About a year ago (June 15, 2014, to be precise), VillageGreenNJ.com was “soft launched” by accident when a local resident got excited about a story we did profiling a Columbia High School student who is a competitive wheelchair racer.
A few days later, a post about the dress code at Maplewood Middle School brought thousands of visitors to our “not yet ready for primetime” site.
Though Village Green co-founder Carolyn Maynard-Parisi and I were just starting to backfill VillageGreenNJ.com with coverage of town meetings and news stories, those whom we interviewed and profiled were excited to see the coverage and helped us go “viral” a bit sooner than we had planned.
It was all good.
The great response and the rapid growth in site traffic proved there was a void for high-level, journalistic coverage of school board meetings, community events, planning issues, public safety, businesses, government and more.
Almost a year out, we are growing and prospering. Dozens of local advertisers have supported our efforts. A score of local writers and photographers and “news tippers” have helped fill our digital pages with local news. Countless numbers of locals schools, charitable groups, sports teams, fundraisers, civic organizations and businesses have contacted us to promote their work and services. And tens of thousands of readers have made us the “go to” news site in Maplewood and South Orange.
Now, consistently month over month, we are seeing well over 30,000 unique visitors, 60,000 sessions and 100,000 page views per month.
However, we have run into one common misconception about the site: the idea that VillageGreenNJ.com is part of a large corporate entity.
We are not.
We are two local entrepreneurial journalists (aided by our local entrepreneurial ad sales rep Shana Teitelbaum) working to build an independent, locally owned business.
In addition to ad support, an important revenue stream for VillageGreenNJ.com is newsletter subscriptions. Local news junkies who want to ensure that we are around for years, can help do just that — and get a great newsletter filled with all the stories posted in the last 24 hours, as well as upcoming events, in their inbox every morning at 7 a.m.
We know you believe in local news, and we know you want it to continue. Help support our efforts by subscribing to our daily newsletter:
Thanks to those who have subscribed in the past — and to those who will subscribe in the future. And thanks to our advertisers, readers, contributors and resident “nitpickers”! We will do our best to continue to provide you with quality journalistic coverage of local issues and a thoughtful platform for community discussion — for years to come.
To contact Village Green staff, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact Mary Mann, email email@example.com.
To contact Carolyn Maynard-Parisi, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact Shana Teitelbaum for advertising sales, email email@example.com.