This site covers Maplewood and South Orange, New Jersey and topics including education, taxes, redevelopment, and public safety. It was launched in September 2014 by two former Patch editors.
Revenue: Advertising and Subscriptions
Our site was started to fill the void left by the sale of Patch to Hale Group in January 2014, resulting in massive layoffs. The sites had already deteriorated as Patch had an inexperienced editor covering multiple site. However, after Hale took over, the sites became dummy pages with no real reporting. Carolyn Maynard-Parisi and I (both former Patch editors and local residents) were constantly being barraged by locals to "do something about it"! Meanwhile, I'd been working at NJ News Commons at Montclair State helping to document the number of independent news sites in New Jersey and talking with them about their business plans, etc. We decided to launch a new site to cover Maplewood and South Orange, using Broadstreet Ads (a partner at NJ News Common) as our Ad platform and one of the Broadstreet Ads' co-founder's college-age brother as our developer. We found another local mom (Shana Teitelbaum) to do our ad sales on commission. Based solely on our reputations, we were selling ads even before our hard launch in Sept. 2014.
We are strong and growing. Our total revenues for 2015, were $92,000 and change and we project $110,000 minimum for 2016, just based on existing advertisers and those far along in the pipeline. 87% of our revenues are from advertisements and 13% are from subscriptions. (We use Tinypass to register users for paid subscriptios to a daily newsletter.) We are planning on making the newsletter free and going to a limited paywall in April/May 2016.
Our monthly metrics average about 30,000 unique users per month but show a growing trend, year over year. We have about 2500 FB likes on our page and nearly 1300 members of our brand-new FB group. We also have more than 1200 twitter followers. Our paid newsletter subscribers number 380+.
Facebook - we've recently created a group because it sends notifications to members.
Lack of foundation support