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Tag: blog

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.

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

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.”

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Audience Development Evolving Through Social Media Channels

Facebook offering more audience development strategies; Snapchat effectiveness in question; Twitter broadens live video scope
We’re seeing more publishers partnering with Facebook for distributing content as part of an audience development strategy. Part of this content strategy is focusing on Instant Articles and how more advertisements can be placed within Instant Articles. MediaPost reports, “Unveiled in

What All Subscription Website Publishing Experts Should Know

Before hiring subscription website publishing experts, take this advice straight to the bank.

If you’re looking to grow the most beautiful rose garden on the block, would you prefer to go to your local gardening center and rifle through the rose section to see what’s brightest, or would you head straight to specialty rose nursery, with employed experts in growing roses?

So then why is it that so often we hear of publishers who hire web development companies that have no experience developing subscription websites for publishers? A magazine or newsletter website requires an expertise in search engine optimization, conversion architecture, subscription management, and content management, in addition to an array of other specialties.

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!

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?

What Is a Mequoda Subscription Website Portal?

A Mequoda subscription website Portal generates value from both users and sponsors
Mequoda has guided the development of more than a 300 successful niche media websites on a wide variety of niche media topics. Our best practice is to pair a free subscription website Portal with any premium subscription business model like a magazine or newsletter.

When you charge

18 Website Development Tools to Try

There’s a never-ending stream of new tools that pop up every day to help us become better web developers. We have a dashboard of tools we look to for ideas, assistance and even implementation, and it’s safe to assume that you probably do too.

Last year we discovered and shared a lot of web design tools that we use and want to pass on. In case you’re new here or missed a few, here are our favorites.

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

Creating Passive Income and Recycling Content as a Multiplatform Publisher

How to create new products and passive income from old products as a multiplatform publisher

One of the most interesting rodents on the planet is the grasshopper mouse, native to the US and Mexico, which has a bit of a superpower: it’s impervious to venom. Also, it’s a carnivore. So it dines on venomous centipedes, scorpions

Why Niche Publishers Don’t Need To Worry About Brand Domains Yet

Niche publishers don’t need to fear domain extortion in the wake of brand domain availability

There’s a lot of evidence to show that the more constrained we are, the more creative we become. For example, Columbia University psychologist Patricia Stokes conducted a test on rodents, with a set who could only press a bar with their right

8 Niche Publishing Thought Leaders You Should Follow

There was a time when investors were shying away from publishing media because “journalism” is “expensive” and user-generated content is “cheap”.

But as the world changes tides and begins to preach the quality over quantity sermon, investors have begun to appreciate journalism again. It reaches specific audiences. Now, who else do we know who creates that kind of content? Why, it’s the niche publishers Mequoda has always served! Imagine!

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

How Niche Websites Perform in Alexa’s Top 500

You might be surprised by the niche websites that top Alexa’s list of the highest ranking websites in the U.S.

A niche website is one that centers around a specific topic or area of interest. This doesn’t usually include general interest topics like news and politics, which everyone has a stake in, but more on the

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

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

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.

SEO Tip: It’s Time to Suppress Floaters and OFIEs on Mobile Phones

The most important SEO tip of the month is suppressing floaters and OFIEs for mobile phone users
By now most of you know that Google has decreed popups and interstitial ads, which include Mequoda Best Practice floaters, to be outlawed on mobile phones as of tomorrow, January 10, 2017.

Google objects to the way these ads interfere with

The Benefits of One-on-One Training and How Publishers Can Emulate It

As a publisher, you may never get the chance to sit across the table from every one of your customers. You may never be able to ask them very specific questions and in turn, get them to ask you very specific questions.

But isn’t this the ‘fidelity’ that every customer wants with their beloved brands, the ability to ask questions and speak directly to the experts and celebrities behind these brands? And isn’t this what every publisher or business owner wishes they could do more of, to speak directly with customers to understand (and better address) their biggest concerns?

So how does a publisher with low-fidelity products create these one-on-one experiences so richly desired by their audiences?

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

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.

Protected: Executive Council Update: Mobile Pop-ups and Alternatives

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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

Google News: Emojis, Local Search Hacks, and Top Stories

This week in Google news, a few interesting tips for boosting regional magazines with local SEO hacks
Maybe you heard this week that you can now “Tweet an emoji to @Google and you’ll get an immediate reply that includes a quick quip, GIF and link to local search results that correspond to the emoji,” according to

Use Website Floaters to Increase Email Conversion Rates

Now that more than half of all Internet users block pop-ups and Google has banned them from use by PPC buyers, there are two more good reasons to drop this once effective website design technique and look for a better way to increase landing page conversion rates.

The Anatomy of an OFIE: How Smart Publishers Collect Emails

If you’ve ever been to one of our events, or you just got dropped on your head when you landed on one of our articles, you’ve probably seen the acronym OFIE here and there.

Around here, using OFIE it in a sentence (pronounced OH FEE) is as common as saying the words “website” or “conversion”. Say it with me, OHHHHH FEEEEEEEE. Or you could spell it out… oh, eff, aye, eee!

How to Save Money By Focusing on Evergreen Content

If you teach editors to write evergreen content, you’ll have a larger, more useful catalog down the road.
A friend of mine works at MIT developing interactive online courses, and one thing that hangs heavily on his brain is how to make them evergreen. Because when you work with a team of academics and researchers, content

The 12x12x12 Twitter Strategy: 12 Tweet Ideas That Future-Proof Your Content for 12 Months

When an article publishes on your website, how do you go about promoting it in social media?

