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Mequoda CEO Institute

If you are the CEO of an independent media business, or are empowered to act like one, the Mequoda CEO Institute may be the first step on the path you’ve been seeking.

In just two days, you will learn a step-by-step process for transforming a legacy media brand into a multiplatform media brand. Join the ranks of our past graduates who have doubled or tripled their revenue in five years or less using our methodology.

Dear Niche Media CEO,

The Internet is the most powerful and disruptive technology to hit the publishing industry since the invention of movable type. The opportunities available to niche publishers today are massive and nearly 20 years after the very first magazine websites went live, there is finally a proven method for transforming niche media brands into 21st-century multiplatform powerhouses.

In just two days, my team and I will walk you through a step-by-step process for making that transformation a reality. We will teach you how to use your high quality content to attract, convert, engage and monetize your target audience in the most efficient manner possible, and will give you the exact blueprint our graduates have used to double and triple their revenues.

As a seasoned media executive, I bet you are suspicious that such an aggressive claim is too good be true. Your skepticism is warranted, and if you’ll continue reading I’m confident I can supply the data required to backup my bold claim.

Still with me?

Let me begin by quickly sharing how the Internet dramatically changed my career in the publishing industry, and how I am passing forward what I have learned to transform the careers of thousands of other media professionals.

My name is Don Nicholas and I founded Mequoda Systems back in 2004. I began my career in media as a print and broadcast journalist, and by 1982, I was the general manager for a 10 million dollar regional media company producing magazines, books, television programs and live events.

In 1983, I created the Lighthouse Publishing Model and founded Lighthouse Publishing Services which leveraged personal computers to redefine the process of magazine business plan development and optimization.

In 1993, I founded Blue Dolphin Direct which became the magazine publishing industry’s largest direct marketing agency with a client list that included Consumer Reports, IDG, Time Inc, Rodale, Meredith and hundreds of niche media publishers.

In 1994, we began exploring ways to harness the Internet, and in 1997, launched our first Mequoda System, which was sold three years later for $85 million.

Over the past 18 years, we’ve used The Mequoda Method to transform hundreds of legacy media brands into multiplatform media brands. Along the way, our clients have used their Mequoda Systems to generate billions in revenue and change the course of niche media publishing forever.

How the Mequoda Method Works

The Mequoda Method is built on these four main principles:


We see all four as discreet strategies that are all completely interlocked, and getting your team focused on ACEM metrics is the path to success. At the Mequoda CEO Institute, we’ll teach you the Mequoda Method. We will teach you how to fish in your pond using the Mequoda Method. We supply the boat, tackle and maps – your team supplies the bait, brainpower and labor to do the fishing.

Attract: We see SEO (great content + great keywords) as a primary driver of traffic. Some publishers opt to pay for traffic through PPC, but we believe that most publishers can build a steady stream of traffic through organic search by writing great editorial content and repurposing print content for the web in the form of keyword-optimized website portal posts and free reports.

Convert: With enough content on your portal, you can turn your steady flow of web visitors into email subscribers by giving away free reports or other freebies. To convert visitors into subscribers, the publisher only needs to implement appropriate conversion architecture on every page of their website. This enables you to build relationships with readers and get permission to contact them regularly with valuable and engaging content.

Engage: All of your work attracting and converting website visitors into email subscribers is for nothing if you can’t keep your readers delighted and engaged by your content. Don’t skimp on your content. It’s the only thing between you and our fourth principle.

Monetize: Once someone is on your email list, whatever frequency your email schedule is, that’s how many times per week you have opportunities to sell them something. Without the first three principles, you only have one opportunity to sell, and those are the few moments from when they arrive on your site until they leave. By adding attraction, conversion and engagement to your online strategy, you have hundreds of chances to get their attention.

The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Niche Media CEOs

While the ACEM strategies form the backbone of the Mequoda Method, the execution of the strategy lies in what we refer to as CAROTME, or Mequoda’s Strategic Planning Framework.

CAROTME represents the seven key components of a multiplatform transformational business plan and defines the seven habits of highly successful niche media CEOs. We build transformational business plans for our clients, and we will teach you how to build your own at the Mequoda CEO Institute. The CAROTME components represent a proven roadmap to success that is bulletproof and profitable, and has created many multiplatform publishing superstars over the years. The 7 components of CAROTME are:

Content Strategy
Audience Strategy
Revenue Strategy
Organizational Strategy
Technology Strategy
Measurement Strategy
Exit Strategy

These CEO habits and business planning components have been built on our 18 years of experience, plus the ongoing, invaluable data and best practices we derive from our clients. Here’s a summary of each component:

Your Content Strategy

Use high quality content to attract, capture, engage and monetize your target audience in the most efficient manner possible.

