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Archive for Digital Magazine Publishing

Digital Magazine Publishing posts focus on the digital revolution that is taking place for digital magazines.

In this section, you will find posts on components for creating and publishing the best digital magazines.

Free Download: Consumers are telling us loud and clear what they want—are you listening? How much would you pay for that information? To find out how you can improve your digital magazine rapport with subscribers, claim your FREE digital copy of our report, What Consumers Want from Digital Magazines and How to Meet Their Needs, today.

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Web Magazine Worst Practices: Are Your Digital Strategies Dooming Your Magazine?

The magazine industry has lost their way.

It’s been a long time since the dawn of digital publishing and publishers bringing their content online, but at this point we hoped that the industry would catch on and be rigorously testing their digital products.

Unfortunately so much has stayed the same, and while many magazine publishers seem to be working towards putting together web magazines, most have failed, as we’ve explained in recent posts documenting our journey through more than 300 magazine websites and what they think are web magazines.   Continue

5 Best Practices in Digital Magazine App Publishing

Now that so many publishers are issuing digital editions, it’s time to take a look around and quantify some best practices that we’ve noted in researching apps and digital magazines.

First, let’s do some definitions. Terminology is changing daily, as it always does with new technology and new products, but for now we should at least attempt to clarify a few things. Some of these definitions come from outside Mequoda, but others are our own preferred definitions that serve to clarify some of the confusion in the industry right now. Your mileage may vary!   Continue

5 Ways Your Web Magazine Design is Failing Your Readers

I have complete confidence in saying this: “your web magazine design is not very good.”

And why does this roll off the tongue so easily as such a blanket statement? Because we’re in the midst of a massive research study on the state of web magazines, and out of 300 of the top B2B and B2C magazines, only 13 had what we consider to be a best-practice web magazine. We were sure the study would encompass at least 100, but we’re currently on the hunt to fill that number out to at least 25 and are finding hope in—surprise—niche magazines.

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Decoy Pricing: The Biggest Little Secret in the Publishing World

How would you like to increase your subscription revenues by almost 60%?

It can be done, and it’s not magic. All you need are a paid subscription website, a couple of other great products to sell and one secret: Decoy pricing.

More and more publishers are discovering this secret. And it’s not a new concept. You might know of it as the “contrast effect.”   Continue

When Web Magazines Go Wrong

When most people think of digital magazines, they narrow their focus on digital magazine apps that can be found in a digital newsstand or app store, but data shows that apps aren’t where users want to digest premium magazine content.   Continue

5 Ways a Web Magazine Library Will Save Money While Generating More

Recently Google publicly told publishers that they strongly encourage flexible sampling with their paywalls, through the use of metered paywalls and lead-in. You’re likely familiar with metered paywalls where the user gets to access a certain number of articles before being asked to subscribe, and the lead-in paywall shows some content of an article but not all.   Continue

Publishers Reimagine Digital Strategy for Continued Success

Today we begin with a look at Working Mother, which has seen a big growth in traffic since a recent digital strategy adjustment. Folio: reports, “Working Mother’s new digital strategy appears to resonating with its audience; according to data from Omniture, its website saw an 84 percent increase page views in August compared to the same month a year ago, and a 155 percent increase in unique visitors.”   Continue

10 Reasons to Add Video in Magazines Now That You Can

When a magazine goes digital and becomes an app, or a web magazine, it becomes alive. And that’s scary for some publishers. Suddenly, ads become more valuable to advertisers because they can be clicked. Content becomes more rich because it can also be hyperlinked to references and authors on the web. Live content can be embedded with video in magazines so the editorial content doesn’t stop at the final publish date.

And if you’re not ready for that kind of transition or development project, then your magazine has suddenly become ancient.

