Blogger Paul Smith is looking to turn his ultra-local blog into an ultra-local paid-for weekly magazine.
Smith first moved into print three months ago with a flyer for his blog HU17.net which covers the Beverley area of Hull.
It has since grown into a 28-page colour weekly covering sport, features, news, entertainment and reviews. Smith said that advertising costs as little as £5 a week.
‘I want to make it accessible for everyone,’he said. ‘Not just the big shops should be able to advertise but also Mr Jones at the end of the street who cleans cars should be able to afford it.”
‘It’s funny how differently people react when they see themselves in print rather than online.Everybody is enthusiastic and wants a copy.”
The magazine edition of HU17 currently has a print run of 100 copies, but Smith is aiming to increase that to 300. His latest innovation is to start selling the magazine for £2 in local shops, after initially making it free.
He said: ‘I don’t have a press pass, but the great thing is that I also don’t need one. The advantage of staying local is that everyone knows you and everyone helps each other.”
Smith made headlines in the Hull Daily Mail in March when it claimed he had extensive links with the porn industry. In July, the Press Complaints Commission ruled that the stories were misleading. Smith admitted that he has been spurred on by his run-in with the city’s big daily newspaper. He said: ‘It’s a very good motivation. I’ve got to get back at them.”