Our ads also go out in the email news on Thursdays (sometimes Fridays), post to The Austin Alchemist Facebook fan page, and go into our local calendar of events (where applicable).
Orders are processed on a first paid, first-served basis during office hours. Orders received after 12pm, over the weekend, or on holidays will generally be received the following regular business day (M-F) and are not likely to be seen until that time.
Even at my fastest pace, I require a minimum of 10 business days to complete your order, but I usually need 2-3 weeks’ lead time. More lead time is best. When there are multiple people in our community to take care of, all work must be scheduled into my queue strategically. Thank you for your consideration because this work takes time.
It may take me a little longer during times of high order volume, bad weather, or holidays. I am one person, and all work is hand done and must be scheduled. Last-minute orders are fulfilled at my discretion, as possible.
It’s important to note – The Austin Alchemist is not a substitute for print marketing, where the text is copied and pasted and promoted. Advertising on our website is subject to approval. We are digital marketers using current SEO and social media marketing techniques. Your listing is not just text on a page; it is thoughtfully crafted and coded, and our social media presence is strategically handled. Listings take about 2-3 hours to build out. Titles are incredibly important and are subject to our approval and editing. We provide way more for your dollars than it appears on the surface. As such, there are rules we must abide by in what we do for our community.
Guidelines for Images
- We publish all listings with an image, whether you provide us with one or not. For Directory Listings and Want Ads, you must supply an image with your order by the very nature of the listings. However, we have a library of licensed concept images for event listings that we can use if you do not have an image for your class or event.
- All images are used at our discretion and must abide by our policies.
- Please include a picture of yourself, your building, or your class, if possible. Or an image appropriate to the nature of your listing. No fliers.
- Photos for directory or event listings must be square or portrait in orientation and at least 300px X 300px in size, but preferably 500px X 500px in size. Google and social media sites have specific rules for the images they will allow to be displayed or that will display well on their platforms and searches, and we follow the same. We accept .jpg, .png and .gif files.
- We cannot accept landscape images, blurry images, images that are too small, or images with too much text. This also goes for images that contain too many parts or are composites of other images. If your image cannot be clearly displayed well for our thumbnails, they will not be used.
- We do not accept fliers or handouts, PDFs, or Word files. This is clearly stated in multiple places on our site. We do not accept images of fliers either. There is a box on the event form where you can include a link to your event flier, hosted on your own website. We will not host your fliers for you. Please host your fliers and such on your own site and let us funnel traffic to you. Fliers are not acceptable images for our listings.
- You must own all rights to any image you submit to us for use. Again use of any image on our site is at our discretion only.
- By submitting your image, you give us license to use your image to help promote your event and/or business.
- We will no longer accept artwork for images unless you can confirm that you are the artist and can provide an unlimited license to use your artwork on our website. Please remember that no matter how much you like an image, “scraping” an image from anywhere on the internet for your use is stealing. Lawsuits hurt our entire community—don’t be “that guy.”
- If you send us an image that does not meet our requirements or that someone else owns the copyright for, we will substitute one of our concept images in its place.
- Images for banner and sidebar ads must comply with our policies and size requirements and must be legible at both 300 x 200px (displayed on our site) and at 180 x 120px (displayed in our newsletter). Sidebar designs should not contain too much text, should be clearly legible, should use fonts that can be easily read, and you must own the graphics used in the design. Remember, we are not trying to replace your website; we are trying to grab attention and funnel people to you.
- We accept new orders via our submission forms only.
- All ads must fall into the Body-Mind-Spirit, Holistic, Green, Spiritual or Metaphysical genres.
- Event ads must run through the date of the event. Weekly ad runs are counted backward from the date of the event’s occurrence.
- If we must remove your event listing early due to cancellation or other reasons, we will charge a fee for our time to retract all promotions/orders we’ve created on behalf of your event.
- Titles are incredibly important and can affect our reputation on Google. Titles should be under 70 characters long and have a main focus. We will not accept titles that advertise more than one service or “thing” at a time. All listing titles are subject to our approval and edits.
- Directory listings are optimized and listed in 1-3 related categories in our directory that you choose. However, service categories such as churches, ministerial services, schools, storefronts, ongoing fairs/shows, rental facilities, wedding services, and the like must have their own listings and descriptions because they must be coded and optimized very differently. I.e., Reiki and massage are complementary services, and a single directory listing can easily be optimized for both categories. Whereas weddings, nutrition, and psychic services cannot all be listed together in the same listing. Each listing should focus on one service field or another. This is for our site’s health and the effectiveness of your coverage. If you’re not certain what would be best for your business situation, shoot me an email, and I can help you clarify your listing’s focus.