It used to be that sharing vertical video branded you an amateur, but not anymore. Startups are specializing in it, publishers are pushing it out, and consumers are, well, consuming it, according to TheMediaBriefing.com.   Continue

A Newsletter Platform Worth Investing In

The newsletter platforms you may be familiar with are often print and PDF formats, as most newsletter publishers haven’t gotten hip to the newsletter app format, and neither have their consumers.   Continue

The Best Digital Magazine Software Isn’t What You Think

How you think about digital magazine software needs to change if you want your subscriber base to grow
“Eventually, they’ll become like sailboats. They don’t need to exist anymore. But people will still love them, and make them and buy them.” – Kurt Andersen, a former editor of New York and co-founder of Spy, on the future   Continue

How to Write Native Content Advertising for a Magazine Sponsor

Learn how to write more effective native content advertising for a sponsor and start getting paid more for content

According to Business Insider data, the amount advertisers are spending on native advertisements has risen from $4.7 billion in 2013 to a projected growth of $21 billion by 2018.

Consumers have always disliked ads that are disruptive to their user experience,   Continue

Magazine Clubs are on the Rise and Here’s Why

There’s a new trend happening in the magazine world, and it’s the magazine club model. Publishers everywhere are adopting magazine clubs, an all-inclusive membership model that can offer everything from total access to magazines, to video archives, to VIP event access. The 160-year old Atlantic, for example, is just one publisher who has recently joined the magazine clubs party. Beyond their print and digital products, they launched The Masthead. Subscribers get access to exclusive content, and their mission, which is being “sold” to subscribers, is to “fund the future of sustainable journalism.” The introductory price? $12 per month, versus their annual print + digital price of $34.50.   Continue

How to Create a Bulletproof Magazine Business Plan

Are you in the process of writing a magazine business plan for a new venture, or an extension of an existing publishing business? I won’t beat around the bush here. If you’re looking to develop a magazine business plan, we should chat.   Continue

5 Expectations of Web Magazine Consumers

Web magazine consumers like to read their magazines like they read their news – online.
Users are becoming more accustomed to viewing magazine content in the form of web magazines. Web editions can be displayed on any mobile or desktop device, so users are as familiar with the interface as they are with a web browser,   Continue

How to Start an Online Magazine from Scratch

Although we work with many established legacy publishers, we also work with publishing startups. In fact, these startups benefit from our years of work with legacy publishers teaching them how to start an online magazine. Meanwhile startups can teach a thing or two to the digital retread legacy publishers.

If you’re a publishing startup, or are getting into the business of publishing, then an online magazine probably isn’t on your mind. To be clear, an online magazine is a web-friendly version of your magazine. It’s in HTML and works like a website. It cannot be held in your hand, unless you’re in the web browser of a tablet.   Continue

8 Good Reasons to Offer a Web Magazine Library

Do you think offering your readers a 24/7 online encyclopedia of information is a product they might subscribe to? Would they be willing to pay more for a print subscription if they could receive both for one price? The latter is usually the reason why publishers decide to create a digital archive of their back issues, and the revenue numbers we see from this upsell tells us it’s worth the investment.

If you’ve already decided to make a digital magazine library part of your online publishing strategy: that’s great. But before you move on, take a moment to finish this week’s strategy spotlight with Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda, who will elaborate on the most beneficial reasons for investing the capital to organize this not-so-small endeavor.   Continue

The 9 Ultimate Digital Magazine Features

How do your digital magazine features stack up to users’ expectations?
Contrary to what you’ve probably been thinking, the ultimate digital magazine is built in a browser, not an app. That’s why web magazines are skyrocketing to success, because users are quickly figuring out that they’d rather use a web magazine than an app magazine.

Users are   Continue

Creating Digital Magazines: Four Ways to Monetize Your Efforts With a Free Archive

“I simply don’t understand the opportunity,” one veteran magazine publisher told me at a recent industry conference. “My magazines are sponsor-driven. My issue archive includes hundreds of back issues. I have all these vendors and partners offering to digitize my back issue archive and make it available online. But I don’t have a clue how I make any money if I do it. Near as I can figure, my digital magazine archive is worthless.”

The magazine industry feels it is on the edge of a Renaissance. Digital magazines are the hot topic of industry events, digital magazine software platforms abound, and massive retail partners including Apple, Amazon, and Google are seducing magazine publishers with their siren songs.

