Just Woodbury is celebrating its first birthday today!
But there’s no time to really celebrate, because I need to keep bringing news and information to the Woodbury community.
As you can tell from the below Facebook post, I didn’t even realize I’d reached the one-year milestone until this morning.
I did, however, want to thank you all for making Just Woodbury a part of your daily routine.
The Just Woodbury story really began a little more than two and a half years ago, in August 2015, when my wife, son, and I moved to Woodbury. Many of you have probably heard this story, but bear with me if you’re heard it.
I am a high school football junkie. My first weekend in Woodbury, I Googled “Nonnewaug football” to learn what I could about the Chiefs. The first three results were an article from 2010, an article from 2008, and an article from 2007.
I started researching other things about Woodbury, and there really wasn’t a lot of news about it online. What I did find was behind two different paywalls: One owned by a daily newspaper, one by a weekly newspaper. I’d also realized that there were generations of Woodbury residents who never say their name, or their child’s name, in the newspaper. I felt it was a shame, too, because so many great stories have gone untold in this wonderful town.
I told myself that if I was ever downsized from my career in publishing, where I’d led a digital-first editorial team, then I would have to consider launching an online-only newspaper. The downsizing happened in November 2016.
What’s Been Accomplished
I’ve been told that you’re new in town unless you’ve been here since the 1800s – and even then, you’re still a newcomer. So to have built so much trust in Woodbury in such short time is in itself a remarkable feat.
Here’s what else had been accomplished in year one, by the numbers:
- 563 articles posted
- 744 events posted to the calendar
- 7,500 media items (photos, PDFs, etc.) posted
- More than 1,100 Facebook followers
- More than 525 email subscribers
- More than 5,000 monthly JustWoodbury.com users
What’s more, the What’s On in Woodbury (WOW) committee trusted me and Frank Longo enough to let Just Woodbury take over Woodbury Restaurant Week. And the results were incredible: Half of the 14 restaurants said their traffic and revenues rose more than 20% vs. Woodbury Restaurant Week 2017.
We’ve also become partners with such organizations as Nonnewaug GradNite, Woodbury Earth Day, You Gotta Believe Basketball Camps, and more to help each other grow.
What’s Up In Year Two?
I know I’m not perfect, but I want to keep growing both in service offerings and news coverage. I recently added two salespeople who will help us grow financially, and I will also add a summer intern to help out on the editorial side.
And I know Just Woodbury will continue growing If I continue with the value proposition: Give Woodbury straight news and features about the community we live in. And also, keep smiling, and keep being everywhere I can be.
But I need your help to continue growing <i>Just Woodbury</i>. I can’t have you tell me I’m doing a great job covering the Town of Woodbury, and then have you send your press releases and media opportunities to all my competitors and NOT me. That won’t help me grow and, quite frankly, based on our solid numbers, won’t help you reach your intended audience.
The same goes for your advertising dollar: If you are trying to grow your Woodbury audience, why wouldn’t you advertise with <i>Just Woodbury</i>? After all, the numbers show that this is where Woodbury’s readers are.
So, again, thank you all so very much for making this an incredible first year, and we hope you’ll help us make our second year – and beyond – even better!
Editor and Publisher