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Promoting your website in the print edition

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mark2010, May 4, 2013.

  1. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Wondering what sort of ideas people here for promoting your newspaper's or broadcast station's website.

    In addition to doing promo boxes that mentioned photo slide shows, we would often do web-only sidebars and notebooks for stuff we staffed. This became a bigger deal as the newshole in print got smaller.

    Another thing that seemed to get good response for us was polls. I would do at least one per week. Could be local, high school stuff, like football game results, state tournaments, etc. Or some issue-oriented stuff, like whether State U should switch conferences (that generated a ton of votes) or should anyone have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    Anyway, we'd usually run at least one per week and do a little teaser box on the sports front and then print the results of the poll in the weekend edition. It was, of course, a tool to attempt to drive traffic to the website (no firewall on ours at that time).

    Anyone have done other things you like?
  2. We do the weekly poll thing, it gets good results. We of course focus on social media to get the pageviews from people that don't subscribe from us or people that don't normally check in.

    Other than that, if we have a slideshow or video available online, we always promote it at the very least in a cutline, but try for an infobox or pull out.

    For larger scaled events, we always have some sort of online special coverage, anything from live video, to live blogs or extensive slideshows. We usually run a news brief/sidebar about it in advance of the event and we generally have some filler ads (generally including a full-page/full-color as space is available in our weekly shopper product) and with quarter-pages or half-pages in the daily.

    We have generic "visit us online" etc. fillers that we'll stick in somewhat randomly to fill awkward holes.

    Other than that, that is it for the most part. Our website hits were up 35% from '11 vs. '12. They're looking to be up another 35-40% as of right now — but a forthcoming paywall will probably knock that down a couple of pegs.
  3. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Yeah, paywalls are the surest way possible to reduce the number of hits on your website. Geniuses that run this business will do anything to kill any idea that shows potential.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I think most bigger papers have found that people will pay. Even if you charge $10 a month and cut your visits in half, $10 times something is always going to be $0 times anything.
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