RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – It is funny how time flies, we just put out our October Print issue, and it has been almost a year of publishing our Monthly Print edition, and over 2.5 years of The Rio Times. Recently I was back in the U.S. and someone asked me how long I had been living in Rio full-time and I was confused, somehow it didn’t seem like it has been so long. I guess time flies when you are busy, and having fun (for the most part).
We launched in March of 2009 and to date have published 134 Weekly Online editions, and looking back I see these Editorials were started in February 2010. In January 2011 we started publishing our Monthly Print edition, and somehow another year has almost passed.
Having a Printed Weekly was always the plan, but quite frankly we started the Monthly as an experiment, uncertain of how it would work out. Fortunately it has worked well, and as we approach the end of 2011 we are planning to move forward with it.
The big question is always how to grow in a financially viable way, and although advertising is just covering the design, printing and distribution of 5,000 monthly copies – we want to take the next step.
Our plan is to be Weekly at 20,000 copies for the World Cup, and it is just a question of what path to get there is the best for the publication. The decision is: A) go from 5,000 to 10,000 copies monthly, B) or try to go from monthly to 2x month, or C) increase from twenty pages to 24?
Our Readers would probably prefer to have the paper come out 2x Monthly as a next step, so the news is more current and can become a more regular part of our community culture. The trouble is in the short term it’s not clear there is Advertiser support for that, as it is a 100 percent increase in costs.
Advertisers would probably prefer we grow from 5,000 to 10,000 copies, which would allow us to be at more hotels and even approach schools and newsstands for free distribution (although we might put a small cost on the front so newsstands can justify the space.) This will be about a fifty percent increase in costs, and should be easier to finance.
The third option is to increase the number of pages from twenty to 24, which would be the least expensive, and would hopefully make our Readers happy. It would make us happier also to put out a more substantial paper, but not without selling out our current ad space it seems like a luxury.
We are gearing up to make a change in our December issue, and plan to create some Reader polls to get feedback from our community and supporters, as well as explore some creative financing ideas. But if you’ve read this, please let us know what you think by leaving a comment.
And today, we’ll be happy with our new Weekly Online issue, and October Print edition on the streets.