, for example. A second challenge is focusing on several revenue sources (ads, subscriptions, consulting, events.) It is tough to have the bandwidth to do it all as a solopreneur.