Walking the line
Mark and I began this blog about sixteen months ago. We started it because we enjoy eating, specifically eating here in Bucks County. There is so much good stuff happening in this county (and nearby), we wanted to get the word out.
From the beginning, family and friends – well, mostly my mother – have asked, “How do you plan to make money from this?” A fair question. And we weren’t quite sure. It’s the big question in the world of online publishing.
Now, I don’t want you thinking we are independently wealthy. Far from it. But at this point in time we are fortunate that we can get by (sort of) on one salary and then some (that would be me). Mark knows from his professional experience that it takes awhile to grow a Web site – to shape the voice, provide a “product” people want to read, and build traffic. Fortunately the start-up costs for this are relatively low – if you don’t count cost of time.
Last month we started offering advertising space. People are interested (even in this sour economy) but it takes time, and quite frankly, I’m appreciative of the interest. I remind myself to be patient and to continue creating a Web site that provides value for followers. I think we are offering access to a very targeted audience, one that loves food and loves supporting local food, and it’s a good deal. All the same, I’m new at this entrepreneur thing and I have to remember to take deep breaths occasionally.
A friend recently asked about our advertising philosophy. You really should let people know where your “line” is between editorial and advertising, he urged. What does that mean? Well, there are a lot of bloggers (and print publications) out there trying to make money, and sometimes the line between advertising and what appears to be a feature or story gets a little blurry. I myself have written for other publications that will “give” an article to an advertiser who buys a certain amount of advertising. It has become quite common.
So, maybe I’m stupid, and maybe I’ll never be rich, but I’m going to keep that line between what we write, and the advertising we accept, quite solid. That means you can trust that what we are publishing as editorial is not influenced by the businesses who have decided to advertise on Bucks County Taste. If we do a story, it’s because we think it’s worth doing. And Mark has a Masters in Journalism from Northwestern. He would stand on that line with his arms folded were I ever to waiver.
When Mark and I started this blog, we decided that it would be a positive site. By that I mean if we went someplace and didn’t like it, we just wouldn’t write about it. We would only write about the things we liked, that we thought needed exposure. Sort of a “look what we found!” kind of flavor. You may not always agree with our opinion, but that’s okay. Ultimately we all vote with our dollars. And I decided a number of years ago that kindness would be the prevailing value in my life. It’s worked for me so far.
So please bear with us, as we grow and work to publish good content, as well as juggle marketing, sales, technical problems and barking dogs. And do let us know what you like, what you’d like to see more of, and even, what you don’t like. Be well.
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