Bryan Welch Discusses ‘Content as Compost’

Bryan Welch, Publisher and Editorial Director at Ogden Publications, supplied the Mequoda Summit East 2011 with great information for online publishers

Bryan Welch’s keynote presentation Managing Digital Transformation at the Mequoda Summit East 2011 made me realize that there’s never been a better time for storytelling.

Online publishers have an array of digital mediums to share their content and stories, and the savviest among them are taking advantage of it, building databases of audience members and bringing high-quality content to the masses.

Bryan Welch is the perfect example of this type of publisher, as he and his team have developed a solid digital component for Mother Earth News while keeping circulation up.

Below, I’ve listed tips Bryan mentioned during his keynote that are pertinent to the success of online publishers.

Insight for managing digital transformation from Bryan Welch

-Pay attention to search engine activity because it can tell you what people are searching for.

-Make the customer experience as simple as possible. Bryan stressed the use of automatic renewals for publishers because it’s been an absolute goldmine for Mother Earth News. With it, there are no renewal mailings so the organization can save money… it is also attractive to the Mother Earth News community because the practice of auto renewal is earth friendly (which is how the publication expresses it to their audience members).

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-Having regular contact with people is incredibly important to retaining relationships. Think of the friends you’ve had for years…you’ve been able to have such relationships because you stayed in contact. The same goes for the publisher/customer relationship. Know your audience well, set up a subscription or periodical relationship, communicate with the audience regularly and maintain your database of these people.

-The digital database of audience members is the core asset of any online business.

-Sweepstakes can be very instrumental in generating new email subscribers. Bryan’s team compiled 300,000 new email addresses last year because of sweepstakes.

However, if you are going to run a sweepstakes, make sure the prizes aren’t incredibly valuable from a resellers standpoint or people will enter who only care about winning so they can resell the prize.

-When working with retailers, determine the best way to help each other. This will solidify relationships and create a better working environment for each party.

-Wikipedia can be used as a traffic driver if you add relevant, informative content to it and source the content accordingly.

Although the online environment is constantly evolving, these tips Bryan shared during his keynote presentation can help publishers thrive in the digital age.

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