These days, when people talk about newsletter best practices, they’re usually referring to free email newsletters, used as a marketing tool to drive inbound traffic to websites. But because some of us are old-time journalists here at Mequoda, we also think fondly of paid newsletters, a classic journalistic form that survives today in the digital era. Continue
If you’re a publishing professional, don’t wait a minute longer before downloading our best practice handbooks. They were carefully curated into what we think are the most comprehensive handbooks on the four most important digital publishing topics: Continue
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
It’s been reported that the average email users spends at average of 51 seconds on each email newsletter they read. If this average pertains to your market, you need to develop a way to maximize your email’s ability to connect with your audience. Continue
There I was, getting my hair cut at the village barbershop. The barber was a thirtysomething woman who was new to the shop.
While making small talk, she came to the inevitable question, “What do you do for a living?”
“I’m a magazine publishing consultant,” I said automatically, having answered the question that way many times over the past Continue
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.
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. Continue
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
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
Your subscription website publishing performance the key to doubling, or even tripling, your organization’s revenue over the next five years. Continue
Only five years after the advent of the tablet, strategies for successful digital magazine publishing are starting to sort themselves out and deliver measurable results. Of course at Mequoda, we’re all about documenting these things so digital publishers don’t have to re-invent the wheel.
Here are 10 things you must do if you want to join the ranks of millionaire publishers … a goal we think is worthy of all digital publishers today. Continue
Take this information to the bank … 2016 Mequoda American Magazine Reader Study & Handbook & Handbook polled 3,241 U.S. adults with internet access and found that nearly 42% of them are reading digital magazines, up 13.8% from 2015. Continue
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
Discover the carefully guarded source of the world’s most effective email subject lines that most professional copywriters don’t like to share Continue
Do you have a solid business plan for success in multiplatform publishing?
Unless you answered “You better believe it, pal!” to that question, I have another question for you.
How do you expect to succeed without a plan to get you there?
Of course, it’s not easy to navigate this brave new world of multiplatform publishing – at Continue
Digital magazine publishing software is important; which option are you using?
Publishers have been trying digital magazine publishing software during the last few years in hopes of creating the best digital products for their audiences. And like everything else in digital magazine land, digital magazine software has evolved at light speed since we made our initial recommendations in January.
Here’s our latest (opinionated) look at the magazine software landscape. Continue
Our latest version of the Multiplatform Publishing Strategy handbook delivers a proven, integrated set of business processes, principles and tools for the digital publisher, whether you’re B2B, consumer, local, regional or national; multi-title or single. Continue
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. Continue
As tech industry observers like to note, the world of apps is wild and wacky. There are almost two million apps in the Apple and Google app stores. If you pick up or click to pretty much any tech publication these days, you’re guaranteed to see at least one app review, to help bewildered consumers navigate this crowded field.
Of course when you read those articles, you’re getting a lot of personal opinion, and in tech land, much of that turns out to be excitement over flashy technology – no surprise there. So what kind of apps do people want, really? For magazine publishers, the answers are fairly simple. Continue
Some helpful hints on generating revenue through online advertising
What comes to mind when you think about revenue models on the Internet? Is it a relatively new model that was designed specifically for the Internet? Or do you think of traditional business models that have transformed from the physical world to the digital world?
That may have been a trick question, but if you answered “both”, you are correct. The Internet offers an array of revenue models, which in turn have their own subsets of revenue-generating models. If this sounds complex now, just keep in mind that this all means revenue can be generated in many ways. As you read on the intricacies should become more understandable. Continue
This handbook takes you from the big picture of building an audience to the minute but critical details website architecture that helps you build email lists. You’ll learn how the most successful publishers optimize entire sites for Google, from picking keywords to writing optimized content. Continue
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
If you’re making plans for your own digital publication, it behooves you to also plan how to make money from it with strategic digital magazine marketing.
After all, buying a list and mailing a big direct mail package, in hopes of getting a bunch of people to subscribe as we all did in the old print days, is rather like trying to sell 21st-century tablets themselves at an old-fashioned general store where hardware, ladies’ hats and pickles all shared the same space, and the proprietor fetched everything on your list, then wrapped up your purchases in brown paper and twine. Continue
Aggregating great content is just as valuable as creating great content
Content aggregation is often given a bad name, because it’s often done incorrectly.
The best content aggregators approach the process as the valuable art form that it is. Content aggregators recognize the web is all about content aggregation, and their work allows users to reach new depths on the subject matter they care about.
