"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

Adversity requires rethinking about The Good Life

By on February 25, 2020 in Columnist with 1 Comment
Mike Cassidy

By Mike Cassidy

Editor

Columnist June Darling writes this month that adversity in life — while never popular with most of us — is key to growth.

“…the highest levels of growth and development are ONLY open to those who have faced and overcome great adversity,” June suggests.

Whoa boy, anyone paying attention to the struggles of print newspapers and magazines knows this industry is feeling great adversity.

I read recently that 70 percent of the advertising revenue that used to go to newspapers and magazines is now flowing to the online giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon and others. A quarter of the newspapers in the U.S. (weeklies and dailies) have ceased publishing since the recession.

We at The Good Life have fought hard against the trend, and while magazines in general have done better than newspapers, and local magazines have done better than the nationals, we have not been immune to the changes in our print industry.

But with adversity comes opportunity for invention.

When we started The Good Life in 2007, the roadmap to success was clear: First, send out as many magazines as we could afford to print, then sell ads to businesses who wanted to be in front of those eyeballs.

We purchased a mail list of  local homes we thought would be interested in a magazine like ours, and away we went.

Within months, we were more successful than we could have hoped… and then along came the Great Recession.

Since then, general advertising has been trending downward.

It has come to a point where this magazine is not sustainable on its current path.

One bright light during all of these years has been the increasing number of local people  — those not on the original mail list — who became paid subscribers.

“I love your magazine!” is a comment we hear over and over again — or is handwritten on the circulation cards mailed to us along with checks.

Finally — ding, ding, ding — it occurred to us that our future is with boosting paid circulation, supplemented by local advertising from businesses that want to talk to our committed readers.

In effect, we are turning our business model up-side-down.

We have a pretty simple plan.

During the next few months, we will be encouraging people on the free introductory mail list to become paid subscribers. The cost is $25 for 12 months of magazines — the same as it has been since 2007.

How do you know you are getting the magazine as an introductory offer, you ask.

Check out the address box on the cover. If the line below the name reads OR CURRENT RESIDENT, then you have been one of the fortunate ones.

There could be some folks receiving this magazine and not reading it. In those cases, not only are we wasting trees, but we are spending money on printing and postage without providing any value to those readers or our advertisers.

Eliminating the non-readers will help us by reducing printing and mailing costs.

We are optimistic the result of this plan will be the survival of a fun magazine about local people, produced by a financial-sound local business, delivered to committed readers.

Since publishing our first issue in June of 2007, we have created more than 150 months of magazines.

Pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

Yet, any hope of another 150 issues in the years to come depends on re-inventing our business.

If you enjoy our magazine, but have not been paying for it, I love the idea you are reading us.

But now, the introduction is over. Change is coming.

I ask you to please consider becoming a paid subscriber and keep The Good Life arriving in your mailbox. See the information box at the bottom of this page on how to subscribe.

Thank you.

The Good Life — growing through adversity.

— Mike

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  1. JIm Brown says:

    This is probably the only magazine in which I read all the articles. I find it very interesting to read about all the amazing things our regional people are up to. I don’t take many magazines anymore except for The Good Life and Sports Illustrated.

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