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Tag: content management

Managing Open Source Software for Fun and Profit

When you go shopping for a new car, you’re generally limited to the inventory on the lot. You might want gullwing doors like a Delorean or a new Tesla, but you can’t get them on an Audi. You can choose your color and wait a few weeks for your vehicle to arrive from another dealership, but you can’t get racing stripes without a custom paint job somewhere else. It’s not that different when buying proprietary software for your website and content management system, so why do so many publishers still head in that direction?

Scaling Marketing for a Growing Product Line

Multiplatform publishers have a lot more choices – and decisions – to make about marketing campaigns. It’s almost enough to make even a strong person run screaming for the nearest direct mail package designer, isn’t it? But you don’t have to surrender to the confusion – paralysis by analysis is not an option!

The Best Digital Magazine Software Isn’t What You Think

How you think about digital magazine software needs to change if you want your subscriber base to grow
“Eventually, they’ll become like sailboats. They don’t need to exist anymore. But people will still love them, and make them and buy them.” – Kurt Andersen, a former editor of New York and co-founder of Spy, on the future

Step Back and Take a 1,000 Foot View of Your Business

“You live and die by your ability to prioritize. You must focus on the most important, mission-critical tasks each day and night, and then share, delegate, delay or skip the rest.” Those are the wise words of Jessica Jackley, co-founder of the successful micro-loan startup, Kiva. And Eli Broad, 185th wealthiest person in the world, and the only person we know of who has built two Fortune 500 companies in two different industries confirms prioritizing and delegating simply isn’t done enough. “The inability to delegate is one of the biggest problems I see with managers at all levels,” says Broad.

How To 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

The Best Online Directory Software for Publishers

What to look for in online directory software, from Haven, 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 post

Website Updates to Meet Audience, Technology Needs for Publishers

Website updates tend to be commonplace in the rapidly-changing digital landscape. Today we’re looking at three websites making changes for a variety of reasons.

Our first story involves Meredith Corp.’s Parents magazine and the redesign taking place. MediaPost reports, “The Meredith Corp. magazine’s new design includes a modern logo with a new typeface, the “Parents Stencil.” There are also new layouts, photography and additional coverage.”

Strategy Spotlight with Don: 10 Things to Consider Before Your Next Magazine Website Redesign

very experience you’ve ever had building and rebuilding a magazine website typically begins with you explaining what you want, and then you telling a group of developers and designers what to fix. But when did you become an expert in digital publishing strategy and conversion architecture?

In today’s Strategy Spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda explains why most custom CMS development companies aren’t a good fit for publishers who need strategic help.

Strategy Spotlight with Don: The Case for Daily Emails

How often do you publish an email newsletter? Once a week? Twice? For our clients, many of them publish 5 to 7 days per week. Sound crazy?

In today’s Strategy Spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda explains why a daily email newsletter is the right path, and should be considered a service to your readers.

Strategy Spotlight with Don: Treat Your Content MVPs like Gold

Most of our clients have a list of 100 or more articles that drive the majority of their website traffic, although some larger sites have 300. These posts, which we call blockbusters, aren’t just popular, they’re your front line. Some of our clients see more than 75% of new visitors enter through their blockbuster posts.

Strategy Spotlight with Don: 5 Goals Every Publisher Should Have in Mind

One thing we’ve noticed about the most successful publishers we know is that they have three major things in common. And it has nothing to do with being a household name, a ton of charisma or a rampant following on social media.

4 Principles Every Multiplatform Publisher Should Live By

Mequoda Masters).

In fact, this council of elders in Mequodaland convinced us to come up with a set of four relatively simple principles you need in order to build a multiplatform media business that wouldn’t require a degree in Mequoda-ise to understand.

Hiring, Firing & Building a Better Subscription Website

To build a better subscription website, we’ve created a collection of our best resources on everything you need to know when it comes to how to leverage outside partners
Most publishers seeking to improve the performance of their subscription website and online marketing efforts use a patchwork of systems.

Marketing offers and performance for subscriptions, books, webinars,

Mequoda Announces 6 Subscription Website Systems for 2017

A Mequoda Audience Development System is a physical, turn-key content management system that is customized to help publisher’s attract new visitors, convert them into email subscribers, engage them, and finally, monetize by converting those visitors into paying customers and subscribers.

