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Archive for Subscription Website Publishing

Subscription Website Publishing posts focus on what to consider when building and operating a subscription website.

In this section, you’ll learn the difference between membership and subscription sites, how to build a successful subscription website, increase sign-ups, align content, and the best practices for running successful subscription websites.

Free Download: Discover the nine most profitable subscription website business models that’ll help you design a subscription website, when you download our FREE Subscription Website Publishing handbook today.

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What is a Subscription Marketing System?

A subscription marketing system is the only good way to guide visitors through your product catalog

Did you know that a sunflower is not just one flower, but more than a thousand small flowers, all stuck together on one head and a single stalk? Even what seems like the petals of a sunflower are considered individual   Continue

A Great Example of a Premium Content Subscription

A couple of years ago, Don outlined the attributes of a premium content subscription: not a website itself, but the thing that customers buy – the content subscription.

In updating this post (as we often do with our website content – a Mequoda best practice), we decided to give you an actual example of the perfect premium content subscription, and we settled on CooksIllustrated.com, the companion website to Cook’s Illustrated magazine from America’s Test Kitchen.

Deconstructing the phrase “premium content subscription” is a helpful exercise for getting this discussion onto the right track. Let’s take a look at each of the three words individually.   Continue

Your Guide to Building a Profitable Subscription Website

Like any other business, subscription website publishing relies on getting your website taxonomy exactly right. Information architecture isn’t easy to understand – people earn special college degrees in order to grasp it! But subscription websites are different from ecommerce, event, retail, or a dozen other kinds of websites. And you simply can’t learn about subscription website taxonomy from those.   Continue

How Find the Best CMS for a Magazine

The best CMS for a magazine should be built for publishers, not everyone else

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all content management system. The best CMS for a magazine should be built with a publisher in mind. After all, you have a different business model than a software company, e-tailer, or a small business using   Continue

The Portal Content Business Model Turns Strangers Into Subscribers

Portals are seen most often because not only are they a profitable model on their own, they’re also intended to build and feed an audience for affiliated premium subscription websites. They are specifically designed for SEO, email marketing, list building, lead generation and building engagement and loyalty. It’s a Mequoda best practice to build a portal for every subscription website we create.   Continue

How to Hire a Membership Website Development Firm That’s a Good Fit For Your Business

Your membership website development firm should be more than just a technological jester, they should be your sherpa.
If you’re a publisher, or are selling a subscription-based information product, it’s likely that at some point you’ll be looking for a new membership website development firm. We know this because most of our clients have come to   Continue

The Mequoda Magazine Content Business Model

Some of the most successful publishers let their users generate more than 99 percent of their content. The publishers that can do this become masters at building communities that draw users to both read and post.

Out of the nine subscription website business models, the community subscription website archetype is the only one where the publisher relies on its community to create the content. There are six premium (paid) archetypes, and three affinity (free) archetypes. This is one of the three free ones.   Continue

How to Reduce Magazine Overhead with a Subscription Website

The one-time cost of building a magazine subscription website could reduce overhead indefinitely
For $3 per month or $36 per year, there is subscription service called The Sink that will automatically deliver you everyday toiletry products every month. (Sorry CVS and Rite Aid, you’re being replaced.)

For $10 per month or $120 per year, you can get   Continue

Usability Testing: 5 Heat Map Tracking Tools to Watch What Your Visitors Do

If you want to know why your website is, or is not performing, start conducting usability studies. A/B tests are great for content, but when it comes to seeing how users engage with your website, online heatmap tracking tools can make all the difference.   Continue

A 2017 Resolution for Subscription Website Publishers

Resolve to investigate the possibility of added revenue with a club-style business model in 2017

Every publisher and subscription marketer should recommit in 2017 to customer relationship building and asset leveraging—after all, these are two things that you already have, customers and content! And one of the hottest new trends for capitalizing on your content and   Continue

3 Niche Membership Website Ideas You Can Profit From

Whatever your specialty, there are membership website ideas you can profit from

Membership websites are defined by the fact that users access the content on-demand, when they have a question they need answered or a learning tool they need to access. A membership subscription website archetype provides paid members with a library of information on a specific topic of   Continue

Reduce Subscriber Churn: How to Keep Subscribers Entertained & Engaged

How to reduce subscriber churn by providing new opportunities to engage with your content on a regular basis

People love subscriptions these days. Beyond magazine subscriptions, there are now box-of-the-month subscriptions. You can subscribe to a monthly box of beauty products like BirchBox, dog toys and treats like BarkBox, nuts and healthy snacks like NatureBox, or   Continue

5 Ways Top Subscription Websites Optimize for Search

Magazine publishers have been giving away their content for decades in an effort to attract new subscribers. In online publishing, ad-driven subscription websites have an additional incentive: Increasing the eyeballs that see their sponsors’ ads.

