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Website Editorial Strategies that Work

Your website should have incentives for visitors to return frequently

If you’re like hundreds of other publishers, you’re working both online and in print.

But how much of your total revenue comes from the Internet?

If words like “little,” “puny,” “inadequate” or “nil” are coming to mind, your publication may need a new editorial approach online.

Many people who read your print publication are the same people that visit your website—and they don’t want to read the same content twice.

Many publishers learned this early and decided to make their websites into customer service hubs that sold and renewed subscriptions on the side.

This might sound like a good idea, but your website needs to be much more than that to generate revenue.

Unfortunately, most of those publishers found that their websites were money pits rather than money makers. That’s mostly because their websites had nothing new to offer and no way to attract repeat visitors.

Another editorial strategy that we’ve seen fail repeatedly is to make a print publication into an exclusive membership website, archiving its content and selling access for a monthly fee.

This strategy is flawed in the same ways that the customer service-based websites are flawed—it doesn’t have an incentive for users to visit the website.

Also, many archive/membership websites do not show users a sample of the content they will gain access to, which is big mistake. Visitors need to see valuable samples before they will become customers.

One of the keys to a successful website is to have an editorial strategy that attracts users.

The incentives to visit your website cannot be to read membership offers, find customer service representatives or to read print subscription offers.

None of those “incentives” will generate repeat visitors.

What does generate repeat visitors is constantly updated content that your audience enjoys.

Check out our Blog100. There you will notice that some constantly updated sites like PerezHilton.com, The Huffington Post and Little Green Footballs get average repeat visitor counts of 7.8, 4.7 and 6.8, respectively.

These sites are updated several times a day with good content. It’s an editorial strategy that has fostered a frequently returning audience.

If your site is struggling to gain upward momentum, try changing its editorial approach, because the more repeat visitors you generate, the more your website’s products and services are offered to visitors.

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