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Tag: blog

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 portal 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.

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!

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.

How to Build a Multiplatform Website for Multiplatform Content

A multi-platform website enables a publisher to create dynamic content on multiple platforms. Some of these platforms might be online streaming through a membership library of training videos, or it could be a web magazine—formatted for, and read on the web.

But multi-platform website doesn’t just refer to the number of ways you recycle content across text, video, graphics and other mediums. It also means your website is responsive and will show visitors these different types of media, no matter what device they use: desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, phablet, whatever you’ve got. More thoughts on responsive design.

Multiplatform Publishing Options Expand Through Partnerships, Products and Services

Multiplatform publishing options continue to grow for digital publishers. Today we’re looking new strategies being used by publishers for tapping into new revenue streams and audiences.

The Only 3 Link-Building Strategies You Actually Need to Raise Domain Authority

Last week we talked about how to measure your domain authority, and this week I’d like to talk about how to improve it through link-building strategies.

A client of ours, when they first launched their Mequoda System, had a domain authority of 27, which is not a bad or unusual domain authority for a publisher, but when the scale is 0 – 100, you always want to get as close to the top as you can. However, soon after, they acquired and assimilated with a publisher who had a higher domain authority, which raised their score to 40 over the course of 18 months while they adopted and integrated the new content. The major change? A massive number of high domain authority inbound links that they inherited.

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.”

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.

Using Content Recycling to Increase your Audience, Revenue and Profits

12 ways to make an old magazine article new again through content recycling
The VP of The Taunton Press was quoted a few years ago as saying, “We can’t afford to pay for content if it’s going to be a one-time use.”

But yet twenty to thirty years ago that’s all content ever was: one time use. There

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,

6 Tools to Create Data-Driven Content Ideas

Consider the rise of talent shows on TV like America’s Got Talent and American Idol. When it comes down to it, they’re simply performing good old-fashioned market research. Why sign an unknown singer to a record label, or sign a new act to a Vegas casino, when you can see how the world responds to them first? The same method applies to content. Developing data-driven content ideas can be the difference between a homepage full of stimulating ideas, and a page full of templated headlines on the same topic.

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

Fast Loading Websites Favored by Search Engines, Facebook

It’s no surprise that fast loading websites are necessary components to a strong online presence. We’re seeing search engines and social media sites respond to users’ desire to engage with websites that load quickly. Unfortunately, not all digital publishers have a site that loads quickly for computers or mobile and that can be a problem for audience retention.

Our first story today looks at Facebook’s new priority in supplying fast loading websites in its News Feed section. The Facebook News Room reports, “During the coming months we’re making an update to News Feed to show people more stories that will load quickly on mobile and fewer stories that might take longer to load, so they can spend more time reading the stories they find relevant.”

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

The Most Important SEO Factors of 2017?

Search Engine Land releases report on worthy SEO factors; Google reminds us of rules for putting links in large-scale audience development campaigns; Publisher fades in Google results after blocking Google users
It’s recommended to stay current with best-practice SEO if you want to rank organically in Google. Today we share news stories that look at these factors,

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

Shopping Cart SEO: How to Optimize Your Cart for Search and Reviews

In practical terms, many publishers don’t really need a shopping cart. Many publishers have only a few products to sell. If your business offers one or two magazines, a few books and not much else, a direct offer management system is probably all you need. But if you have many products to sell – multiple subscription magazines, newsletters, books, webinars, videos, DVDs, etc – then a shopping cart is essential for facilitating more sales.

New Multiplatform Website Updates and Relaunches from Meredith & Others

A successful multiplatform publisher will consistently look for the next big way to enhance his or her brand, and focusing on digital evolution is one major way to do it.

10 Ways to Improve Magazine Content Marketing

You probably remember the good old days when there was this thing called “article marketing.” It involved marketing your articles, most often by re-publishing them as guest posts on external sites in an effort to get inbound links, and also sharing them with other bloggers in the hope they might share or comment on the posts. At that time, the goal was to get the article shared, and to get the word out about your publication because those were still the early days of SEO.
Today it’s evolved into what we refer to as content marketing, and our focus has changed a little in that we want people to come to our site, not to other people’s sites. Sure, we might republish articles in repositories like Medium and LinkedIn, but it’s done deliberately and with SEO in mind, not just for the sake of republishing.

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

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

How to Discover Your Multiplatform Media Content Assets

Most of the multiplatform media publishers I work with are rich with content assets.

If they’re not rich with revenue, it’s usually because they don’t know how to leverage those assets. Efficiency is key to success in a multiplatform publishing environment. Before you can design a system that minimizes manpower and maximizes automation, you need to do a thorough inventory of your content assets.

Your multiplatform content assets may be spread out in places that you haven’t thought of as repositories. Some of those places may be channels and others may be platforms. It’s also possible that you have a dusty warehouse full of old copies of magazines, books, and other content assets that no one has touched in years.

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.

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

What Is Multiplatform Publishing?

Back in 2006 I read an article comparing the fidelity and convenience of watching a movie on an iPod, a home theater, or in a state-of-the-art movie theater. The author cleverly pointed out that the three media platforms offer the viewer an inverted user experience on the dimensions of fidelity and convenience.

In other words, the users will experience high convenience and low fidelity on the iPod, or what now would be an iPad; moderate convenience and moderate fidelity with the home theater; and low convenience and high fidelity at the cinema. And for some people, it’s just about preference.

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.

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

Google Cracks Down on Bad Ads

Google’s Bad Ads report shows action taken in 2016 to remove and ban deceptive advertising tactics
Finally, Google has decided to start cracking down on misleading and bad ads that look like news articles, or system errors that deceive users. When you think about it, these advertisers are paying for clickbait which probably has a high

How to Conduct an Interview: Questions and Strategies

Actionable audience development steps to make your next interview article filled with engaging content

Conducting interviews are a great way to produce content for your blog, website and publications. People love to hear from experts in your niche. It’s really a win-win situation. Your interviewee gets to share his or her expertise with your readers, and you get great content to publish. There are a few different ways to conduct and interview, and in this article I explore those ways and share some insights on how to make your next interview informative.

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.

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