Seattle news thrives on hyperlocal happenings. After moving to Green Lake, I discovered that our neighborhood (home to one of the most visited parks in the city) was blogless. No one was reporting on the inspiring people and unique events that made this neighborhood of 10,000 people tick. But serious blogs take substantial work to create, with daily posts, inspiring photography and time to gain trust with readers. And, this wasn’t going to be my full time job, just a hobby, grown by the passion of my community. Could I make it work?
After being in PR for nearly a decade, I put back on my reporter cap and hit the pavement, interviewing unique characters like a table tennis champion on his way to the Olympics of ‘Ping Pong’ and the produce guy at the local grocery store that everyone knows and loves. I kept my eye on the local permits for new stores and restaurants opening in the area. And I met with local officials to hear what their concerns were and got their expertise on upcoming articles.
Within three weeks of launching, Seattle Greenlaker had 1,000 visits and nearly 6,000 page views. Suddenly, advertisers were asking for ad rates and sponsorship opportunities. And during the first few months news sites like Seattle Magazine, Zagat, Seattle Met and Eater Seattle had mentioned Seattle Greenlaker as their source numerous articles. Readers were emailing story ideas and writers from outlets like Real Simple were contributing posts to the blog. Seattle Greenlaker is a Seattle Times news partner and showcased on the homepage of Seattletimes.com. Today the site gets over 10,000 monthly views (equivalent to the neighborhood’s population).