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Press Releases

Prime Publishing and Mequoda Group launch ‘revolutionary’ website magazine

Niche publisher launches groundbreaking website magazine, revealing future of digital magazines

NORTHBROOK, IL (August 13, 2014) – Prime Publishing, publisher of 17 free craft websites and 13 free cooking sites, has just released what Prime and multiplatform publishing consultants Mequoda Group believe is the magazine industry’s first-ever true website magazine, along with an associated app edition for mobile reading.

Unlike traditional magazine websites, which offer content in a hyperlinked, topic-based experience, I Like Crochet on the web is an actual issue delivering a linear magazine experience complete with a table of contents and page-by-page navigation.

Naturally, it’s also enhanced via technology so readers can click to go directly to specific projects. And even more importantly, all content is also available in an actual library, so subscribers can search back issues for, say, afghan patterns, all with a few clicks.

The library is what sets I Like Crochet apart from existing flipbook magazines on the Web. What’s more, says Mequoda CEO Don Nicholas, flipbooks have never been a very satisfactory reader experience, with user engagement of only a few minutes compared with as much as an hour or more for print magazines.

“This is out on the edge of discovery information architecture,” says Nicholas of the unique navigation and library organization. He thinks Mequoda and Prime have literally reinvented the magazine on the Web. “We believe we’re making history here … we can’t be sure, because few turning points are ever recognized at the time, but I hope I Like Crochet will be a historical turning point in the magazine publishing industry.”

One big step forward, with a backward step

The addition of an actual magazine to Prime Publishing’s stable of free websites is also somewhat unusual: Prime President Stuart Hochwert, who had been a client of Nicholas’ in the 1990s, founded his company as a group of advertising-supported, free websites in 2009 without any legacy print magazines behind them.

The model has proved popular, and Prime currently has some 5.7 million active subscribers to its various websites.

However, says Hochwert, “Until now, we had no premium product to offer our readers who wanted a higher level of access to unique and exclusive patterns and advice. With the launch of I Like Crochet, we now have a paid subscription magazine to meet that need.”

And it was a serendipitous moment when Hochwert approached Mequoda, which had helped him build all his sites, to launch a magazine. Nicholas had been pondering new data that had him believing, contrary to all conventional wisdom until now, that readers might actually want to spend an hour or so reading a true magazine on the Web.

That conventional wisdom held that computers were used by readers as “lean forward” experiences in which they searched for answers to a question, found the answers in a few moments at a website, and left. It also held that the same readers used their smartphones only for “snack” reading.

Data showing that smartphone users were actually spending quality time reading long-form magazine content changed Nicholas’ thinking. “It blew all our assumptions out of the water,” he says. So when Hochwert arrived with plans for a new magazine, the “grand experiment,” as Nicholas calls it, was born.

“I’m excited beyond imagination about this,” Nicholas says, “and I’ll be forever grateful to Stuart for being willing to enter this grand experiment with us. We couldn’t ask for a better partner – one who has been highly successful with an incredibly high quality of content, who is an out-of-the box thinker and willing to take risks.”

The app edition of this “grand experiment” costs $19.97, the website edition is $29.97, and a combo of both editions is priced at $34.97. This pricing policy, known as decoy pricing or contrast pricing, is a Mequoda Best Practice, and is designed to drive more buyers to the highest price point for both editions, because of the contrast with the only slightly lower price for just one edition.

Developers enjoyed a free hand

I Like Crochet is another digital magazine created by Mequoda’s project team, led by CTO and Lead Architect Aimee Graeber. Graeber notes that this project was unusual because it was unconstrained by any expectations from a legacy print magazine.

“Usually, when we’re talking about a magazine app we have to reconcile future goals and technology with current design, editorial, and staffing. In this case, we worked with Stuart and the team at Prime to create an entirely new magazine from the ground up, taking advantage of all our current best practices.”

Graeber also credits Mequoda partner Mag+ with providing the technology for creating the new magazine app. “Mag+ offers great functionality at a price that works for most small and mid-sized publishers,” she notes.

