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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: Learn about the digital magazine publishing industry by downloading our FREE Digital Magazine Market Study & Handbook handbook today.

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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

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

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.
  Continue

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

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 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

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

5 Pubs Who Abandoned Print For Digital-Only Magazines

Varying experiences from publishers that made the switch to digital-only magazines (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 the light   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

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

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

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.
  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

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

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

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

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

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

With a myriad of digital magazine software platforms emerging, choosing the best digital magazine publishing strategy for your brand has never been harder

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

Mequoda’s Top Digital Magazine Publishing Posts of 2016

Our top-read digital magazine publishing posts of last year show an interest in creating, marketing, and monetizing digital magazines and newsletters

In 2016, publishers couldn’t stop talking about the possibilities of digital magazines. After learning that digital magazines are a profitable content business model they’re actively seeking new ways to create new magazines, market them, and   Continue

Does a Digital Replica of Your Magazine Cut it?

As the mobile publishing revolution has matured, I’ve been blogging about a lot of large, fancy digital magazines. Publications like New York, Forbes and The Atlantic have become leaders in what I consider the second phase of mobile publishing development – the technology is dependable, early jumpers are releasing their all-new versions upgraded from their 2010 efforts, and standards for what consumers are willing to pay for are establishing themselves.   Continue

When Closing a Print Magazine, Look to Your Assets

When a print magazine closes, a world of opportunity opens for its portal
A few weeks ago Conde Nast announced that they’d be closing the print arm of Self magazine. And after their single-copy sales dropped from 148,055 to 44,000 over the last two years, who can blame them? If you think about all the strings that   Continue

The Cost of Digital Newsstand Publishing

Can you assign dollars and dimes to a free digital newsstand?
There’s no doubt that publishing your digital magazine on a tablet, so that it can be downloaded in some of the world’s largest newsstands, is a good idea. 20% of your subscriptions will come directly from this huge marketplace.

It benefits your content too. Most people read back to front in print magazines. But in a digital magazine, 95% will read front to back. They’ll see more pages (and ads for that matter). Or, they’ll pick an article are start there. With a web magazine, the reading dynamics are similar but different. It’s a fascinating thing to master if you’re a magazine editor in the 21st century. The web magazine is significantly different, and both are very different from the print magazine.   Continue

How to Diversify Your Magazine Publishing Portfolio with Events, Courses & Books

Multiplatform publishers are finding ways to turn magazine publishing into a profitable business model once again

If there’s one thing you might know about us, it’s that we think publishers should have multiple revenue streams. In investing, it’s called having a diversified portfolio. As Canadian portfolio manager Pat McKeough (also a client), would say, a good diversified portfolio should   Continue

What Are Online Magazines? 5 Magazine Archetypes Every Publisher Should Know

Do you run or contribute to an online magazine?

Most of our readers would consider themselves in the magazine publishing industry, that is true. But do you think you run an online magazine, or a digital magazine, a print magazine or a magazine website? You might have chosen two or three of those, or you might think they mean similar things. However, to us, these all have very different meanings and very different business models.   Continue

5 Lessons from the Guardian on Using Publisher Data More Effectively

Chris Moran tells magazine and newspaper publishers how to use their publisher data most effectively
Despite an interweb filled with hugely successful listicles labeled with you’ll never believe -type headlines, “People really, really do want to read great journalism on the internet,” says Chris Moran.

Moran is phasing out of his role as SEO editorial executive at the   Continue

12 Simple Ways to Streamline Magazine Marketing in Email

Do your magazine marketing promotions spark revenue? If they do, recycle them. If not, dispose of them.
A few years ago, a publisher came to us and during our initial conversations about email, we looked into their EMS backend and discovered that they were creating new email templates for every day of the week as part   Continue

What Your Magazine Portal Should Do Every Day

How to make the most of your magazine portal every day with the tools you have in front of you

Every magazine publisher should have a free portal. It’s the backbone of your operation. It’s the rhythm section of a jazz ensemble, the neutrals in a wardrobe, the clasp on your watch—it’s the core of your   Continue

How to Start a Magazine and Publish it Profitably

How to start a magazine and publish it profitably, without requiring a large team to start.
In her book How Not to Start a Magazine, B. Ann Bell says the number one way new magazines fail is through poor budget planning. Poor planning for printing, postage, and marketing are among the top expenses in her book, originally published   Continue

Why Paying Apple 30% Is One of the Greatest Bargains of All Time

Even the lowest digital newsstand remit is better than the olden days. Just a few short years ago, magazine publishers were thrilled down to their toes to keep 18-40% of sales from news agencies.