“I simply don’t understand the opportunity,” one veteran magazine publisher told me at a recent industry conference. “My magazines are sponsor-driven. My issue archive includes hundreds of back issues. I have all these vendors and partners offering to digitize my back issue archive and make it available online. But I don’t have a clue how I make any money if I do it. Near as I can figure, my digital magazine archive is worthless.”   Continue

5 Pubs Who Abandoned Print For Digital-Only Magazines

Varying experiences from publishers that made the switch to digital-only magazines and portals (and came back to tell the tale)
Digital-only magazines have had their ups, downs, and (in some cases) its “in-betweens.” While some digital magazines have remained powerful and influential after going digital, others have since been discontinued. And some of them end up seeing   Continue

Our 2016 Mequoda American Magazine Reader Study & Handbook

Take this information to the bank … 2016 Mequoda American Magazine Reader Study & Handbook & Handbook polled 3,241 U.S. adults with internet access and found that nearly 42% of them are reading digital magazines, up 13.8% from 2015.   Continue

Should You Publish a Magazine in Print? Digital? Or Both?

At a recent networking event amongst publishers, the owner of a publication for teen health asked a Mequoda team member if it was worth launching a print magazine to go with her ad-driven online presence. She already had other print publications, but this niche, teen health, geared towards a younger generation—would it be too passe’?

The short answer is that we’ve seen it work, but testing is worth the investment. One of our clients launched a new print magazine from their popular online portal last year and is now generating thousands of new subscribers every month.   Continue

8 Ways to Sell Digital Magazine Subscriptions

It’s amazing to look back to just a year or so ago, when digital magazines were still something of a novelty. Today, it’s a given that print publishers will soon create a digital version of their product if they haven’t already.
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How to Create Evergreen Magazine Content As a Reader Service

A recent copy of National Geographic featured a story that showed a man, hanging off the side of a mountain, dangling from a several hundred foot rope ladder. You couldn’t see the bottom of it, because it was covered in mist, but you could see his face, reaching toward the next ladder step, covered in bees.

This man, dubbed the “last honey hunter” climbs massive cliffs in Nepal to get “mad honey” derived from the Himalayan Cliff Bee that pollinates nearby rhododendron patches, which is toxic to humans, making the honey a psychedelic and often used medicinally.   Continue

10 Digital Publishing Tips and Strategies for Magazine Publishers

Only five years after the advent of the tablet, strategies for successful digital magazine publishing are starting to sort themselves out and deliver measurable results. Of course at Mequoda, we’re all about documenting these things so digital publishers don’t have to re-invent the wheel.

Here are 10 things you must do if you want to join the ranks of millionaire publishers … a goal we think is worthy of all digital publishers today.   Continue

Magazine Subscription Offers: How to Sell Print and Digital Bundles

There’s very little consistency when it comes to pricing magazines on the internet, and even less when it comes to bundling magazine subscription offers. We’re all familiar with the $12 print subscription, offering a printed piece of art, signed sealed and delivered for $1 per month. Some may say that pricing scheme is devaluing magazines across the board, but buy does it work.

So how far have we come since the $12/year print offer? In some cases, not very far. But in others, you’ll find niche consumer magazines bringing in $30 or more per subscription.   Continue

Diverse Media Company Acquisitions Lead to Business Expansion

Media company acquisitions from Hearst and BrideClick; Access Intelligence acquires digital advertising and events company

Today’s news focuses on media company acquisitions, including some interesting ones that expand the current business model of the companies involved.   Continue

Best Digital Magazine Publishing Software You Can Use to Launch Your Digital Magazine

Digital magazine publishing software is important; which option are you using?

Publishers have been trying digital magazine publishing software during the last few years in hopes of creating the best digital products for their audiences. And like everything else in digital magazine land, digital magazine software has evolved at light speed since we made our initial recommendations in January.

Here’s our latest (opinionated) look at the magazine software landscape.   Continue

7 Golden Steps to Planning Successful Digital Magazine Editions

Ask yourself these seven questions before starting your journey towards digital magazine transformation
I’m going to go ahead and assume if you’re reading this, you have a print publication who is asking for siblings. You’re at the magazine store and it’s eying the “big brother” t-shirts and wondering when it’s getting playmates.

