There are some niche magazines out there that are always willing to accept ads—- way past the deadline.  ARGH! Does this sound a little too familiar? Then you must know that this is a totally crazy way to sell magazine print and online advertising.

A big pet peeve of mine: Ad deadline extensions that have no real deadline.

They bug the hell out of me. Selling issue to issue is a recipe for wasting time and energy while never getting ahead.

So many publications today seem not to have ANY deadline at all. The imaginary deadlines bend and flex around every advertiser, and every year they have to bend and flex just a little bit more. You can escape this insanity! All you have to do is stop thinking month to month and get ahead of the curve.

When I published monthly magazines, I’d never worry about one particular issue. Why? Because we were looking at building long-term relationships and selling complete advertising programs.  Easier said than done, I know.

 It’s not a bad thing to say “NO” to an advertiser. 

I’ll say it again: Tell you advertisers “NO!” Hear me out. If advertisers know they can get into an issue at the last possible moment (and often at a discounted price), why would they ever bother with your pretend deadlines? Make your deadlines real. If they value your audience and the effects of advertising with your media properties they will come into line pretty quickly. Don’t worry about losing the few that don’t – they are probably troublemakers who eat up too much of your valuable time anyway.

The bottom line is that you are essentially training your advertisers to be “good” or “bad” advertisers. If you constantly give in to them and let them control deadlines, prices, and editorial content you’ll never earn their respect. I don’t see how you can run a successful magazine business if your advertisers are the ones calling the shots.

P.S. Get out there and take charge!


Editor’s note: This article has been updated from 2013. 


More about Carl: Carl Landau is Grand Poobah of Niche Media. In his past life, Carl launched 5 successful niche magazines. He is a media/event guru, SF Giants fan, podcast host and part-time blogger. His 15 minutes of fame took place in the mid-eighties when he launched his famous, “Buy an Ad, Get a Cat” ad campaign. He has long since patched things up with the SPCA.


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