8 tips for journo-entrepreneurs

This week Webbmedia Group held a chat for journo-entrepreneurs, providing business models and use cases for journalists hoping to launch media start-ups.

Here are eight tips and a few examples of entrepreneurial journalism projects you can launch or replicate in your community. You can also find these and more tips on twitter: #kwchat.

Tip #1: Don’t be a generalist. Create highly-specialized content that you’re’ an expert on.

Tip #2: Content producers must syndicate across platforms, but the RIGHT platforms.

Tip #3: Try to fund your new entrepreneurial jurno venture alone. Projects have launched for less than $10k.

Tip #4: You must create a business and marketing plan, regardless of how small your new venture is.

Tip #5: Find a few people whose opinions your trust to serve as advisers as you start your new venture.

Tip #6: “If you are passionate about your idea, find some people you trust and then go talk to people you don’t know.”

Tip #7: Remember, if you’re going to record a demo of your product, make it good. Bad demos can doom great projects.

Tip# 8: Remember, most ideas fail. A vast majority of ideas fail. But, get to that point quickly. is an example of an entrepreneurial model that can be run with a low budget in any community. is another innovative model that includes crowdfunding and most recently a new sustainability model based on advertising through surveys.

Other journo-entrepreneur efforts include projects like and its NowSpots advertising model and Front Porch Forum among other Knight Foundation grantees in this field.

If you are a journo-entrepreneur the Knight News Challenge, the Knight Community Information Challenge and J-Lab’s New Voices are great opportunities to launch your start-up to inform and engage communities.

For grant application tips and and other resources for freelance and entrepreneur journalists visit: And to learn about Knight funded innovations that are ready for you to use, please visit Knight Apps.

Jose Zamora is a journalism program associate at Knight Foundation

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