To put this post together, we banged together the heads of everyone on the Mequoda team to consolidate some of the mishaps that have occurred with our clients. We’re calling these editors Mequoda editors because they’re running a Mequoda system, but the principles apply to any editor in the magazine world.
There have been some truly talented print editors that were either let go, or who left by themselves because they couldn’t weather the print-to-digital transitions. Ones that refused to SEO their content and wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars in content that had to be re-optimized later.
Any editor who wants to survive in the magazine publishing industry today needs to be able to write great content and optimize that content so that it’s an evergreen source of traffic for years to come. And any editor who wants to become invaluable to their publication embraces it with open arms and takes the initiative to learn from the mistakes of past editors. Like the ones below:
1. Only covering news stories. If all of your posts are focused on the latest trends and hot happenings, you may get traffic but it is fleeting and unsustainable. Dedicate a certain percent of your editorial resources to producing evergreen content.
2. Ignoring your blockbuster posts. These are your perennial performers and need to be cultivated and carefully nurtured on a regular basis. If Google finds a broken link or other fatal error, then the damage may be irreparable. Keep these posts current, clean and evergreen. Re-promote them on social media every once in a while to keep up appearances.
3. Forgetting to make lemonade when you have lemons. If you have a single post that accounts for nearly 40% of all organic search arrivals, take advantage of this good fortune rather than ignore it. Come up with ways to increase conversions through that page. Even if the subject matter is not in your preferred wheelhouse, or you don’t have a sponsor that aligns with this topic. Find a new sponsor.
4. Skipping editorial meetings. The Mequoda strategy can only succeed if everyone is working towards the same basic goals. Not showing up to a meeting is a pretty strong indicator that certain members of the team have their own agenda.
5. Coming up with excuses not to SEO. If you’re continually making excuses not to optimize content, you’re wasting money. Some editors claim SEO will sacrifice editorial quality or integrity, but remember that you have complete control over how you optimize a blog post, so if it looks “spammy,” then whose fault is it?
6. Missing the big picture. In a Mequoda system, everything is connected. We create blog posts that align with categories, that align with white papers, that upsell to paid products, that may then upsell to higher priced products. We work really hard on aligning the bottom of the pyramid, the blog posts, with the top of the pyramid. Focus only on the blog, and you’re forgetting where your salary comes from.
7. Forgetting the upsell. On that same note, know that that SEO is used to drive traffic to your articles, which makes every article you write the beginning of a lead flow. You don’t have to turn every article into an advertorial; that’s why all Mequoda operators are equipped with a simple code to add a text ad into the middle of each post. Don’t forget those simple but often forgotten text ads! Going back and adding them back in is a giant waste of resources.
8. Doing without testing. Editors who make decisions without testing often fail the hardest. What we think doesn’t work (long copy, pop-ups, etc.) often performs best when we A/B test. Don’t make decisions based on opinions rather than testing, because when someone finally has the smarts to test, your intuition will be shocked and so will the person writing your check.
9. Doing what you’re told. This is the time of innovation, and the most valuable editors keep up to date on current trends come to their managers with new ideas for creating better content and using it to convert more visitors into subscribers in line with your brand guidelines. Some organizations make it hard for one person to make a difference, but this is a time when innovation and a fresh perspective should be welcome.
10. Getting lazy. Perhaps you did all of these things correctly, you saw the return, you got excited, you got credit, and you took a break. This is a slump any successful editor can get into, because a blockbuster combo of valuable content and optimized copy can get exhausting! Keep up the good work and you’ll see traffic for your site double and triple over the next year. Talk about landing job security.
There are also a few things our Gold Members, maybe your bosses, sometimes forget about, that editors should keep on top of because they’re fundamentally your duty, even if nobody tells you so:
- Making sure every category gets a free report, and making sure every article in that category promotes it. The more aligned a report is with the content, the higher your conversion rates will be. If you have a goal of building your email list (as all Mequoda System editors do), this is ultimately the responsibility of the editor, although the publisher often forgets to assign it.
- Not setting up the conversion architecture for those free reports. You’re probably not a web designer, but every free report should get its own Rapid Conversion Landing Page, OFIE, OFIN, Text Ad and Floater (more about those). You’ll be responsible for writing the copy for the landing page and possibly writing the ads. So every time you create a new free report, provide your web person with the copy they need to update the ads. Tell them which category to implement them in, too!
- Creating an SEO campaign around each new free report. Each one should have a press release written and distributed for it. We also recommend scheduling tweets at least once a week promoting that report for the next month or two. Also, write a post on the blog that promotes your new release. Basically, create as many inbound links to this page as possible.
If you want to become a model editor at your publishing company, join us at one of our upcoming Digital Publishing and Marketing Intensives!