When I pose this question to a room full of magazine editors from different publications, their answer is typically that they wait for the post to be published and then they promote it. If they’re super savvy, they might also schedule a Tweet (using Hootsuite or CoSchedule) a week later.

Valiant effort, for sure, but simply not enough.

The Reason Why a Rapid Conversion Landing Page Exists

A Rapid Conversion Landing Page (a.k.a. “name squeeze” page) is essential to building a database of free email newsletter subscribers. It, along with other landing pages on a website, act as the team that builds an email list. However, the RCLP is extra special in that its main purpose in life is to drive a ton of traffic from search in order to build your email list.

Facebook Makes Changes to Instant Articles to Accommodate Publishers

Instant Articles are being used by major publishers and Facebook is taking note

Facebook has become the bane of every brand and publisher’s audience development strategy, as they increasingly limit visibility on posts that aren’t boosted though their ads platform.

However, one thing we can all be happy about is how they’re improving those ads. Although Facebook’s

The 7 Mequoda Audience Development Models

These audience development models create marketing-qualified leads through freemiums that build larger, more monetizable email lists

“Audience development” is one of those terms that many people instinctively understand, but usually underestimate. Although media professionals have worked with the term for years, most have not bothered to define all the things that go on when executing an

Mequoda 3C Zone Architecture Increases Email Capture Rates by 21X

Consistent channel conversion zone architecture (3c), when applied to a publishing website, is a fancy way of saying that every channel (or blog topic) consistently aligns with a product that converts the user into a subscriber or paid user of your website. Together, they create what we call a zone. Using this zone to increase website to email conversion rates can be easy, if you let it. This metric is called your email capture rate.

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.

Audience Development: Definition & Purpose

The true audience development definition requires maximum outreach while retaining results for future sales

Just like “inbound marketing” was the buzzword of the online marketing industry last year, “audience development” begins to grow in popularity. HubSpot coined the term “inbound marketing”, which basically means bringing customers to you.

Last week we asked what is audience development? Just like “inbound marketing” has been a buzzword over the past few years, “audience development” begins to grow in popularity.

HubSpot coined the term “inbound marketing,” which basically means bringing customers to you that are already in your niche, rather than sending out direct mail and going to trade shows, of which the methods are expensive and have a lower return on your investment.

Countryside Network’s Alicia Soper on Digital Native Advertising

Part of Countryside Magazine Network’s success can be attributed to the rise of conscious and sustainable living in recent years, but an even larger part is due to their ability to change with the times in terms of both expertly deployed content and their approach to internet revenue models. Take their recent digital native advertising partnership with Purina, which features a niche magazine joining powers with a mega-coporation: Sponsored content is on the rise, and Countryside is right there with it, showing us all how it’s done.

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

Syndication: An Audience Development Strategy Used Carefully

When syndication is used for audience development, magazine publishers should be wary of duplicate content
Publishers have a long history of building audiences around specific topics, or niches. But the internet economy changed the audience development model significantly. Many of the traditional practices still work, but the digital economy requires a more expansive, and agile, approach

Mobile Pop-Ups, Interstitial Ads Could Cost You Google Visibility

Now here’s a monster development from those diabolical search masters at Google: A couple of weeks back, news broke that the company would be cracking down on mobile pop-ups and interstitial ads. What kind of cracking down, you ask? The only kind that counts – the kind that keeps consumers, readers, and potential subscribers frrom seeing your content in search.

5 Reasons to Recycle Content on Twitter

Twitter isn’t just about the here and now. In social media, you could post the same article ten times a day, but your traffic would only be driving traffic to that one page. That’s why it’s always a smart idea to recycle your articles on Twitter using our 12x12x12 method, so that blog posts from a month ago, six months ago, and a year ago, get a new life.

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,

Mobile Best Practices: A Modest Proposal

Getting a grasp of mobile best practices is like trying to catch a fish bare-handed. Unless you’re a bear, they’re really tough to pin down. If you are a bear, you probably don’t even have a smart phone, let alone a digital magazine property. And how are you even reading this?

The Best Magazine Promotion Ideas Start With This One Strategy

12 magazine promotion ideas stemming from a strict email marketing plan

The scenario plays over and over again: A publisher invests the time and money to build a multiplatform publishing website, only to wonder why they’re not generating as much revenue as expected. When we audit their efforts, we find they’re not sending any promotions for

Ad-Free Magazines: Prevention Takes the Plunge

Among publishing executives, is there anyone more admirable than Maria Rodale? Of course, we all have our favorites, but for us, Rodale’s new media innovation, multiplatform strategy instincts, niche content bona fides, and other qualities make her a true titan of the industry. And now, as stalwart Rodale property Prevention joins a small number of ad-free magazines, you see a leading title take a big step in the battle against ad blocking, viewability, and other challenges of a traditional revenue model by becoming essentially a members’ only club supported by subscribers and perhaps ecommerce content strategy.

5 Places to Test Video Landing Page Templates

Mequoda has been testing video landing pages for the past few years with great success. In fact, our Intensive attendees have told us repeatedly that our video is what convinced them to sign up. A few years ago I read a study by EyeView that said businesses who tested video on the homepages and landing pages saw a conversion rate increase up to 86%. These results were based on multiple iterations of video and placement, but 86% is no small feat.