Unlike other crochet magazines, I Like Crochet features high-end designs and patterns for beginner to intermediate crocheters. The patterns, which are solicited by the editors from the most popular crochet designers, always appear first in I Like Crochet.

In addition, the magazine delivers professional photography of each project, plus instructional videos and product recommendations. Every bimonthly issue will include 25 to 30 exclusive crochet designs, including wearable crochet, home accents and baby items.

I Like Crochet is now available online and at the Apple Newsstand.

CONTACT INFORMATION

For questions about I Like Crochet, please contact President Stuart Hochwert, 847.205.9375.

For questions about Mequoda Group, please contact Chief Content Officer Ed Coburn, 781.697.8387.

ABOUT MEQUODA GROUP

Mequoda Group is a consulting firm specializing in multiplatform strategy for publishers.  It offers proven services and software to help publishers develop and successfully implement plans to become integrated, multiplatform publishers with growing profitability and dramatically increased exit value.

Proven Organic Audience Development Secrets Revealed in New Free Handbook

A complete, exhaustive guide to organic audience development is now available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 14, 2014 - BOSTON — A complete, painstakingly documented handbook on audience development for Internet publishers has just been released. The 260-page handbook, Organic Audience Development Strategy: 68 Audience Development Strategies for Building a Robust Audience Development Plan, was written by Don Nicholas, a leading magazine industry consultant and CEO of Mequoda Group.

This handbook is available for free download from Mequoda.

Organic Audience Development Strategy, based on Mequoda’s extensive experience in helping hundreds of publishing brands succeed on the Internet, focuses on the single most important activity a publisher must master in the Internet age: building a large audience of loyal, dedicated followers to whom publishers can repeatedly market their products.

The handbook is geared toward legacy publishers wishing to improve and grow their businesses, and to entrepreneurs who recognize the Internet as a new way to find a voice and make money doing it.

Sadly, many publishers today still fail to understand the strategies that could help them make millions in online publishing. Now Nicholas and his team have researched, documented and compiled all the proven techniques their niche publishing clients use every day to succeed and build publishing empires.

Notes Nicholas, “If you’re looking for an easy answer to online publishing success, stop reading. We don’t have one.

“We do know dozens of publishers who have made online publishing a large part of their revenue stream.

“But we don’t know one who’s done it without putting in the effort to learn what actually works – as opposed to what they ‘heard’ works – and then spending the time and money it takes to execute the business model.”

And so Organic Audience Development Strategy starts by explaining the most fundamental concepts of organic audience development for publishers. It then turns to website architecture, which, to the surprise of many publishers, is critical in building a large audience. Nicholas explains how to convert unique visitors into registered users, digging into the finest points of architecture so readers can implement these strategies on their own.

Organic Audience Development Strategy also delves into the all-important search engine optimization strategy, with step-by-step instructions on optimizing everything from website pages to marketing campaigns. Social media marketing, another misunderstood strategy, is explained in detail, with specific case studies and guidance for leveraging Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

The ultimate publishing and marketing platform, in Nicholas’ opinion, is email, and the handbook delivers detailed guidance on copywriting, email deliverability, analytics and email design. Templates for a variety of email types are included.

Finally, Nicholas and his team have include eight fascinating and inspiring case studies of successful Internet publishers, from the might TIME to the more humble Mother Earth News.

A team effort

Co-authors of the book include other members of the Mequoda Group team, including chief content officer Ed Coburn, lead copywriter and blogger Mary Van Doren and managing editor Amanda MacArthur. Says Nicholas, “Our team is in a unique position to gather this expertise, because we’ve gained our knowledge from working with more than 100 publishers in the digital age, learning everything we could from our work, drawing on our decades of magazine industry experience in the trenches, and compiling a huge database of best practices and digital publishing tips.

The expertise of Mequoda team members is what sets Mequoda apart from other consultants, with an array of specialists always on hand to deliver exactly what clients and readers need to succeed in online publishing,

But why is the Mequoda team giving away a 250-page book? That’s a secret from one of Nicholas’ other handbooks, Multiplatform Publishing Strategy: 60 Digital Publishing Secrets for Making Millions Online.

