Of the seven strategies Mark Potts lays out for the news industry to adopt, two in particular stood out for me as of particular importance. His criticism of news sites that spread themselves thin by trying to appeal to all readers is one that bears repeating. See if you agree.
I’m excerpting them here, but I recommend you read the entire post.
Vertical products: One of the most broken things about the newspaper business is the “all things to all people” model. By trying to do a little of everything, newspapers don’t really do anything well—for readers or for advertisers. New products that focus on specific, vertical audiences should be the wave of the future, but so far they’re barely even a trickle (let’s see—there’s Gannett’s MomsLikeMe franchise, and then…not much else).
New forms of advertising: Banner ads are so…1997. Interstitials, pop-ups and intrusive ads are so…obnoxious. Classifieds are so…dead. Meanwhile, Google is making money off of local search, other non-newspaper companies are pioneering things like click-per-call and pay-per-click, and various startups are perfecting cheap ways to create and sell local ads. Could it be that newspapers are having trouble making online advertising revenue grow because they’re selling the wrong kinds of online ads? Hmmm.