How The Local’s Nine News Sites Tweaked Their Way to 11,000 New Paying Members During the Pandemic

Digital publisher The Local quickly became a focal point for English speakers across Europe when cases of the coronavirus were discovered. Retired expats, young professionals working abroad, regular visitors and those with second homes in European countries, among others, turned to its nine websites looking for clarity about the virus and lockdown rules where they lived.

The Local — which launched a membership model in 2017 — responded by publishing scores of explainer articles, making certain COVID-19 articles free, giving members a chance to donate and sending out surveys soliciting questions from its audience. The collective results of its efforts have been notable — traffic tripled to a peak of 17 million unique visitors and paying readers grew from 15,000 at the end of February to 26,000 as of today.

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