Reporting about itself, this BBC article relays the news that the BBC Trust has rejected the controversial plans to launch a £68m network of local news websites with video content. The proposal was heavily opposed by commercial companies running local online sites as they feared a reduction in ad revenues.
I’ve kept an eye on this story as I’m somewhat interested in local geo sites. I’ve spotted a couple of fellow publishers getting on with it in this area – over in America there’s Elliot Silver and in the UK there’s Rob Powell. My own efforts so far are limited to a (being revamped) site about my home town of Hoylake, a site about the North Wales hill walking destination Moel Famau and a soon to come site about the River Mersey. Rob’s site about Greenwich shows what can be done in this area of publishing and note the scoop of having a recognised journalist on board.
There are various forms of monetisation such as:
- local business ads
- hotel bookings (maybe, depending on size of your geo)
- amazon links for books on local history, maps
- paid-for photos
- relevant affiliate links (eg hill walkers might be interested in walking kit)
- maybe even donations via PayPal ?
That said, I reckon a fair percentage of your audience are really after reading your content rather than buying via you. I’ve found that readers who find your site are often passionate about the local area and can offer some great information relating to local history and news.
If you’re active in the area of local sites and can offer any views or tips please do leave a comment or get in touch.