Archive for the ‘Pledge drive’ Category

No. 8: Because today’s the end of my pledge drive!

November 1, 2008

Last in an occasional series of reasons to support Gannett Blog‘s fourth-quarter pledge drive. I’m trying to earn $6,000 quarterly, through advertising and voluntary subscriptions of $5 per reader.

My three-week pledge drive ends today, with a total $1,781 raised — 30% of my goal. Of course, there are still two more months left in the quarter, so it’s possible I’ll raise the other 70% by Dec. 31. But that’s looking pretty unlikely.

Here’s why. Ad sales accounted for only a third of my total — illustrating the abysmal reality of news websites supported solely through ads. The breakdown:

  • Advertising: $580
  • Subscriptions: $1,201
What happens next? I’m about to rent a postal box, requested by some readers uncomfortable with buying a subscription online. And I’ll continue tracking ad sales. In the meantime, as promised, I’m committed to keeping Gannett Blog alive through the end of the year. Then, depending on how much I’ve raised, and whether I’ve found better-paying work, I’ll decide what do with this blog in the new year.

Until then, thank you for your generous support! Many of you opened your wallets to buy subscriptions, often spending far more than my suggested $5. I am honored.

To buy a $5 subscription, please use the “Donate” tool in the green sidebar, upper right. Any amount appreciated! Post feedback in the comments section, below. Send e-mail to gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com].

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No. 7: How else will you learn about your layoff?

October 29, 2008

Part of an occasional series of reasons to support Gannett Blog‘s pledge drive; it ends Sunday. I’m trying to earn $6,000 quarterly, through advertising and voluntary subscriptions of $5 per reader.

Related: Original foul-mouthed Wonkette blogger Ana Marie Cox raises $2,500 within a day of begging readers for cash

Yesterday’s totals:

  • Advertising: $18.82
  • Subscriptions: $20

To buy a $5 subscription, please use the “Donate” tool in the green sidebar, upper right. Any amount appreciated! Post feedback in the comments section, below. Send e-mail to gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com].

No. 6: You get comprehensive earnings news here!

October 25, 2008

Part of an occasional series of reasons to support Gannett Blog‘s pledge drive; it ends Nov. 2. I’m trying to earn $6,000 quarterly, through advertising and voluntary subscriptions of $5 per reader.

Yesterday’s totals:

  • Advertising: $13.43
  • Subscriptions: $0

To buy a $5 subscription, please use the “Donate” tool in the green sidebar, upper right. Any amount appreciated! Post feedback in the comments section, below. Send e-mail to gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com].

No. 5: GCI’s not the only one with weak earnings

October 23, 2008

Part of an occasional series of reasons to support Gannett Blog‘s pledge drive; it ends Nov. 2. My goal: to raise $6,000 quarterly, through advertising and voluntary subscriptions of $5 per reader.

Yesterday’s totals:

  • Advertising: $17.84
  • Subscriptions: $0

To buy a $5 subscription, please use the “Donate” tool in the green sidebar, upper right. Any amount appreciated! Post feedback in the comments section, below. Send e-mail to gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com].

Citizen journalists exist. But will they be paid?

October 17, 2008

Imagine a community without a newspaper or TV station: It has 46,000 residents, plus thousands more moved-away residents, wanting to stay in touch with home. Prime business opportunity in the age of citizen journalism, right?

That’s been the story this week as I started testing the emerging Web journalism business models. The community I’m writing about, of course, is Gannettland. Its residents live and work in more than 100 neighborhoods — from Asbury Park on the north side to Visalia on the west side. City Hall is in the south side’s McLean.

Yet, in the brutal economics of today’s journalism, a community with 46,000 residents may not be big enough to sustain the mammoth traffic needed to support even a one-man blog — much less a fully staffed blog to cover all the local news. Gannett Blog‘s total first-week ad revenue: $265 — an amount given a one-time boost, I suspect, by curiosity clickers.

A reader took note. “It’s not about the market being broken — it’s about fragmentation,” the anonymous reader said. “Jim’s well-documented efforts here are illustrative of the overall challenges of digital journalism. A site needs a tightly defined niche to generate interest and break through the clutter of the superhighway, but needs sufficient mass to generate revenue from advertising. My fear is that while Jim has the niche, he can’t get the mass.”

