Could you sponsor a Slugger O’Toole?

As regulars will know from our several appeals for donations, finding the money and time to keep Slugger in the fashion to which it has become accustomed is a perennial issue for us at Slugger Central. Even so, it is still currently one of Ireland’s largest and most well read independent news and opinion sites. Our statistics for last months for instance stand at: 40,562 unique visitors; 114,965 visits; 1,016,190 page views; and 1,536,620 hits. Larger, we suspect, than some smaller newspapers.So far, we’ve been able to keep ahead of the curve by some hard work on the part of our bloggers and generous donations from our readership and by getting the best deal from our hosts. We’ve also defrayed costs by using standard advertising tools such as Blogads and Google ads. But we have now acquired the means to offer our own bespoke ads, available on a weekly or monthly basis to Northern Irish businesses, professional organisations, and voluntary associations who wish to promote the ongoing debate.

We are not looking to be taken over, nor to be subsumed into a larger brand. Indeed Slugger’s single strongest credential is its determination to remain independent whilst attempting to give voice to all sections of Northern Irish political and cultural societies. We’d rather not compromise those values nor would not wish you to compromise yours either. But if you think Slugger could make a good partner for you or your organisation, and you have a budget to spend on supporting what we believe is a vital public good, why not drop me line at: mick.fealty [at] gmail [dot] com.

  • Henry94

    After yesterday the IMC should consider it.

  • slug

    I am getting a lot of ads for “Northern Irish dating” and I see that I am being given the code “alone72” to write in.

  • smcgiff

    “Northern Irish dating”

    Is that some kind of new extreme sport?

  • TAFKABO

    I thought it was just a slightly more sophisticated form of whatboutery.

    You know ?

    Themmuns attacked us in 1983

    Well, ussuns were attacked by your lot in 1978.

    Ah, but that was just retaliation for that attack in 1977…..

    And so on, Dating, Northern Ireland style.

  • smcgiff

    ‘And so on, Dating, Northern Ireland style.’

    🙂

  • fuiseog

    A chara mick

    Perhaps you should explore the possibility of using the sms service and a 80010 number. So for example with this service you can charge via a mobile phone txt £1.50 for a month of posting contributions OR the same amount for us to read the exact same posts. The status of your contribution can be automatically associated with your ip address and Im given to understand the process is automaticly run so no hassle for you 😉
    http://www.mindmatics.co.uk/en/index.html?flash=1

    I for one would have no bother paying a nominal fee for my monthly slugger fix for while only some people have a visa card most of us have mobiles!!!

    is mise
    Fuiseog

  • Um, what costs are involved in running this site?

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s time mostly Stephen. On and offline. Having our hosting in the States means that the tech costs are minimal.

    I’m not looking for a sinecure, but I have had a fair amount of positive feedback from people about the site’s professional utility.

    It would be good to get it on a stronger, more financially sustainable footing.

  • Pete Baker

    “It would be good to get it on a stronger, more financially sustainable footing.”

    Indeed. 😉

  • la dee dah

    How is the site an independent news site? Opinion yes, News?

  • York

    ldd,
    Some of the wee red links within the articles lead to news stories.
    OS

  • So, the costs are largely for human resources?

    I can’t see a clear comercial path for what is effectively a forum, largely driven by news aggregated from other sources.
    I believe you’d need to steer from forum as your main activity and head to original output if you want to create something worth buying, because the window of financial opportunity in online forums is pretty much non-existent.

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s nearly two years since we last had that argument Stephen. 😉

  • TAFKABO

    La Dee Dah

    Didn’t you see the part where Slugger gt the scoop on the IMC report before anyone else?
    This site has been the first one to break big stories on several occasions.

    Credit where credits due.

  • Holt

    Can “a sound financial footing be translated into £’s (or €’s)

  • missfitz

    LDD
    I have to say that last year, when there was a little trouble on the streets from time to time, I never ventured out the door without checking slugger. I found that there was very little that didnt get posted on the site, and I had information hours ahead of what would have been available on the conventional news sources.

    Some of the areas I travel into are… well, lets says less than hospitable at times, so the availability of this news on slugger was invaluable.

    Fuiseog, that sounds like an excellent idea with the mobile. I had been wondering if it would be possible to direct debit a monthly amount- I would find that useful

  • TJ Mucker

    If you want advertising, best thing is to put your sales hat on and pitch it to the companies themselves. They won’t come throwing money at you, rest assured of that. Tell them all about your audience. Marketers love that. Better not to say 50% are angry Unionists, the other half angry nationalists who’ll argue till the cows come home. Don’t mention unique users either. They won’t know what that means and think you’re calling them unique unionists. Safest bet is to say they are young professionals with a college degree. Good demographic that. They don’t need to know not one of them has done an honest day’s work in their lives and spend all their time writing shite here. Good luck.

  • lah dee dah

    An independent news site means a site where there are original news articles which to me implies articles written as a result of some research. I don’t know if it happens, but if I wanted to highlight an article I’d written and published somewhere else, I’d get it a mention on Slugger too. But to what extent does anyone consider that to be an independent news story of Slugger’s?

  • If the goal is to pay the wages of people here and the readers (as stated) believe that this site is an invaluable resource then Mick should put up some sort of paywall.

    The paywall should be on commenting, not on content because that is the slugger narcotic.

    I don’t believe sponsorship and/or advertising are a strong revenue model for a site like this, because there is a limited pool of companies who’d want to be associated with what goes on here.
    You already have your cash cow here, and you should milk it first before moving further afield. Tax the commenters, leave the content free.

  • Mick, check out the ads on http://www.newtownards.org
    only 33p per day

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Just throwing this in here, but what do others think of the idea of a questionnaire for Slugger readers?

    It could be anonymous, and would enable Slugger to present a better argument to potential advertisers about what our readership is like.

    Since you ABC1s are obviously already on the internet, have some disposable income and waaaay too much free time(!), perhaps Slugger could even make some money…!

    I think with a little money, we could do a lot more. Podcasts, grassroots news reports, more live reporting, more exclusive interviews… I think there’s a lot of potential in Slugger!