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I believe in luck , but I also believe in that saying, “the harder I work, the luckier I get”.
Sometimes, though, it takes more than hard work to keep your favorite online news magazine alive: It takes commitment from paid subscribers willing to click here, and sign up for as little as $5 a month to ensure ANC’s ongoing growth and survival. When you click here, you’ll see a description, and all kinds of options, but if you want to skip the words just scroll down to the blue box and check how much you’d like to pledge each month. We’re optimists, so we offer a range that goes from $5 a month up to $200.
So much for wishful thinking, because so far, no subscriber donates $200 a month. The highest monthly subscription paid is $50 by a woman I’ve never met. The first time we received that payment I emailed her to see if her contribution was a case of a mistaken zero, since $5 is the average amount paid by the majority of ANC subscribers. Her reply made me cry. She said that she meant to pay $50 a month because she knew there might be loyal ANC readers who would like to be paid subscribers, but couldn’t afford it, so she was helping cover those people. I’d say her name, but I don’t want to embarrass her.
When I do the math and calculate the number of monthly views (January was in the 85,000 range) and then look at the puny number of paid subscribers (less than 250, the majority of whom pay $5), it’s damn depressing. It makes me wonder what we’re doing wrong that we have so many loyal, regular readers, but so few willing to pay for the awesome public service that is ANC.
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I’d rather not include messages like that, because it feels like begging, which feels icky.
Likewise, I know it’s a downer to read posts like this, and frankly, they’re humiliating for me to write. But I don’t know how else to impress upon the non-subscribers how much we need them. You. How much we need you.
I say you, because statistically speaking, the odds are huge that you’re not a paid subscriber. Just writing those words breaks my heart a little.
A word about guilt here. I know that the very nature of our average paid subscriber is that of a giving, involved, engaged and loyal human being, someone who’s no stranger to the concept of giving. Here’s my statement to you wonderful ANC paid subscribers: This Valentine’s Day message is not directed toward you. Do not pull out your calculators and see if you can increase your monthly subscription fee. Really. You’re good.
Yes, I know it’s a dumb-ass business move to actually tell paid subscribers that the amount they’re paying is adequate, kind of like when I made the bright business decision to remove the paywall after we gained enough regular paid subscribers to keep from going under.
Maybe if I’d majored in business instead of journalism I wouldn’t be beseeching ANC’s audience to pay for a service that costs money to produce but one I’m giving away for free. But I don’t want to build another pay wall because I believe in a free press. I like the concept of voluntary paid subscriptions, not mandatory.
I’m speaking to you readers, scores of you, who are not paid subscribers. I’m asking you to really dig deep and ask yourself why you aren’t a subscriber, especially if you’re a regular ANC visitor.
With more paid subscribers, I could pay our journalists and staff a living wage. With more paid subscribers, I could hire a news reporter. With more paid subscribers, I could spend more time writing, and less time worrying about how to keep this website afloat, and less time trying to figure out how to raise more money to keep ANC not just alive, but thriving.
I know a few things to be true:
- I am grateful beyond words for our paid advertisers, those forward-thinking tech-savvy local businesses and establishments who value having exposure on ANC and its many readers and the traffic they provide. Thank you, advertisers.
- The traditional advertising model is broken. Just look at all the newspapers and magazines that have disappeared, especially in the last decade or so. It’s a miracle ANC lasted one year, let alone 13.
- ANC is a valuable community asset that provides news, commentary, information, entertainment and lots of opportunities to engage and participate.
- Anything of value is worth paying for, and that includes content provided for free – sans paywall – here at ANC.
I truly wish I could have thought of a humorous way to deliver this message to you, but for me, keeping ANC going strong is dead serious business.
This is the month of love, the month I usually make my pitch for non-subscribers to please pretty please show ANC the love, by clicking here and choosing an amount that you can afford, and joining the proud ranks of the fraction of extraordinarily spectacular readers who help support ANC.
Think of this as our little pledge drive. Who knows, maybe ANC isn’t worth $5 a month to you; but maybe it is worth $5 a month to you if it means I’ll stop bugging you to subscribe. Either way works for me.
And to you current, awesome paid subscribers, you’re already showing us the love. We feel the love, and we love you, too! Thank you!
And to everyone else — the majority of ANC readers — I’m hoping that this Valentine’s Day is the day you’ll join ANC’s family of wonderful subscribers, so you can feel the love, too.