Exclusive interviews and recaps of our content in other media outlets helped Boxx generate some record traffic numbers in the past month.
In addition, Twitter recently granted the company the shorter handle of @boxx, which will help people to remember us. Moreover, Boxx has been accepted into the Northwestern Law Clinic. The clinic and others experienced in entrepreneurship and branding will help us with the creation of a new logo, trademarking and branding.
In June, Boxx had nearly 4,000 unique visitors, almost double the number from May. The boost in traffic is related to interviews, quotes or recaps in such other media outlets, such as WBEZ, a Blurt Magazine story, and links to our video interviews on Blabbermouth.net. Also juicing traffic are such exclusive interviews, as the June 26 post on Teri Gender Bender, which helped create the highest spike for the month at 1,400 unique visitors that day. Our video interview with Lzzy Hale from Halestorm drew in about 1,000 unique visits on June 3.
The purchase of a professional camera using grant funds helped us gain more access to artists at festivals, and offer readers a multimedia experience with photography and videography.
In addition to using social media, Boxx has been promoting its brand by covering major events like SXSW, Roadburn and Rock on the Range. This month Boxx will be covering Pitchfork and Lollapalooza, two major festivals in the Chicago area. We plan to feature preview articles, use social media at the events and post interviews and reviews of the artists performing. Boxx will also promote through fans wearing Boxx merchandise and passing out marketing materials.
Since we also have full-time jobs, we have placed ads for interns to help us with our social media presence, regular news updates and creation/editing of content on the site. So far we have three applicants that will be able to start in the fall, and one new copy editor who has already started.
In late April, the business was officially registered in the state of Illinois as Boxx Publishing LLC. One of our looming challenges is creating revenue. We have an affiliate program with iTunes, but were unable to pursue one with Amazon due to their exclusion of the state of Illinois.
We’re exploring how to entice customers to pay for content, an issue facing the journalism industry across the board. It is important for Boxx to offer higher quality and more exclusive content to create perceived value for our users. We are building a widget that will help us offer several ways for consumers to support Boxx, including some e-commerce/merchandise sales, subscriptions/memberships and micro-guilt methods for consumers to pay as much or as little per content as they feel inclined. We are also looking into streams of advertising revenue,
We’re seeking to grow our social media following and site traffic at a more exponential rate. To increase community engagement we plan to offer events and an interactive database to expose readers to new artists and improve their knowledge of artists already on their radar.
We expect our community engagement will grow with more involvement and marketing material at music events. Staff will be wearing T-shirts displaying the Twitter handle and passing out stickers and temporary tattoos that also feature the Twitter handle.
On July 12, 2013, Boxx participated in a panel at Quimby’s Bookstore about the DIY business movement and entrepreneurship with fellow entrepreneurs Rebecca Ann Rakstad (Rarrar Press) and Bradley Adita (PopPunk.com). The event was part of a book tour for Eleanor Whitney’s book Grow: How to Take Your Do It Yourself Project and Passion to the Next Level and Quit Your Job.
Boxx plans to seek more opportunities to speak on panels and about topics that relate to our business. Our next big goal is working on ideas for 2014 panel topics to submit to SXSW in March 2014 and looking for opportunities to host a party or showcase since this is the biggest music draw of the year.