7 questions you should ask before jumping into a niche vertical


Some who are focused on building more reader revenue have jumped into niche verticals as a possible path forward.

It’s the theme for the latest Local Media Association Innovation report which details how a few companies are getting readers to pay for subscriptions online through products based around topics that have tons of following and passion.

For this report, we spoke with the Texas Tribune, McClatchy and the Colorado Springs Gazette. All are approaching the niche vertical space differently, but all are looking at them as a way to create additional revenue from readers.

According to those interviewed in the report, here are a few questions companies should ask themselves before jumping into a niche vertical:

• Is there a problem you are trying to solve for your audience?

• Do you have data that supports a real interest in the topic you are considering?

• What kind of audience potentially exists for this content?

• Can you sell ad inventory around this topic, meaning, will there be advertising interest?

• What is the right consumer revenue strategy? 

• Is it a straight subscription model that gives the reader access to everything, or is it more of a specific product like a newsletter or a store?

• Do you think there is enough passion around this topic and is your news organization creating content at a level that people will pay for this niche?

In the report, you will learn how the Texas Tribune built a pay-for newsletter around state politics that readers have flocked to and are paying for. You’ll discover how McClatchy’s news organizations have built a pay model around their sports coverage, providing stories, photos, and stats around everything from high school to pros. And you’ll find out how the Colorado Springs Gazette found a lot of success in building out their recreation and things to do platform into a place that readers love playing.

You can download the report here.