Countless brands in America are busy figuring out how to become content marketers. Luckily, you already are – you just need some expert guidance in maximizing your content’s impact. The Mequoda Method is all about how to cost-effectively repurpose your content to drive traffic to your website – and often produce entirely new premium products – and explains how to repurpose and reflow content you’re already creating to do it all.

Your Audience Strategy

Leverage search engines and other organic media as the core of your audience development program and expand your reach when possible with paid media.

Legacy publishers are sometimes surprised to find their audience isn’t who they think it is – or that it has less future potential in 21st century publishing than they realize. Mequoda leverages its vast experience in modeling businesses for multiplatform publishers to identify and quantify target audiences and how those result in website traffic and conversions to email subscribers and paid customers.

Your Revenue Strategy

Use multiplatform offers and contrast pricing to maximize revenue and profitability.

Once again, our benchmark data is invaluable. We can confidently identify profitable new products, explain how native advertising and content marketing are making money in the real world, help you price your products – using a proven successful strategy that too few publishers understand – and identify your costs, risks and opportunities so you know what you need to invest and can take advantage of the investor funds flowing back into the publishing industry again if necessary.

Your Organizational Strategy

Organize your people into eight multiplatform teams and empower them to be creative, innovative and disciplined.

Many publishers have organized their operations into silos that make a multiplatform publishing strategy difficult, and more expensive, to execute – but we have a leaner, integrated, more cost-efficient model that we’ll fine-tune for your needs. We will show you how to re-organize your staff based on their strengths so everyone functions at their highest – and most profitable – level.

Your Technology Strategy

Leverage best of breed software, hardware and services to create a fully integrated multiplatform publishing and marketing system.

We are the industry’s leading publishing-centric system management provider, and we build robust, customized digital publishing and marketing systems for less money and in less time than other developers because we leverage existing software which has been built specifically for the needs of publishers. We’ll show you the importance of integration in today’s digital landscape and how to choose technology to meet your revenue goals.

Your Measurement Strategy

Identify and model the key metrics to operate your business and drive all resource allocation decisions.

Without continually-growing earnings, pure-print legacy publishers will find few or no willing buyers for their businesses when they decide to exit. Get a picture of what the value of your business could be to others in the marketplace in 5 years, leading to insights about how you should best operate the business.

Are you sure you know which metrics and data are actually the most important to your business? Mequoda’s experience has allowed us to document exactly the right metrics that help multiplatform publishers succeed, and we’ll help you understand how to measure them and what to do with the data once you have it.

Your Exit Strategy

Make investment decisions that support your economic goals.

Without continually-growing earnings, pure print legacy publishers are finding few willing buyers – if any – for their businesses when they decide to exit, and they’re valued accordingly. By becoming a growing, multiplatform publishing powerhouse, you can follow in the footsteps of your fellow Mequoda clients, who have sold their companies for eight times earnings – sometimes 10 or even 20 times – instead of simply shutting down your company at a loss, or giving it away in a fire sale, as we see all too often these days.

5 Reasons to Register Today

You get all of this by registering for the Mequoda CEO Institute:

  1. An integrated multiplatform media strategy using the secrets used by superstar publishers that you can leverage to build your own booming business.
  2. Exposure to dozens of media brands which have been transformed using our method, and the opportunity to learn from the industry experts who guide these superstars, so you fully understand every detail of the Mequoda Method.
  3. One-on-one access to six of our team leaders in an intimate small group setting and networking opportunities that allow you to connect with other forward-thinking publishing leaders.
  4. Thousands of dollars worth of white papers and tools to help you implement what you’ve learned, including our comprehensive strategic planning toolbox which includes:

    The Mequoda Strategic Planning Framework
    The Mequoda Google Visibility Report
    The Mequoda Online Market Audit
    The Mequoda Multiplatform Content Marketing Matrix
    The Mequoda Multiplatform Strategy Model

  5. Your satisfaction is guaranteed by me.

Don’t wait. Read through the agenda and get a feel for the Method. Read the testimonials from your fellow publishers. Check your calendar. When you’re through, I’m confident you’ll be ready to register, and to start learning this efficient, profitable method for becoming multiplatform publishing success story from our next Mequoda CEO Institute.

I’m looking forward to talking with you. Let’s chat more about your publishing business over one of the hot breakfasts, lunches or dinner that’s included with the price of your seat.

See you soon,


Don Nicholas
CEO, Founder & Lead Instructor
Mequoda Group

P.S. We limit the number of Mequoda CEO Institute attendees to 25 in order to provide an intimate, friendly environment that allows everyone to ask questions and network with their peers during breaks. We even host a networking reception and dinner the first night, where everyone relaxes and shares war stories. You won’t get that kind of value-added proposition at a mega-conference!

P.S.S: Because transformational change is hard, we offer group pricing that encourages you to bring your executive leadership team with you to the Mequoda CEO Institute. If you do, you’ll all attend at a discounted rate. See current pricing here.