Back in May I launched West St. Paul Reader. It’s a hyper local news site focused on my town of West St. Paul. It exists thanks to the generous support of a lot of people, from my initial Kickstarter backers to my current Patreon supporters.
It’s been a wild journey, and I’m very grateful for it.
I’ve been writing about West St. Paul here on my personal blog for a while. I think it started in 2014 when we had a hotly contested mayoral election. And it grew from there. It was always a hobby, but it was taking more and more of my time. I write for a living, so that was kind of a problem. I wanted to do something more official and more sustainable. There were stories I just couldn’t tell because it was a hobby. I wanted to do something more.
But I wasn’t sure if it would work. I’ve had a lot of not-so-great ideas over the years that didn’t go anywhere. So I launched a Kickstarter campaign with some trepidation.
It only took five days to hit the initial goal. And it went up from there. That initial boost literally kickstarted West St. Paul Reader. From that initial support I was able to hire a local designer to create a logo, pay a writer to do a post on local taco joints, and hopefully pay some more writers—because it’s important to pay people for their work.
It’s also important to me that West St. Paul Reader is sustainable. I enjoy doing it, but it’s not a hobby. It’s part of my business. It takes a lot of time away from my regular freelance work—and I’ve got bills to pay.
So I’m incredibly grateful to see the ongoing support grow through Patreon. This is a way to support West St. Paul Reader through monthly payments. In return, it helps keep people informed, there are patron-only updates, and other extras.
When an email notification of a new patron comes through, I’ve pumped my first in the air or run a victory lap around my office. It’s exciting because it means this thing is working.
And that has meant some strange and wonderful things. Such as:
- Attending four-and-a-half-hour meetings.
- Stopping while running errands so I can take pictures.
- Getting a tour of the inside of the water tower.
- Meeting lots of interesting people.
- Researching some really arcane local election history.
- Advocating for my community.
- And answering lots of questions.
For a total of 83 posts.
So to everyone who has made West St. Paul Reader happen, thank you.
If you want to join the team and support West St. Paul Reader you can become a patron.