Thursday, 1 July 2010

Creating a business 2: Three ways to make money from hyperlocal

You might like to try running a hyperlocal site as a service to your community. That’s laudable, if you can cover your living costs with other projects, but in this section of Mastercalss 12: Build your own job, I  look at ways in which you might actually make some sort of living from hyperlocal.
Representatives of three companies that offer a package to support journalists in creating a viable hyperlocal site gave presentations at the Local Heroes conference organised by Press Gazette at Kingston University recently.
I’ve been in touch with each of them, and in the full story, which you'll find here, I analyse what each can offer – with an emphasis on the money.
This is also a snapshot of how they respond to an approach from a journalist entrepreneur.

Neighbour Net has nine sites in London postal-code districts, plus five listings sites.
Sheila Prophet, editor of Fulhamsw6, part Neighbour Net, spoke at Local Heroes of creating a site that offers “local intelligence for intelligent locals.”
She said that there is an ad income per registered user of £4-5 per annum at first, rising to £10-15. That compares, she said, to £80 per reader in a print publication: “So print is not a competitor”.
According to, Sheila’s Fulham site, launched last year, has 1,000 members, so is bringing in revenue – by her figures – of at least £4,000. That’s not a fortune, but I’d imagine it could grow fast in such an affluent area.

Of Neighbour Net’s other sites, registered users at Ealing Today, in W5, number 3,500, meaning minimum revenue in the early years of £14,000.
There are 4,000 registered users of its SW15 site, (at least £16,000 and hence comparable with many local reporters’ starting salaries)
To get the full story on Neighbour Net, Community Times and Oxbury Media Services, go to Masterclass 12 of Multimedia journalism: A Practical Guide

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