Thought we were kidding, did ya?
At long last, some of us scruffy little online publications are getting a little attention by the mainstream press.
First Arkansas News received a mention in this article in Arkansas Business today. It’s only fair to mention that the article was primarily about more established sites like Fort Smith’s The City Wire (run by the intrepid Michael Tilley), we at First Arkansas News were glad to be included in an article along featuring some sites we know and respect. It doesn’t hurt to be included along with friends of ours like Tilley and Roby Brock over at Talk Business.
At any rate, the article raises a good point — online sites are getting traffic and gaining readers, but we’re all struggling with raising revenue. The question, of course, is how do we convince advertisers that the traffic we receive justifies the expense of buying an ad.
A lot of site owners are working on answering that question, so we’re in good company. Here’s what we at First Arkansas News do know — since this site was started on April 16, we’ve received over 107,000 unique hits. November will be our best month by far in that we’ve received over 27,000 unique visits so far. October was our second-best month with 16,418 unique visits. How’s that for growth.
Hopefully, we’ll keep posting articles of interest and people will keep stopping in to read them. We’ve got reporters in central and northwest Arkansas as well as in Searcy. We’re working on getting some photographers to send in some top-notch pictures and have a couple of announcements to make in December and the first quarter of next year will, hopefully, be well received by our readers and convince some more people to stop in for local news.
The fun thing about being involved in a site like First Arkansas News is that we’re part of a budding industry that is still being defined. So far we’ve just tried a bunch of stuff in hopes that some of it might work. That approach seems to have worked well enough in that people keep stopping by to see what’s going on around here. Truth be told, we’ll probably always be more than a bit experimental because, well, that’s just pure fun.
Hopefully some advertisers will see the value of this little site, too. We’ve got some very competitive ad rates (you can read all about that here) and hope some advertisers agree.
Meanwhile, stick around for awhile. We’re growing and who knows what we’ll be up to next? It remains to be seen what a bunch of writers who have spent more than our fair share of time in the print journalism industry can do when we’re operating with little guidance and have the freedom to report on what we feel like whenever the mood strikes.
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.