f there were just three things you could do today to increase your audience, revenue, and profits, what would they be?
In today’s Strategy Spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda shares a strategy for each. Continue
How will publishers make money in the future? Consumers will pay for content. And sponsors will pay for us to create it. At least, that’s what Grzegorz Piechota pitched in a recent session of FIPP’s recent Digital Innovator’s Summit. And if you’ve been reading here for a while, you know I agree. Continue
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. Continue
Online content marketing is antithetical to anything we knew prior to 20 years ago — something Seth Godin terms interruption marketing. Everything I learned in college and during my early career, whether space ads, TV commercials or direct response, employed hardcore, confrontational marketing messages. Continue
We’re not sure why most association magazine websites bury free and magazine content, but we’ll try to help them see the light.
If you’re an association website, do you spin off your magazine on its own, or do you keep your organization and the content you publish under the same roof? In other words, do you Continue
We all know the four basic advertising models, Cost per Thousand (CPM), Cost per Click (CPC), Cost per Action (CPA), Directory/Classified advertising platforms. But what else is out there?
In today’s Strategy Spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda explains how niche publishers are boosting sponsorship revenues with one innovative strategy that advertisers love. Continue
Digital magazine publishers Hearst and Condé Nast’s joint venture makes moves; Mediacorp shutters print to focus on digital; The Atlantic grows international presence Continue
Are you in the process of writing a magazine business plan for a new venture, or an extension of an existing publishing business? I won’t beat around the bush here. If you’re looking to develop a magazine business plan, we should chat. 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
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
In multiplatform marketing and social media, do you ever feel like the content you produce is making more money for other people, than for you? Think about it. 100 years ago, American songwriter, Victor Herbert sued a restaurant for playing his song on a piano without paying royalties for the song and formed a society, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers to keep this from happening to other artists and publishers. Sure, plagiarism is one angle of what multiplatform publishers encounter when someone uses your content without permission, but what about the content you give away for free on other platforms? 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
If you’re running or managing a publishing company, your time is often spent figuring out how to build a bigger audience, boost revenues, and increase your profitability on those numbers.
In today’s Strategy Spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda explains seven ways to tackle the audience portion, which will lead to increasing your magazine Continue
Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Have you ever felt in your personal life, like plans are useless? Many people feel this way, and in fact I’ve heard the best advice you can give a bride before her wedding is to plan that not everything will go as planned. Just knowing that imperfection is part of the plan can be a soothing anecdote.
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?
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 Continue
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. Continue
“Do your job.”
Those are the famous words of New England Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick, and the mantra of the whole team, who I imagine you already know just won their fifth Super Bowl in the greatest game of all time (no New England bias here, nope!)
If you have a magazine, you have a magazine subscription website. Most publishers don’t use the same definition as we do, because I don’t think most magazine subscription websites do their job. They exist, and they process payments, but they do very little to attract (provocative pricing), entice (great copy and packages), and keep subscribers happy (digital archives and access). Continue
Increase email revenue by determining your ideal revenue per subscriber, and then using service journalism to keep them on a path toward monetization
A Mequoda online publishing and marketing system measures revenue produced by email newsletter subscribers differently from the way that print publishers have traditionally measured the lifetime value of a subscriber.
The revenue per email Continue
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
A subscription marketing system is the only good way to guide visitors through your product catalog
Did you know that a sunflower is not just one flower, but more than a thousand small flowers, all stuck together on one head and a single stalk? Even what seems like the petals of a sunflower are considered individual Continue
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
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 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
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
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
How to promote a digital magazine online, offline, and everywhere in between
How do you usually promote a magazine? Afterall, subscription and newsstand sales are the keys to driving advertiser interest, so what are you doing to promote your print magazine?
Blow-in cards. Social Media. Newsstands. Direct mail and email renewal series. Subscription agents. The list goes on.
Now what Continue
Magazine events bring in user and sponsor revenue, and many publishers have made a profitable business model out of them.
When we talk about multiplatform publishing, it’s easy to jump right into the obvious choices: the ones with words, like books and portals and ebooks. But some of the biggest publishers I know have incorporated live 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
Intent, alignment, and engagement take the stage in 2017 for audience development professionals
I don’t know about you, but I’m eager to see how audience development changes in 2017. Over the last year I’ve seen content marketers in particular get aggressive with link building again. Not just through spam commenting (boo!) but also guest blogging (yay!) Continue
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 Continue
Multiplatform publishers should explore new ancillary business models in 2017
In stock investing, most long-term investors agree that you need a diversified portfolio to succeed. If one sector takes a hit for a couple years, the other sectors will keep you afloat. Over the last decade, I know more than a few publishers who would have 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
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
This week’s subscription website news shines a light on new marketing initiatives and revenue generated by successful subscription services
We’re seeing that subscription website news takes on some interesting dimensions early on in 2017.
The first story, filled with some intriguing insight for subscription and digital marketers, features Aiden — a digital marketer created with artificial intelligence. Continue
How to transform the way you attract, capture, engage, and monetize new visitors with a customer experience management system
Recall the first best friend you made. Maybe it was on the bus, or at an arcade, or maybe you bumped into one another at the roller skating rink.
You were instant friends. Maybe you figured that out 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
Our most-read subscription website publishing posts of last year show an interest in building profitable subscription websites and improving the usability and site speed of existing websites.
In 2016, toward the end of the year it was made abundantly clear to publishers they would need to focus on more simple site design with faster loading times. 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
When a print magazine closes, a world of opportunity opens for its portal
A few weeks ago Conde Nast announced that they’d be closing the print arm of Self magazine. And after their single-copy sales dropped from 148,055 to 44,000 over the last two years, who can blame them? If you think about all the strings that 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
By all means, launch many content business models and diversify your publishing portfolio. But start with your magazine experience through your magazine subscription website.
We’re in a recession. Maybe you’re feeling pretty good right now personally, but publishers are in a recession. Big time. Last year was a recession especially for newspapers, according to Pew Research Center’s 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
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.
Why “free” is a subscription business model of its own and why every magazine should have one
Since the beginning of time, or at least the beginning of consumerism, businesses have been giving things away for free. You’ve probably received free samples in the food court, or free issues of the local newspaper when you first Continue
How to make the most of your magazine portal every day with the tools you have in front of you
Every magazine publisher should have a free portal. It’s the backbone of your operation. It’s the rhythm section of a jazz ensemble, the neutrals in a wardrobe, the clasp on your watch—it’s the core of your Continue
How to boost ad sales by building more benefit into your ad packages, rather than inflating single-platform circulation numbers
Maybe you’ve never lied on a resume, but according to CareerBuilder, 56% of hiring managers have caught applicants in lies. Maybe you’ve never cheated on a test, but according to U.S. News and World Report, 80% of “high-achieving” high Continue
So you want to know, how do online magazines generate revenue? The answer is clear: they go multiplatform.
If you’ve considered starting an online magazine, or are a legacy print magazine considering going digital, you’ve asked this question: How do online magazines generate revenue? And the answer is that the successful ones use a multiplatform approach. 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