When Don ran an online newsstand, 18% was the average new remit order for the 1,400 titles there. And some publishers earned absolutely nothing from sales from the agencies they dealt with.   Continue

How and Why to Evolve from a Solo Magazine to Multiplatform

In publishing, there’s no room for growth with a solo magazine that stands alone.
One of our favorite stories is that of The American Ceramic Society. The organization turned to the Mequoda Method in 2005 to address the stagnant growth of its two print publications, Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated, whose audience is both ceramics professionals and dedicated amateurs.

The   Continue

Magazine Pricing Even for the Best Digital Magazines Still an Improvement Opportunity

Magazine pricing strategy has certainly evolved quickly over the past year. In 2013, we still believed that universal pricing was the best way to handle print, website and tablet products. Today, we’ve evolved our own thinking and our new Best Practice is decoy pricing, which requires different prices for different products.   Continue

Should You Start Selling Sponsored Content?

If you’re not selling sponsored content yet, consider these success metrics and how you can incorporate the process into your editorial model.
In 2016, sponsored content, branded content, and native content (all the same, by the way) have been the hottest buzzwords of the year. In fact, part of the reason our Mequoda Hall of Fame   Continue

Digital Magazine Publishing 101: Free Apps Need Some “There” There

As the first wave of digital magazine apps has passed, we’ve discovered one thing: People hate apps with nothing in them.

And yet, the vast majority of digital magazine apps available today are nothing more than a retail outlet for single copies and subscriptions!

They are labeled as free, but have nothing to offer unless a purchase is made within the app. This practice is the reason why so many magazine apps have low ratings, as can be witnessed by reading the reviews.   Continue

The Many Shades of Publishers Using a Paywall Model

The paywall model comes in many shapes, sizes, and flavors and all can be profitable for publishers when the content is good.

A recent article from Mediapost claims 40% of millennials personally pay for news (print or digital). Pay for news, you say? We think, when looking at the ratio of print to digital, that many of   Continue

4 Extra Ways Smart Magazines Can Sell Space on Their Website

A few good ways smart magazines get “small checks” in between all of the big ones from major sponsorships.
The more space you have on your website, the better. You already know about bundling multiplatform sponsorships and selling banner ads on your site and promotions in your email newsletters. But do you know which content business models can   Continue

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

Why Multiplatform Consumers are the Keys to the Future of Publishing

Multiplatform consumers give us a glimpse into digital and print magazines as consumption of digital grows year over year
In our annual American Magazine Reader Study & Handbook survey, we set out to understand how the demographics of a multiplatform consumer (one who reported consuming both print and digital magazines) differed from digital only readers and print only readers.

We learned that   Continue

5 Steps to Launching a Digital Magazine

Industry naysayers are still skeptical about the power of digital magazines. And we’re still ignoring them. At Mequoda, we urge our clients to begin the process of launching a digital magazine yesterday, because, as you know if you’ve been reading here for awhile, we firmly believe that the future of our industry lies in mobile publishing.
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Good Digital Magazine Design Requires Readability & Scrolling Text as a First Priority

Readability and scrolling text should come first in tablet and native edition digital magazine design

Since we started our annual Digital Magazine Survey to help publishers home in on digital magazine design, the number one feature desired by digital magazine readers is readability, followed by scrollable text. This is text that you don’t need to pinch and zoom   Continue

Vertical Reflow Makes Digital Magazine Layout More Fun

Isn’t it fascinating to consider how the old journalism phrase “above the fold” has evolved? Once it literally meant “above the fold” of a traditional broadsheet newspaper. Editors, writers and designers battled over what, and who, would win a coveted spot above that fold, where the most reader eyeballs would land.   Continue