In June 2018, I decided to launch Big Easy Magazine, online home for progressive New Orleans. I wanted to give New Orleans a voice and tell the stories of those voices who often go unheard. Over the last year, Big Easy Magazine has made tremendous progress, breaking stories that garnered national attention. We’ve exposed racism, bigotry, and other forms of hate while reporting and covering issues related progressive causes. Our publication has been cited by Newsweek, Washington Post, Washington Times, LA Times, Yahoo News, Deadspin, MSN News, and many other major national media outlets.
We have claimed a unique space in the city of New Orleans, branding ourselves as “Unapologetically Progressive. Uniquely New Orleans.” With all the progress we’ve made reporting on the issues that matter and spreading brand awareness, we’ve also incurred a lot of debt. The owner and Founder has mortgaged one of his own houses and invested over $100k of his own personal fortune to carve out this unique space in the city.
Now we need your help to keep going. So here’s our plan: 1) Raise enough funds to invest in our writers so they can keep up the great reporting 2) invest in promoting our revenue streams so we can rely less on fundraising over time, and 3) and paying back the debt that Big Easy has incurred so we can remain financially solvent for years to come. Big Easy Magazine will be funded by a variety of revenue streams to include the following: 1) monthly memberships at the $3.00, $5.00, and $10.00 levels. 2) selling banner ads and display ads for $200-400 monthly depending on the size of the ad and length of contract. 3) sell advertorials and sponsored content 4) invest in affiliate marketing and earn a percentage of sales from affiliate sites that advertise on our site, 5) sell merchandise through our affiliate e-commerce store and 6) rely on monthly donors as another source of revenue, and 7) google ads
With the funds raised, we can free up credit needed to allow us to promote these revenue streams so we can increase our monthly revenue, pay down debt and cover our expenses. In order to continue operating, we must be able to cover our monthly expenses, which include the following: 1) $2500 per month for writers 2) $500 per month for social media management 3) $200 for monthly web maintenance, hosting and administrative costs, and $750 for monthly debt payments on the $100k debt that was invested. That’s $4k monthly revenue that Big Easy Magazine needs to break even on a monthly basis.
How can we get there ? We will begin promoting membership drives so that we can have a certain number of people sign up to become monthly members. Members will receive perks listed on the website. If we have 300 total members, 100 at $3, 100 at $5, and 100 at $10, that’s a total of $1800 monthly revenue. That will almost cover our writing expenses. Then, we can rely on about 10 sponsors averaging $200 per month totaling $2000. Google ads will bring in about $150 per month, and sponsored content will yield another $400 per month. Finally, reasonable merchandise sales can bring in $400 per month. With another $200 per month in monthly donations, we can total approximately $5000 in monthly revenue.
Achieving this level of revenue will allow us to cover monthly expenses and also expand our coverage in the arts, music, lifestyle, culture, and also expand to a quarterly print publication.
We have a vision for this city, and we want to spread our progressive ideals throughout the state and throughout the country. We cannot do this alone. We need your help to make Big Easy Magazine sustainable for years to come. One single person cannot possibly carry the burden to fund a brand new media startup. This will take a massive effort by thousands of donors who are willing to fight to make this happen. Please contribute today so that Big Easy Magazine can be more than a fleeting memory, but instead a progressive icon for years to come.
Scott Ploof, Publisher and Founder