Publisher’s Letter: Give Local — Focus on a Gift

(Photo by Ethan Sees,
By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

I have written about the importance of new revenue streams for North Forty News for many months. We must be creative about getting funding to deliver your weekly news.

One of those ways is to branch out. Diversifying our revenue stream into farming has been rewarding and serves a whole new subset of people in our community.

The challenge of branching out into farming has been challenging. At the farm, we face all the same challenges that other farmers worldwide face — weather, climate, personal issues, operational issues, irrigation, insects, fertilization, supply, sales, etc.

Despite that long list of challenges, we are managing to produce food. The people who read North Forty News are purchasing that food.

We could do much better on the farm. And we will. But it’s great to see the two businesses, so different from each other, working so well together.

That’s what I’m talking about when I talk about diversification revenue. These are the ways North Forty News will survive.

We will keep growing.

Last week I wrote about focus. My focus for six years has been finding ways to grow North Forty News. I’m proud to say that it has grown!

We’ve seen exponential increases in new readers in our print newspaper and website. Our growth is a result of focus. But I would love to see more support from our communities.

The other day, I thought about our goal to get 1000 new subscribers to North Forty News. It seems like a challenging goal to reach, but in all reality, it’s okay. If every one of our supporters sold or gave subscriptions to two or three people they know.- we would be at that goal in a very short time.

That’s why, beginning this week. I’m starting to run an ad that will promote “Give Local.” It is a free subscription!

How do we make money from a free subscription, you ask? We hope the people who read our newspaper find value in it. So much so that they don’t just pick it up when they see it. They enjoy receiving every week at the convenience of their own home. By giving them a free monthly subscription, they’ll see the value in renewing.

So, I ask our readers to pledge. Give two gift subscriptions to friends or family, or coworkers. If you don’t have one yourself, feel free to sign up. Suppose North Forty News is to survive for multiple generations. In that case, it needs diversification revenue and a large base of community supporters who value what we do.

Some might be surprised that I have subscribed to my newspaper for years. I could sign myself up for a free subscription. But I don’t. I support the product financially, just as our readers would.

Give the gift to North Forty News. It will cost you nothing, and the rewards for our communities will be greater than most people realize.


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