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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Help with newspaper affiliate program
    Hello,

    I have just started an affiliate program for LOCAL newspaper subscription. Have contacted lots of local website owners (portals, blogs mostly), and haven't recruited any.

    Now I am going to:
    1. submit to affiliate program directories.
    2. submit job listings to local websites. (Does it work?)
    3... Please help me with more suggestions on what I can do here...

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    I think a lot depends on what is "local". If local is New York or L.A. it's an entirely situation than "small town USA".

    If you're a smaller town paper you have your work cut out for you and also have, likely, a very limited pool of available affiliates to recruit since you'll need local targeted sites.

    Your best bet are local sites who already are affiliates on a major network. Recruiting affiliates is much different than recruiting website owners who have no idea what affiliate marketing is.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

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  3. #3
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    Listing an "affiliate program opportunity" as a job listing (or in the "gigs" section of Craigslist, for example) is spam.

    I also don't understand your relationship with the newspaper. Will advertising on publishers' web sites link directly to the newspaper web site, or are you just an intermediary who collects payment and remits to the newspaper (similar to magazine-subscription agents)? Is there a method to track phone orders?

    Recruiting for any "local merchant" affiliate program (where the entire target audience is in a very small geographic area) is very, very difficult. When the merchant is in a sharply-declining industry like newspapers, there are even more obstacles.

    Unfortunately, assuming that the local newspaper also has its own web site, it will probably also be difficult to persuade the newspaper's competitors (local online-only publications) to accept performance-based advertising promoting the newspaper. Even for blog sites, the advertising relationship is probably unlikely to be successful (even a blog with hundreds of readers probably can't expect to ever earn a dime).

    Greg is right about the difference between large "local" newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post) which have multi-million-person target markets and sizeable interest from people outside their primary markets, and smaller local publications with target markets that would appeal to only 100,000 subscribers or fewer.

    I think Greg's other comment ("Your best bet are local sites who already are affiliates on a major network. Recruiting [publishers who are already] affiliates is much different than recruiting website owners who have no idea what affiliate marketing is.") requires some clarification.

    Of course, it's always easier to recruit publishers who already understand affiliate marketing and who've already signed up with the affiliate network you're using, and you might be able to determine whether some local publishers have links that pass through certain affiliate networks. But you'll still need to directly recruit these publishers, because even if your affiliate program uses a major network, your merchant will still be competing with thousands of other merchants for these publishers' attention.

    Finally, you might find this article (on my blog) helpful: "Affiliate Recruitment Strategies and Practices"
    Last edited by markwelch; July 19th, 2010 at 07:34 PM.

  4. #4
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    What is your relationship with the "local" newspaper? Is the paper in the US or in another country?
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  5. #5
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    They're from the Ukraine.

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  6. #6
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBoy View Post
    They're from the Ukraine.
    That's exactly why I asked about the "local" newspapers. I wanted to see if there was any response, and if so, what it would be.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Rice View Post
    I think a lot depends on what is "local". If local is New York or L.A. it's an entirely situation than "small town USA".
    Thank you for suggestion. It's a Sacramento newspaper covering city news.

    How do I find sites who already are affiliates on a major network?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch View Post
    ....

    I also don't understand your relationship with the newspaper. Will advertising on publishers' web sites link directly to the newspaper web site, or are you just an intermediary who collects payment and remits to the newspaper (similar to magazine-subscription agents)?
    ... [/url]
    Thank you for sharing the article and comprehensive reply.

    We are an intermediary similar to subscription agent with a specific geographic area - Sacramento. Though it's not very small, I have real obstacles with recruiting.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch View Post
    I think Greg's other comment ("Your best bet are local sites who already are affiliates on a major network. Recruiting [publishers who are already] affiliates is much different than recruiting website owners who have no idea what affiliate marketing is.") requires some clarification.

    Of course, it's always easier to recruit publishers who already understand affiliate marketing and who've already signed up with the affiliate network you're using, and you might be able to determine whether some local publishers have links that pass through certain affiliate networks. But you'll still need to directly recruit these publishers, because even if your affiliate program uses a major network, your merchant will still be competing with thousands of other merchants for these publishers' attention.

    Finally, you might find this article (on my blog) helpful: "Affiliate Recruitment Strategies and Practices"
    This was my point
    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch View Post
    Of course, it's always easier to recruit publishers who already understand affiliate marketing and who've already signed up with the affiliate network you're using...
    If you're recruiting affiliates (who are currently affiliates of other affiliate programs), your job is to sell the benefits of your program.

    If you're recruiting site owners who are not affiliates currently, you need to also sell the idea of affiliate marketing.

    Your goal isn't to find affiliates on a major network, your goal is to find affiliates who are likely to work with you. So, first define what types of sites you want, find similar merchants with an affiliate program and then find those affiliates.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LanaLang View Post
    We are an intermediary similar to subscription agent with a specific geographic area - Sacramento. Though it's not very small, I have real obstacles with recruiting.
    I hope that you're aware that there have been many, many subscription-agents who have defaulted on affiliate-program payment promises in past years, so you'll encounter more resistance and scrutiny than many other merchant categories.

    I thought the Sacramento newspaper market was pretty small, but I see it was listed as among the top 50 U.S. newspapers by circulation (2 years ago). Historically, the Bee newspapers have been more respected than most other California newspapers, but recent staff and budget cuts have decimated its news staff, and its circulation has plummeted.

    I'd expect that the potential statewide appeal (because it's the state capital) is going to be completely offset by the advantage of accessing the newspaper online. The online version appears to be "complete," even including color comics.

    Sacramento has only one daily newspaper, the Sacramento Bee, whose circulation has collapsed even more rapidly than most newspapers, falling from a circulation of 307,000 to 217,500 in just 18 months:
    "Locally, the Sacramento Bee’s average weekday circulation fell 14.1 percent in the six months ended Sept. 30, a faster pace than the industry average of 10.6 percent, according to a semiannual report released Monday by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. // The Bee’s daily circulation dipped to 217,545, from 253,248 for the same April-to-September period last year. That’s off from 307,480 in the March 2008 period. ABC publishes circulation reports in the spring and fall. // The Bee’s Sunday circulation dropped 10.4 percent to 267,974, from 299.206, worse than the 7.5 percent fall industry wide."
    -- (Sacramento Business Journal, Oct 2009)
    "The two largest daily newspapers in the four-county region reported much-larger declines in circulation compared to the national average. // The Sacramento Bee’s daily circulation declined 13.7 percent to 214,219 subscribers, and Sunday readership fell 8.6 percent to 266,542. The company has aggressively cut costs in recent years, including layoffs and furloughs."
    -- (Sacramento Business Journal, April 2010)
    But isn't the Sacramento Bee is part of a newspaper chain? I don't understand why you'd represent that one newspaper but not the other newspapers in that chain? Something doesn't add up here.

    I don't see any potential for this affiliate program, period.
    Last edited by markwelch; July 20th, 2010 at 12:02 PM.

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