New Canaanite is a local news webiste that covers and provides in-depth reporting in a town of 20,000 in Connecticut. The site was founded in 2014 by Michael Dinan, who previously oversaw coverage for 48 news sites in Fairfield County, Conn. and Westchester County, N.Y. as a senior regional editor for Patch.com. Dinan has reported the site receives 28,000+ monthly unique visitors and 100,000+ monthly page views. Revenue: Advertising.
I purchased the URL NewCanaanite.com and launched it two days after Patch.com was sold in January 2014 and laid off nearly all of its editorial staff. My goal is to cover quality-of-life matters for residents of New Canaan, Conn.—traffic, parking, local history, the downtown, pets, public parks, schools and youth sports. We run on the Blargo Wordpress theme from Broadstreet, which includes an ad server and multiple ad formats. Successes include achieving profitability within the first year, and building a solid advertising revenue business. Love what I do.
Daily newsletter (via Mailchimp). We are up to 1,110 subscribers on our M-F newsletter and the open rate is 66.6%, click thru rate 31.5%. The average for Media & Publishing for those same numbers is 17.5% and 3.8%.
Figuring out exclusivity rates is difficult, and it's a difficult conversation both with the current advertiser who wants to lock it down, and the prospective advertiser who may need to hear "Not now."
Cover quality-of-life matters in a local voice and with a local sensibility.
Local history, traffic, pets/wildlife and parking.
We partner all the time with the Chamber of Commerce, local nonprofit organizations (arts centers, human services agencies).
Three articles since last June:
Grown from Patch: A crop of new hyperlocal news sites has sprung up from AOL’s failed platform (Nieman Lab): http://www.niemanlab.org/2015/11/grown-from-patch-a-crop-of-new-hyperlocal-news-sites-has-sprung-up-from-aols-failed-platform/
Who’s Making Money—and Who Isn’t—in Local Online News? (Nieman): http://www.niemanlab.org/2015/07/whos-making-money-and-who-isnt-in-local-online-news/?utm_source=Daily+Lab+email+list&utm_campaign=7ef271c041-dailylabemail3&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d68264fd5e-7ef271c041-395922073
7 Ways Local News Sites Can Grow Their Digital Audiences (Street Fight Mag): http://streetfightmag.com/2015/06/04/7-ways-local-news-sites-can-grow-their-digital-audiences/