Will, great article but I'd like to throw a counter point to your argument, perhaps a new way to look at hyperlocal blogging. I run a blog about downtown Raleigh with a readership that is around a fifth of what New Raleigh had. The costs associated with it are pretty low. I do not advertise and I've turned down multiple inquiries about advertising on the site. Agreeing to accept advertising could have covered my costs many times over.
However, the blog is a hobby, a passion project for me and I've made my money, again a small amount, through the exposure the blog gives me. In a year's time, if I sell two photos and write one piece for another publication, I'm set. If don't, well who cares cause the cost is low and the value it has to me is so high, I'm willing to pay for it.
Hyperlocal blogging can work and cover it's cost but I feel that those working behind it have to be more than just running a website and relying on Google Ads to do the rest. Writing, photography, web dev, are all things that a successful blog can use to create other things for the community that can make them money, like creating useful services.
Time is the ultimate resource though as you mention and life takes everyone in new directions so the blogs may be affected by the editors' life changes. I strongly feel though that hyperlocal blogs, that build a community behind them, can go down for some time and come right back. The community will return if New Raleigh is picked up in some form later on. I truly believe this.
Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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