I hope everyone had a great weekend! Probably couldn’t have beaten mine, but let’s get to it.
I feel like most of this audience reads at least some form of the Morning Brew, whether it be the daily newsletter, Tech Brew, Retail Brew, or something similar. Ya know, this thing started by these two fellas (Go Blue). Well, the Morning Brew sold to Business Insider for $75 million (which is pretty well known at this point), netting each of these founders probably somewhere around $20 million and starting their ~angel investing~ phase of life.
Yea yea, what’s the big deal? Well, I mean news has been a thing for a long time, yet somehow the Morning Brew was able to find a $75 million market (probably bigger) and profit. Sure, they employed some newer, younger marketing schemes and streamlined format, but in large part they were so successful due to their laidback and personal approach to the news.
Reading the Brew is like having a conversation with someone and not diving too deep into the weeds. It’s digestible.
So, here’s the idea: Morning Brew, but decentralized. Make it local.
Axios Local (https://www.axios.com/newsletters/local) does this, but they are still limited to major cities (I was surprised to see Columbus included). Go even further, I am talking about the Kalamazoos, Battle Creeks, Ann Arbors, Bensonvilles, and Mequons of the world. All of the news stations in those areas are largely still traditional, boring, and limited to broadcasting instead of email. And the only cities that are adapting this email model are copying and pasting their paper newspapers verbatim and charging a subscription. Screw that, we’ve seen the non-subscription model work (Morning Brew) hundreds of times over. Use the advertising revenue model.
Instead of getting JP Morgan or Hulu to advertise, get the mom-and-pop flower shop down the street or the local restaurant that just started to buy an ad space. Ten bucks says that if you get a decent local following, an advertisement will catch attention and mean more than reading the same ZipRecruiter ad every day. It sticks more with people when its local, something they can visit, and tangible.
Why would this work? Well, most of the country lives rurally (A.K.A not in a large metropolitan area that Axios covers) which is only covered by the local news in that area. Furthermore, the viewership across the board is decreasing with the younger generations (A.K.A outdated news reporting is getting old).
But the people still care. Not only do the local channels reach places where the national can’t penetrate, people still prefer the local news to the national news…probably because they live there.
I also think that this level of decentralization and localization would captivate a younger audience: high schoolers. High schoolers don’t care about the national news or read the Morning Brew, but they do care about who won districts last night and what cool new thing is going on at their neighboring school that theirs isn’t.
So, what do I do?
- Start writing, grow a local audience by making local events fun to read about.
- Grow an audience.
- Start advertising for free to show local businesses that it works, then start charging for those ad spots.
- Outsource the writing, hire some local freelance writers (maybe one high schooler + one adult).
- Take over the local news world and become a media mogul.
- Rest, rinse, and repeat baby.
For now, I’m going to go sign up to be a writer for Axios Columbus.
Let me know if you liked this one! Decentralization, in all forms, is a huge theme that I’m going to write another piece on when I get up to a few thousand subscribers (so, so, so close! So keep sharing).
- Make sure to move this email to your inbox so it doesn’t get filtered to spam every time.
- I got some feedback on the release schedule. Moving forward we’re going to do Tuesday and Friday, with Tuesday being a new business idea and Friday being about a current event. I am still working to split those two components if you don’t care about one, so just bear with me in the meantime.
- I’m trying to figure out this whole referral model/how to include that into my email. I’m not sure how it works yet, but I may have to pay for it. If that’s the case, then we’re going strictly natural until further notice. I’m only making a hundred bucks a blog atm so I don’t have the monies.