Publications like Mother Earth News put all their magazine content on their subscription website. They believe it hasn’t hurt their circulation, and at the same time, says General Manager Bill Uhler, it helps them cast a wider SEO net.   Continue

Mequoda’s Top Subscription Website Publishing Posts of 2016

Our most-read subscription website publishing posts of last year show an interest in building profitable subscription websites and improving the usability and site speed of existing websites.
In 2016, toward the end of the year it was made abundantly clear to publishers they would need to focus on more simple site design with faster loading times.   Continue

The Best Social Media Management System for Publishers

What to look for in a social media management system from Haven Nexus, to Hootsuite, SproutSocial and TweetDeck
As a publisher, you’re publishing multiple pieces of content every day. Most Mequoda publishers are publishing at least three per day. When it comes to managing the social that goes along with each post, we find that most   Continue

The Most Profitable Subscription Website Business Models

Coming up with the right subscription website business model(s) is usually the biggest stumbling block for those wanting to get into this business.

Choosing your content focus is a business-critical decision, as the focus you choose pretty much dictates your chances of success with a subscription website. However, more serious than the focus on content for   Continue

The Best Online Shopping Cart System for Publishers

What to look for in an online shopping cart system, from Haven Nexus, to Shopify to WooCommerce

Ecommerce has become a core part of any multi-platform publishing business. Even publishers who are still selling print-only have developed online shopping experiences because the Internet has become the first place people search for new information products.

That one fact   Continue

Nail Down Your Magazine Experience and Combat the Publishing Recession

By all means, launch many content business models and diversify your publishing portfolio. But start with your magazine experience through your magazine subscription website.
We’re in a recession. Maybe you’re feeling pretty good right now personally, but publishers are in a recession. Big time. Last year was a recession especially for newspapers, according to Pew Research Center’s   Continue

The Best Email Management System for Publishers

What to look for in an email management system from Haven Nexus, to MailChimp to Constant Contact
Managing email marketing has become an increasingly critical issue for every type of business. Publishers, like everyone else, use email to communicate with customers and prospective customers, on a regular basis. But like all powerful tools, email can be mismanaged   Continue

How Amazon Is Helping Publishers Make Money with Video

How to make money with video on your own subscription website and beyond
Many multiplatform publishers have turned to e-learning platforms to make money with video and help subscribers either increase their skills or improve their lives. Publishers, along with many other organizations, such as universities and corporations, have found that text-heavy explanations of complex subject matter can   Continue

The Best Live Event Management Software for Publishers

What to look for in live event management software from Haven Nexus, to Bizzabo, CVent, EventBrite and Event Ready.
As publishers have struggled with print revenues during the last 10 years, many have turned to live events as an additional revenue stream. As a strategic extension of a publishing brand, events make a lot of sense.   Continue

Why We Always Pair Free Subscription Business Models with Paid Magazines

Why “free” is a subscription business model of its own and why every magazine should have one

Since the beginning of time, or at least the beginning of consumerism, businesses have been giving things away for free. You’ve probably received free samples in the food court, or free issues of the local newspaper when you first   Continue

Choosing the Best Lead Management Software for Publishers

What to look for in lead management software, from Haven Nexus to Eloqua, Marketo, Hubspot and others

Make money by giving content away.

That statement sounds odd to many people in publishing and downright heretical to anyone in the subscription business, but there is no denying that it can work. More than one publisher has developed this   Continue

7 Ways Your Subscription Website Could Fail

If you’re thinking of launching a subscription website, don’t skimp on preliminary research.
So you’ve decided to start a subscription website. We get requests weekly from entrepreneurs, veterans and newbies, who see subscription websites as the gold they want to begin mining. And while we love the enthusiasm, you need to approach subscription website publishing with   Continue

The Best Marketing Automation System for Publishers

Publishers require a marketing automation system that works in tandem with a highly efficient content management system

In the last decade, marketing automation has become a hot topic for niche publishers. The term really refers to any software platform designed to automate repetitive marketing tasks to increase efficiency and reduce labor. Although this sounds simple enough,   Continue

How to Boost the Value of a Subscription Website

The more you can give a member of your subscription website, the better.
And it appears we’re not the only ones who think so.

