Cashing In On Viral Stories

Apr. 9, 2021

Our friends over at LION Publishers provided an interesting look at how Block Club Chicago made $100,000 thanks to a rogue alligator.


Here's how it went down:

Pulling in $100K is quite impressive. This shows how a little bit of outside-the-box thinking can led to a new revenue idea. Imagine how many fun, viral stories your newsrooms have published over the years that you didn't capitalize on. Well, actually don't think about that too much or else you'll start pounding your head against your desk once you realize all of the money you left on the table.


You might be laughing, but seriously… did you know there's a company out there that is dedicated to finding viral sports moment and memorializing them basically overnight on t-shirts? Yep, and it's very successful. Oh, and the company president used to work for Gannett. 

If you're looking for a more newsy example, well then you should check out VancouverIsAwesome.com, which started out as a lifestyle website and transitioned into a local news. It is currently run by Glacier Media Group, and earns revenue by selling Vancouver-related merchandise. (If anyone wants to buy me a Chinatown Otter shirt I will not refuse it…)

At one point they struck a deal with the British Columbia Provincial Health Officer's very popular sign language interpreter on a series of prints. Nigel is no Chance the Snapper, but the prints were still a hit with the locals.


In any case, if your community is anything like every other community in the world, the people who live there (and used to live there) are proud of where they're from. And they probably would love to show their hometown pride on their clothes.


Now who is going to help me print up some shirts for THIS GIANT FRICKIN' SNAKE that is currently hanging out in the trees in my neighborhood?