Some call WordPress a ‘Local Newspaper Killer’. The open source, online publishing platform just turned 12, and it keeps getting better with age. WordPress levels the playing field for those who create, share and serve. Will WordPress really kill local media outlets like newspaper and radio? Not exactly. But it’s certainly stealing much of readership & listener count.
Online news & info websites powered by WordPress is picking up more local advertisers.
Learning WordPress is the most valuable skill we picked up over the past 10 years. By becoming a WordPress expert, we create, develop, experiment, build, teach, train, and do just about anything we can think of….real fast, real cheap and real good. The best part? We didn’t have to beg a techie geek to help us build a site. Imagine if each time you wanted to eat, you had to hire a chef.
In August of 2011, WordPress came in really handy. We decided to create a hyper-local news site for the seashore resort town of Brigantine Beach, just north of Atlantic City, NJ.
By 2015, we expanded our coverage and launched DownbeachBUZZ and ACprimetime. This allowed us to serve the Atlantic City region along the South Jersey shore….a set of side-by-side beach towns featuring Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate & Longport.
BrigantineNow.com was originally developed to be an experimental news & tourism site that we would use for training local Newspaper, TV & Radio executives. Since we vacationed in Brigantine for the past 15 years, we knew the island like the back of our hand. We also knew that Brigantine had a pretty bad web presence. The municipal site & business chamber website featured outdated info & pictures that gave online readers the absolute wrong impression of this jewel by the sea.
So we would kill two birds with one stone.
#1. Build a bad-ass, hyper local website using WordPress & low-cost digital tools.
#2. Provide a far more accurate, online description of Brigantine via pictures, video and search-optimized online stories.
BrigantineNOW.com would show off digital tools, sales widgets, content plug-ins and revenue ideas on a live, news oriented website. Instead of verbally describing the benefits of a particular online sales idea or editorial tool, we would just install it and show it off….in action…. on BrigantineNow.com. It was great way to clearly show local media execs how an online sales idea or story would look, how to implement it, how to tweak it, etc.
The understanding and retention from our Newspaper & Broadcast clients dramatically increased.
Jump ahead to November 2012 and Hurricane Sandy’s visit to the Jersey coast. Local media storm coverage of Brigantine was spotty at best. Local Newspaper sites in Brigantine had minimal Sandy updates. The Brigantine city website was comatose for 3 days. A local TV site crashed.
We saw the massive need for a website totally devoted to how Brigantine was being affected by Hurricane Sandy. It all took off from there.
We decided to convert BrigantineNow.com from a training/beta site…to a full-service, hyper-local news & info site about the storm….and eventually move it towards news & tourism.
Facebook fans grew from 300 to over 2,800. Page-views spiked from 500 per day to over 50,000 page-views a day right after the storm. Double opt-in email subscribers jumped from 100 to over 1,100.
Revenue? We still avoid over reliance on banner ads and the practice of CPM (cost per thousand) selling. Instead, we leverage the passionate site readership into database opportunities and lead generation. Readers love it. So do the sponsors.
Small business is our # 1 customer. Without small business support, we couldn’t pay the bills that allow us to maintain our fast growing and loyal readership.
BrigantineNOW delivers on what small business demands. It’s not rocket science. Small business wants leads. They want video & pics of their business. They want a great looking website that’s easy to update & in-expensive. They want to be found in search.
Need WordPress training? Want a “BrigantineNOW” ior “ACprimetime” n your town? Want to use WordPress for small business & SALES & MARKETING projects?
Contact us. We live & breath WordPress.