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.
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
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
Once upon a time, online advertising had a shady reputation.
Luckily for publishers, that’s all in the past. The online advertising industry has improved its reputation, and consumers have become more accustomed to seeing these ads. Even the once-dreaded popup ad has become routine, especially when it’s carefully aligned with your content, which is a Mequoda Best Practice. 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
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 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. 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
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
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
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
Although a text ad could refer to any ad consisting of text, we’re currently referring to those that are part of your conversion architecture. These ads are placed in the dead center of all your articles and invite your website visitors to download a free product that will get them on your email list. 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
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! Continue
Even the lowest digital newsstand remit is better than the olden days. Just a few short years ago, magazine publishers were thrilled down to their toes to keep 18-40% of sales from news agencies.
When Don ran an online newsstand, 18% was the average new remit order for the 1,400 titles there. And some publishers earned absolutely nothing from sales from the agencies they dealt with. Continue
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, Continue
Social Media Optimization (SMO) is what we call the process of optimizing your content and your business, for social media.
Typically, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes first. This is the process of creating content that has been optimized for some set of keywords that our target audience is looking for.
Magazine pricing strategy has certainly evolved quickly over the past year. In 2013, we still believed that universal pricing was the best way to handle print, website and tablet products. Today, we’ve evolved our own thinking and our new Best Practice is decoy pricing, which requires different prices for different products. Continue
What to look for in online directory software, from Haven Nexus, 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 Continue
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. Continue
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 Continue
Call it what you want, but here at Mequoda we’ve assigned the title Rapid Conversion Landing Page to a landing page that collects an email address and offers a free product (freemium) in exchange. You’ve seen them around here, here, and here.
If you’ve read our blog before, attended one of our Intensives, or a Summit, you know we typically cut the syllables in half by affectionately calling it the RCLP most of the time. Continue
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! Continue
If you don’t register for the next Mequoda Digital Publishing & Marketing Intensive by midnight, you’ll have to wait another year to start your journey to multiplatform publishing success. Continue
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 Continue
Get your ducks in a row and plan your multiplatform publishing future
If you’ve considered selling your publication, the market is saying they will not value a publication at all if they are not at least on the road to multiplatform publishing – so if your organization is not on this path, then there may be Continue