I think I remember hearing someone say, once upon a time, that one should have some kind of set goal in mind— even if that goal is somewhat unattainable— in order to achieve forward momentum and growth in whatever endeavour one is undertaking. Let me share with you a goal I have for 2016. And yes, I realize it’s three months into the year, but it occurred to me recently that our Faith News readers could help us attain this goal, if they were made aware of what it was.
As 2015 drew to a close, I remembered looking back at the recently completed year. I remember thinking that it was a pretty good one, especially as far as Faith News was concerned. We had small, modest goals that we were able to meet… goals like, “publish a September edition”, for instance. There were times when that wasn’t as easy to do as you might think. But we were able to produce a new edition of this publication every month, despite the occasional challenges.
Sometime during the year,I went to my “numbers guy”— because I might be able to do a lot of things when it comes to the online world, but reading a stat page for details of how many hits the site gets, is not an area that God has gifted me in. Anyway, after asking my stat guy to put some data he was viewing in layman’s terms, he said at one point that we were getting 17,000 views on the website per month. Now, I have absolutely no idea if that's good or bad, but it does sound somewhat impressive. And since he didn't break down in tears as he shared this, I take it as a good thing.
In my mind, it stands to reason that if we do in 2016 what we did in 2015, we should, more or less, get the same results. But we really want to get to a place where it's worthwhile for advertisers to partner with us, so we want to do more. We thank God for those who have already made the decision to partner, especially those who understand the motive and mission behind Faith News Niagara. But we want to give these folks another reason, other than sheer altruism. We want to tell them that we value their business or product to the point that we want to let as many people be aware of it as possible.
So we’re actively looking to increase our readership in 2016. Now, silly me, when it came time to pick a number to focus on, I picked 50,000. And when it flashed into my head, my initial response was “yeah! That’s it!” That response then morphed into “Uh, say what?” in a matter of seconds. But I felt that I shouldn’t back down from it since I initially thought it was a great idea.
So why 50,000? Maybe because it sounds like “15,000”, which was the original number my stat guy gave me. But whatever the reason… I decided to go for it.
And now I’m asking those of you who are among the 17,000 or so that are currently reading our stories on a regular basis, to help us reach that goal. How? Well, once you read an article that you find interesting, informative, engaging, inspiring, challenging… do you share it? We work really hard to create content that you will want to share. So if we are in fact doing this… please share. While all our stories have a Niagara-based connection to them, many of them can be enjoyed from people outside the region as well.
And since we’re on the topic of readers outside the Niagara region, let me tell you about a discussion I had with someone I met last fall from the Halton Region. I told him about Faith News and he was very interested. So much so, he said that I should create the same site for the Halton Region. I wasn’t sure if that would be a good idea, and to be honest, I completely rejected it at first. But throughout the course of our conversation, something was said that changed my mind: there are people in the Niagara Region who have been blessed by this website; what if there’s someone I have yet to meet from that area that Faith News Halton might be able to bless?
I ultimately decided to do it when I realized that a Faith News site representing Halton could be a blessing to that area’s churches, ministries and Christians. Now, there are a lot of details that need to be worked out before this site ever goes live… I’m not completely sure if there will be one Faith News site with two tabs that send the reader to their respective section, or if there will be two standalone sites. But by this fall— which is the time I’m contemplating a soft launch of this site— I anticipate these questions being answered. Some of you may be aware of that Faith News Niagara was launched in the fall of 2014.
Will combined numbers from a Faith News Halton site and a Faith News Niagara site help us to reach out 50,000 reader goal? I have absolutely no idea. But we’re going to try and see what happens. At the end of the day, all this belongs to God. I will do my best to make decisions that will help Faith News be what the Lord wants it to be, believing that he is directing me. So that way, if we don’t make this goal, it’s okay because ultimately, God will be the one that determines which doors will open or close for this site, or how big it gets, or what areas it eventually will cover.
Thanks once again for being a part of this. The potential of this concept, in my mind, still has not even been completely realized. May the Lord continue to use this tool to connect the various parts of his kingdom to each other.