• Location: Myrtle Beach, S.C. • Title: Owner/Founder • Years: 2010-2013
After having covered local events and entertainment as part of The Sun News staff for nearly two years, I decided in 2010 to step out on my own and launch ListenUp Myrtle Beach.
This online publication covered everything related to the local music and entertainment scene in Myrtle Beach.
As both the sole content creator and the site's founder, I took on many roles including reporter, photographer, and webmaster, as well as salesperson, marketing manager and event planner.
Within the first year of the site, we grew traffic from nothing to about 10,000 visitors per month and were able to stay afloat financially through a combination of display advertising from local restaurants and bars, hosting live events and selling merchandise promoting local music.
Soon, I was managing a small team of contributors and freelance writers, throwing larger events, working with other media outlets for exposure and collaborating with several independent websites on an ad-sharing program.
In addition to continuing to grow website traffic during this time, I partnered with Waccamaw Publishers to publish a printed version of the site, called the ListenUp Weekend Guide, which was delivered to more than 25,000 homes inside of several weekly newspapers.
By the time the site ended its run in 2013, we had reached more than 25,000 visits per month and we generating about $1,000/mo. in revenue.
Eventually, the demands of raising two young children while also working two full-time jobs made it impossible to continue running the site, but this project was an amazing opportunity to grow — serving as a crash course in business, online marketing, and content creation.