Get Free Email Updates | Have an Account?
  • Free email newsletter
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS Feed

Tag: subscription websites

Give it Away to Make More Money? You Don’t Say!

Why would you give away content for free, in order to make money? Sounds crazy, but that’s how the smartest publishers we know have grown at an exponential speed.

In this week’s strategy spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda, explains three secrets on the why and how of using audience development to build a

8 Ways to Sell Digital Magazine Subscriptions

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.

Do You Have These Four Goals in Mind?

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.

5 Ways Top Subscription Websites Optimize for Search

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.

The Best Subscription Websites Already Know This One Thing

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 their MIU will fumble trying to build a successful subscription website.

In this week’s Freebie Friday spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda, explains why using monthly pricing to accommodate a user’s desire to sample, is just one key to selling more subscriptions. From there you can download How to Use Contrast Pricing to Increase Subscription Revenue to learn more about pricing your print and digital magazine subscriptions.

Subscription Websites Testing New Grounds with Targeted Membership, Social Options

Publishers of subscription websites are warriors. They constantly work to improve their standings, even when there are forces working against them. Up until recently, social networks and search engines were problematic areas. However, there may be some changes coming to fruition that will help subscription website publishers.

Email, Web or Social – Which Should You Focus on Most?

If you think that your website should be the main driver of your revenue, think again.

In this week’s strategy spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda, explains why email subscribers are responsible for between 60 and 80% of all digital revenue generation, while passing website visitors and social followers make up the balance. From there

How to Generate Additional Publishing Revenue Through Your Website Portal

As a publisher, you should make your website’s top goal to maximize your TOPX (Total Orders Per Ten Thousand) page views by making sure that every page on your website is ready to convert visitors into buyers and subscribers at any moment and increase publishing revenue.

Your Portal is the main page where you give away free articles and content. For many magazines, this is on their main domain, like TIME.com or People.com. If you’ve been following along with Mequoda you know that we advocate for every page on your Portal to have a set of best practice conversion architecture we call 3C Zone Architecture.

3 Subscription Websites Seeing Major Growth

Subscription websites can be a major revenue stream for savvy digital publishers. Today we’re looking at some examples of this from major publishers.

We begin with The Atlantic, a subscription website publisher who is experiencing significant growth with its membership program. Digiday reports, “The Masthead has grown the program gradually, testing it with a small beta group of 250 before opening it up to subscribers for $100 a year. This week, membership was opened to everyone, at a price of $120 a year. Starting narrow has enabled The Atlantic to isolate the feedback of its most devoted readers. It’s been testing different content formats in email to the group and asked recipients to grade them on a scale of one to five.”

Encourage Sampling to Improve Subscriptions

The most effective blow-in cards of the 21st century aren’t made of cardstock, they’re digital. And since offering a sample of your magazine is less effort for the user when it’s done online, you have more opportunities.

In this week’s Freebie Friday spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda, explains why using monthly pricing to accommodate a user’s desire to sample, is just one key to selling more subscriptions. From there you can download How to Use Contrast Pricing to Increase Subscription Revenue to learn more about pricing your print and digital magazine subscriptions.

Bringing Discipline to Chaos

Mequoda is a little unusual as an organization, people tend to feel puzzled about us. Are we a consultancy? Are we a developer? Most often this confusion becomes apparent when we meet one of two types of clients, described below.

The Most Profitable Websites Have Mastered this Simple Advertising Strategy

Forbes contributor Benjy Boxer recently warned, “The combination of free publishing, social distribution, and the commoditization of advertising will eventually wipe out almost all of the advantages of a large media company.”

Further, he advised that “scarcity” is the only advantage left to media companies, and they’ll have to create that with their unique content or unique services to advertisers. Luckily for the niche subscription website publishers we advise, scarcity comes right along with being “niche,” unlike larger publishers competing with Yahoo and CNN for cost-per-click (CPC) dollars.

