Publisher’s Letter: Diversification

Follow this chart every week! Let's get rid of the red together! Give 5 newspapers from any one of our stands to friends, family, co-workers and ask them to subscribe.
By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

In 2017 I knew North Forty News needed to diversify its revenue to survive. Part of the diversification of income was the launch of an all-new Northfortynews.com. Today, the website is seeing unprecedented growth month to month. It took about three years to get the site to the point where it had enough traffic for online advertisers to consider it a viable advertising option. Today, half of our total monthly readership is on the website. We get some advertising, and it helps.

I also knew in 2017 that diversifying revenue for North Forty News’ print products was key to the organization’s growth. I started by purchasing SCENE Magazine and expanding North Forty News to a weekly (probably the only expansion of its kind in the country at the time). Our overall monthly print circulation increased over 600% in just five years!

All this comes at an expense. Huge expense! When anyone picks up a newspaper or clicks on our website, we have paid for that. From the paper it goes out on, the delivery it takes, the server fees, bandwidth, and that’s not even getting into the administration and editorial content (which I do the bulk of).

In late August, I set a goal for North Forty News to bring in 1,000 subscribers. Over the past month, we have been slowly moving toward that goal. We hit a pivotal moment last week. Our subscription revenue is at a six-month high! Take a look at the above chart. We have gained 18 subscribers since the start of the campaign. That includes anyone who has not renewed. But as you can see, from the red, we still have a ways to go (982 to be exact).

By adding 1,000 subscribers, North Forty News will have a reliable base of revenue to work from for the first time. It will lead to a multi-generational news service for our community.

I can’t stress how important it is to gain a solid subscriber base. Many publications have just given up on it. Many people feel they can get the news “for free” or without waste through digital subscriptions. We offer those. Many of our subscribers will pay the regular rate and request that we don’t mail them a copy because they already get the digital version in their email. We can do that too. Many of our supporters just want to show their support for North Forty News. If that’s the case for you, reach out. Or sign up for a digital subscription. Do you have a different idea? I’m listening.

A locally-owned multi-generational regional weekly newspaper is necessary because it’s the only one in Northern Colorado! We can’t let our area fall into a news desert. We support communities throughout Northern Colorado, we need them to share “the love” back.

Thank you to all who have sent emails, subscribed, sent checks, and offered words of encouragement. It means a lot to see so much support for North Forty News. One of our new supporters told me last week that she subscribed because she saw the “buzz” about North Forty News on NextDoor, a community-centered National website. It was a pleasant surprise! And it proves that word-of-mouth works. It also proves that what we are doing is valuable in the communities we serve.

That said, diversifying revenue isn’t just in expansion and subscriptions. My vision for North Forty News is to catalyze the communication of happenings and events in Northern Colorado. But my dream also includes diversification of revenue in many other ways, such as selling products and advertising through a storefront (virtual and physical), providing a marketplace for all regional businesses, and even producing events. I am working on all that. Stay tuned! But, all of it takes more time, resources, and energy than I currently have. Getting to that point requires getting more help accomplishing what I have put in place now. This subscription goal will give us the resources to move forward with those things!

So, there you go, folks. We aren’t just in a campaign to gain subscribers. North Forty News is in a campaign to support our communities in ways no other news organization can (or would). I have fulfilled my promise to save this organization, grow it, and diversify it. Will you make the promise to help me?


Support our efforts with a contribution for coverage in our communities at:

https://northfortynews.com/donate-now

For our current subscribers, driveway delivery of North Forty News is now available within a reasonable distance to state highways and urban areas.

Current subscribers register at:

https://northfortynews.com/driveway-delivery/

New and returning subscribers register at:

https://northfortynews.com/subscribe

Inquire about any  of our advertising at: ads@northfortynews.com

 

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