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
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
The Internet has made it cheap, easy and efficient to launch new streams of niche media revenue. 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 a subscription website is the business model.
You don’t get from point A to point B without goals and milestones. This applies to most situations in life, from a cross-country road trip, to training for a marathon, to a career in publishing.
In today’s Strategy Spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda explains the four most important goals a publisher should hold close to their heart, in order to thrive as a multiplatform subscription publisher. Continue
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. Continue
While the challenge of choosing the right subscription and single copy pricing strategy is not new to magazine publishers, it’s virgin territory for most subscription website publishers and many publishers exploring the digital newsstand landscape.
Even magazine publishers are faced with new economic realities.
The marginal cost of delivering a digital subscription to your own website is near zero. The cost of delivering digital issues via the Apple, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble digital newsstands is based on remit and the cost of delivering a digital issue paid to your digital publishing software provider (Mag+, Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, etc.). Continue
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
“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
Subscription websites LinkedIn and New York Times expand; WSJ closes Google loophole
Subscription websites can be a profitable endeavor for content publishers.
We begin by looking at The New York Times, which is experiencing growth in regards to its digital audience. Subscription Insider reports, “Last Thursday The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) posted its fourth quarter 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
Last year Mequoda launched seven new systems, went agile, and upgraded fulfillment options for our state-of-the-art CXMS
The history books will never look back at 2016 as an uneventful year. We elected Donald Trump as POTUS. Britain left the European Union. An ebola vaccine that’s 70-100% effective was invented. The Cubs broke their World Series curse. Continue
The one-time cost of building a magazine subscription website could reduce overhead indefinitely
For $3 per month or $36 per year, there is subscription service called The Sink that will automatically deliver you everyday toiletry products every month. (Sorry CVS and Rite Aid, you’re being replaced.)
For $10 per month or $120 per year, you can get Continue
New changes are coming globally for subscription websites using ad blockers
Ad blocking has become a big topic for subscription websites building audiences, as well as other digital media brands.
As this topic continues to be popular, we’re seeing new changes coming forth.
To start, Forbes is reporting on a decision made in the European Union regarding ad 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
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
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
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
In order to succeed in a changing landscape, savvy digital media companies understand the need to evolve
Whether it’s a new subscription website, an updated website, or a new digital product offering, digital media companies are bringing new experiences to audiences with the desire to evolve brands.
Hearst is one digital media company doing this with its Continue
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
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
If you’re thinking of launching a subscription website, don’t skimp on preliminary research.
So you’ve decided to start a subscription website. We get requests weekly from entrepreneurs, veterans and newbies, who see subscription websites as the gold they want to begin mining. And while we love the enthusiasm, you need to approach subscription website publishing with Continue
Building relationships and high-quality content serve subscription websites like Scribd, The Telegraph, and Food52
Do you remember when subscription websites started using paywalls to add a new revenue stream to their publication? There was much debate about the process, including the rate to charge customers for access.
The question of price is still a hot topic by 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
Coming up with the right content business model(s) can be the biggest stumbling block for those looking to grow a publishing business.
Choosing your content focus is a business-critical decision, as the focus you choose pretty much dictates your chances of success with multiplatform publishing. However, more serious than the focus on content, is the business Continue
Because we quantify everything, Mequoda has identified nine (coincidentally) deadly subscription website mistakes that are commonly made when publishers build their online presence. Continue
Magazines are designed to be read from front to back. They have covers and a table of contents. Magazines are arranged in a series of articles. Portals are not meant to be read from front to back, and are in no way linear. Users may begin on an article they found through search and hyperlink their way across the site in a matter of seconds. There is no true table of contents, although there is arrangement in the form of categories, topic pages and related articles.
So what is a digital magazine? It’s a bit of a hybrid. Continue
There are two new advertising revenue models in town – and you probably didn’t even know they existed
Since magazine, newspaper, and newsletter publishers turned to the web, there have been a series of advertising revenue models deemed fit to secure the futures of those publishers. The good ol’ CPM (cost per thousand impressions) model fits Continue
Having a startup magazine in the finance and health publishing niche used to be a slow crawl to success, but has Google changed that?
Publishers are seeing big increases and decreases in organic traffic to their Portal subscription websites after June’s Google Phantom update, which focused on freshness of high-quality content. The data comes from a Continue
Before building out new website business models, inventory your existing content assets
Author and efficiency expert Stephen Covey writes about how difficult it is to reach goals that you don’t have. “Begin with the end in mind” is our personal mantra for every Mequoda System we start.
Publishing websites for magazines and newsletters are like Swiss Army Continue
As we always say, a publisher’s minimum information unit (MIU) is the bedrock on which the best subscription business models are built. Any online publisher who doesn’t bother to understand and identify his MIU cannot choose the appropriate subscription website archetype, and, in turn, will be simply guessing at how to be a publishing success.
