Get Free Email Updates | Have an Account?
  • Free email newsletter
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS Feed

Archive for Audience Development Strategy

Audience Development Strategy posts focus on how to build a bigger online community by utilizing a number of different strategies. In this section you will find posts that combine multiple audience building techniques, blogging for audience development, descriptions of great audience development personnel and much more.

Free Download: Discover how to get the most out of your website traffic and turn visitors into digital dollars when you download our FREE report: How to Increase Audience and Decrease Your Marketing Budget.

Subscribe to Audience Development Strategy posts in your RSS reader to be alerted every time we post a new Audience Development Strategy article. What is an RSS Feed?

5 Most Recent Google Changes That Have Affected Publishers

In the words of Heraclitus, “the only thing that is constant is change.” And working in publishing, you probably find this especially true. Google changes every day, and so do we. Certainly other professions have their own versions of change to deal with: mechanics had to cope with the switch to electric cars, and environmentalists have to hear climate change is fake news. We all have our struggles.   Continue

7 Ways to Create a Freemium That Attracts New Email Subscribers

Create a freemium by developing free content with free content – or write it yourself. Either way, make it good.
We’re all about the mighty freemium around here. Create content and give it away for free so that people know how good your premium content is – and they’ll buy it later. And they do.

We’re in   Continue

Give it Away to Make More Money? You Don’t Say!

Why would you give away content for free, in order to make money? Sounds crazy, but that’s how the smartest publishers we know have grown at an exponential speed.

In this week’s strategy spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda, explains three secrets on the why and how of using audience development to build a   Continue

How Many External Links Should You Include in Articles?

In the book The Giving Tree, a young boy visits a tree and forms a relationship with it. At first he simply wants to swing on it’s branches, but as he gets older he becomes more materialistic. He asks the tree, which has grown fond of him, to turn its apples into money, it’s branches into a house, and its trunk into a boat. The tree obliges, but eventually becomes a stump.

If you’ve ever been on an external link regimen by your company, you might feeling like the stump in The Giving Tree after a lifetime of giving away apples and branches, trying to please. There is a lot of information about Google’s search signals online, and one of those, reported by SEO’s, is linking to external website. But are you giving away more than you’re getting?   Continue

The Paywall Model vs SEO: How to Win at Both

This week, a friend of mine referred to the paywall model as a “marketing method Trump would support.” I got a good chuckle out of it, but it seemed like an appropriate segway to the pros and cons of gating content, but also, how you can obtain the benefits of both – notably, SEO. Not the wall.

The paywall model isn’t an SEO-killer, even though it’s been billed as one. Technology has advanced a long way since the days when content was either locked, or unlocked. Firstly, there are two types, a hard paywall, and a soft paywall (and varying degrees in between).   Continue

15 Audience Development Strategies Most Publishers Avoid and Shouldn’t

It’s hard to determine how to spend both your time, and your resources within a business. The way we look at every decision you make is this:

Is whatever you’re thinking about doing, going to help you build an audience, improve capture rates, increase engagement rates, or monetize more visitors?

Your audience development efforts fall into three of those buckets, which means that audience development, in essence, makes up 75% of your overall publishing goals. If it doesn’t, then how will you have enough people to convert into customers and monetize?   Continue

Subject Line Spam Trigger Words

Email subject lines are just one part of the email delivery equation. Emails are delivered to inboxes based on subject lines, content, and reputation. In some cases, engagement is even applied to this filter.   Continue

Email Marketing for Publishers: How to Convert Email Subscribers into Buyers

We talk a lot about how to convert website visitors into subscribers when we discuss email marketing for publishers, but once someone is on your email list, what should you do with them? I’m sorry to say, there are lots of publishers out there with large lists who aren’t using them effectively. They don’t want to “sell” to their list, but the consequenc   Continue

5 Email Newsletter Best Practices You Can Fix Today

It’s amazing to see the evolution of the email newsletter – how brands use it to communicate, how the designs have changed over the years, and how the strategies of staying relevant have advanced.

Even though email newsletters have been around for years, they are still valuable for digital publishers. They are often a publisher’s largest source of revenue.   Continue

Freebie Friday: A Complete Guide to Increasing Website Traffic for Free

This handbook takes you from the big picture of building an audience to the minute but critical details website architecture that helps you build email lists. You’ll learn how the most successful publishers optimize entire sites for Google, from picking keywords to writing optimized content.   Continue

How to Increase Your Viral Email Capture Rate: 3 Alternate List-Building Strategies

When building email circulation, by most accounts, email capture rate is a proxy metric. You’d be mistaken to say that it’s an exact metric because when we talk about email capture rate, we’re usually talking about the number of people who came to your site from search and social and hit the email capture conversion architecture.