Website Redesigns and Product Launches for Subscription Publishers

We constantly pay attention to the changes subscription publishers are making to gain ground in the digital landscape. Today we’re sharing stories of three publishers and their methods for expanding and evolving content streams.

Digital Magazine Content and the Impact of Social Networks

Digital magazine content can find great homes online, especially when it’s offered throughout a variety of popular channels.

Today we’re looking at some offerings for digital publishers that are coming from Facebook and Google, as these major social networks continue to work on its relationship and revenue strategy with content.

The Publishing Revenue Secrets of Multiplatform Wizards

The secret behind increasing publishing revenue is in the power of three
In the Harry Potter books and movies, a man named Xenophilius Lovegood wore a necklace with the symbol of the Deathly Hallows. When Harry asks Lovegood about the symbol—which appears as a circle inside of a triangle and a straight line down the middle—he explains that

5 Hugely Profitable Multiplatform Sponsorship Advertising Models

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 to sell the publisher’s products (internal advertising) and/or sold to third-party sponsors (external advertising) on a CPM, CPC, CPA, or SEA basis.

The Paywall Model vs SEO: How to Win at Both

This week, a friend of mine referred to the paywall model as a “marketing method Trump would support.” I got a good chuckle out of it, but it seemed like an appropriate segway to the pros and cons of gating content, but also, how you can obtain the benefits of both – notably, SEO. Not the wall.

The paywall model isn’t an SEO-killer, even though it’s been billed as one. Technology has advanced a long way since the days when content was either locked, or unlocked. Firstly, there are two types, a hard paywall, and a soft paywall (and varying degrees in between).

How Do Online Magazines Generate Revenue?

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.

Subscription Websites Increase Renewal Rates and Product Offerings

Subscription websites offer publishers the opportunity to generate renewable revenue consistently. That’s why we are big supporters of digital subscription models. Today we’re looking at some additional subscription and content offerings by major content purveyors.

An Encyclopedic Collection of Digital Publishing Strategy

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:

How to Use Six Sigma for Subscription Offer Testing

“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving,” said David Ogilvy, known as “The Father of Advertising” the “Original Mad Man”.

Even our best performing clients—who publish on multiple platforms, run several subscription websites, and have helped define our pricing best practices—will see a drop in subscription sales when they stop testing. I told this to a client recently who went from having some of the highest conversion rates of our clients to having our worst performing rates, and we believe the culprit is a lack of subscription offer testing with new offers, like a 30-day free trial.

The 9 Ultimate Digital Magazine Features

How do your digital magazine features stack up to users’ expectations?
Contrary to what you’ve probably been thinking, the ultimate digital magazine is built in a browser, not an app. That’s why web magazines are skyrocketing to success, because users are quickly figuring out that they’d rather use a web magazine than an app magazine.

Users are

Creating Digital Magazines: Four Ways to Monetize Your Efforts With a Free Archive

“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.”

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.”

Your Guide to Building a Profitable Subscription Website

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.

Subscription Publishers Evolving Products and Offerings

Subscription publishers New York Times and others make changes to their subscription products; “Trump bump” subscriptions leveling out for publishers
Subscription publishers will make changes to products or evolve their subscription offerings as ways to determine the most effective ways to meet audience members where they are shopping.

Our first story today looks at Mashable and how the

Content Recycling: Staying Relevant and Dominating SEO

Content recycling—it’s all around us! At some point you’ve probably had dinner, maybe watched the news, and watched an early-evening episode of Big Bang Theory, or Two and a Half Men. Maybe it was on its normal station, maybe a different one, like TBS. Either way, this is just one way of experiencing content recycling, and TV watchers love it. They get to see their favorite TV shows more often, and even if they’ve already seen an episode, they watch anyway. Meanwhile, the TV station gets to produce ad revenue without going bankrupt attempting to produce a new TV show for every hour of the day.