Nicholas and his team have recently published three other well-received handbooks for publishers:

All these handbooks are available for free download at Mequoda’s website, or for purchase at Amazon.

Download Organic Audience Development Strategy now:
http://www.mequoda.com/free-reports/organic-audience-development-strategy/

About Don Nicholas

Don Nicholas, CEO of Mequoda Group, has guided the development of more than 110 successful niche media websites including Consumer Reports, HR Daily Advisor, Investing Daily, Johns Hopkins Health Alerts, Knitting Daily, Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and Vida Y Salud. He is an expert in new business development, digital publishing and Internet marketing. His team’s Mequoda Method books, reports and posts were downloaded more than 850,000 times last year. This year more than 100 publishing executives will attend his quarterly Digital Publishing & Marketing Intensive, where they will learn his comprehensive system for digital publishing and marketing.

About Mequoda Group

Mequoda Group offers training, consulting and development services for publishers to maximize their use of the Internet and other media outlets to create, build and retain long-lasting and profitable customer relationships.

 

Complete Guide to Subscription Website Publishing Is Now Available Free

A complete, exhaustive guide to starting a subscription website is now available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 31, 2014 - BOSTON — Subscription website publishing is one of the hottest entrepreneurial ventures on the Internet, both for novices and for legacy publishers struggling to make the leap from print in a digital age.

Now Don Nicholas, author of Digital Magazine Publishing: Creating Digital Magazines in a Tablet Magazine Publishing World and Multiplatform Publishing Strategy: 60 Digital Publishing Secrets for Making Millions Onlinehas just published another handbook, this one written to help any publisher master subscription website publishing and join other publishers who follow Nicholas’ advice in making millions online. All of handbooks can be downloaded for free.

Subscription Website Publishing: The 9 Most Profitable Subscription Website Business Models helps publishers determine the best business model for their content, as well as showing them how to create, price, organize and optimize content for publishing success.

In addition, readers will learn how to build brand loyalty, market a subscription website and measure success. In short, the book delivers everything any publisher must know to succeed in subscription website publishing.

Nicholas, a 35-year veteran of the magazine publishing industry, is in a unique position to write this book. He has been researching and documenting subscription website publishing since 1997, and his consulting company,Mequoda Group, has guided the development of 110 successful niche media websites. Don and his team have built and maintained more than 48 systems in markets as diverse as investing, crafting, executive education, religion, travel, health and lifestyle.

“A magazine is not a website. And a website is not a magazine,” explains Nicholas, noting one of the major misconceptions about subscription website publishing. “In fact, your subscription website isn’t even a website. It’s actually a combination of two or three websites.”

A complete guide to subscription website publishing

These websites all have specific purposes and distinct requirements. Subscription Website Publishing: The 9 Most Profitable Subscription Website Business Models painstakingly describes these website models, making it easier for niche publishers to launch their own sites, and understand how certain models work with the others to maximize traffic, engagement and revenues.

Almost any content producer will find the right model to build on after reading this book. The book also includes Nicholas’ proven methods for driving traffic and building an audience, and explains the OMI, or online media index, that Nicholas created as a tool for measuring success in subscription website publishing. There’s even a chapter on common mistakes that subscription website publishers make.

Finally, the book includes nine in-depth case studies of actual subscription websites, from TIME.com to EatingWell.com to CeramicArtsDaily.org, offering a slate of mentor sites that publishers can study across a wide range of media niches.

Co-authors of the book include other members of the Mequoda Group team, including Chief Content Officer Ed Coburn, Lead Copywriter and blogger Mary Van Doren and Managing Editor Amanda MacArthur. Says Nicholas, “Our team is in a unique position to gather this expertise, because we’ve gained our knowledge from working with more than 100 publishers in the digital age, learning everything we could from our work, drawing on our decades of magazine industry experience in the trenches, and compiling a huge database of best practices and digital publishing tips.”

This handbook is available free to anyone who subscribes to Mequoda’s free e-newsletter, which currently has 10,000+ existing subscribers. The newsletter is written to guide niche publishers in their daily efforts at subscription website publishing, digital magazine publishing, multiplatform publishing strategy and email strategy. A fourth handbook on email strategies is forthcoming.