But in reality, that’s only about half of the people who sign up for your email list.   Continue

13 Examples of Professional Email Subject Lines

If you could, you’d hire a professional email subject line writer. You would, because you depend on your email list to sell magazine subscriptions or ads to advertisers, so smashing together 50-100 characters on the fly every day is a stinky approach to accomplishing those goals.   Continue

The Mysterious UTM Code Explained

An Urchin Traffic Monitor (UTM) code is the way that businesses track sales from their origination point (like a tweet, email or a brochure) down the funnel to their conversion page. Every audience development campaign is packed with UTM codes to see which campaigns perform best. In Google Analytics, these codes can be tracked under the general “Traffic Sources” area just like any other source.   Continue

Content Recycling: Staying Relevant and Dominating SEO

Content recycling—it’s all around us! At some point you’ve probably had dinner, maybe watched the news, and watched an early-evening episode of Big Bang Theory, or Two and a Half Men. Maybe it was on its normal station, maybe a different one, like TBS. Either way, this is just one way of experiencing content recycling, and TV watchers love it. They get to see their favorite TV shows more often, and even if they’ve already seen an episode, they watch anyway. Meanwhile, the TV station gets to produce ad revenue without going bankrupt attempting to produce a new TV show for every hour of the day.   Continue

The 17 Best Email Subject Lines for Increasing Open Rates [+ Video]

Discover the carefully guarded source of the world’s most effective email subject lines that most professional copywriters don’t like to share   Continue

How to Improve Engagement with Your Digital Magazine Editions

The one advantage magazines have over the majority of information on the internet is legitimacy due to credentials and facts. Let us not forget that nobody trusts what they read on the internet, especially not in the current blight of “fake news,” but they do more often trust established publications like magazines.   Continue

The Most Important SEO Factors of 2017?

Search Engine Land releases report on worthy SEO factors; Google reminds us of rules for putting links in large-scale audience development campaigns; Publisher fades in Google results after blocking Google users
It’s recommended to stay current with best-practice SEO if you want to rank organically in Google. Today we share news stories that look at these factors,   Continue

Email Footer Examples and Best Practices for Keeping Readers Happy

We developed the Email Newsletter Scorecard with our friend and email marketing expert Jeanne Jennings. Let’s look today at #9: the all-important footer. In addition to abiding by CAN SPAM laws, having a footer resonates with the email recipient because it gives them a way to communicate with your brand, manage their subscription or opt out of your list if they choose. Giving these options makes your email newsletter and email spotlights more reputable.

Readers have come to expect that they can find this information in the email footer template of your mailings.   Continue

6 Tips for Building an Email List with Social Media

Ultimately the goal of social media is to improve your search scores and drive traffic to your website. But social can be used to build an email list, and vice versa, email can be a great way to build a social following. And if you can capture a visitor on both platforms, then if they unsubscribe or unlike, you may still maintain a relationship on the backup medium and you haven’t lost them forever.   Continue

58 Online Copywriting Power Words & Phrases

If you’re an experienced direct response copywriter, you know that “you” is generally considered to be the most powerful single word, ranking right up there with free, new and save.

As direct marketing legend Herschell Gordon Lewis says in The Art of Writing Copy, “Unless the reader regards himself as the target of your message, benefit can’t exist. Benefit demands a ‘We/You’ relationship.”   Continue

Shopping Cart SEO: How to Optimize Your Cart for Search and Reviews

In practical terms, many publishers don’t really need a shopping cart. Many publishers have only a few products to sell. If your business offers one or two magazines, a few books and not much else, a direct offer management system is probably all you need. But if you have many products to sell – multiple subscription magazines, newsletters, books, webinars, videos, DVDs, etc – then a shopping cart is essential for facilitating more sales.   Continue

10 Ways to Improve Magazine Content Marketing

You probably remember the good old days when there was this thing called “article marketing.” It involved marketing your articles, most often by re-publishing them as guest posts on external sites in an effort to get inbound links, and also sharing them with other bloggers in the hope they might share or comment on the posts. At that time, the goal was to get the article shared, and to get the word out about your publication because those were still the early days of SEO.
Today it’s evolved into what we refer to as content marketing, and our focus has changed a little in that we want people to come to our site, not to other people’s sites. Sure, we might republish articles in repositories like Medium and LinkedIn, but it’s done deliberately and with SEO in mind, not just for the sake of republishing.   Continue

25 Email Design Best Practices for Publishers for Mobile and Desktop

It’s been reported that the average email users spends at average of 51 seconds on each email newsletter they read. If this average pertains to your market, you need to develop a way to maximize your email’s ability to connect with your audience.   Continue

How to Discover Blockbuster Articles and Make Them Convert Better

A client used this scorecard on their blockbuster articles to improve search visibility by 34%
A blockbuster article is a piece of content on your site that attracts a significant amount of traffic over a long period of time. For many publishers, this timeline might be years. For those just learning about blockbusters now, many will find that they get thousands of visitors every month from an article published in, say, 2008.   Continue

4 Email Subject Lines That Are Proven to Get Opened

A few tests to prove which subject lines make for great open rates

Studies show that most people decide whether to open and read an email message based entirely on a quick glance at the sender’s address and the email subject line.

