We will look at the Cameron Chronicle as the only example I have access to. It is a monthly circulation of 1,200 spread throughout the town. Some copies go to the post office, others go to laundromats, bars, every place that has positive foot traffic.
The editor puts it all together himself from the basic computer work, down to delivering the very newspaper.
There are 24 pages total with ads. A full page is charged at $80 each. So, the potential profit is at $1920 if every page had an ad. Most shopper newspapers fill only about 60% of their papers generally. If you filled 60% of the paper, you should be looking at $1152 profit.
Minus the printing cost at $672 for 12 pages. Also, there is Adobe Indesign, which costs $21 per month.
The paper appears to be covering the minimum printing costs. This isn’t exactly a business you can live on. The advertising is cheap for the value that is distributed. The town is a small one for the paper, so there isn’t a large chance of growth. The only type of possible growth would be expanding into other towns or the internet. However, the advertisement is focused on local businesses.
The type of content written for the paper isn’t supposed to be controversial. It is designed more to help you feel good about yourself. Also, events coming up are added. Since the owner is coming up on 90 years old, he likes to pay his respect to the Senior Center and the events that are involved with. Or, to put it another way, he has a lot of friends he grew up with he goes a long way back with.
Printing in black and white is the most cost effective way to distribute the paper. Color is about double the cost.
How does the owner get ads placed into the paper you ask? He will approach the owner of the small business and ask them if they would like their ad in his paper. Sometimes, he will make an ad and then show the business owner what he would put in the paper to represent the business.
He keeps the conversation quick and talks like he is in a hurry. He says that he has a good deal for a spot in the Cameron Chronicle and asks the owner if they want it? Most times the business owner has an ad already made out and he simply has to copy and paste the ad somewhere in the paper.
The size of the ad depends upon how much space the owner is willing to pay for. Some businesses don’t have much to say about what they offer and just want to make a presence with contact information. Most effective salespeople know that the bigger presence you make in advertising, the better chances you have for getting customers. So, you will see car dealerships and vehicle sales go big with advertisement.
Here is the October 2013 Finished Paper: https://acumagnet.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/october.pdf