A members-only update
Hi, Madison Minutes members!
We’ve been keeping you updated via the members-only Facebook Group, but I wanted to summarize some of our recent work in an email, too.
It’s been five months since we started Madison Minutes. Now that we have a solid email newsletter going, we’re turning our attention to making Madison Minutes financially sustainable.
Here are some ways we’re trying to move Madison Minutes forward:
🏫 We’re participating in two training programs for news entrepreneurs.
- The Google News Initiative Startups Bootcamp and the jumpstart program from the City University of New York will both last for about 8 weeks.
- The good: The training materials will cover a lot of different topics, including product management, user research, and business strategy. And importantly, both are free!
- The bad: Both started this week. Doing both at once is a lot of work, but we didn’t want to pass up either opportunity to learn and grow.
📋 We’ve created some draft advertising packages and have started talking to potential sponsors.
- We’re planning on selling a small amount of advertising to subsidize the cost of operating the newsletter.
- We’re working with a revenue coach to design advertising packages that work for both sponsors and readers.
- We’re only going to work with advertisers who share our values and invest in the Madison area.
- Can you introduce us to any decision-makers that might be interested in advertising with us? If so, send us a quick note at email@example.com to let us know.
💼 We joined the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce.
- Hayley and I are both new to running the business side of a news operation, so we’re pumped to be able to lean on this organization for help and business connections.
📰 We’re creating original journalism that fills unmet needs.
- Since the Supreme Court ended the eviction moratorium, thousands of our neighbors are facing housing insecurity. That’s why we wrote these two articles: “Worried about being evicted in Dane County? Start here.” and “5 ways to help renters facing eviction in Dane County.”
- Despite what could be a looming local housing crisis, no other news organization in town produced information or articles for people facing eviction.
- We also worked with Tone Madison to republish these articles on their website for free. “Competing” against other news outlets in today’s local journalism climate is silly and short-sighted. We need to tackle these big problems together.
👂 We’re listening to you.
- Traditional news outlets do an absolutely rotten job of listening to their community. We’re trying to build audience feedback into everything that we do.
- You’ll see this approach reflected in our events posts, where we poll people to see if we’re meeting their needs. We also survey every new email subscriber a few weeks after they sign up.
- We respond to every reader email that we get. You deserve to be heard and so do your neighbors.
Thank you again for your support. Please always feel free to reach out to either of us at any time.
Sam and Hayley
Co-founders, Madison Minutes