This week, we have heard a report from 24/7 Wall St., about major newspapers in our country that are having near-death experiences. These media outlets will either fold completely or just operate online.
Many of our own GLBT publishing houses have also faced their troubles as we navigate through the economy's rough waters. Genre magazine, a Window Media publication has already lost their Editor, Neil Boulton and Publisher, William Kapfer will step down by the end of March.
Although, echelonmagazine.com has been online for 4 years, we have always struggled to put out a print companion. Last year, we were able to put out 5 editions until advertising revenue was not enough to sustain the costs involved. However, we are a small publishing house and are able to be a lot more flexible than the big conglomerates.
In order for us to ourselves, we have had to be both clever and creative. Social media is an invaluable tool for any big or small media company. We have doubled visitors to our site within the past 30 days by simply staying on top of the latest trends and making sure that our articles and stories are shared throughout the net. A friend of Echelon's, Katie Schwartz has been very intrumental in providing key tips for us to implement to improve our outreach. Katie is an incredibly talented guru for SEO as well as a hysterical comedian/writer. Check out our her blog when you can.
Since we have realized a measurable success with our own site, it is part of our mission to share what we have learned. It doesn't matter if you own a media company or a small business, social media is the way to go.
Facebook etc. - Get your company up on as many networks as possible. i.e. twitter, plaxo, linked in, collective x etc. Most of these outlets have rss capabilities which is essential to bringing visitors to your site. GLBT business owners should also take advantage of the gay social media platforms such as PinkBananaWorld or Glee.
TwitterFeed - allows you to load up your rss feed for automatic tweets.
Friendfeed - also lets you load up your rss feed to filter out to your social networks.
Blog Comments - Get Google Reader and subscribe to a bunch of GLBT blogs, such as Pam's House Blend, Queerty, Towleroad or The Gist or even here. Start commenting on their blog and at the end of your comment, insert your web url including the http:// part. You will be surprised on how much traffic you could generate.
Your Blog: Start your own blog. Blogs are very "search engine-friendly." People love reading blogs and it has definitely changed the landscape of the Internet. Go to Google's blogger and start cranking.
The best thing about everything we have shared above is that it's all "free." Yes, it can be awfully time consuming, but well worth it. If you can manage to block in 2 hours a day, you are sure to see results.
Please share with us any comments on your social media exploits. We look forward to hearing them.