Something that has been on my mind lately. It is talking about what we do. For some reason, we keep what we do within our own little circle. We refrain from telling the world for fear they might take it away from us.
This is wrong.
I have reasons about why this is wrong, but this post isn’t about that.
This post is about what is happening with one of my labours of love: Yellowknife Online (ykonline.ca).
I have invested thousands of hours since 2009. Writing, developing, building and creating Yellowknife Online into what it is today.
Does Yellowknife Online make me money?
It is a labour of love.
It is like volunteering for a non-profit organization. The mission is to make information about a community more accessible.
Except the non-profit is an online brand run by one person. In his spare time or when he should actually me working.
Yellowknife Online has never made any profit and very little money.
It currently makes no money.
It has never received government funding.
It actually cost money to keep Yellowknife Online online.
Approximately $5000 is the past 7 years.
It is not seen relevant within the community it supports. It is not taken seriously.
Yellowknife Online is an online resource for information about Yellowknife.
It is for visitors. It is for residents. And it is for newcomers.
Does it have every bit of information each of these groups needs to know about Yellowknife?
No. Not yet.
There is a post idea list a mile long. All information and resources that should be online on Yellowknife Online.
Some of that information already exists in many places. Some of that information is not written and online yet.
The point of Yellowknife Online is to bring information together into one easy to find place. Resources might jump off to another site. Or it might be right on Yellowknife Online.
What is not understood about Yellowknife Online is that is not a “news site. Even though new posts aren’t published every day, doesn’t mean there is no traffic to the website.
Where Yellowknife Online excels is in publishing timeless content. Content that remains relevant with minor updates.
This has built a strong reputation with Google and the like.
Yellowknife Online receives approximately 20,000 visitors a month.
20,000 visitor a month.
Oh, and I have spent $0 on advertising it.
For exactly the reasons mentioned above.
Trusted and relevant content.
Site longevity. Been around since 2009.
Link sharing. Linking to those other resources in posts and pages. This built incredible search engine credibility.
Trend following. Yellowknife Online is where the people often are. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram.
Few residents might know about Yellowknife Online, but visitors and newcomers do.
On a daily basis, Yellowknife Online receives emails from visitors researching Yellowknife. Other emails from people researching moving to Yellowknife.
Just yesterday I helped a young professional understand utility costs. And where to find an apartment. All before even moving to Yellowknife.
The simple act of helping that one person made Yellowknife seem all that more welcoming. And even less isolated.
That person may not have felt as comfortable finding a place with the help of Yellowknife Online. All because it appeared as a trusted resource.
Without any consistent publishing, Yellowknife Online will continue to be an online resource. All because people will continue to search for the information it hosts.
Posts will stay relevant.
Podcast episodes will remain relevant.
And I’ll always answer emails and comments.
What is next for Yellowknife Online?
There lies the grand question. Here are some general ideas.
New content follows a regular publishing schedule. That post idea list is long.
Become a Yellowknife tour listing directory and booking engine.
The How To Be a Yellowknifer podcast follows a regular publishing schedule. Always featuring different Yellowknifers
The How To Be a Yellowknifer podcast picks up a sponsor.
Yellowknife Online partners with other local non-profit organizations to help distribute their resources.
Other contributors come on board to help fill information gaps that I don’t know enough about. Sports. Parenting. Houseboat Living. Music Scene. And so on.
Yellowknife Online becomes a non-profit organization. With the mission of helping visitors, residents, and newcomers thrive.
What is the financial model for Yellowknife Online?
There currently isn’t one.
There has never been one.
I can not sell advertising. I try and fail time and time again.
It will always be free to access the information without question.
To grow it needs some sort of financial model.
It doesn’t have to be a business.
It could be a business if advertising or sponsored content was a viable option.
It could be a non-profit organization. It could tap into different funding programs. Programs through different governments and other non-profit organizations.
It sounds like I’m bragging about Yellowknife Online’s success because I am. I’m proud of the brand that it is. I get excited each time I get to help someone learn more about Yellowknife. Or when I hear that someone has used the site.
But Yellowknife Online, as much as my ego wants to believe, is not about me. It is about making this community a great place to live, work, play and visit.
One of my own downfalls has been bringing like-minded people together to build this brand. Yellowknifers have so much to offer each other.
I recognize I can’t do it on my own.
But other than a byline I’ve never been sure what I can offer anyone. See above where I mention it makes no money.
Am I open to working with others on Yellowknife Online?
I’d love if there were others who shared this vision and were willing to take a chance with me on it.
Maybe you are reading this? Contact me.
That, my friends. Is where Yellowknife Online is today.