If you’re an email newsletter publisher or marketer, you have four tasks: You need to get your offer delivered, opened, read and converted.   Continue

Creating Multiplatform Products: What to Sell, What to Give Away

Online content marketing is antithetical to anything we knew prior to 20 years ago — something Seth Godin terms interruption marketing. Everything I learned in college and during my early career, whether space ads, TV commercials or direct response, employed hardcore, confrontational marketing messages.   Continue

Social Media for Publishers: How to Spend Less Time and Get More Out of It

When it comes to social media for publishers, you could be spending less time and getting more out of it

There’s no doubt about it, social media for publishers is an investment. You have a lot of content, and too many options on where to publish it.

Last week there was an interesting piece on Mashable published about   Continue

How to Be a Better Keyword Density Checker

Get more page one rankings in Google by being a better keyword density checker for your business

Our SEO process has several layers that starts with keyword research and ends with article marketing and an accompanying white paper. Somewhere in the middle of this process we take what we see as a great keyword and drop it into the article or landing page that we’re writing.   Continue

What Is Audience Development?

Imagine you own a landscaping company. You cut lawns, trim shrubs, design landscapes and you even shovel in the winter.

Now imagine you throw a dinner party where your brother brings home his new girlfriend. This is the tenth girl in 10 years who has sat at your dinner table, so you assume that you may never see the lovely woman again who we’ll call Sarah.

After dinner, Sarah mentions that she just bought a house and the yard is just awful.

So there you are, with a potential customer in your house. What do you do?
  Continue

Quality Over Quantity: Why Magazine SEO Matters

There are 201,000 people searching for the term “apple pie recipes” every month, but that doesn’t mean you should break out the measuring cups and write about it, if your magazine is for car enthusiasts. But if you’re a magazine for diabetics, you could certainly write about “diabetic apple pie recipes” of which there are 140 people searching for the term every month. But why would you write to an audience of 140 when you could possibly collect the eyes of over two-hundred thousand?

  Continue

Social Media Marketing for Magazines: How Top Publishers Get Seen

Social media marketing for magazines has become an art form of sorts, and some publications are leading the pack
It’s 2017: If your magazine doesn’t have a social media presence by now, then you’re light years behind the competition. It used to be a struggle to get buy-in from the higher-ups and prove the value of   Continue

The Best Audience Development Job Description We’ve Seen

Audience development personnel have a very specific, and incredibly important job within an organization.

Finding the right audience development staff can mean the difference between thousands of email subscribers and tens of thousands of dollars in additional revenue.

The best audience development job description I’ve ever seen comes from one of our clients.   Continue

10 Email Call To Action Ideas For Your Magazine Website

Most publishers are only using one or two of these email call to action ideas for building an email list to sell more magazines

Did you know that by pairing unproductive employees with productive employees, you can actually improve productivity overall?

Cornerstone OnDemand conducted a study of more than 2,000 tech company employees with a dataset of   Continue

What is SMO? Develop Your Social Media Strategy in 8 Steps

Social Media Optimization (SMO) is what we call the process of optimizing your content and your business, for social media.

Typically, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes first. This is the process of creating content that has been optimized for some set of keywords that our target audience is looking for.
  Continue

The 10 Best Content Marketing Podcasts for Editors and Magazine Marketers

How to become a better content marketer, editor, and writer by listening to these content marketing podcasts

The first time I knew people listened to podcasts in their free time was back in 2007-ish when I went to an event called PodCamp, and while it wasn’t solely focused on podcasting, there was an abundance of fans   Continue

How to Track and Increase Email Revenue

Increase email revenue by determining your ideal revenue per subscriber, and then using service journalism to keep them on a path toward monetization

A Mequoda online publishing and marketing system measures revenue produced by email newsletter subscribers differently from the way that print publishers have traditionally measured the lifetime value of a subscriber.

