Michele's List
Building blocks in the emerging local news ecosystem

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Statistics
Unique monthly visitors

31,583

Average page views

105,803

Average visits

76,109

E-newsletter

  • Yes, a single newsletter

E-newsletter subscribers

2,199

Facebook likes

9,356

Facebook followers

9,442

Twitter followers

922

Instagram followers

2,377

Revenue

  • $51,000 -$100,000

Primary revenue source(s)

  • Local advertising (including web and e-newsletter ads)

Ad products

  • Traditional Web display advertising sold directly by your organization
  • Contextual advertising delivered based on the user or the content (such as Adsense or Outbrain)
  • Sponsored content or native advertising
  • Social media services

Paywall

  • No

Distribution

  • Direct to web/mobile

Total personnel/contributor FTE

1.75

Date of most recent publisher update

05/18/2019

Last Publisher Update

  • 2019-06-07 21:48:16 UTC

Saucon Source
Saucon Source

Saucon Source covers general local news in the Hellertown area of eastern Pennsylvania. Topics we cover include government, business, education, sports and crime. The site was launched in 2014 by Josh Popichak, a veteran local journalist. Revenue comes mainly from advertising, sponsorships and third-party social media management.

Who is in charge?

Josh Popichak

Job title

Publisher

City

Hellertown

State

Pennsylvania

Zip code

18055

Year launched

2014

Tax status

  • LLC

Geographic scope

  • Small city or town

Population of coverage area

18,000

Scope of coverage

  • General news or a number of topics that are not necessarily closely related to each other

Primary focus

  • Current news and events

Topics of coverage

  • Business in coverage area
  • Crime & justice
  • Education & schools
  • Events in coverage area
  • Sports & recreation

Watchdog journalism?

  • No

Site Twitter handle

@sauconsource

Effective engagement practice

For better or worse my most effective means of engaging my audience continues to be posting on Facebook. It's effective for me because I use it heavily, both personally and professionally. I have reduced the amount of news I share via my personal page to help separate "Josh" from "Saucon Source," but it continues to be a tremendous source of story leads, feedback, traffic, and ultimately revenue for me. That said, I am trying to diversify my audience and rely less on Facebook as I sometimes question the company's commitments to both authenticity of information and local, independent news. I have been using a popup form to increase my email subscribership, which has grown from less than 1,500 subscribers at the beginning of this year to more than 2,100 now. I'm not sure it can ever rival Facebook for sheer handiness and accessibility but it is a movement in the right direction for me. I've also begun to roll out an optional membership program which will reward members in various ways.

Revenue challenges

My biggest challenge is not having a dedicated salesperson/team to help me sell advertising and sponsorships. I know I am leaving a lot of money on the table because I'm doing it all myself. There simply aren't enough hours in the day for me to do everything I need to get done editorially AND sell ads to the highest and best level possible. Where I know I really fall short is with prospecting for new advertisers. I get some prospects through social and in-person networking, but I'm sure I could be bringing in a lot more business if I had a sales ace on my team, i.e. an experienced, dedicated salesperson who knows this area, knows business owners and believes in what we're doing with local news coverage. I have had two salespeople work for me (on a commission basis) in the past 18 months and neither lasted more than a couple of months/produced any tangible results in terms of sales.

In the news

Revolutions at Saucon Valley closes, leaving 30K-square-foot vacancy at shopping center
https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/2019/04/revolutions-at-saucon-valley-listed-in-chapter-11-bankruptcy-filing.html