Fastest-growing business news website for Gloucestershire reveals secret of its success

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 05 August 2020 10:47

Fastest-growing business news website for Gloucestershire reveals secret of its success

New figures for this very website reveal readers numbers rose 35 per cent over the previous month – making it the fastest-growing news website in the county. 

In the bamboozling world of website figures it is unique visitors (UV) that get quoted when people seek to impress on the public stage, with visits coming a close second. 

Through July (only our second month of operation) that magical figure – simply the number of individual visitors to the site daily – passed the 10,000 mark with the number of visits almost reaching 12,500. 

Our social media figures also moved in the right direction, with our LinkedIn connections almost topping 8,000 (7,942) and impressions on those daily news list posts soaring past 26,000 (26,328). 

On Twitter, editor Andrew Merrell (Andy Merrell) reached 1,737 and the Raikes Journal’s fledgling account achieved 361 (total impressions on Twitter reached just shy of 70,000 for the month). 

“We are really pleased with the progress made in such a short space of time, which hopefully shows we are reporting on the right things and giving Gloucestershire something it is missing,” said Mr Merrell. 

“I’ve been growing audiences on business news websites since they first appeared – from launching the very first, regional and county-wide sites to The Raikes Journal - and have been reporting on Gloucestershire for two decades. 

“In that time how news is reported and spread has changed. Not least because everyone with access to social media is now a publisher – which makes for a fast-flowing river of information streaming past people every day. 

The Raikes Journal tries to do it pluck some of the most interesting items from that flow, which has become a flood through the pandemic, and introduce some journalism into the mix. But our emphasis is on creating original content by telling the stories of the county’s business community, its third sector and those involved in education and training.

“While everyone is a publisher, few journalists remain, and we like to think that editorial credibility is the USP for our platform. 

"Being heard from an independent platform with editorial credibility is a powerful amplifier. And when the prevailing wind is such, we want to do as much as we can to help. 

“We will not get involved in the race to be the first to put up the press release having asked no questions. We will seek to champion Gloucestershire – especially those whose voice is rarely heard – and fly its flag high.

“The operation is about giving the business community, the third sector and education and training access to proper local journalism to have their voices heard on an even broader stage than their own channels will ever manage. 

“But all that is more about the tools were use. There is one secret ingredient right under everyone’s nose that make this all a success – the fantastic stories from the county communities we support. 

“It is the deals done, the professional services companies making it all happen, the entrepreneurs swashbuckling away, the exciting start-ups, the tech firms, the plcs, the leadership, he battles, the fundraising, the commitment to the county, to training the next generation, the major employers, the infrastructure projects and the incredibly diverse mix of sectors.

"Our site is a rare beast - editorially led, written by business journalists and aiming at editorial credibility to draw its audience. There is clearly an appetite out there for what we are doing. Given time the audience will only continue to grow. So far, so good. It is a platform for Gloucestershire, so use it and please support it.”

The Raikes Journal’s website is hosted here in Gloucestershire at Fasthosts and its money flows through the Gloucestershire Credit Union. Everything it does is about seeking to support the county. 

To do that it needs your support too. Visit our Advertise page to find out more or call us or email to discuss other options. And if you have a story – or even think you might – please do get in touch. That is what we are here for. 

Email or telephone 07956 926061.