Download Subscription Website Publishing: The 9 Most Profitable Subscription Website Business Models now:

http://www.mequoda.com/free-reports/subscription-website-design-free-report/

About Don Nicholas

Don Nicholas, CEO of Mequoda Group, has guided the development of more than 110 successful niche media websites including Consumer Reports, HR Daily Advisor, Investing Daily, Johns Hopkins Health Alerts, Knitting Daily, Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and Vida Y Salud. He is an expert in new business development, digital publishing and Internet marketing. His team’s Mequoda Method books, reports and posts were downloaded more than 850,000 times last year. This year more than 100 publishing executives will attend his quarterly Digital Publishing & Marketing Intensive, where they will learn his comprehensive system for digital publishing and marketing.

About Mequoda Group

Mequoda Group offers training, consulting and development services for publishers to maximize their use of the Internet and other media outlets to create, build and retain long-lasting and profitable customer relationships.

Proven Digital Magazine Publishing Secrets Revealed in New Free Handbook

The only complete guide to digital magazine publishing now available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 10, 2014BOSTONFollowing the recent release of his new Multiplatform Publishing Strategy handbook, Don Nicholas, a leading magazine industry consultant and CEO of Mequoda Group, has just published his second free handbook, Digital Magazine Publishing: Digital Publishing Tips for Creating Digital Magazines in a Tablet Magazine Publishing World.

Digital Magazine Publishing, available free at the Mequoda website and also available for purchase at Amazon, is based on Mequoda’s extensive research and deep experience in helping clients become successful digital magazine publishers. It will be invaluable both to publishers with legacy print products as well as to entrepreneurs seeking to start new enterprises with digital-only products.

Digital Magazine Publishing is a complete guide to publishing digital magazines, which Nicholas believes is critical for the survival of the magazine industry.

“We have seen the future of magazine publishing, and it’s paperless,” says Nicholas. “Today, many consumers have begun predicting the demise of print publications. Pay-for-access online content is gaining newfound acceptance, and e-readers and computer tablets are enjoying soaring popularity.”

Most important, he notes: “Many of the publishers we work with generate more than 10 percent of their new subscription sales from digital channels, and that number is growing.”

That’s a key number in an industry struggling to overcome declining newsstand and advertising revenues. Nicholas backs it up by introducing his subject with his groundbreaking 2013 Mequoda Tablet Study, which showed that in 2013, 55% of Internet users either own or have access to a tablet.

“If growth occurs at the same rapid pace we’ve been witnessing thus far, we predict that market penetration will be at 85% by 2020,” he adds.

A complete guide to publishing digital magazines

Most publishers today approach the idea of digital magazines with hesitation, lacking background or experience to guide them in this wholly new enterprise. The 140-page Digital Magazine Publishing handbook, however, answers all of the questions most publishers have, and even some they probably haven’t yet thought of.

The guide outlines the steps necessary in launching a digital magazine, from choosing a format – all of the current formats are explained in detail, including pros and cons – to selecting software to pricing and marketing.

Digital Magazine Publishing clarifies the mysteries of digital magazine creation, including Mequoda’s recently released standards for design, content and functionality, and explodes the myth of the Apple remit rate, explaining how conventional wisdom calling it highway robbery for Apple is simply wrong.

The complex subject of digital circulation auditing is simplified – yes, Nicholas says, you should definitely be reporting your digital circulation if you want to sell advertising – and the murky issues surrounding digital advertising are also explained, leaving publishers with a clear picture of the future, and of their potential revenues to be gained in an age when print revenues are continuing their alarming decline.

Throughout the book, Nicholas illustrates his points with real-world examples from his clients and from leaders in digital magazine publishing – who are not who you might think they are. He also includes seven detailed case studies of digital magazines, from The Atlantic to MAD to Black Belt.

