April 5, 2018
southburnett.com.au celebrated a milestone this week: our sixth year since we swapped to a daily news format as well as our 18th year as a locally owned South Burnett business.
During the past six years we’ve published more than 14,200 news stories – all of which are still available online – and accepted more than 3600 “letters to the editor” (ie. comments) on them.
It’s been an exciting – and sometimes exhausting – effort to bring you our region’s local news every Monday to Friday, as well as on weekends whenever big stories break.
But you’ve rewarded us with a steady growth in readership and page views, and we’re very proud of the trust you’ve placed in us to bring you the South Burnett’s news accurately, honestly and fairly.
During the past year we received more than 2.4 million visitors, ranging from 36,806 a week in January (when we on holidays) to 62,205 visitors a week in March.
This represents an average 140 per cent increase in our readership over the past five years.
As well, last year our readers read 25.75 million pages on our site, an average of almost 500,000 pages every week.
This is a 250 per cent increase over our April 2013 page views.
And to do it, last year our server chewed through 1.63 terabytes of bandwidth!
When we kicked off our news format in April 2012, the concept of online local news was new and some people thought we were a novelty that would only appeal to a small section of the population.
But that isn’t the case.
According to Google Analytics, 60 per cent of our readers are female and 40 per cent are male; 43 per cent are aged 18-44, and 57 per cent are aged 45-plus.
(We emphasise this information does not mean we know who you are, or anything else about you … we’re not Facebook!)
Google also tells us that while many of you visit us daily, some of you visit us every two days, some every three, and some once a week.
But in any average month during the past year, we reached 21,222 unique human beings, 87 per cent of whom either live in the South Burnett or have a direct connection with it.
Which means we now reach almost six in every 10 South Burnett residents at least once every month, and the majority far more often than that.
Over the past six years we’ve been very proud to receive advertising support from some of the largest businesses, organisations and events in our region.
Like all media, we make our income from advertising.
We believe we’ve now reached the point where we can offer local businesses – especially small businesses who’ve been priced out of the market – several inexpensive ways to reach potential new customers and existing customers.
In addition, after several years in the doldrums following the GFC, we think the South Burnett’s economy is on the way back up.
We believe this growth can be fuelled by speeding up our local markets, and the best way to do this is to encourage South Burnett businesses to get out into the market to sell their goods and services.
We’d like to invite local businesses to become a part of this brighter future.
Extra revenue from advertising would allow us to tackle several projects we have on our desks that will expand what we’re doing, and to hire staff we can train to become the next generation of South Burnett Online.
We would like to ensure our region continues to have locally owned, locally run media because good country journalism only thrives when reporters know the background, the people, the places and the meaning of the stories they report.
In the meantime, thank you once again for your unflagging support.
We truly appreciate it.