There was a local coffee shop that I frequent, which given that I don’t drink coffee seems a bit strange. Even so, it was a great place for meetings and I generally found myself there at least once a week.
I noticed a free newspaper there. Actually, calling it a newspaper was generous; “news sheet” might be more accurate. It was a single 11 x 17 piece of paper, printed on both sides and folded twice. On each side was a center column of random news trivia, with a column of local ads on each side. Presumably, they had not sold all the space, as many ads were repeated on both sides, along with a couple of “your ad here” fillers.
Ever curious, I checked their Website and was treated to a “Website coming soon message.” Assuming the site was down, I called them only to learn that they were still working on it. The owner was not embarrassed by this fact but was rather nonchalant. Three weeks later, the site was still “coming soon.”
You would think that if your site was still under development you would not prominently advertise it. That does not send a positive message to potential advertisers. It would be like publishing a phone number knowing it was not working. What right-minded business owner would do such a thing?
Upon further investigation, I found that the content of the “news sheet” is syndicated and distributed to local, exclusive franchises who sell ads and distribute it.
How do I know this? Because the franchiser’s website was working.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is publisher, editor, author, and blogger with 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for tips and insights.