Co-authors of the book include other members of the Mequoda Group team, including chief content officer Ed Coburn, lead copywriter and blogger Mary Van Doren and managing editor Amanda MacArthur. Says Nicholas, “Our team is in a unique position to gather this expertise, because we’ve gained our knowledge from working with more than 100 publishers in the digital age, learning everything we could from our work, drawing on our decades of magazine industry experience in the trenches, and compiling a huge database of best practices and digital publishing tips.”

Why is Mequoda giving away a 145-page book? That’s a secret from Nicholas’ earlier work, Multiplatform Publishing Strategy: 60 Digital Publishing Secrets for Making Millions Online, which is also available for free here.

Download Digital Magazine Publishing now:

http://www.mequoda.com/free-reports/digital-magazine-publishing-strategy-basics/

About Don Nicholas

Don Nicholas, CEO of Mequoda Group, has guided the development of more than 110 successful niche media websites including Consumer Reports, HR Daily Advisor, Investing Daily, Johns Hopkins Health Alerts, Knitting Daily, Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and Vida Y Salud. He is an expert in new business development, digital publishing and Internet marketing. His team’s Mequoda Method books, reports and posts were downloaded more than 850,000 times last year. This year more than 100 publishing executives will attend his quarterly Digital Publishing & Marketing Intensive, where they will learn his comprehensive system for digital publishing and marketing.

About Mequoda Group

Mequoda Group offers training, consulting and development services for publishers to maximize their use of the Internet and other media outlets to create, build and retain long-lasting and profitable customer relationships.

 

 

Mequoda Releases New Multiplatform Publishing Strategy Handbook

Build your digital publishing empire with the secrets and proven techniques in this new 100-page handbook

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 17, 2013BOSTONDon Nicholas, who has spent 30 years as a publisher and consultant in the magazine publishing industry, has released a free 100-page handbook titled Multiplatform Publishing Strategy as a followup to his 10-year-old book, Internet Marketing Strategy for Publishers. “Ten years and one tablet revolution later, my newest professional goal is simple: To help each and every publisher successfully cross the new digital divide,” says Nicholas.

Multiplatform Publishing Strategy: 60 Digital Publishing Secrets for Making Millions Online documents a seismic shift of historic proportions in the publishing industry.

This book is written for magazine publishers who want to turn their single-product brand into one that publishes on many different platforms. Case studies include those from companies like The New Yorker, Business and Legal Resources and Harvard Health Publications. For example, says Nicholas, “We’ve analyzed the New Yorker’s highly successful digital magazine publishing operation to deliver diverse multiplatform publishing ideas for any digital publisher.”

Also included are the strategies behind some Mequoda clients’ success, including those whose website traffic has grown more than 100% in the past year. Some of these case studies include America’s Horse Daily, Mr. Food and the Biblical Archaeology Society.

Specific strategies include uncovering assets you didn’t know you had, using different platforms to serve different members of your audience, driving traffic organically through SEO, and recycling content so that everything you produce has multiple publishing platforms.

Co-authors of the book include chief content officer Ed Coburn, lead copywriter Mary Van Doren and managing editor Amanda MacArthur. “My team has spent hundreds of hours researching and documenting the most successful strategies and processes,” says Nicholas.

Why is Mequoda giving away a 100-page book? “Ah, that’s one of the secrets you’ll learn when you read it!” says Nicholas.

Download the Multiplatform Publishing Strategy Handbook now: http://www.mequoda.com/free-reports/multiplatform-publishing/

About Don Nicholas

Don Nicholas, CEO of Mequoda Group, has guided the development of more than 110 successful niche media websites including Consumer Reports, HR Daily Advisor, Investing Daily, Johns Hopkins Health Alerts, Knitting Daily, Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and Vida Y Salud. He is an expert in new business development, digital publishing and Internet marketing. His team’s Mequoda Method books, reports and posts were downloaded more than 850,000 times last year. This year more than 100 publishing executives will complete his quarterly Digital Publishing & Marketing Intensive where they will learn his comprehensive system for digital publishing and marketing.

About Mequoda Group

Mequoda Group offers training, consulting and development services for publishers to maximize their use of the Internet and other media outlets to create, build and retain long-lasting and profitable customer relationships.