Local Member Based Content Site – Nantucket

   •  by rondouglas    •   6 Comments »

Nantucket beachesOne of the things I’m working on is starting a local marketing site where I get volunteer writers from the community to have their own blogs on the site.

I got the idea from an SEO client of mine who started a site all about Nantucket MA.

She started Nantucket Chronicle. And it’s doing really well in under a year. She’s got a nice team of local writers whom she calls “Captains” and because of the traffic she’s getting, local advertisers are paying her for banner ads.

Some of the key points I got from her:

– You need a content management system to make it work. She used Drupal which is a popular open source solution. Personally I get a headache just thinking about my experience with Drupal. I’d much rather use Joomla or WPMU.

– You need an authority sounding domain name with the town in it. The news sounding words do well such as: Chronicle, Gazette, Post, Weekly, Times, etc

– It helps to have a theme that the locals can relate to. Her theme is “watching the pass” which is relevant to Nantucket being a town near the water or something like that (you’d have to be a local to understand) lol.

– Once you have these components, it’s pretty easy to get locals to write for you. Many of them will do it for exposure for whatever projects or ventures they’re involved in. For example, a real estate agent writing about Real Estate trends in the area. Or what about travel agents, party promoters, wedding planners, etc. They’d love to have a platform to share their ideas, which is what you’re providing them.

– You can also set it up so that contributing writers can earn a percentage of the revenue from their posts. Even if it’s only enabling them to put their Adsense code on the page. There are plugins for the CMS systems I mentioned that do this for you.

– And as you know – Quality Content = Traffic. All you have to do it set it up with some basic SEO and link building and let it do it’s thing. One thing I recommended to my client is to give her writers steps to take before and after they post such as using popular keywords in their post titles, tagging posts, sharing on social media, social bookmarking, referencing/linking to other relevant posts on the site, etc.

– Once you start getting some traffic, you can easily find advertisers who want exposure to the marketplace by looking in places they’re already advertising such as the local Pennysaver.

If you’re looking for a fun project that will help your local community, consider starting a local marketing site like: http://www.nantucketchronicle.com/nantucket-front-page/2012/welcome-nantucket-chronicle

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6 Responses to “Local Member Based Content Site – Nantucket”

  1. Marygrace says:

    any use for a recipe site that also shares knitting, crocheting, sewing and/or crafts ideas with it? also cookbook reviews, product reviews, etc.? I would be interested in having a lifestyles column combining such things –

  2. CWT says:

    yes thats a good idea but i have a couple greater ideas to add that will have alot more users and visitors to your site. i have started on a site too except i was doing it alone and i need more resources. team with me in creating a famous site. i will tell you my genius ideas in return for partnership, msg back plz my ideas are amazing making it happen is another story!

    (i might of sent this msg already but something weird happened when i was attempting to send it lol?? so)

    • rondouglas says:

      Ideas are worthless without execution. People come to me all the time with an idea like “here’s my genius idea, now you make it happen.” Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.

  3. Jim says:

    I like this idea. I have been researching how to build online communities for a while now and this looks fun. I’d be interested to hear more. For example, how would you source contributers when there is no content initially? Thanks for this – really good value.

    • rondouglas says:

      You’d have to either explain to the initial writers that it’s a startup site or you have to add the initial content yourself. You can also pay to have content written initially.

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