‘Until somebody pays, nobody eats’

With that pithy quote (see headline) former suburban newspaper publisher Tom Noonan encapsulates his message that serious media blogs need a business plan. And his article, “Cracking the local market” offers sensible tips on how to design an editorial product and sell it to advertisers. Noonan writes:

People advertise for but one reason, to sell something. Whether it’s hard goods or nifty concepts, they want to attract buyers . . . And don’t sell just ads, sell promotions and sponsorships. Craig Dennis, publisher of the Daily Herald in Provo, Utah, recently won a prize from Suburban Newspapers of America for his News Kids feature—a weekly TV style video sponsored by a car dealer. The page features children at local schools reporting on area events. It’s a big traffic builder and the sponsor pays a tidy $500 a week.

Noonan wrote a guest blog for SensibleTalk.com, a new site by Robert Niles, former editor of the now-defunct Online Journalism Review. Niles notes that Noonan is his father-in-law. Niles also recruited Tom Grubisich to survey and rate hyperlocal websites. 

This is indeed some SensibleTalk. Good luck to Niles in finding someone to pay for it — ’cause you know what don’t happen till then!