web_newsI was listening to a podcast the other day by a journalism teacher from New York who had done some research. He found multiple hyper-local bloggers who were clearing over $200,000 per year just by blogging on local news events. Basically, they attended local events and blogged about them and then sold their own advertisements on the site to grab the revenue. This brilliant social media business approach comes back to the difference between what the soon-to-be extinct newspapers are doing now versus the new media — and what’s going to happen from here. There’s not a lack of need for good quality journalism covering quality events and quality news. We still want that reporting! The only thing that has changed is the distribution of that news from newsstand to the Internet, newspaper in hand to blog on the screen.

A good newspaper may clear a million dollars in annual advertising revenue, but a single local blogger could reach $200,000 – $300,000 a year without all that excessive overhead. This new shift has moved the reporting and revenue power to the consumer. It’s going back out to the local person who seizes initiative. The problem is that newspapers cannot grasp the fact that they must actively participate in the social media conversation. It used to be you had to go to the media to get the news, but now that news is being created by everybody else! We’re all sharing the news that’s important to us. Everything is a network now. What our friends are sharing is just as important as national and international breaking headlines. But the old-fashioned newspapers have lagged behind and are just not jumping on board with social networking and new media — a bit late to the Internet marketing party.

How are you going to integrate yourself and your real estate or homebuilder business into this new media? Newspaper advertising is out. That’s not where people are going for news. As you look to media sources and those selling you advertising, remember that consumer behavior is changing. What are you doing to create your own news, to engage in your own conversations with these hyper-local bloggers — the authority figures in your own small market? How can you evolve your homebuilder marketing to incorporate the new media? Think about new and creative ways that you can engage your audience and engage your local market. And get moving!

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