Why do we say this? Because of all the website business models we’ve identified, the single characteristic which determines how you run your business is that MIU. Continue
Setting up a subscription website could be a costly test if you don’t think about these three things first
The answers are not always obvious, even to a seasoned print or electronic publisher. Setting up a subscription website from scratch is very different from running an existing enterprise. Our understanding of website publishing is rooted in Continue
A responsive newsletter website brings accessibility to the table
Totally unrelated to publishing, you may have heard that Patagonia recently ditched their app. If you open it, it will tell you that the app will no longer be updated, and they should head to their responsive website instead. “Thanks for supporting the Patagonia iPhone app. Now Continue
Mequoda has been testing video landing pages for the past few years with great success. In fact, our Intensive attendees have told us repeatedly that our video is what convinced them to sign up. A few years ago I read a study by EyeView that said businesses who tested video on the homepages and landing pages saw a conversion rate increase up to 86%. These results were based on multiple iterations of video and placement, but 86% is no small feat. Continue
The sacred elements of any best-practice online magazine business model
Literary perfectionist Gustav Flaubert once said “our ignorance of history makes us slander our own times.” He was right on the money here and not just in his never-ending quest to find “le mot juste” (“the right word”) in a sentence. Finding the perfect word, he Continue
There’s no doubt that niche content is the name of the game, at least if you’re playing the game using the Mequoda Method. But digital magazines can’t expect to slap a few enthusiast articles up on a homepage and wait for the money roll in. Rather, online publishers must stay vigilant in repurposing content, developing a content distribution strategy, and cultivating audience through digital magazine apps. Continue
The subscription model has a lot of perks and one of them is that subscriber churn rate is much lower than any other product you can offer. Customers don’t usually come to your website and buy a single issue, or a book every single month for years on end. Yet they auto-renew regularly.
Psychology suggests there’s a lot more involved to unsubscribe from a product than to simply not show up and buy something new.
Think about doing your laundry at a laundromat. You probably have some kind of regular schedule, but most people don’t follow it exactly all of the time. Maybe you do it every Sunday, or maybe you do it whenever the baskets get full, or maybe you go full months without doing laundry because the laundromat isn’t very fun. You’re in control so you either do it or you don’t, and it take effort and brainspace to make that decision. Continue
A couple weeks ago I attended an SEO conference called SearchLove hosted by Distilled. One of the speakers was Rand Fishkin, better known as the Wizard of Moz. At the very end of his presentation, completely off topic talked about the time he saw that Hubspot posted 49 articles in a week, and wondered if they’d ever determined that that was an optimal frequency for them.
01-content-planning-nailing-down-ideal-post-timing-and-frequencyLike most of us, especially in publishing, Hubspot was basically on the page that “more content = more traffic.” So Hubspot replied that they hadn’t measured it exactly, and asked if Moz wanted to do an experiment with them. At the time Moz was publishing 8 posts per week. Both cut their frequency in half and the results basically told Hubspot that they could afford to write less, but Moz should write a little more. Continue
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. Continue
If you are a legacy magazine publisher, guarantee success by learning how to launch a magazine subscription website, which is often misunderstood.
A magazine subscription website model is set up to sell subscriptions for a related print or digital magazine and to provide access to issues of the magazine.
For the past 20 years, our team has been Continue
Since the printing press was invented, the best way to deliver readable content was always on the page. Until the advent of the web, consumers hadn’t even considered other ways to digest content beyond books, magazines and newsletters printed in a linear, bounded fashion.
But then the web arrived on personal computers, and then it arrived on mobile phones, and then on smartphones, in email, and through tablet devices. Continue
Publishers aren’t just going digital anymore, they’re creating digital magazines that are evolving as quickly as the technology that hosts them
In 1967, an eight-page issue of Computerworld was published for the first time, deemed “the newsweekly for the computer community.”
The goal with Computerworld: provide its readers with insight into the world of technology and how to generate Continue
Consumers will respond to memberships over subscriptions and publishers will thrive with more integrated publishing systems
The one thing you can count on as a magazine publisher is that there will always be subscribers. Except that in 2016, they’d prefer you stop calling them that, because they’d prefer to be members who subscribe to your magazine. Continue
Our most-read subscription website publishing posts of 2015 reveal a desire for better understanding of building, publishing and pricing subscription websites
This year in our Subscription Website Publishing articles we’ve tackled everything from choosing profitable subscription models, to choosing the best colors and fonts for your redesign, and pricing your subscription websites appropriately. However, there are a Continue
On desktop or mobile, ad blocking has emerged as the defining issue of digital publishing in 2015. This presents good news and bad news for online magazines looking to compete in a crowded marketplace.
The good news? There’s a real opportunity for digital magazines to find out what users want and reshape the way they do business with marketers. With higher-quality digital advertising paired with stronger content the rule and not the exception, revenues will rise and subscription websites will gain and hold more value.
In addition, the worst web magazines — exploitative, trashy, inferior ones — will fall by the wayside because clickbait will lost its effectiveness in the wake of tougher mobile ad blocking.
The bad news? Well, the bad news is that it’s always darkest before the dawn, and making money via an advertising revenue model is going to be tough for a while if the industry continues on its current trajectory.
But will it? Digiday takes a look in a handful of recent articles. Let’s wrap up 2015 with one of our favorite sources of news! Continue
Digital magazines are relying less on advertising by implementing paywalls that influence more subscriptions
Remember the days when digital editions of magazines were only available by paid subscriptions? You’d arrive at a static home page with a snapshot of the recent issues, and then be prompted to sign in or register to view any content. The Continue
Each of these newsletter subscription websites illustrate how to collect and convert website visitors into paid digital subscribers
If you sell a print newsletter, considering a newsletter subscription website is a business-critical decision. Consumers expect to access their periodical subscriptions digitally, and they’re willing to pay more for access when it includes back issues they don’t Continue
TIME almost hits the mark with their magazine subscription website, but niche publishers hit the bullseye
One of the most profitable subscription websites is a magazine subscription website.
It’s not because it’s cheaper to build, or brings in substantially more revenue than other business models, it’s more profitable because once your platform is up and running, you Continue