How to grow a newspaper web site’s visitors: focus on passion topics and divert marketing resources


IIvisited with the CEO of a Top 20 U.S. newspaper today, and heard some interesting metrics about their digital operation.

Critical to gaining the attention of advertisers in the digital space is the ability to deliver page views and regular viewership. Yet this American publisher said that while his page views have doubled, they need to double again because the internet is all about scale. He said that while 25% of web site visitors go his site monthly, 8% go daily – and that number needs to be closer to 25%.

Where do these metrics lead us?

First, it means to be vital to viewers daily the newspaper needs to focus on 6-8 passionate topics where they can drive advertiser revenue. To support the larger journalism enterprise, new ways of generating profits must be found first.

Second, it means because we’re in a zero-sum game these days that resources must be diverted from today’s general-interest content creation categories to these more specific categories that generate revenue.

Third, it means spending more on marketing and concentrating those marketing expenditures on driving audience to the passion niches.

It’s a whole new world for The Industry Formerly Known As Newspapers.

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