Meet Utah's New Media - First in a Four-Part Series

by Jeri Cartwright and Lisa Davis
UtahPulse.com  9/17/2009

Newspaper Girl

Blog site: www.newspapergrl.com

Creator: Janet Thaeler, Fruit Heights, Utah

Focus: Stories about internet marketing and PR

Followers: 6,000 on Twitter, @Newspapergrl

Making money: Yes

Allowing advertising: Yes

She's concerned about balance in her life, thus she only spends 7-10 hours a day online...not as much on weekends. She always wanted to be a reporter, but then learned how little it paid. She still misses the rush of writing in a noisy newsroom. Blogging is "so solitary," she says. We went to her site and saw four display ads in the right column. She is making some money at this. We think she is an important facet of emerging new media.

Janet Thaeler calls herself a blogger. We think she is an important facet of emerging new media. Much like a traditional newspaper, which she does read, Janet creates online articles providing content people want. The result? Advertisers want her subscribers to notice them.

Pay some serious attention to this wave of new and influential Utah media. It will define the way business, government, and non-profit organizations communicate with their audiences. Janet cites recent research from "BlogHer" that shows:

Questions we asked of Newspaper Girl:

When and why did you create newspapergrl.com?

I started blogging in 2005. I had been a web developer but it didn't fit me. Someone I worked with told me about internet marketing. I knew instantly it was what I wanted to do. I hoped that by blogging I would get to know other internet marketers and mentors. I also blogged to remember what I read and learned ... and to make it searchable.

Geographically, where does your audience come from?

The majority of my traffic is from Utah and California. Surprisingly, my most loyal readers are from India and Germany.

Do people try to persuade you to write about them or their product or business?

Yes. I like getting requests if they fit my audience. Get to the point quickly and give me links to learn more. If it's complex, offer to walk me through the product or let me try it out. If you're doing something innovative with social media, I'm interested in hearing about it.

Recently I've attended local events specifically for social media influencers. The next one will be an event for a new restaurant opening. They want us to come, eat, take pictures and video, then write about it on our blogs.

Have you experienced any "lack of respect" from the general business community or traditional media?

The business community has a tough time believing that mom bloggers can be so influential (Janet began blogging as an at-home mom). It's a pretty small group, yet they have a large network and reach, often larger than large publications and newspapers.

Additional advice for those companies afraid of new media?

Even if you're not online, your customers are. They're searching for local businesses and researching online before making a decision. If you're not there or if your competitor are easier to find, you'll miss out on the business.

What you need to understand is that bloggers are opinionated and we talk. Most of us won't write a negative review -- we just don't write anything, but we will not recommend you if asked. You'll miss out on the leads you'd otherwise get if we had a good experience.

Are you making a living at this? Is it a goal of yours?

My blog doesn't make my living. The connections and reputation I have built because of it does. I develop affiliate sites, contract to write search engine optimized press releases, blog and manage bloggers. These business leads often come as a result of my blog.

More about Newspaper Girl: Janet Meiners Thaeler has been in the online marketing industry for four years. Her expertise is online PR and blogging. Beyond her own blog, she writes for sites including Marketing Pilgrim, Small Business Trends, and American Express OPEN Forum®. She works for OrangeSoda as a social media specialist and as an independent consultant. Her new book "I Need a Killer Press Release, Now What?!? A Guide to Online PR" is coming out this fall on Amazon.com and in e-book format.


Article originally appeared at UtahPulse.com.

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