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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - October 2020

What tactics should independent journalists know before starting something new?

In my previous Plus report, I talked about the strategies and the trends around independent journalists starting their own thing, like a newsletter, a podcast, or something else.

Today, in this 36-page article, we are going to zoom in and instead talk about the tactics. What things are known to work in building a new publication? What are the tricks of the trade?

Please note: This article is focusing specifically on independent journalists, either being individuals or very small teams of journalists starting something new. But, obviously, most of these things also apply to any other publisher.

And what we are going to talk about are the five elements that you need to make it work.

But I'm not going to talk about these in order, instead let's approach this from the perspective of trying to solve this as a problem. How can we get people to pay us, what obstacles do we need to overcome to get that done?

So, we will start with the most important thing that you must do from the very beginning ... which is this:

Ask people to pay the very first time they meet you

One of the biggest differences between the old internet and the new internet we are heading into is that paid and free are two completely different markets.

Over the past 25 years, the business model everyone was chasing was that of scale. First you would build something, which you would then offer for free, and then you would aggressively focus on scaling that up until eventually you would have enough traffic for it to be monetized via advertising ... and only then would you add some other forms of premium service to capture a bit of additional revenue.

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What is Baekdal?

Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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