'As an industry, as a community, we need to start sharing information, (and say,) “This is what worked for us”.'
-- Adam Kempler
By Moriah Sargent
Newspapers should be helping each other discover how best to create online content that generates revenue, according to Adam Kempler and Anthony Ronzio.
They shared a slideshow presentation on plans for their newspapers and clients at a session Saturday, Feb. 11, titled “Creating new revenue streams from your online content” and held at the New England Newspaper and Press Association’s winter convention at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.
“As an industry, as a community, we need to start sharing information, (and say,) ‘This is what worked for us,’” said Kempler, co-founder and chief Web officer at Celsius Technology Group in Falmouth, Maine, which works with print and online content.
Kempler and Ronzio are preparing to share how their plans for creating new streams of online revenue work. Kempler said he is creating a website to track the plans as they go into effect, and offered to share the link to that website with about 15 audience members once the site is completed.
In a later interview, Kempler said he hoped that the site would be ready soon.
“This is our plan. It may not work for everyone. We just want to share our ideas,” said Ronzio, new media director for Sun Media Group of Lewiston, Maine. Sun Media Group owns Celsius Technology Group, the Sun Journal of Lewiston, and its sister Maine newspapers.
The plan for Celsius Technology clients largely revolves around identifying different types of content that can be offered through the website, and then monetizing that content.
When identifying content, it is important to think of the audience first, Kempler said.
“You’re building stuff for your audience, for your readers, and for your advertisers. You’re not building for yourself,” Kempler said.
The content should be drawn from the audience, but Kempler also shared categories of content with which sites should start. Kempler’s list of items, which he referred to as building blocks, included news, events and calendars, galleries, directories, classifieds, topic hubs, and weather.
“You want to think of them as Lego blocks,” Kempler said.
By combining different pieces, new products can be created.
Kempler also came up with groupings of features and revenue that can be used with different types of content pages. Kempler put features in what he called an architecture stack, and listed under that user-generated content and search, among others. The revenue stack, or different ways a page can bring in revenue, included options such as sponsorships, subscriptions, and premium content.
After establishing the strategy outline, Kempler moved on to practical applications. One example he gave was a weather page.
“You should absolutely have a weather page,” and it should not just be a widget, Kempler said.
Once a page is selected, the creator can return to a list like the architecture or revenue stacks to find next steps in page building. One feature Kempler suggested for a weather page was a user photo gallery with pictures from a recent snowstorm.
“Have an ad every 10 photos in a weather gallery,” and sell those ads to local vendors of salt and shovels, Kempler said.
A significant opportunity for revenue is in repackaging. Offering the content in apps and e-books opens up new opportunities for payment and advertising, Kempler said.
“We cross-pollinate all of this content to different places,” Kempler said. “You’re adding exposure to your business and they’ll like that.”
Website creators should not be afraid to get creative.
“Find out what your different audiences are, and create content for that audience,” Kempler said.
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