Below you’ll find a comprehensive   Continue

14 Reports About Digital Magazine Publishing You Should Bookmark

We often hear about predictions for digital magazines; how they will grow, the revenue generation expected throughout the industry and the time frames associated with these numbers.

These predictions are important, as they help publishers better prepare for the future. What’s more interesting, however, is discovering how people who are already consuming digital magazines are enjoying their experiences.   Continue

How to Add Publishing Revenue to Your Bottom Line with Directory Listings

Increase publishing revenue with self-serve listings and more robust ad packages
The directory and listing-style content business has some pretty unique benefits. If executed correctly, this business add-on can be a win-win-win for any ambitious publisher.

Let’s say you’re a regional magazine who is primarily sponsor-driven and your sole publishing revenue stream is those ads. How can   Continue

The Power of 3 in Selling Magazines

When we are in the process of business planning for a client, one big question we need to answer is what platforms they will publish their magazine on, going forward. Often they are selling magazines that are printed and wondering if an app or web edition is the logical next step.

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A Simple Framework for Planning and Modeling Your Digital Magazine

The questions you need to ask and the answers you should have before launching a new digital magazine
Publishers are embracing digital magazines because users are. And it’s true for B2C and B2B, as well as pure paid subscription, controlled circulation, or both. These publishers are taking advantage of digital editions to provide the features users want   Continue

The Kind of Apps People Want: How to Get a 5-Star Rating on Your Magazine App

As tech industry observers like to note, the world of apps is wild and wacky. There are almost two million apps in the Apple and Google app stores. If you pick up or click to pretty much any tech publication these days, you’re guaranteed to see at least one app review, to help bewildered consumers navigate this crowded field.

Of course when you read those articles, you’re getting a lot of personal opinion, and in tech land, much of that turns out to be excitement over flashy technology – no surprise there. So what kind of apps do people want, really? For magazine publishers, the answers are fairly simple.   Continue

What’s a Replica-Plus Digital Magazine?

A replica-plus is a replica with some extra bells and whistles added. And normally you’d think that adding things such as video, audio, HTML links and other technology-rich features would be an improvement to the simple replica. We’re not so sure that it’s a good enough upgrade, and here’s why.

The problem with adding bells and whistles to a simple replica to create a replica-plus lies in one of the disadvantages of the replica that we’ve discussed before. But first, let’s look at the pros and cons of the replica plus.
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Multiplatform Publisher Changes: Adding, Departing, and Returning in the Digital Age

While the biggest news of the last week might be Ryan Seacrest joining Kelly Ripa on the new Kelly & Ryan morning talk show, there have been many adjustments in the publishing world as well worth talking about!   Continue

Let’s Clarify: What Is a Digital Magazine?

Magazines are designed to be read from front to back. They have covers and a table of contents. Magazines are arranged in a series of articles. Portals are not meant to be read from front to back, and are in no way linear. Users may begin on an article they found through search and hyperlink their way across the site in a matter of seconds. There is no true table of contents, although there is arrangement in the form of categories, topic pages and related articles.

So what is a digital magazine? It’s a bit of a hybrid.   Continue

Launching a Digital Magazine? 10 Things You Need to Know First

Before launching a digital magazine, read through these ten resources.
When it comes to launching a digital magazine, there’s no one FAQ online that can answer all your questions. What edition should you build? How should you price it? Which software is best, and can you get away with a simple PDF edition? We tried to   Continue

How to Start an Online Magazine With These Five Strategies

Knowing how to start an online magazine requires first understanding the differences between an online magazine and the dozens of other publishing models available to you in the 21st century.

These differences range from the obvious – a comparison with print products, for instance, is pretty straightforward – to the more nuanced: say, discerning an online magazine from a digital magazine. What could possibly separate the two other than terminology?!   Continue

Magazine Marketing: Using Email to Boost Advertising Sales

“It’s more effective than direct mail and as effective as telephone – and so much less expensive.” That’s a quote from ClickZ’s latest report, Email and the Age of First-Person Marketing. While marketers were saying just three years ago that social would consume email, it’s proven to become even more powerful and celebrated during that time, especially in magazine marketing. A study by the Direct Marketing Association shows that “email campaigns conducted with house lists achieved an ROI of 30% to 32%, compared with 15% to 17% from social media, and 18% to 20% for direct mail using house lists.”   Continue

