As we near our second anniversary online, we’ve passed many thresholds throughout 2018 and we would like to continue this success going into 2019.
Some highlights from 2018:
- On fourteen occasions throughout the year, we’ve broken the top 100,000 websites worldwide as well as in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. We peaked worldwide at #67,947, in the United States at #22,467, in Canada at #19,327, in the United Kingdom at #9,684 and in Australia at #27,447.
- We outrank all but six major newspapers in the Midwestern United States, three of which are based in Illinois: GateHouse Media’s State Journal-Register in Springfield, Lee Enterprises’ Herald & Review in Decatur and Paddock Publications’ Daily Herald in Arlington Heights. However, we have surpassed the Herald & Review 47 times throughout 2018 before technical issues resulted in declining rankings on Alexa. (The fact we rank as high as we do is excellent considering our entire news operation is 100% online-exclusive.)
- Website traffic has skyrocketed by 794.73% compared to our first year online (and that’s based on projections stretching over into the new year).
- We’ve had some contributor and columnist additions (Rix Quinn, the Personal Finance Syndication Network and Rick Steves), but we’ve had a columnist go into indefinite hiatus (Lyle “Mac” McElroy) and we’ve also seen a columnist leave as well (Fred Cicetti).
- We crossed the 10 million website view mark in May and are on the fast track to 15 million by mid-2019.
- We’ve made major pushes to be included in as many news aggregators as possible, with our current campaigns continuing for Google News, Flipboard, Apple News and Bing News.
- We’ve expanded our social media reach to MeWe, YouTube, Medium and Mastodon beyond our current social platforms.
There are some things to expect for New Year’s Eve:
- As previously announced on social media, we are officially launching the Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network on New Year’s Eve. Previous plans were to launch at the same time the website launched, but changed the launch to reflect for as much of a broadcast day as possible. Plans are to kick-off the network in the morning hours of NYE.
- Listen links for the radio network are live on the website, but will not be active until the launch. (Those who were on the website earlier this week got a sneak preview as to what to expect.)
- Most behind-the-scenes operations will be limited, but we will still be accepting news items in the newsroom to include on the website.
So, what’s in store for 2019?
It’s hard to speculate, but one of our key missions is to keep posting fresh content on our website as often as possible, adding new contributors and columnists as necessary.
Another key mission is to keep the Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network running smoothly without crashing for an entire year. (Sadly, this is not my first rodeo with Internet broadcasting; I operated WWPM MediaNet from 2010 until 2013 until the broadcasting computer bit the dust.)
We will continue accepting guest contributor, guest editorial, op-ed and letters to the editor submissions in addition to sponsored posts, advertorials and other paid content. Guidelines for such posts, with the exception of the latter, can be found here.
There will be a larger push for advertising on the website as well as the radio network. This will include the previously mentioned sponsored posts, advertorials and additional paid content. Advertising rates for website and radio network advertising is available here and inquiries for sponsored posts, advertorials and other paid content can be sent here.
Here’s to two great years and many more to come.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.
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