We first wrote about content aggregation in 2011. At that time, he had been researching best practices for content aggregation and strategies content aggregators should avoid. Continue
At Mequoda, we believe all publishers can prosper in the digital environment. Join us in Boston for our next Mequoda Digital Revenue Summit 2017 and learn the latest best practices in audience development and content development, distribution, promotion and measurement. Continue
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
With a myriad of digital magazine software platforms emerging, choosing the best digital magazine publishing strategy for your brand has never been harder
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.” Continue
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? Continue
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
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 Continue
Your magazine and newsletter content is incredibly valuable.
There are, in fact, 10 well-documented content business models that can be used to build and grow your audience, revenue, and profitability. When used together, they form an incredibly efficient, fully integrated multiplatform publishing and marketing system that can be used to dominate virtually any content niche from Continue
As the mobile publishing revolution has matured, I’ve been blogging about a lot of large, fancy digital magazines. Publications like New York, Forbes and The Atlantic have become leaders in what I consider the second phase of mobile publishing development – the technology is dependable, early jumpers are releasing their all-new versions upgraded from their 2010 efforts, and standards for what consumers are willing to pay for are establishing themselves. Continue
When we talk about multiplatform publishing, some publishers think we’re talking about the difference between laptops, desktops and tablets. But those are simply the devices we deliver content through.
We’re talking about content repurposing, on many platforms.
Repurposing content is a core tenet of the Mequoda Method, but we can’t take credit for inventing the tactic. Rather, any publishers worth their salt – whether print or digital – have always run some variation on this theme. Why? Because it rewards your best work, saves you from excess work, gives you a ton of versatility, and will make you money while you sleep. Continue
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
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. Continue
Perhaps you’ve heard about Mequoda’s Haven Nexus Customer Experience Management System. After all, it’s the only technology you can get from the same company that can deliver a proven strategic planning program and unparalleled ongoing revenue optimization – all in one place.
It’s also the only system that comes with several thousand tested publishing best practices Continue
Can you assign dollars and dimes to a free digital newsstand?
There’s no doubt that publishing your digital magazine on a tablet, so that it can be downloaded in some of the world’s largest newsstands, is a good idea. 20% of your subscriptions will come directly from this huge marketplace.
It benefits your content too. Most people read back to front in print magazines. But in a digital magazine, 95% will read front to back. They’ll see more pages (and ads for that matter). Or, they’ll pick an article are start there. With a web magazine, the reading dynamics are similar but different. It’s a fascinating thing to master if you’re a magazine editor in the 21st century. The web magazine is significantly different, and both are very different from the print magazine. Continue
If you publish a monthly magazine and each issue includes 50 articles, you have content for 600 blog posts. That’s almost two years worth of blog content, or a twice daily publishing schedule if you only post five days per week.
Although your magazine content could sit in a member-only editorial archive with past issues of your print content, we suggest recycling magazine articles by releasing that content into your portal to help build circulation. Continue
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
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. Continue
Since Mequoda’s inception, we’ve helped create 14 publishing superstars. We’re looking for the 15th. And the 16th, and the 17th …
Wondering if you’re the kind of publisher we’re looking for? Let me tell you about some of those superstars … we call them Mequoda Masters, so you can decide for yourself if you should join that Continue
Do you run or contribute to an online magazine?
Most of our readers would consider themselves in the magazine publishing industry, that is true. But do you think you run an online magazine, or a digital magazine, a print magazine or a magazine website? You might have chosen two or three of those, or you might think they mean similar things. However, to us, these all have very different meanings and very different business models. Continue
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. Continue
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
I bet you have great content.
Many niche publishers do. And, at Mequoda, we are deeply appreciative of the work that independent publishers do every day. Not only that, but we also know that success in our industry isn’t about slick marketing, or vast advertising resources.
Instead, we know you can make a great deal of money Continue
We recently started working with a publisher who came to us looking to sell more magazine subscriptions. When we started talking about the importance of building their email circulation, the publisher looked at us as if we hadn’t heard his question. After this conversation, it came to me that there are still lots of people out there who don’t understand what we do.
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
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. Continue
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
Winston Churchill called it, all right.
And it strikes me that trying to succeed in the magazine publishing industry is a lot like running a war: lots of moving parts, struggling to outmaneuver the enemy – that is, the competition – and often without an end in sight.
How to sell sponsorship advertising across platforms
Multiplatform publishers can generate revenue from users, from sponsors, or both. Consumer-focused portals that are sponsorship-based ask users to pay – not with money, but with time and information. They spend time viewing web pages and signing up for email feeds, thus creating advertising inventory that can be used Continue