To build every Mequoda Audience Development System (Mequoda System for short), we use the Mequoda Method — a collection of best practices that have been formed by watching the world’s most successful online publishers. We also document the results of every a/b and split test that our portfolio of clients are testing every day, and when we see consistent results over time with one methodology, we share it as a best practice with our clients.

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?!

Strategy Spotlight with Don: Save Time & Increase Revenue

Do you ever feel like you’re working harder than you need to? You probably are. Most people do. And the worst part is that without an outside perspective, you could spend your whole career trying to figure out how to work smarter, not harder.

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.”

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.

CMS Development Services: 3 Things to Consider

It’s not just magazine, newsletter and newspaper publishers who seek custom CMS development services. Content management systems are built for most media businesses, even those who may not consider themselves in media but produce digital content regularly. The trouble with finding a content management system is that despite the word “content” in the title, rarely do out-of-the box solutions work for publishers, and rarely do even the most talented custom CMS developers understand publishing business models enough to build a system that is built to attract, capture, engage, and monetize all in the same place.

The Best Audience Development Job Description We’ve Seen

Audience development personnel have a very specific, and incredibly important job within an organization.

Finding the right audience development staff can mean the difference between thousands of email subscribers and tens of thousands of dollars in additional revenue.

The best audience development job description I’ve ever seen comes from one of our clients.

The 9 Best Places to Use Good Keywords in Articles

Choosing good keywords and using them correctly is more than a strategy, it’s a lifeline for your investment in content and can keep traffic flowing indefinitely.

When you’re in the business of content, search engine optimization isn’t just a hip thing to do, it’s a necessity. Think about how much time your team spends every day

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.

How to Write a SEO-Friendly URL in 8 Steps

8 steps for writing and structuring a SEO-friendly URL that is easy to read by humans and search engines

I’ll bet you didn’t know there were so many types of URLs. Vanity URLs, which are short, simple URLs, are used in direct mail and other print promotions. They are meant to be easy to remember and are

Get the Mequoda CXMS and watch your profits grow…

Will you prioritize upgrading the tools that will save you time, money, and your future?

“You live and die by your ability to prioritize. You must focus on the most important, mission-critical tasks each day and night, and then share, delegate, delay or skip the rest.” Those are the wise words of Jessica Jackley, co-founder of

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

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

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

Updates in Subscription Website Products and Website Design

Some publishers are focusing on new subscription website products while others are focusing on website quality 
We’re seeing new subscription website products launch and new website launches coming to the industry.

Talking New Media is reporting on the new website launched by Surface magazine. “The new surfacemag.com reflects a completely different content strategy for the company, one

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.

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

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,

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

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

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

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

Monetizing Digital Content: Native, Ecommerce, Niche, and More

The publishers making news when it comes to monetizing digital content include Quartz, Fortean Times, and Dennis
Is there anything more important than monetizing digital content for magazines looking to embrace multiplatform publishing strategy? The answer is an obvious no, but the less obvious answer is to the follow-up question “How do you get there?”

The answer

Native Agency Approach a Priority for Digital Publishers

Checking in on the New York Times, Financial Times, and Bloomberg native agency efforts – and what it means for digital magazines
So maybe you’re not quite ready to launch your own native agency, but it’s interesting to note who is and how they’re doing it. And why. Is it to neutralize ad blocking? Generate more

How to Perform a Quick Mobile Website Analysis

If more than 50% of your traffic comes from mobile, it’s time for a mobile website analysis to see if you’re looking as sleek as you think you are
In an interview, Hearst Head of Corporate Tech Allen Duan said, “We’ve removed the differentiation between the mobile and desktop experience. Fifty percent to 70% [of Hearst’s audience] are

10 Productivity Tools for Agile Digital Magazine Teams

Create digital magazine teams using agile principles and progressive technology to build more collaborative processes

Magazine teams have historically all been in one building, maybe in New York City, or Washington, D.C. They might occupy more than 20 floors in the World Trade Center, like Condé Nast, or a more humble space, like many of the niche

How to Update a Magazine Editor Job Description for Multiplatform Publishing

Write an online magazine editor job description like a product description for a Swiss Army knife

Can you remember life before the internet, when a personal computer was another name for a hand-held calculator? When publishing was a process that required a printing press?