Earlier in the week we talked about Condé Nast’s Wired Media Group who is launching a membership program for executives. According to Lucia Moses at Digiday, “for $4,000 a year, members of the Emerging Technology   Continue

The Best Online Directory Software for Publishers

What to look for in online directory software, from Haven Nexus, to WordPress, Joomla, and third-party products

The directory website business model still has a lot of upside for multiplatform publishers. When executed correctly, directories can be a win-win for any ambitious publisher. The publisher produces a framework and reference content, and the advertiser pays to   Continue

Choosing the Best Learning Management System for Publishers

What to look for in a learning management system, from Haven Classroom, to Edmodo, Moodle, Teachery and Blackboard.
Many multiplatform publishers have turned to e-learning platforms to help subscribers either increase their skills or improve their lives. Publishers, along with many other organizations, such as universities and corporations, have found that text heavy explanations of complex subject   Continue

11 Profitable Content Business Models Publishers Are Using to Boost Online Revenues

Coming up with the right content business model(s) can be the biggest stumbling block for those looking to grow a publishing business.
Choosing your content focus is a business-critical decision, as the focus you choose pretty much dictates your chances of success with multiplatform publishing. However, more serious than the focus on content, is the business   Continue

The Best Online Calendar Management Software for Publishers

What to look for in online calendar management software, from Haven Calendar, to All In One Events Calendar, The Events Calendar, My Calendar, and Booking Calendar.
Online calendars are used by all kinds of organizations, from the largest trade associations to the smallest garage bands. Like many other things in digital publishing, the functionality itself isn’t so   Continue

The Mequoda Newsletter Content Business Model

The newsletter subscription website model is simple, clean and editorially-focused

Newsletter publishers, particularly those on the B-to-B side but also those with consumer titles in the finance and health fields, were among the first to embrace subscription websites. Perhaps that’s because the newsletter subscription website archetype is the easiest type of subscription website to build. The file size of newsletters is generally manageable, whether the newsletter is 8, 12, 16, 32, or more pages, since it is mostly text and often limited to black-and-white or two-color.   Continue

The Best Web Analytics Tools for Publishers

What to look for in web analytics tools, from Haven Nexus, to Google Analytics, Kiss Metrics, Social Bro and True Social Metrics

Data analytics are critical for the success of your multiplatform publishing business. Your website, email and social media efforts are all used to promote your content and make more money for your business. It’s   Continue

Choosing the Best Publication Management System for Publishers

What to look for in the best publication management system, from Haven Nexus, to WP Member, MemberGate, aMember, and SubHub

If you are a magazine publisher, it behooves you to remember what makes the medium special. Although many print editions have disappeared, the format’s attributes make it desirable for some part of the reading population. And, whether in paper, tablet   Continue

Plug in a Classifieds Content Business Model to Boost Revenue Easily

The classified content business model is the modern day equivalent of what used to appear in the back of many newspapers and B2B magazines
Listings for products, services, and jobs are the backbone of the classified content business model. They are, as we are fond of saying, a great way to take lots of small checks   Continue

How Successful Subscription Based Websites Do Marketing

No publisher can hope to have a successful subscription based website without getting the marketing right. So if you have, or plan to launch, one of our three subscription website business models – a portal, magazine website or newsletter website – it’s worth studying the winning strategies used by savvy publishers, including, of course, our own clients.   Continue

The Directory Content Business Model Is a Win-Win-Win for Ambitious Publishers

The directory content business model is a three-fer
The directory content business has some pretty unique benefits. If executed correctly, this model can be a win-win-win for any ambitious publisher. Not many content business models can say that.

Not only is a directory a revenue stream, it can also be an engagement device on your website –   Continue

Choosing Website Color Schemes: 16 Tools for Designers

Branding comes into play when choosing colors for your website. Most brands stick with their main colors. However, some businesses go through an entire rebranding when they launch or relaunch their websites, causing the “color” question to be taken into serious consideration.

If you’re redesigning your website, or simply enjoy the art of color, consider these popular website color schemes and the tools that helped develop them.   Continue

The Event Content Business Model Generates Dual Revenue

This content business model drives interest in live events while also driving revenue from attendees and sponsors

Who would have imagined in the internet age that people would still yearn for live events?

