The one consistent when I’ve entertained offers to purchase CFN these past three years has been the request that I remain in some capacity with the paper. The negotiations that have commenced this week are no different in that aspect.
The one big difference was that Cornwall be dropped. The non local buyer wants our market share, especially regionally, but see the entire Cornwall brand as something that is not marketable.
In the past I’d been asked to move CFN to either Montreal or Ottawa and I immediately refused. The whole reason for starting CFN was to see if something amazing could be started organically in Cornwall. I was proven right. Sadly, like someone needing a kidney and then rejecting a life saving organ, corruption and the culture of Cornwall, while fascinating to watch, has not been terribly profitable and at times has been downright frightening.
Xenophobia, racism, cronyism, ignorance, bullying and a lack of support of merit and justice just isn’t the greatest platform to build on.
When City Hall not only refused to support our contest where people would write in about how amazing Cornwall is, but called posting links to it on their facebook page a “security risk” the circus has never been less entertaining to readers.
People liked watching Honey Boo Boo, but would they want to be related to that family or become their neighbors?
Sadly people like Bob Peters, Denis Thibault, Kevin Hargreaves, Gilles Latour, Guy Lauzon, Eric Duncan, Elaine MacDonald, Carilyne Hebert, David Murphy, Gerry Benson, Roy Perkins, Leslie O’Shaughnessy, Jim McDonell, and so many others have created this dynamic that the more I write about their antics and their many many failings the more people click on our pages.
While that amassed to over 2,000,000 page views it’s simply not a lot of fun to write about. It’s not why I started CFN.
In 2009, after being rejected by two media outlets that I’d applied to work for, I decided that there was a need for an online newspaper. I took elements of what I’d seen as successful media outlets online and mixed in what I saw as successful locally. The original concept for CFN was to be an Canadian flavoured hybrid between Huffpo & Perez Hilton.
We switched to our current server in 2010.
And that worked. Within two years CFN was number one in this marketplace, and the only one that will print raw numbers like the image just below and above. As you can see we’ve come a long way in those five years. (Pages in 2010 included non-human – in 2015 the page views are only of human viewed)
Success in a culture like this though, especially when you’re an outsider is never a safe proposition. We’ve seen other media created to challenge CFN and “take us down” , but we compete at a regional, if not National level.
Sadly because of the boycott led by the City and its tentacles our resources have been diminished to the point where it feels like I only write about their antics.
So when that offer to sell came in last week I agreed to a meeting and I agreed that dropping Cornwall was on the menu, especially as I wouldn’t have to move.
For that to happen that would be a huge slap to the future of our community and our ability to attract talent and business to Cornwall. You don’t have to take my word for it. Ask any expert in the field. And that blame if that happens lies at the feet of our Economic Development Department, City Hall, and the United Counties.
An example of the weirdness of this market is our $99 banner sale. For only $99+HST per month you get any sized banner on CFN. Based on our traffic for June, if the Seaway News could match our total traffic, that same banner would cost about $50,000 based on their online rate of $29,95 per 1,000 impressions. Isn’t that crazy? Could you imagine the economic impact if there was no boycott?
Look at the arts in Cornwall. Promoters complain that people won’t attend events in Cornwall. Artists complain that the bars and promoters don’t support their events, venues complain that people don’t come out. It’s a cycle down the drain which is why so many acts stop at Brockville and we rarely see big shows in our city.
Now we’ve had some great acts use CFN advertising with great results yet Robin McCrae of Shantero, Jeff Brunet, and yes even Rodney Rivette won’t pay to advertise their shows on CFN unless we’re sponsoring (IE freebies). Is there any wonder why our events are so mediocre?
No one media outlet is a sole solution in this market. I’ve sent clients to other places to advertise because the better our clients do overall the more money they have to market with us and the better for the community. I have no idea why so many in Cornwall and the area think the way they do other than those that live off tax dollars, like government agencies who tend to advertise the most and throw their weight around?
There are no easy solutions, but the status quo will never lead to growth.
Our Top Cities for June 2015
1) Cornwall 44.1%
3) Laval QC
7) Montreal QC
9) New York NY
10) Columbus OH
12) Calgary AB
13) Gatineau QC
17) Moncton NB
18) Clarence Rockland
19) Vancouver BC
20) Edmonton AB
27) Smiths Falls
30) Fredericton NB
32) Baltimore MD
31.44% of our traffic comes from mobile devices
15.66 came from tablets
Alexa Rankings (as of July 14, 2015)
Alexa is a ranking system using algorithms to come up with a rating based on those with the Alexa toolbar. While not perfect, it gives an idea of comparative numbers unless someone is fudging in a small market like one particular outlet seems to be doing.
Hang time is critical for your message being digested by viewers! It’s one thing to click on a page, but another for how long viewers stay. It’s something to consider when making your ad buy choice. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and some of the products we have that can get your brand seen!
Cornwall Area Alexa Canadian Rankings
1) www.Cornwallfreenews.com 5,666 95.6% Cdn traffic 4.70 daily page views per visitor 7:39 daily time on site.
2) A FUDGE SITE
3) www.Standard-freeholder.com 7,405 91.9% Cdn traffic 2.60 daily page views per visitor 3:10 daily time on site.
4) www.Cornwallseawaynews.com 26,110 80.1% Cdn traffic 1.60 daily page views per visitor 2:20 daily time on site.
5) www.Cornwallnewswatch.com 39,206 87.7% Cdn traffic 1.30 daily page views per visitor 2:04 daily time on site.
www.recorder.ca 5,165 2.60 daily page views per visitor 5:21 daily time on site.
The Insane Banner Deal!
CFN is continuing its crazy banner sale! For only $99+HST you can choose any size banner!
This offer will be available for the month of July 2015 only and only if you email email@example.com
You can book for as many months as you wish during the sale.
Space is based on availability and sale extends to every size on the site!
300×700 pixels? Yup!
Animated gifs of up to three cards? No extra charge!
This will be a one time sale and space really is limited for certain sizes and locations.
(client to provide artwork for this sale)
Help us celebrate the new CFN!
CFN is also looking for two experienced media sales reps. Email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org and find out how you can earn what you truly deserve while having a lot of fun and freedom!