If you’re old enough to remember hot type, the pica stick, and manual

Publishing Analytics News From PubExec Live Summit

Checking out the latest publishing analytics news from all data points
Publishing analytics have assumed a prominent role here at Mequoda, where we’re focusing more and more resources on staff, development, and technology.

We’re not alone. The digital publishing industry is clamoring around publishing analytics, because they provide insights into one of, if not the, most important

When Existing Direct Marketing Systems for Publishers Aren’t Enough

Improving direct marketing results is a constant source of discussion for publishers. They are always tracking, evaluating, and testing different offers for their products in order to optimize their results, even moreso now that it can be done online through digital direct marketing systems.

3 Checkpoints Before Starting a Magazine Business Plan

When we develop magazine business plans for our Gold Members, it include seven levels which you’ve probably heard us refer to as CAROTME: content, audience, revenue, optimization, technology, monetization, and exit.

Why You Should Fire Your Digital Publishing Services

You need a magazine consultant that acts as a general contractor, and a content management system that does, too.

In the past I’ve divulged what to look for in a magazine consultant, and we’ve written many posts lately about what to look for in a content management system. But how do you put this new information into practice?

Well, it might require firing some people, and firing some of your digital publishing services.

Top Subscription Billing Software Solutions for Publishers

Subscription billing software allows publishers to manage their customer subscriptions and revenue by storing payment data and processing charges on a recurring basis. Of course, subscriptions have been an important economic model for publishers for a long time and good digital publishers continue to take advantage of the benefits.

Most publishers understand that merchant accounts and payment gateways are necessary to take someone’s credit card and ensure the funds end up in the right place. Subscription billing software ensures that accounts can be charged on a regular basis. These services store credit cards, and ensure that every month the right people get charged the right amount for their subscription service.

Some payment gateways have developed simple recurring billing modules on top of their existing systems. Other services have developed specific capabilities around subscription billing.

How to Optimize Images for the Web When You Recycle Magazine Archives

While bloggers are out there buying generic images for a dollar on stock photo sites, one nice benefit magazines typically have is an archive of photographs from past issues. One way that Mequoda suggests niche magazines improve their SEO is by digging into their old magazine archives, finding their most evergreen content, and recycling it on the web.

When that comes up, you might also be looking at uploading some old images. They may be named in a series of numbers or old categorization codes, and they probably have a dpi resolution way too high for the web. If your end goal is to create new, search-optimized content from your old archived content, images are part of the deal. It’s a pesky task, but you’re up to the challenge. Here’s how to go about it.

Swiftype Aims to Be Publisher Technology Choice

To paraphrase Steve Miller, publisher technology keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future. Could be your content management system, your app, your digital advertising: There’s little time to rest on your laurels after each and every advance.

Anytime a vendor or service exec has some free advice to share with publishers, even if they have a marketing strategy in mind, we pay attention. Today, it’s a search engine CEO. We also have some news to relay on ad blocking, Google AMP, Medium’s latest move, and more, all from our friends at MediaPost.com. Let’s take a look!

Choosing the Best Content Management System for Digital Publishers

Your content management system is, simply stated, the system used to manage the content on your web site … but it’s so much more than just that. Choosing a CMS is one of the most important decisions publishers make today.

When it comes to choosing the best CMS for your digital publishing business, you can find advice from vendors, marketers, editors, sales people, technology experts, web developers, and even consultants. Although there are many choices, publishers need to stay focused on their goals when selecting a system.

How to Create User-Centric Multi-Platform Products

Periodical publishers have historically considered content to be disposable – generated once for use in a periodical or book and then discarded.

Multi-platform publishers who recycle, reuse, and re-publish information in many different multi-platform products (portals, periodicals, books, email newsletters, membership websites, libraries, courses, events, DVDs, CDs, and more) are the ones – large, small, or independent – who will succeed.

Also, customer-driven content management has become commonplace, allowing a diverse community of online users to engage and be engaged in many different ways, compared to simply subscribing to a magazine or buying a book, and the resulting environment has become much bigger and more sophisticated than in the past.

Organizing content around the customer, therefore, really means organizing content efficiently and effectively to extend your brand and drive both revenue and profit.

The Best Job Board System for Publishers

Publishers, especially in the B2B space, have always helped their audience by providing career development advice, and by promoting opportunities in need of qualified professionals. Often, publications will provide expert career advice, or interviews with industry leaders specifically about how to get a better job, or get the skills that can lead to advancement.