The appeal of hearing, seeing, and speaking with actual people and touching real-life objects has never gone away, and thus the event business is   Continue

Best-Practice Font Tips for Effective Website Design and More Readable Content

A recent Digiday story on publishers’ new approach to site redesign reveals that in place of the customary massive overhauls every few years, magazines are now outfitting their portals with infrastructure enabling periodic tweaks and tune-ups rather than part-and-parcel transformations. The realization that redesigns are capable of doing more harm than good has fueled this change in thinking.   Continue

9 Subscription Website Mistakes That Could Ground You

Because we quantify everything, Mequoda has identified nine (coincidentally) deadly subscription website mistakes that are commonly made when publishers build their online presence.   Continue

Creating Renewable Digital Revenue With a Course Content Business Model

When you have a course content business model, you organize a series of courses for paid subscribers that are updated regularly – but not frequently
Every successful publisher we know launched their digital existence with at least two content models. One is a portal content business model, and the other is usually a magazine content business   Continue

5 Subscription Management Software Requirements

For every publisher who dreams of creating a subscription website, choosing the right subscription management software can be a daunting task

When we set out to launch the I Like Crochet digital magazine website (the first of its kind) and tablet edition, we knew we wanted to build a state-of-the-art publication management system. We needed subscription   Continue

Increasing Profitable Platforms With the Book Content Business Model

The book content business model can give you a variety of items to sell that can be sold digitally for a large profit
When developing strategic plans for CAROTME (content, audience, revenue, organization, technology, measurement, and economics), it’s not uncommon for publishers to overlook certain content business model(s) that they could be monetizing.

We have identified 12   Continue

Follow Google’s Landing Page Guidelines to Improve Rank

As it’s always been, Google’s main focus publicly is the ads you buy via Adwords. And, as always, Mequoda knows that the exact same concepts apply to free organic search campaigns.

If you read our white papers and posts, or you’ve attended a Mequoda Intensive, you already know how much value we place on organic search. It’s the core of the Mequoda Method, and while anyone can buy ads, that kind of marketing just isn’t as high on our priority list as organic search is.   Continue

Increasing Time on Site With the Community Content Business Model

The community content business model can bring in users and keep them on your site
When developing your strategic plans for CAROTME (content, audience, revenue, organization, technology, measurement, and economics), it’s not uncommon for publishers to forget that you have to start with identifying and establishing a primary content business model(s) to monetize.

We have identified 12   Continue

Creating Traffic With the Calendar Content Business Model

The calendar content business model can provide a useful, linkable resource that keeps visitors coming back
It’s necessary to know the most ideal business model(s) for publishers, to be able to develop your strategic plans for CAROTME (content, audience, revenue, organization, technology, measurement, and economics). Not considering the content business model is a major mistake some   Continue

How to Choose the Best Subscription Pricing & Single-Copy Pricing Strategy for Your Subscription Websites & Subscription Apps

While the challenge of choosing the right subscription and single copy pricing strategy is not new to magazine publishers, it’s virgin territory for most subscription website publishers and many publishers exploring the digital newsstand landscape.

Even magazine publishers are faced with new economic realities.

The marginal cost of delivering a digital subscription to your own website is near zero. The cost of delivering digital issues via the Apple, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble digital newsstands is based on remit and the cost of delivering a digital issue paid to your digital publishing software provider (Mag+, Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, etc.).   Continue

Understanding the Freebie Content Business Model

The freebie content business model is one website we build for all of our Mequoda Gold Members

Choosing your content focus is a business-critical decision, as the focus you choose pretty much dictates your chances of success with multiplatform publishing and subscription websites. However, more serious than the focus on content is the business model itself.

It   Continue

Don’t Build a Subscription Website Until You Identify Your MIU

Before any Mequoda client will build a subscription website, they first identify the most fundamental content their users will digest
At Mequoda, we talk a lot about your minimum information unit, and that’s because you should never build a subscription website without identifying what yours is, and how many you have.

A minimum information unit, or MIU,   Continue

Website Architecture vs. Web Design – Which Comes First?

Website architecture refers to the funnel that leads your customers from a page, to a point of interest, like a “buy now” button, or an email subscription form. It refers to the function of your website and its webpages. It does not refer to the colors on your website or your CSS stylesheet, but the actual structure of your website and its purpose.

Every page of your website should have intent. For example, before you “design” a page, create its structure. An article page includes a page title, URL, headline, subhead, body copy, and sometimes a photograph. Additional SEO elements include a meta title, a meta description and tags. These elements all contribute to the architecture of an article page.   Continue