First, Happy New Year to all of my followers, and podcast fans.
I know. I should have written this note sooner. It’s been on my list of things to do since December 1st. I just got so busy making content, and reporting stories that it just slipped away from me.
For the few podcast listeners that have told me they miss the old format (the vast majority have made the adjustment to the Facebook Live format), I don’t have great news, for you. Which is difficult, because I love the audio podcast format. It’s similar to, and even more immediate than radio. I’d be very happy to make the audio podcast, every day, forever. I am hoping that what I tell you next will help you understand why I’ve changed what I do.
For the entire year, from December 1st, 2015, to December 1st 2016, the So Local Pasco website garnered 37,000 page views…And about 42,000 podcast downloads. Let’s stick with the pageview count, for now, since that is the easiest number to verify (iTunes is not very good at helping podcasters count their traffic). 37,000 is a shade over 3,000 pageviews per month, or about a hundred a day, on average. Of course, when you add all the other ways So Local Pasco was shared, 300 per day was not an unrealistic number. Advertisers never flinched at the number, and my regional podcast producers tell me that this was pretty good for a strictly local podcast.
In September and October, Corey Cottrell from the Baboon Room began to talk to me about turning on Facebook Live more often, as he was seeing some amazing traffic from using it. I was hesitant…I hate making video! HATE.IT. It felt like a gadget, to me. I was sure everyone would burn out on Facebook Live within weeks. But Corey is nothing, if not persistent. Starting in mid October, I began to turn on FB Live, and the results were pretty impressive.
So, as part of the “Baboon Room Challenge”, I made a commitment to “just turn it on!” as Corey would say, every day, for thirty days. It was amazing…In November, I cleared 20,000 views! That is more than six times the traffic generated in the average month of So Local Pasco podcasts. Impressive, and depressing, at the same time! It meant that the vast amounts of writing and production were basically obsolete, as far as traffic was concerned.
This morning (New Years Day), I sat down and counted my December numbers, as well as ‘advertiser service’, meaning the amount and cost of traffic provided to my sponsors. I finished December at 31,321 video views and website engagements at So Local Pasco. That means this single month almost surpasses the entire year of blog and podcast writing and production.
This is far better service to my sponsors than the podcast, and it’s why I’ve walked almost entirely away from the So Local Pasco website, blog and podcast. It would be crazy to spend time on something that gets ten percent of the traffic the Facebook Live videos get…Right?!
There are a lot of moving parts to this…And we are still, very much, an experimental model for local media. When I say ‘we’, I mean myself and Corey Cottrell, who is having even more success with his daily programs, “Goals and Gratitude”, and “Coffee on the Dock”. Producing, writing, managing and learning all that we need to know to make this run has just made it near impossible for me to make audio podcasts…We tried, a few times, but it just gets lost in the clutter.
I hope you’ll check out the video content we are making…For right now, it lives on Facebook, on my personal profile, as well as on Corey’s personal profile. We are working out some new ideas and tools. In fact, Corey and I will be rolling out a NEW combined weekly program in the next few weeks. It’ll be a real news show, with a desk, and a line producer, and everything. Ties may even be a thing.
THANK YOU to all of you who support So Local Pasco. From corporate sponsors like Gill Dawg and Decker Group, to personal contributors like Tiff Ferrance, Deryl Burney, and Deb Marcotte (there are a lot of others, those are just off the top of my head). We hope you’ll continue to support what we are doing…And not just SLP, but Corey’s amazing content for Goals and Gratitude and Coffee on the Dock.
We think 2017 is going to be spectacular, and we hope you’ll share the ride with us.