The revenue per email   Continue

The 3 Truths of Building a Magazine Audience

How to build a magazine audience by giving away more than you receive

The foundational principles of Buddhism teach you that life is suffering, and that to live a better life, you must learn how to be content with that. No sugar-coating, just “yes, you’re right, life is hard, now let’s get on with it, shall we?” By   Continue

How Fake News is Making Real Publishers Look Good

Thanks to fake news, there’s a surge of interest in “real news” sites, which could turn the news industry around
We’ve written a bit about fake news lately. How Google is banning it, how Facebook is blocking it, and how it’s being blamed for the results of our presidential election. But one thing I find interesting   Continue

The 9 Best Places to Use Good Keywords in Articles

Choosing good keywords and using them correctly is more than a strategy, it’s a lifeline for your investment in content and can keep traffic flowing indefinitely.

When you’re in the business of content, search engine optimization isn’t just a hip thing to do, it’s a necessity. Think about how much time your team spends every day   Continue

3 Subject Line Templates That Boost Email Open Rates

Email copywriting is a fine art. You can spend hours writing an elaborate salesletter or in-depth article that never gets read, simply because someone threw a half-thought-out subject line on the email blast it’s encapsulated in.

Every email copywriter keeps an arsenal of subject lines that capture their attention in their own email inboxes. I have hundreds of email newsletters and promotions in a folder that I refer to time and time again.   Continue

How to Make SEO-Friendly Mobile Interstitial Ads

How to make highly converting Floaters, pop-ups and mobile interstitial ads SEO-friendly
As you probably know, earlier this month, Google told publishers everywhere that they would begin penalizing them for pop-ups and Floaters which interfere with content on mobile pages. They’ve also told us not to show OFIEs to mobile users, the little order flows that   Continue

How to Write a SEO-Friendly URL in 8 Steps

8 steps for writing and structuring a SEO-friendly URL that is easy to read by humans and search engines

I’ll bet you didn’t know there were so many types of URLs. Vanity URLs, which are short, simple URLs, are used in direct mail and other print promotions. They are meant to be easy to remember and are   Continue

How to Conduct an Interview: Questions and Strategies

Actionable audience development steps to make your next interview article filled with engaging content

Conducting interviews are a great way to produce content for your blog, website and publications. People love to hear from experts in your niche. It’s really a win-win situation. Your interviewee gets to share his or her expertise with your readers, and you get great content to publish. There are a few different ways to conduct and interview, and in this article I explore those ways and share some insights on how to make your next interview informative.   Continue

7 Audience Development Resolutions for 2017

Intent, alignment, and engagement take the stage in 2017 for audience development professionals

I don’t know about you, but I’m eager to see how audience development changes in 2017. Over the last year I’ve seen content marketers in particular get aggressive with link building again. Not just through spam commenting (boo!) but also guest blogging (yay!)   Continue

10 Email Template Testing Ideas You Can Use Today

Improve open, click-through, and conversion rates with these email template testing ideas

Even our best-performing emails tend to drop in engagement rates over time. In fact, every time we change email templates we will typically see a boost in click-through rates. This reason is mostly based on something new and shiny appearing in people’s inboxes. Even   Continue

The 14 Best Words That Get People to Open Email

Last week I watched The Science of Email Marketing, hosted by an analytics nerd I admire, Dan Zarella over at Hubspot. In the webinar, he said bluntly, “I would rather have an email subscriber than a Twitter follower.” We’d like to think it’s because email subscribers respond better to promotions, but according to Dan’s presentation, email and Twitter are almost equal in terms of lead generation. Still, our Twitter followers are often fair weather friends.   Continue

Mequoda’s Top Audience Development Posts of 2016

Our top-read audience development posts of last year show an interest in subject lines and the power of email newsletters.
Despite the rise of social networks, most publishers we know still get the majority of their traffic from organic traffic and email. That’s why it’s no surprise that our most-read posts on the Mequoda Daily this   Continue

Social Media for Magazines: How to Build an Email List Out of Highly Engaged Users

Social media users are highly engaged – but if you want to master social media for magazines, you must approach each network differently

Most publishers we’ve talked to say social media isn’t a huge sales driver for them. Sure, they’ve made a few bucks here and there, but they’re not making Dell money or anything (Dell   Continue

Freemium Strategy: 10 Steps for Refreshing a Freemium During an SEO Slump

Search engine optimization is kind of a game, right? It’s an important game – a necessary one for any publisher – but mostly it’s just us trying to play by the rules while Google giggles and changes those rules whenever they like.

At Mequoda, we stress the importance of a freemium strategy. Freemiums are free downloadable products that sit on SEO’d pages that publishers give away in order to build their email lists. The freemiums are available to download on these SEO’d landing pages, which we call rapid conversion landing pages, or RCLPs for short. You’ve seen them around here, here, and here.   Continue

How to Promote Content on Unlikely Social Platforms

How to promote content on three tricky social platforms that publishers want to love

Every once in awhile one of our clients asks us how they can leverage platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, or Pinterest as a content marketing platform. All three are completely viable social platforms for a social media strategy, and none of them I   Continue