My own, bigger fear: Communities losing newspapers won’t be rescued by a platoon of citizen-journalists, ready to keep an eye on government — unless someone can figure out better economics. There’s money for independent news bloggers, but is there enough?

Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Image: the Visalia (Calif.) Times-Delta comprises a Gannettland “neighborhood” of 137 worker-residents and their families]

No. 4: Because Sparky cut off my allowance!

October 16, 2008

Part of an occasional series of reasons to support Gannett Blog‘s pledge drive; it ends Nov. 2. My goal: to raise $6,000 quarterly, through advertising and voluntary subscriptions of $5 per reader.

“The Internets is a big waste of time,” Sparky harrumphed, after learning how much I’ve earned to date: $1,149 — 19% of my goal. As this breakdown shows, ads don’t come close to paying the bills:

  • Advertising: $265
  • Subscriptions: $884

To buy a $5 subscription, please use the “Donate” tool in the green sidebar, upper right. Any amount appreciated! Post feedback in the comments section, below. Send e-mail to gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com].

No. 3: Because I need $320 in subscriptions daily

October 15, 2008

Part of an occasional series of reasons to support Gannett Blog during this quarter’s pledge drive. My goal: to raise $6,000 quarterly, through advertising and voluntary subscriptions of $5 per reader.

So far today, I’ve received $105 in subscriptions. To reach my overall goal, however, I need to take in an average $320 a day (not counting weekends) during this three-week pledge drive, ending Nov. 2. That’s based on the current trend in ad sales. Today’s sales totaled $26.

So, I’ve now raised $1,023 — 17% of my goal!

  • Advertising: $219
  • Subscriptions: $804

Thank you for your generosity!

To buy a $5 subscription, please use the “Donate” tool in the green sidebar, upper right. Any amount appreciated! Post feedback in the comments section, below. Send e-mail to gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com].

Study: Online ad prices plunged 27% this year

October 15, 2008

My new income scheme gives you an inside peek at the financial realities of 21st century journalism. Now, a new study shows just how tough those realities have become for fledgling journalists like me — and for established giants like Gannett.

Web ad prices fell 27% in the past year, according to the new PubMatic analysis released today, on a rising inventory of digital pages for sale. “As newspapers keep adding pages, they are forced to sell ads at cut-rate prices,” The New York Times reported earlier this week.

Competition for Gannett customer ad dollars is more fierce than ever: We’ll see just how much in the upcoming monthly revenue report, for September, which GCI could publish in the next week or so. It will likely show more losses in newspaper ad sales, following August’s 17% plunge.

As Gannett scales back news gathering, and independent journalist-bloggers struggle to generate enough income to survive, tremendous uncertainty looms ahead. I keep coming back to that $64,000 question: “What happens to the huge gap between when newspapers regress and purge thousands of journalists and when blogs like yours become successful businesses that can support their owners and/or staff?”

In my case, for example, I’ve earned $886 since starting my campaign to earn $6,000 quarterly from this blog, through advertising and voluntary subscription fees. But barely 20% of that has come from ad sales. Without your subscriptions, I’d be even more behind.

To buy a $5 subscription, please use the “Donate” tool in the green sidebar, upper right. Any amount appreciated! Post feedback in the comments section, below. Send e-mail to gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com].

No. 2: Because ad sales won’t pay the full freight!

October 15, 2008

Part of an occasional series of reasons to support Gannett Blog¬†during this quarter’s pledge drive. The goal: to raise $6,000 quarterly, through advertising and voluntary subscriptions of $5 per reader.

The tally for the first three days: $886 — 15% of goal!

  • Advertising: $181
  • Subscriptions: $705
Thank you! XOX!

To buy a $5 subscription, please use the “Donate” tool in the green sidebar, upper right. Any amount appreciated! Post feedback in the comments section, below. Send e-mail to gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com].

No. 1: So I won’t bore you tomorrow with No. 2!

October 14, 2008

First in an occasional series of reasons to support my newly launched quarterly pledge drive. My goal: to raise $6,000 through advertising and voluntary subscriptions of $5 per reader.

The fourth-quarter tally so far: $734.70.

  • Advertising: $159.70
  • Subscriptions: $575

To buy a $5 subscription, please use the “Donate” tool in the green sidebar, upper right. Any amount appreciated! Post feedback in the comments section, below. Send e-mail to gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com].