Do you think a 24/7 online encyclopedia of information is a product people might subscribe to? Would they be willing to pay more for a subscription to your magazine if it included access to all your archived content? The latter is usually the reason why publishers decide to create a digital archive of their back issues, and the revenue numbers we see from this upsell tell us it’s worth the investment.
Creating a web magazine library is one of our favorite revenue strategies, because it leverages already-paid-for editorial content and creates a product your customers want to buy.
If you’ve been considering adding a web magazine and library to your marketing arsenal, here are a few reasons we recommend moving forward:
1. The content for your web magazine library already exists. If your magazine has been in business for 10 to 20 years or longer, then you have a mighty back issue archive to digitize and market. In addition to being searchable by issue and topic, the thousands, or hundreds of thousands of articles you have can be turned into book-like special collections. Biblical Archaeology Society makes great use of this strategy in their web library by promoting a few dozen collections, which are carefully curated selections of relevant articles drawing on content from 3 different magazine titles.
2. The value of your web magazine library only grows over time. Every time you add new magazine content to the library, whether it be monthly or bi-monthly, it gives you a chance to promote the increased value to your prospects and customers.
3. Your web magazine library can be accessed via a metered paywall. Because you can make your library content accessible to website visitors via a metered paywall (i.e visitors are able to see up to 3 articles per month before they are asked to pay for access), it means Google can now index all of this premium content on your site for an added SEO benefit.
4. Your web magazine library can be recycled into your free portal. The free content you give away on your portal is used to promote your magazine subscription website (which hosts your web magazine library). This means you can repurpose content from the library and turn it into derivative content that you’d promote in your portal, while encouraging readers of the derivative content to learn more about the topic by subscribing to the library.
5. Your web magazine library is an upsell. Because your library is jam-packed with archival content, you have a pretty lofty upsell. With contrast pricing, you can add significant additional revenue. Consider a publisher who sells their print edition for $24.97, app edition for $19.97, and the web magazine library for $29.97. But you can get all three for $34.97. Now, $34.97 contrasted with $19.97 may seem pricey, but if you’re like most buyers, you’ll also spot the $29.97 price compared to the $34.97 price – and now $34.97 doesn’t seem so high. Hey, it’s just $5 more … and you can get what’s behind Door #1, Door #2 and Door #3 for that extra $5! Might as well go for it!
6. It practically promotes itself. Don’t be shy about promoting all the noteworthy, historical articles in your archive. You’re free to tease non-subscribers with the content they can only get their hands on if they subscribe. With so much content, and several ways to package it (by issue, by topic, by special collection), the promotional and marketing opportunities are rich with room for creativity and testing.
Mequoda is a well-known subscription website publishing and marketing agency that transforms magazines into multiplatform publishers. We have our own platform, Haven CMS , a state-of-the-art tool built, owned and maintained by Mequoda to enable all the functionality that multiplatform and subscription publishing businesses need to be successful and profitable.
If you’d like to discuss how we can help you build a profitable magazine subscription website and multiplatform niche media business, please schedule a no-obligation appointment  with a member of our marketing services team.