Subscription Models Evolve for Multiplatform Publishers

Subscription models are always evolving with technology and audience interests. Today we’re looking at some subscription models and strategies, including successes and failures of them.

Fresh Website Design and a New Subscription Website Offering

Time Inc. adds to its subscription website offering; SNEWS and Smore launch new sites
A brand can enhance its value through its subscription website offering, in addition to the overall design of its website. Today we’re looking at three websites with new content and designs to share.

We begin today with Time Inc., which has upped its

Subscription Websites: Offerings and Requirements are Getting More Complex

Condé Nast U.S. expands subscription business; Amazon’s subscription service becomes an option; Subscription websites need to utilize ads that don’t violate rules
Subscription websites expand in a multitude of ways. Of course, as expansion takes places, there are always other issues to address. However, sometimes the levels of expansion are significant, and major multiplatform publishers can

Digital Publishing Transformation Involves Expansion, Acquisition, and Shifts of Priority

MPP expanding American market; TNG acquires Ingram Periodicals; Digital publishing becoming a priority for Reader’s Digest
Digital publishing transforms in a variety of ways, from new technology in the digital age, to different management and ownership of media brands.

We begin today’s news with news of expansion for MPP. MediaPost reports, “UK-based tech company MPP Global has

Strategy Spotlight with Don: Let’s Work Together in 2017

Mequoda has helped hundreds of media brands build vigorous, profitable, growing multiplatform publishing businesses. And we can help you.

Every quarter, I work on a 5-year business plan with one publishing company, or association looking to expand their publishing arm.
I’m writing today to tell you that the deadline to apply for our 60-Day Subscription Business Plan Development Program for Q3 is almost here, and expires Friday, May 26.

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,

The Most Profitable Subscription Website Business Models

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

Let’s Clarify: What Is a Digital Magazine?

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.

Strategy Spotlight with Don: How to Keep 100% of Your Online Magazine Revenue

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.

Social Media Brands Turn to Subscription Websites

The term “subscription” is a hot topic these past few weeks, especially for new age publishers and media companies like Twitter and Medium. Twitter recently sent a survey to users to ask if they’d be interested in a paid $20 subscription account that would give users access to a premium product, which all seems to boil down to having a cleaner, more curated feed through Twitter’s TweetDeck App.

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.

How to Choose the Best Subscription Pricing & Single-Copy Pricing Strategy for Your Subscription Websites & Subscription Apps

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.).

What Is a Mequoda Subscription Website Portal?

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

Creating Passive Income and Recycling Content as a Multiplatform Publisher

How to create new products and passive income from old products as a multiplatform publisher

One of the most interesting rodents on the planet is the grasshopper mouse, native to the US and Mexico, which has a bit of a superpower: it’s impervious to venom. Also, it’s a carnivore. So it dines on venomous centipedes, scorpions

Magazine Subscription Websites: 4 Huge Mistakes You Might Be Making

“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).

Subscription Website A/B Testing Tools & Tips For Improving Conversions

How to use A/B testing tools for creating subscription landing pages that turn more visitors into subscribers

How many times have you been in a meeting where you and your colleagues “think” or “feel” like a direction on a project is the way to go? Maybe it’s pricing for your subscription website, or maybe it’s the

Subscription Websites are Expanding and Growing

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

The Portal Content Business Model Turns Strangers Into Subscribers

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.

Top 4 Subscription Website Publishing Goals

Your subscription website publishing performance the key to doubling, or even tripling, your organization’s revenue over the next five years.

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.

2017 Mequoda State of the Union

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.

How to Reduce Magazine Overhead with a Subscription Website

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

The Ad Blocking Conversation Continues for Subscription Websites in 2017

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.

Learn how to create sales letter landing pages that sell when you download our FREE Landing Page Handbook.

To start, Forbes is reporting on a decision made in the European Union regarding ad

3 Niche Membership Website Ideas You Can Profit From

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