A general newspaper may not succeed well when competing with local subscription newspaper companies. That is not to say it won’t if you can offer something unique and well received. Either way, it is important to know what flavor your paper will take.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Will my newspaper be targeting a specific niche of the public?
- Will my newspaper be predominately newsy, political, or general help?
- Can I start a newspaper that does not compete with other papers in my area?
- Do I want to compete with local newspapers?
- Is my newspaper going to cover local news and how will I report on current events?
- Do I need to hire freelance reporters?
- Should I charge for a subscription?
In today’s market, a subscription newspaper is more difficult unless your content is unique. If you are merely reporting the news, most people can get that from a casual search on the internet. But if you are providing articles on marriage, parenting, self-help, computer issues, product reviews, store reviews, or so forth, getting a subscription base is feasible although not recommended.
Either way, you need to know the direction you plan to take with your newspaper. A church, for instance, can produce a newspaper with Christian related articles and content. A cook or owner of a restaurant can produce a newspaper filled with articles on food, cooking, and recipes. If you like to shop, you could ask local business for free samples of their product in exchange for a review of their product that will be distributed to the local area.
Determine what flavor, niche, or direction you intend to take with your newspaper. Once you determine that, you will have a better idea of what you are up against with your competition.
DETERMINE THE DISTRIBUTION SIZE AND FREQUENCY OF YOUR PUBLICATION
Know the population of the area you intend to distribute your paper. If you live in a tiny community, you may find yourself not only without competition but without a distribution plan that is feasible.
For a community of 50,000 people you will need to produce a minimum of 10,000 newspapers. Producing 20,000 for the same population is feasible if you have a good distribution plan.
You will also need to know how often you plan to produce your newspaper. Clearly, a daily paper is tremendous work and requires a large staff to keep up with good content, design, distribution, and so forth.
I would recommend once a month or quarterly to start. As your newspaper gains credibility and recognition, you can decide if your paper should have a more frequent distribution.
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