Creating a Magazine Business Plan: The First Step

Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Have you ever felt in your personal life, like plans are useless? Many people feel this way, and in fact I’ve heard the best advice you can give a bride before her wedding is to plan that not everything will go as planned. Just knowing that imperfection is part of the plan can be a soothing anecdote.
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Managing Remotely: Tips and Tools for Managing Editorial Teams from Afar

Pretty soon, most magazines won’t just be managing editorial teams in-house—they’ll be managing more editors remotely. Here’s how to make the virtual world work for your publication.

Managing editorial teams in-person can be a challenge for any seasoned magazine executive. You’re dealing with constant looming deadlines, bouts of writer’s block, keeping your team on-task, and producing   Continue

Magazine Marketing Tip: Your Alignment is Off

If you’re not writing contextual email text ads, your magazine marketing and paid products aren’t selling as well as they could be.
Have you ever thrown a birthday party for your kid that was totally themed? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—you got this. There was pizza and ice cream (the Turtles’ favorite food combo). All the kids   Continue

Magazine Marketing 101: Selling More Digital Subscriptions

Digital magazine marketing will give you an afterlife

There are times in business when we feel like we’ve created something great, and we don’t understand why it’s not selling.

Back in 1967, a successful New York ballerina by the name of Marta Becket stumbled upon an old social hall in Death Valley Junction, California, population: 6. After   Continue

6 Paid Newsletter Best Practices for the Digital Age

These days, when people talk about newsletter best practices, they’re usually referring to free email newsletters, used as a marketing tool to drive inbound traffic to websites. But because some of us are old-time journalists here at Mequoda, we also think fondly of paid newsletters, a classic journalistic form that survives today in the digital era.   Continue

Creating a Magazine Layout: Interactive Digital Magazine Elements Users Love

Creating a magazine layout that includes interactivity is one more key toward selling more digital magazine subscriptions
It’s true that users prefer familiarity in digital magazines. As soon as you begin creating digital magazine apps that require an instruction manual to learn, many users tend to get frustrated. That’s why we think when designing a reflowed   Continue

36 Ways to Boost Magazine Circulation

36 ways to build your Internet audience, revenue and profits while building your magazine circulation
There are five different ways to build a magazine audience. You can use free subscription offers, use efficient call to action placements, use time-tested brand-building techniques, email-building techniques and other types of traffic drivers.
Consider the offer
The offer is the most important   Continue

How to Promote a Digital Magazine: 10 Strategies & 1 Major Must-Do

How to promote a digital magazine online, offline, and everywhere in between
How do you usually promote a magazine? Afterall, subscription and newsstand sales are the keys to driving advertiser interest, so what are you doing to promote your print magazine?

Blow-in cards. Social Media. Newsstands. Direct mail and email renewal series. Subscription agents. The list goes on.

Now what   Continue

2017 Resolutions for Digital Magazine Publishers

Digital magazine engagement should be top priority for publishers in 2017
If there’s one area of publishing that has not stood still, it’s digital magazine publishing. In 2015 it was more important than ever for publishers to understand the five digital magazine archetypes and get app magazines at least one step up from a replica. And in   Continue

Digital Magazine Marketing: 6 Ways to Promote your Digital Magazine

If you’re making plans for your own digital publication, it behooves you to also plan how to make money from it with strategic digital magazine marketing.

After all, buying a list and mailing a big direct mail package, in hopes of getting a bunch of people to subscribe as we all did in the old print days, is rather like trying to sell 21st-century tablets themselves at an old-fashioned general store where hardware, ladies’ hats and pickles all shared the same space, and the proprietor fetched everything on your list, then wrapped up your purchases in brown paper and twine.   Continue

How to Sell the Benefits of Digital Magazines and Multiplatform Bundles

Master the art of marketing digital magazines and bundles by learning about why readers subscribe to digital magazines
Several years ago we ran a study that showed us the majority of magazine consumers were subscribing to digital magazines because they felt paper magazines were wasteful and they wanted to “go green.” A full 52% of respondents said   Continue