Building a Newspaper Empire
We may not read them any more but we've all seen them. Newspapers. From the excited journalist running in with a hot scoop to the editor yelling "stop the presses". Then the sound of the printers running as hundreds and thousands of them roll off the presses, are cut, folded, and bundled to be thrown in trucks.
The trucks rumble off to drop off their bundles at news stands, fill quarter news racks, and give them to delivery people on bicycles or in cars.
All that has changed. The New York Times and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution are better known for their websites than their paper papers, but it's an easy transition for them. And the process of getting a newspaper sold is a lot like getting your website up and running, and into the computers, tables, and phones of the people that buy your products.
If You Build It, They Won't Come
You might have the greatest web site in the world, but with the millions of options no one will read it unless they know it's there and are convinced the material is interesting to them.
So let's take a short tour of the steps we'll follow in building our newspaper empire.
Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How?
The age old questions on the requirements for a newspapers you probably learned in Middle School English class. But it's still a good place to start.
Who benefits. This is important, but it might not be obvious. There's an old marketing saying that hardware stores don't sell 1/4" drill bits, they sell 1/4" holes. Don't look for people that want to buy drill bits, look for everyone that wants a 1/4" hole. This can expand your base and your sales channels.
What do you want to give your customers? Will you sell your products, give them technical data, entertain them with games, let them hear samples of your music, or ask them to sign up to get your advice on stocks?
What is your raison d'etre, your reason for being?
What do you want? Web sites. When do you want it? Now!
What is your purpose and how will you know when you've succeeded? Not only do you need a mission and focus, but you need to set measurements to rate your performance. Set some goals but be flexible, they'll change as you get familiar with the medium.
The final but the biggest question. How will you carry all of this out? A web site, a social media campaign, videos, a blog. All of the above or bits and pieces.
These are talking points and topics we'll cover more in depth in later articles. But this is food for thought. Start getting your questions ready.