by NorthIowaToday.com Publisher and Owner Matt Marquardt –
As NorthIowaToday.com prepares to enter its third year of offering North Iowa news to the world, changes to the web site are on the horizon.
NorthIowaToday.com continues to add more stories, photos and videos everyday. Our audience continues to grow rapidly; nearly every month since the site was launched on October 1, 2010, page views have risen; overall visits have risen and perhaps most importantly, the number of unique visitors has risen. As an example, traffic to NIT approximately doubled from January 2012 to July of 2012. I anticipate 60,000 unique visitors and 3 million page views this August.
Of equal significance, the response and participation from the public in developing news stories has grown at an equally brisk pace. To all of you who regularly contribute to NIT, even in the smallest of ways, you have my thanks.
In order to continue to grow NIT and offer more of the news that our readers have demonstrated that they want and demand, I will be asking for the support of each you who see the value in NorthIowaToday.com, the content it offers, and its role in the community.
On or before October 1, 2012, the purchase of a very inexpensive subscription will be offered at NorthIowaToday.com. Some of NIT will remain free. Important stories and notices will be delivered for free in many instances. Most importantly, I will work hard to find a balance between keeping the NIT community vibrant while growing our number of paid subscribers.
A subscription to NIT will cost only $2 per month. A year subscription will be needed to take advantage of this opportunity. This will be an introductory price available for a short time. After the introductory period, the regular subscription price will be $4 per month until further notice. There will be prizes and giveaways for new subscribers. Details on that will be released soon.
Subscribers will have full access to all content and features inside NIT. Subscribing will be very easy and all forms of payment will be accepted. Special contributors may receive a free subscription at my discretion.
As I stated earlier, much of NIT will not require a subscription. For example, all stories prior to September 1, 2012 will remain free. Our calendar will have no restrictions. The home page will be free, and all the section home pages will be free. As a new perk, our Classifieds section will be 100% free. Anyone may view and post ads at no cost at all. An important feature for our bloggers: The popular Whiner’s Den will remain 100% open to everyone.
I recognize there will be some growing pains, but I feel this move is in the best long-term interest of NIT and the media in general. I ask all NIT readers for their patience as this transition is navigated.
As always, the on-going and overwhelming support from NIT readers and the public is appreciated and cannot be understated. You have my thanks for making NIT a success for two years. You also have my promise that most of the revenue generated by subscriptions will go right back into NIT to produce more content.
Please feel free to offer your feedback and questions as a comment below or via email at email@example.com.