Mike McNeill is publisher and editor of

We don’t write much about the business side of operations at There’s evidence that some readers and businesses fail to appreciate our reach. We’ve been working at this for 12 years, which means that a considerable number of people are familiar with and what we do. We know this is true because we continue to receive advertising inquiries from farther and farther afield. More people in places like Lewisville, Camden and El Dorado want to make our readers – and people in their own communities – aware of what’s happening. How many times is the website visited on a given day? We’re fond of telling the story that during our first full month of operation in May 2010, we had exactly 10,500 visitors – an average of 338 visits a day. And we thought that was outstanding. Twelve years later, 10,500 visitors is a slow day. We’re not going to reveal our exact figures because that’s proprietary information. But we can say that during the past 30 days, only four days saw our website have fewer than 10,000 visitors. There were 11 days with more than 15,000 visitors. We had four days with more than 20,000 visitors. On Monday, our website was visited 13,392 times – not the best day, not the worst, but still about 2,000 more visits than the number of people who live in Magnolia. In addition to our news coverage, people are also looking at our advertising. That’s how we make money and pay our bills. Our business clients pay us set monthly amount to have display advertising on our website. The more readers we have, the more frequently those ads are seen. Our content management system tells us how many times every ad is loaded onto an electronic device and could be seen by a visitor. These numbers vary from client to client based on what we’ve contracted to do for them. But the bottom line is that their ads are seen tens of thousands of times monthly. This brings us to our pitch. If there’s another media operation that wants you to advertise on its website, ask pertinent questions. How many impressions is your ad likely to receive? Can they tell you the clickthrough rate of your ad? How many people actually look at their website? Do people have to pay for a subscription to see their site, or is the news free to everyone? Finally, where does the money you pay for web advertising go? Does it support local people, or does it go into the coffers of a distant media company that has sliced its local resources and operations to the bone? We’ve been free to our readers for 12 years. Our advertising rates are the same today as they were in 2010. So long as our advertising client and readership base continues its steady growth, there’s no need to raise rates. We may eventually raise revenue from different lines of business. But that’s a different issue. We’re growing and we’re here to stay.

Our twice monthly real estate report will be published Wednesday.

Magnolia schools open next week, but Monday was the first day for many schools around the country, including Emerson-Taylor-Bradley. We know this because most of our relatives and friends with school-age children sent their “first day” photos, from shiny kindergarten faces to at least one high schooler flipping off his mother. But, we did enjoy seeing them all. Life moves forward.

We enjoy driving through the SAU campus during the run-up to the first day of class, just to see where all of the license plates are from. We’d guess 75 percent are from Arkansas, 18-20 percent from Texas, with Oklahoma duking it out with Louisiana for third place. A smattering from Florida and Mississippi. Welcome, all.

Five years ago, we reported that Southern Arkansas University was anticipating record enrollment for the fall. CLICK HERE to see the story.

Not great sourcing.

Walmart has announced that it is adding a new service to its Walmart + memberships – streaming of Paramount+ Essential at no extra cost. “Walmart+ members will be able to stream premium entertainment as a benefit for the first time as part of their membership starting in September. The Paramount+ Essential Plan will give Walmart+ members access to Paramount+’s breadth of hugely popular content from acclaimed original dramas such as ‘1883’ and ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,’ to the world's most popular preschool franchise, ‘PAW Patrol,’ to recent blockbuster films such as ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2,’ to live sports,” the retailer said.

Marginal risk for moderate thunderstorms today.

Mike McNeill is publisher and editor of Email him at or call him at 870-904-3865. Opinions expressed in this column are his own. Wouldn't have that color of car if you paid us.

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