You want to run your own business and publish a hyperlocal website. We give you the tools to do that, from a custom website designed and optimized for SEO and mobile traffic to a full set of analytics and social media resources.
Our experienced and trained professionals take care of web design, hosting and technical details so you can focus on creating awesome content.
We also provide you with a guide to what it takes to build and grow a successful news and events website. Out 60-day introductory boot camp provides is the equivalent of a high-end blogging course for which you’d pay thousands of dollars and still have to built your own website and find your own hosting.
We also help you make money, handling the tedious business of signing up for ad networks and affiliate companies and placing the ads where they will maximize your revenue.
Plus, you get the advantage of networking with successful On the Cheap publishers all over the country, who share their tips and tricks in private networking groups via email and Facebook. Living on the Cheap is a recognized and respected brand, and that helps boost your site’s success.
We’ve got sites already built, some that already have a social media following and are already generating income. We’re also ready to build sites in new cities.
Questions? We’ve got answers.
Running an On the Cheap site is like running an online newspaper or magazine. You create the content, post it on the site and then spread the word to grow readership.
Do I need journalism experience?
You do not need professional journalism experience to run an On the Cheap site, though you do need to be able to gather accurate information and write in complete sentences.
Where do I find the information to publish on my site?
We call it reporting. You talk to people, look at websites, visit local businesses, read signs while you’re out and about, subscribe to mailing lists, get on media notification lists and read your local newspapers. Information is everywhere, and one of the services provided by an On the Cheap site is presenting it to readers in an organized way.
How do On the Cheap sites make money?
On the Cheap sites make money through ad networks, (such as Google Adsense and MediaVine), affiliate marketing and local advertising sales. Living on the Cheap handles all the network advertising and affiliate accounts, as well as network-wide ad buys, leaving publishers free to focus on content and local advertising. Living on the Cheap publishers get higher commission rates and faster payments than individual publishers may receive.
How much can I make running an On the Cheap site?
Our most successful publishers make $3,000 to $10,000 per month and expect to continue to grow their revenue. Can do you do the same? Yes, but it does take time to build readership and revenue. This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. Creating and maintaining a successful website takes work.
Is that working full-time?
No. Most of our publishers spend two to three hours a day on their websites and devote the rest of their time to other projects, including writing, editing and social media jobs they have gotten through their website work. The website work can be done at any time, day or night, to fit with your schedule.
Do I have to build a website?
We provide you with a website, optimized for SEO and with custom features created just for Living on the Cheap publishers. We use WordPress, the most popular online publishing platform, and then adapt it to our unique needs.
Who takes care of tech support?
Living on the Cheap provides web hosting, domain management and tech support for all its websites. We work with professionals who specialize in WordPress design and management, as well as social media and marketing. Our sites are hosted by a boutique firm in the Southwest, and we rarely experience down time or outages.
What if I want marketing materials?
Living on the Cheap provides its publishers with business card templates, plus logos and artwork necessary to create any other marketing materials you want to create. We can also refer you to a designer.
Do I have to learn SEO?
Good content is its own SEO. But we’ll share with you the tips and tricks we’ve learned over six years of publishing to help your content rise higher in search results. We have our own proprietary guide to Search Engine Optimization for our sites.
Does my site come with social media accounts?
Who runs Living on the Cheap?
Living on the Cheap is run by Teresa Mears and Laura Daily, both professional writers and editors with decades of publishing experience as well as contacts at major media outlets.
Can I get help with the skills required to run my site?
Yes. We provide all our publishers with a detailed Quick Start guide, which tells you much of what you need to know. Our publishers have a Google email group and a Facebook group where they ask questions and share tips about how to make sites more successful. We also provide one-on-one help and coaching, in addition to our 60-day boot camp, in which we help you get a running start on your site.
Can I customize my On the Cheap site?
We know that Minneapolis is not Miami. The template we provide has options for customizing your site to showcase the content your readers want to see. If you’ve got an idea for a new feature, we may be able to develop that, too.
Do I need to live in the city where my site is based?
We do require publishers to live in the cities where they publish. If you don’t live in the city, you won’t be able to publish the kind of insider information readers want, nor will you be able to market your site effectively.
How will I know if my readership is growing?
Shouldn’t I have an email list or a newsletter?
You should and you will. Each site comes with an RSS newsletter service. That service sends out a newsletter every day that new content is published. The service allows you to customize the newsletter, create an autoresponder sequence, insert ads in your newsletter or send out newsletters on demand.
Where is Living on the Cheap looking for publishers?
Currently, we are looking for publishers to take over existing sites in:
- Washington, D.C.
- Minneapolis-St. Paul
- Salt Lake City
- Dallas-Fort Worth
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
- Tampa-St. Petersburg
We believe that every city should have its own On the Cheap site, so we can build new sites in major cities where none exists.
How do I get started or ask more questions?
Email Teresa Mears at firstname.lastname@example.org. We accept new publishers twice a year, when we run our success-building boot camps. Deadline for our next session is Oct. 15, 2019.