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How to monetize a local news website

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by drh1010, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. drh1010

    drh1010 Newbie

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    Hi everyone

    I have a news website related to one specific city in the UK which has a good following on social media and gets decent traffic.

    My problem is monetizing it effectively.
    Does anyone have any tips?

    I have been using Google Adsense but the returns are really not very good. I guess this is due to the content of the majority of posts not following any specific pattern or targeting a specific niche (other than people in the specific location).

    Most of my traffic comes from Facebook (page has around 50,000 fans and engagement is high).
    I can increase my traffic from posting on Facebook as and when I want by posting more often but because the returns from adsense are so low, it doesn't really motivate me to keep trying to drive traffic to the site.

    Does anyone know another way to monetize the site which can offer better RPM?

    I have also used affiliate marketing, but again the problem with my audience not having a specific interest means conversions are low and I am concerned about annoying my followers by trying to promote products they may not be interested in.

    Any tips would be great
     
  2. Lunaaa

    Lunaaa Elite Member

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    It's a local site. You have traffic. You rent out ad space to local businesses. You could even charge for banner design
     
  3. drh1010

    drh1010 Newbie

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    Thanks for the quick reply.
    Yes this seems like the best option in theory and my audience would surely benefit a local business but I am not having much luck selling regularly to local companies.

    I guess the problem is getting in touch with the right person as emails/DMs to Twitter accounts representing the business often go unanswered.

    Was hoping to find an agency that could do this for me but had no luck with that either.
     
  4. Amin0acidos

    Amin0acidos Newbie

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    You can always go and meet with the companies and offer your services, that way you are more likely to get sales.
     
  5. Lunaaa

    Lunaaa Elite Member

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    Amin has a good point. also try cold calling. How much traffic does your site get?
     
  6. drh1010

    drh1010 Newbie

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    Last month it has just over 200,000 page views but I only made 2 new entries. The majority of traffic was from resharing evergreen content on social media
     
  7. nobodyelsein

    nobodyelsein Regular Member

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    I'm currently in a similar position, although I've only just started the news site. I'll be targeting businesses that are evergreen and appeal to everyone, as well as local focussed businesses like estate agents.

    I would never normally bump an old read but I really would like to know how you solved this issue.
     
  8. uncutu

    uncutu Elite Member

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    Renting ad space to local businesses is the best way to monetize a local news site.
    Scrape your local yellowpages and start emailing or phone calling biz owners. Alternatively hit the pavement and do it in person. You can also put a banner up on your own site calling for biz owners to buy ad space from you.
    My local news site gets 175k hits/month and charges 200-300/mo per ad depending on the size.