Louisville.com | Zach Everson
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Louisville.com

Director of content and editorial strategy
January 2010–October 2013

I created and implemented the editorial strategy for this hyperlocal, community-driven, entertainment news website that provides original digital content about a metropolitan area with 741,096 people. Compared to 2009, visits increased 131 percent in 2012 (665,000 to 1.54 million). By the time I left, it ranked first in the market among both independent and locally owned websites, eighth out of all media websites. It won the Society of Professional Journalists Louisville chapter’s award for best website in 2012 and in 2013.

To achieve this growth, I

  • increased the freelance writers from two to 50, relying almost exclusively on amateurs
  • increased the site’s original content by 900 percent (from 20 new articles a month to around 200), but only increased the budget for contributions by 57 percent
  • created a competitive pay scale to compensate writers; on average, the site published 200 articles a month at a total cost of $1,700
  • developed the site’s editorial direction to focus on 14 entertainment subject areas
  • created all backend infrastructure, including an editorial calendar on Google Calendar, a Google Group for staff communications, and a Google Site for procedures
  • increased the Facebook presence from 100 to 7,000 fans and Twitter presence from 1,800 to 9,500 followers; launched Foursquare, Google +, Pinterest, Tumblr, and YouTube accounts
  • added features to increase interactivity, social media sharing, and time spent on the site
  • redesigned the website’s home page; mocked up the new layout, solicited feedback, and oversaw the designer and developer’s implementation
  • managed as many as eight interns at a time
  • promoted and compiled a weekly email blast highlighting upcoming events, growing the subscription base from 3,500 to 8,000 subscribers
  • ensured events calendar was the most complete one in the region
  • appeared Fridays on 102.3 The Max’s Lambert & Lindsey Morning Show to promote the site by discussing upcoming weekend events (sample audio here)

Freelance contributor

Before becoming director of content and editorial strategy, I contributed four articles per week on Louisville’s cultural offerings. While you can read all my articles at Louisville.com, highlights include

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