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Old 07-13-08, 05:11 PM
Lori Freeze Lori Freeze is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mountain View
Posts: 34
Default 2008 Session - Web Solutions

Web Solutions for Community Newspapers – Gary Sosniecki of Town News

Gary noted there are several companies that offer services for newspaper websites, and each can offer advantages over someone who may know about developing websites, but does not know what newspapers specifically need. He gave the current dimensions of banners and other advertising modules that are being used. Good resources for those developing sites are (Interactive Advertising Bureau) and (Internet Advertising Board).

All newspaper websites should be able to generate revenue. The formula he has found to hold true is that the monthly revenue from a website should be at least equal to half the population of the biggest town in the newspaper’s coverage area. Sources of revenue include banner ads, sponsorships, video ads, classified ads, archives, E-edition, photo reprints and national ads.

Rates that can be charged for internet ads can be based on CPM (usually $4-$12), but also on a percentage of display ad rates: a monthly flat rate for a big internet ad could be the same as one quarter-page ad in print. This should be reduced for internet ads on pages other than the front page, or positions low on a webpage (must scroll down to see it).

Logical advertisers for internet ads include funeral homes, florists, banks, car dealers, mobile home dealers, real estate companies, attorneys and auctioneers. He suggested trying video ads, especially in small towns where everyone will know the advertiser. These can be done simply and inexpensively, and still generate lots of interest.

Any web host should be able to provide a traffic report that shows the pattern of visitors on your website. You should provide traffic reports to advertisers. A newspaper website in a small town should generate at least 300-500 visitors per day.

He suggested making up an internet sales book that includes a mock-up of the website pages showing available advertising spots.

Other tips he offered included: protect your franchise and take the lead on the internet in your town; believe in and promote your site; know your market; monitor performance; keep your website content current.

The Leader website is not yet a revenue source, but I have plans for it to be!
Lori Freeze
news editor
Stone County Leader
Mountain View
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