When Wines in Niagara published its first post on March 24, 2010, it was with little fanfare; a simple post that originally ran in print in the St. Catharines Standard.
I had no idea what I was getting into back then. The site was developed and built by students at Niagara College and it was a learning curve for me to 1) feed the beast, and, 2) keep up with the development of the website. There has been a lot of invaluable help along the way (Suresh Doss, I’m talking to you!) along with soul searching about the merit of all the time I was devoting to keep the site fresh.
Well, 960 posts later — thousands upon thousands of wine reviews, rants on this and that, points of view that not everyone agreed with, breaking Ontario wine news, features on people who make the Ontario wine industry interesting, top 10 lists of every kind, vintage reports, wines of the year, food (Michael Lowe joined the site to bring Niagara eating to life), beer, cider and everything that makes Niagara, Ontario and Canada tick in terms of deliciousness — and it’s time to take the biggest step this site has taken.
We are now open for business.
Gone are those ubiquitous Google Ads that help Google get richer but provide little return for the people who actually provide the intellectual property and are of no benefit to the local economy whatsoever. Instead, Wines In Niagara is offering advertising, banners ads, and space down the sides of the site where the bulk of the Google ads and social media feeds used to reside. We want to offer our unique and very local forum for all things Niagara, Ontario, Canada in terms of wine, beer, cider, spirits, local food and related events to advertisers who want to reach like-minded consumers who visit this site on a regular basis — more people than I could possibly imagine when I started this venture.
We worked with Hughes and Co. to build proper SEO and transform the site into a vibrant ad-capable product for advertisers and decided to roll this out for the busy month of February.
We are offering a special price for advertisers as we begin our “pilot project” for what we hope will be an attractive environment with the right eyes — those looking for local wines, food, events, craft cider, beer and spirits — to help you grow your business.
While we embark on this new adventure, we have also committed to providing even more content with new writers covering beer (Jill Currie), cider and events (Monica Kosior). Their bios on the “about” page of the site. I’ve also enlisted the help of my wife Maureen who will handle the advertising side of the website.
So, if you or your business is interested in joining us on Wines In Niagara, please email Maureen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she can help you out.
We will hold our advertisers to the same standards that we have always held ourselves on the editorial side — in other words, we will not publish anything we are not comfortable with in terms of taste, honesty, transparency and, perhaps most importantly, a fit with what we are trying to do here. And, of course, it goes without saying: buying advertising does not buy editorial favour.
We believe we can help advertisers. We believe we offer something unique and local with Wines In Niagara. And we hope you will join us on the next journey of this crazy ride.
— Rick VanSickle,
publisher of Wines In Niagara