In my continuing series of turning advice e-mails into blog posts. I recently received this request:
I’m working on setting up a local-politics site for my area of the world. I was wondering if you had any words of wisdom on launching a local-politics site. What challenges have you encountered? What good/bad decisions have you made along the way? What kind of time/money is involved in running the site? Is this at least a break-even venture for you, money-wise? Any other suggestions or insights you may be able to offer would be great. Thanks in advance.
This is not a money-making venture. There is no income other than the occasional donation of about $50/year. The web hosting costs about $120/year, the software is free. If you want to make money, you may want to look at a service like http://BlogAds.com (nice folks, tell them I sent you).
I started the site as an activist and I do it because I want to promote certain opinions and perspectives. I spend about 3-6 hours on it each week depending on what’s going on. I do almost all of the technical development as well as acting as the editor, selector, and primary blogger.
You might find some helpful ideas in these different news articles that describe OP at various points over the last 2 1/2 years: http://orangepolitics.org/about (scroll down).
A lot of other local politics blogs try to be neutral like a newspaper, that is not our approach. We are not trying to be objective or journalistic. See http://LeftyBlogs.org for a great collection of other progressive state and local blogs around the country.