In a little over two years, The Portager has grown from a simple email to fewer than 300 readers to become a thriving community with nearly 6,000 subscribers and over 140,000 impressions per month via our newsletter and this website.
The reason this has been possible is because there are so many of you in Portage County who feel the value and power of knowing what’s happening around you.
If you want to know whether The Portager and the people who read it are having an impact in Portage County, just ask any elected official or nonprofit organization. You are making your influence felt through your emails, calls and, crucially, through your donations to the areas that need support the most.
But we are still not reaching all of Portage County. We are missing meetings. Rural townships are under-served. Stories are being ignored. And we can do so much more good.
To do this, we simply need more paying subscribers. Our business model is designed so that we do not have any annoying paywalls and anyone can access local news, regardless of your ability to pay. In fact, if you have to think about whether you can fit The Portager in your budget, you should absolutely not give us money. Your engagement is valuable on its own.
However, only about 10% of Portager subscribers pay, which leaves us about 1,400 paid subscribers short of where we need to be to hire enough reporters to cover the whole county properly. No single campaign will solve this problem, but many efforts with incremental gains eventually will. That’s why today we’re launching our new referral program.
The Portager referral program
When you sign up for an account for The Portager through our Memberful platform, you will be able to log in to an account space. There, you can update your information and also access a unique referral link. This referral link can be shared with others.
When other people sign up for any paid account after clicking on your referral link, you will receive a referral credit and earn rewards upon reaching milestones, starting with a single referral. It does not matter if you have a free Portager subscription or paid — anyone can earn rewards.
How to participate
All you have to do to earn rewards is to share your unique referral link with people who use it to create a paid subscription. You can share it directly with friends and family, publish it on your social media or blog, or rent a billboard to promote it (just kidding but you can). When someone buys a subscription through your link, you will earn a referral credit.
To access your unique referral link, visit https://theportager.memberful.com/account and sign in using your email address. Then navigate to the “Referrals” tab on the left. There, you’ll be able to copy your link and track the number of referral credits you have received.
If you are new to The Portager, you can sign up for a free account here or sign up for a paid account here to participate in the referral program.
If you are an existing Portager subscriber but can’t access your account in Memberful, don’t worry. This probably means you signed up through a different channel. Simply follow the steps for new subscribers above and then go to https://theportager.memberful.com/account and visit the “Referrals” tab.
If you have any problems finding your referral link, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are offering a series of rewards for reaching referral milestones, starting with your very first referral! (Note: You may notice that the Memberful system defaults to discounts instead of rewards. You can ignore this, and rest assured we will be tracking referrals and issuing rewards.)
Here are the rewards you can earn:
- 1 referral — Portage County stickers
- 3 referrals — Portager mug
- 5 referrals — Portager T-shirt
- 10 referrals — Kent Stage tickets
- 15 referrals — $200 donation to the local charity of your choice
- 25 referrals — A feature profile in The Portager about the Portage County resident of your choice
- 35 referrals — $400 donation to the local charity of your choice
- 60 referrals — Free airfare for two to anywhere in the continental U.S.
Whenever you reach a milestone, you’ll receive an email confirmation and a follow-up from someone on our team to fulfill your reward.
We’re excited about this new program and hope you are too! We hope that by incentivizing our community to spread the word about The Portager, we can continue to grow and cover more news.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com. Thank you for supporting our mission to be a catalyst for ideas and actions that help Portage County thrive.
Ben Wolford is the editor and publisher of The Portager.