Well, well, well, The Bloom is turning five! Can you believe it? I feel like a proud parent bragging about their kid. And perhaps that’s appropriate when considering how The Bloom became The Bloom.
Five years ago, the editor of The Middletown Mercury announced his retirement. It was a huge bummer for us readers because it was one of the only sources of good news about Lake County.
So my husband and I had the crazy idea of taking over the Mercury, you know, as a hobby. Well, six weeks later, we became proud owners of a local newspaper. But, for a few legal reasons, we couldn’t keep the name or the subscription list, so we were on our own.
The Lake County Bloom officially launched at the Pear Festival and gained a total of forty-six subscribers. We started with almost no advertising and were writing up to three articles a week just to have content! Talk about humble beginnings.
Our very first ads started at $25 dollars a month. We couldn’t, in good conscience, ask for more. We were lucky if we got a thousand views a month in those early days. But slowly, our readership grew, and advertisers came.
Then, just when things were taking off for us, Covid hit, and our advertising tanked. We thought we might have to call it quits. As a last-ditch cry for help, we reached out to our readers and let you know we needed help to survive. And because of your donations, The Bloom did survive. Now, it’s thriving.
Last year, we had over half a million unique visitors to our site. We have thousands of social media followers and several thousand weekly subscribers. And boy, does Lake County like to party! Our Party Calendar continues to get as many views as our lead articles.
Plus, it seems we weren’t the only ones who liked to read good news about Lake County. Our largest readership since day one has been San Francisco, the Bay Area, and Sacramento. But we’ve also got a loyal following in Sweden, Ireland, India, and Canada, so, here’s a friendly hallå to our Swedish readers.
Today, we have six staff writers, two editors, and poetry coming in from all over the world. We’ve published works by over one hundred authors, including poetry from Ukraine, India, and Central America. Plus, we’ve published so much good news submitted by our readers: over 1,500 press releases!
This year The Lake County Bloom changed its name to The Bloom because, as you can see, our readership is from all over the world. We have grown and continue to grow. And what’s next for The Bloom? Honestly, I don’t know. The sky is the limit!
And as I’ve said before, we can’t do what we do without you, our readers. Not only do you help to keep The Bloom running; you are helping to keep our good news free to anyone who visits.