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Wednesday, Sep 27, 2023

Militia Site Grabs Eyes, Advertisers

Debbie Gregory is not a web developer, but that didn’t stop her from building a website that recently garnered more than 1.4 million monthly pageviews. MilitaryConnection.com offers articles and resources geared toward active military members, veterans, National Guard and Reserve members and their loved ones. Registering for free gives users access to job-hunting tools, from a database of job fair listings to a feature that translates veterans’ military service to applications for civilian occupations. The site is owned by Gregory’s company Gregory Media Inc. in Simi Valley. “We don’t have a forum, but I consider us a community, especially when I meet someone and they say, ‘I know Military Connection – I use it all the time!’” she said. “That’s what I intended it to be.” The website generates revenue primarily through banner ads, with secondary income from paid content in the form of newsletter links or sponsored social media posts. The newsletter is distributed to around 200,000 inboxes daily, while MilitaryConnection.com has amassed more than 830,000 fans collectively on its Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. pages. In addition to advertisements from paying sponsors such as Amgen Inc. and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the website also promotes the work of nonprofits. The site offers a comprehensive directory of veteran- and military-focused charities and publicizes their events for free. MilitaryConnection.com engages with the offline world as a sponsor of nonprofit events such as the annual 9-11 Freedom Walk at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley and a benefit concert put on by mental health organization Give an Hour. Although she considers herself “technically challenged,” Gregory has built up the website by hiring people with the knowledge she lacks. The site’s growing traffic has inspired buyout offers – and for the first time, she is taking them seriously. “My passion is really with the nonprofits, and maybe it’s time to put it in the hands of someone who would be able to take it to the next level,” Gregory said. “Just as long as their heart is in the right place – that’s important to me.” – Helen Floersh

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