Friday, October 14, 2016:- Ladies and gentlemen, today I have to announce that EsterhazyOnline has ceased business operations, effective immediately.
Although readership has remained enthusiastically high, over the last year and a half I have seen business after business dropping their support of the site as the demands on their own decreasing revenues have increased.
Despite every effort to resuscitate this business and to keep it alive, including sales calls, regionalization attempts, and even asking readers to support the site, it is now clear that I am flogging a dead horse. With revenue down to just a few hundred dollars a month now, it is over.
On the positive side… Looking back over the past 46 months, I am very proud of what was accomplished with this business. To achieve 4.66 million hits with a small-town news business was nothing short of amazing. And, make no mistake, I want to thank every business owner and entrepreneur who supported me, even those who had to withdraw support as the local economy changed. I am also thankful for the readers, many of whom encouraged me with appreciative comments over the years.
On the personal side… I can tell you that I’ve never worked so hard in my life as I have this past 46 months. For the longest time I was at almost every event, and many of you were amazed by that. What you did not see was that for most major events I photographed, there was an unseen five or more hours spent reviewing, editing and uploading pictures to the site. I saw the wee small hours more times than I care to remember because this was always a one-person operation. I am proud of that effort.
I therefore do not consider the closure of EsterhazyOnline to be a defeat. It was a success. It served the audience, brought unlimited publicity opportunities to businesses who chose to fully use it, and gave away free publicity for 46 months to countless community events, fundraisers and organizations. Truth be told, when I add up the potential financial value of the free publicity given away, it exceeds the income I earned by a massive factor. I would not make that mistake again were I starting over.
Yes, this has been a learning experience indeed, but it has served its purpose. With the devastating fall in sponsorship revenues, EsterhazyOnline has become an amenity that is no longer being sufficiently supported to ensure continuance.
I sincerely thank the businesses that have stayed with us to the end. I know you hoped we’d be around to serve you for longer, and that was truly my hope too. But, I just cannot keep it going. The emotional strain of working this business for zero income is just too much, and I must move on to other things. I trust as fellow entrepreneurs you will understand that.
I encourage you to support the Miner Journal newspaper as the only remaining source of news for Esterhazy now.