Sunroof open, latte from Bliss in the cupholder, $85 worth of flyers, and a roll of Scotch tape on the front seat: March 15, 2020 was Phoenix launch day and I was driving up and down Trepanier, Ponderosa, Princeton and Beach Ave, merrily taping my flyers to each and every Canada Post box in Peachland. The plan originally, was for these flyers to find a home – my good friends Ian and Tracey Woodward were to hand them out to their neighbours and people on Beach Ave. But COVID concerns had hit a few days earlier, and now I had hundreds of pieces of paper to get rid of. It only took three days before I got a phone call from the post office – could I please remove my advertising? Had a feeling that would happen – but hey, it was worth a shot!
And a year later, I can say that yeah, launching this business has been worth it so far. Just like anyone, I’ve experienced setbacks. I’ve been rejected, asked to change someone’s quotes (and lost subscribers when I said no), wrecked my beloved laptop and I got inundated one morning with 52,000 fake signups. At the time, those were sure signs I should give up. Months later, they’re lived experiences, things you go through as a journalist and a business owner.
I see a value in operating how I am now: By being specific: I offer Peachland-only news, and I’m asking you to pay $4 a month for it. In exchange, I work my ass off researching stories and asking questions you want answered.
Not everyone is into this – and honestly, being OK with that took awhile, lol. But when you’re specific, what you start to earn is a special group of people – those who not only get what you’re doing, they are invested in it, too. They’ll take the time to sign up for a subscription. They’ll send replies to your 2 a.m. email newsletters, telling you to keep up the good work. They’ll send in story ideas – so many that I’ll never run out of stuff to write. And they’ll tell others. That, actually is how I’m getting a lot of new subscribers lately. When people share info they got in the Phoenix – and mention that’s the source, it means a LOT.
So, it’s Year One, woohoo! Whether you’re a subscriber (well, especially if you’re a subscriber!), or someone who likes my page, comments on, or just appreciates my work, I see you, and I’m feeling super grateful, especially today. Independent journalism isn’t a new concept, but when you can make it happen in your hometown – well, it’s an amazing feeling. Thank you! 🍑 ❤️