- Event listings must be hosted in-person or online within the Central Texas area. We do not cover phone calls or virtual events sourced outside our area in our event listings and will not put them on our calendar. Our sidebar ad space can also be used to promote virtual events. If you are interested in this, please contact us directly for more details.
- Limit one event per listing. We will not accept multiple dates for an event, except in the cases of repeating workshop series (the ad must be paid for each date) or singular weekend workshops that span multiple days. Events must have a clear beginning and end time and entail something a group of people can drive to and attend. If you have multiple offerings that are not related to each other, they must each have their own listing. Each listing needs a clear objective. (This is internet marketing, not a newspaper.)
- Ads are accepted or rejected based on what is best suited to our readership and what is reasonably considered acceptable. We also take into account our needs to comply with Google and Facebook policies so that we can function on behalf of our community. To be sure, we publish events that many consider to be “alternative.” However, this fact does not mean that we will publish just anything. Alien sky watching – sure. Sexuality classes – it depends, but generally no (it must fit the body-mind-spirit ideal somehow and must be PG13 or better). Political events, animal sacrifice, or classes to teach you how to use mind control on others – uh no.
- Some products and services are just not possible to advertise right now. We do not accept ads for medicines, supplements, tobacco products, CBD oils, any products taken internally, certain medical devices, and other currently restricted or heavily regulated products. Topical creams that contain CBD are OK for now, as long as they are topical. This may adjust as laws and platform regulations change. We must keep in mind the wellbeing of our community in all things that we allow on our website. Again, just because it’s “natural” or “alternative,” it doesn’t mean that we can advertise everything. We simply can’t. Our site is classified and indexed for certain ratings, and we must stick with that. It’s difficult to optimize alternative and metaphysical subjects already. Save the restricted stuff for websites that are appropriately classified.
- Advertisers must live or office or have an upcoming event in or around Austin. There are no exceptions to this. We only cover local events and news for the general Central Texas area from San Antonio to Austin to Temple. That includes coverage for events in the Austin area hosted by traveling teachers from elsewhere. We can cover it as long as it happens in the Central Texas area and meets our guidelines. Anything outside this area we do not cover.
- Our weekly deadline for late event ads is noon Monday of the week prior to publishing if you want your ad to run first thing the following week. But it is generally best to submit your order a couple of weeks ahead of the publishing target date. Directory listings are always worked on a first-come, first-serve basis as we can fit them in. I need time to build your ads and cannot accept last-minute submissions for inclusion in the newsletter. This is not an automated process. Please be considerate.
- Please note: Ads are built on a first paid, first-served basis. While the deadline for weekly events in the newsletter is on Mondays, the actual advertising week runs from Sunday to Saturday each week. And while the advertising week runs Sunday – Saturday, The Austin Alchemist is not open for office hours on weekends or holidays. If you submit your event ad afternoon on Friday, it will not be seen until the next business day.
- The best time to turn in your ad is at least a week or two before you actually need your ad to run. We do offer paid up-front scheduling services for listings up to 6 months in advance. This can be especially handy for busy and traveling teachers. Some of our customers like to place regular monthly recurring orders. We can do that too. If you are interested in scheduling monthly or several ads in advance, please contact us directly to discuss your needs. We’ll be happy to tailor a solution for you.
- From other advertisers’ feedback: The best results come from running your event ad for at least 2 consecutive weeks before the event. Many also have good results from running several consecutive ads during the weeks before the event. Others get good results from using an event ad coupled along with a banner ad.
- Give us as much useful information as you can, written as well as you can, but not copied from your website or anywhere else on the web. Your best copy should be able to pass a plagiarism tracker. Google and other search engines heavily discourage the use of copied materials; the use of copied text has a very negative effect on ranking. It is to your best advantage NOT to use copied material!
- We always copy-edit basic spelling and grammar. However, our services and pricing are based on the partnership between us; allowing you a chance to reduce your expenses by providing your own copy and as much detail as you can to create your listing—while we build out your page, the SEO, create social media campaigns and provide a service to our community. I am not a secretary, and your ad fee does not cover my time to help you get organized. Please contact us directly for rates if you need full copywriting services or extra assistance to get yourself started.
- We need to know when – time and date, where, cost, where to go for more info – phone, website, email, and at least a couple of paragraphs describing the event. People need to know some details about what you are offering.
- Please fill out the forms completely, and don’t expect me to follow a link to retrieve information.
- If you need concierge services, please contact us directly for rates.