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Archive for Subscription Website Publishing

Subscription Website Publishing posts focus on what to consider when building and operating a subscription website.

In this section, you’ll learn the difference between membership and subscription sites, how to build a successful subscription website, increase sign-ups, align content, and the best practices for running successful subscription websites.

Free Download: Learn how to choose the best subscription pricing and single-copy pricing strategy for your subscription websites and subscription apps when you download a FREE copy of our How to Use Contrast Pricing to Increase Subscription Revenue report today.

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Why the Website Architecture of a Landing Page Matters

When you set a goal, you probably have an idea in your head of how you’re going to accomplish it.

For example, if you have the goal of running a marathon in a year, and you’re not a runner, you might start trying the Couch-to-5K ® program. Every couple of days, you’re instructed to run a certain distance, and in the following days you’re instructed to run a little further. After a couple months, you can run the length of a 5K. Then, maybe, you run a few official 5K races. Then you run a half-marathon. Eventually, you train enough to run in the Boston Marathon.   Continue

Don’t Waste Your Pageviews

Page views are a precious thing, and you should try not to waste them.

In today’s Strategy Spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda explains the goals of a “smart website” and why having one built by publishing veterans can help you avoid waste and chaos.   Continue

The Advancement of Website Redesigns Includes New Strategies & Tools

Website redesigns come from Salon and ProPublica; Harvard Business Review utilizes new website tool
Content publishers who make website redesigns and try new tools as part of an evolving digital strategy show their prowess in advancing their brand online.

Today we’re looking at three publishers who have recently gone this route, and the reasons for doing so.

Consumers are telling us loud and clear what they want—are you listening? How much would you pay for that information? Download a copy of our 2018 Mequoda Magazine Consumer Study for FREE instead, to find out how you can improve your digital magazine rapport with subscribers.

Our   Continue

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.   Continue

The Mequoda Newsletter Content Business Model

The newsletter subscription website model is simple, clean and editorially-focused

Newsletter publishers, particularly those on the B-to-B side but also those with consumer titles in the finance and health fields, were among the first to embrace subscription websites. Perhaps that’s because the newsletter subscription website archetype is the easiest type of subscription website to build. The file size of newsletters is generally manageable, whether the newsletter is 8, 12, 16, 32, or more pages, since it is mostly text and often limited to black-and-white or two-color.   Continue

Gain SEO Control Back with 7 Sitemap Tools to Use Before a Magazine Website Redesign

There are ways to control how Google reads your website with sitemap tools. While we assume most of our publishing friends are creating kosher content and abiding by the rules, if Google has considered you a black sheep in the past, you can reinvent yourself by cleaning up your sitemap. If you’ve been good, you can always improve how well your website is indexed, and often the updates are pretty easy!   Continue

The Best Online Directory Software for Publishers

What to look for in online directory software, from Haven, to WordPress, Joomla, and third-party products

The directory website business model still has a lot of upside for multiplatform publishers. When executed correctly, directories can be a win-win for any ambitious publisher. The publisher produces a framework and reference content, and the advertiser pays to post   Continue

Simple Types of Usability Tests for Creating Happier Users and Better Websites

Even though you might associate usability with website design, it’s been an important factor in our everyday life for at least a century. Frederick Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management, published in 1911, is the first instance where the world started paying attention to how people use things, and how we can help them be more efficient. In 1936, Frigidaire cited “usability” as a key feature of their new refrigerator. In 1943, Alphonse Chapanis made the case for redesigning airplane cockpits in order to reduce errors.

But it wasn’t until 1985 that Computer Usability Testing & Evaluation was published by Richard Spencer. Of course, by this point, usability wasn’t anything new, so designing computers that were most usable was a given. In fact, the war of operating systems, mainly between Microsoft and Apple, has been centered on usability since the beginning.

When home-accessible Internet arrived and websites became the next usability feat, Steve Krug published Don’t Make Me Think in 2000. I think we can all agree that web designers everywhere desperately needed this book back in 2000 and the web has become better for it.   Continue

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.   Continue

How to Get More Comments On Your Articles

Over the last five to seven years, a big gripe of many publishers is that they want to get more comments on their digital articles, but they’re getting fewer than ever before. Getting more comments might seem like a vanity metric, but we see comments as important indicators in search engine optimization. The more comments a post has, the higher it tends to rank. Because of this, we take the number of comments on a post to heart. And that big fat 0 staring at us never feels good.   Continue

Sortable Doubles Ad Revenue For This Publisher

If we knew of a tool that doubled ad revenue for a client, you’d want to know about it right?
If you read Mequoda Daily often, you may know about our Dr. Aliza Lifshitz and Carl Kravetz who run Vida y Salud, a Spanish-language health site. They’ve been the recipient of several of our Rocket Awards for   Continue

Conversion Optimization Tip: How to Improve Your Email Capture Rate Immediately

A quick conversion optimization hack that will eliminate abandons in your email capture flow
It’s not often we can tell you about a conversion optimization tip that will offer you an immediate improvement in your email capture rates, but there is one we are currently adopting with all of our new clients, and we just can’t   Continue

Best Practice Updates in Website Conversion Architecture for Mobile & Desktop

Over the last 3-6 months desktop and mobile conversion best practices have changed in response to Google, who continues to challenge us in an effort to make the web a more pleasant place to search and learn.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then adversity is the father. And Google has given us some adverse conditions to work with as they try to accommodate the rise in mobile devices, and the rise in mobile traffic.   Continue

How to Stop Spam Registrations and Comments on Your Portal

If there’s one annoyance you’ve probably heard from your website operators, it might be managing spam comments. They log in to begin content development, and before they can create a new post, they have a list of new “comments” to filter through in the dashboard, and many of them are spam. Others are, thankfully, real people.   Continue

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,   Continue

Mequoda Announces 6 Subscription Website Systems for 2017

A Mequoda Audience Development System is a physical, turn-key content management system that is customized to help publisher’s attract new visitors, convert them into email subscribers, engage them, and finally, monetize by converting those visitors into paying customers and subscribers.

To build every Mequoda Audience Development System (Mequoda System for short), we use the Mequoda Method — a collection of best practices that have been formed by watching the world’s most successful online publishers. We also document the results of every a/b and split test that our portfolio of clients are testing every day, and when we see consistent results over time with one methodology, we share it as a best practice with our clients.   Continue

Association Magazine Best Practices: Don’t Bury Your Content

We’re not sure why most association magazine websites bury free and magazine content, but we’ll try to help them see the light.
If you’re an association website, do you spin off your magazine on its own, or do you keep your organization and the content you publish under the same roof? In other words, do you   Continue

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.   Continue

Subscription Website Copywriting Tips: How to Use Better Words to Sell More Subscriptions

Most website copywriting tips will fall short of their potential if word choice isn’t a top priority for your copy.

Words are more than just symbols on a page that provide information. They communicate thoughts and ideas. They speak to the human psyche. They evoke emotions. But they don’t do any of these things very well   Continue

18 Website Development Tools to Try

There’s a never-ending stream of new tools that pop up every day to help us become better web developers. We have a dashboard of tools we look to for ideas, assistance and even implementation, and it’s safe to assume that you probably do too.

Last year we discovered and shared a lot of web design tools that we use and want to pass on. In case you’re new here or missed a few, here are our favorites.   Continue

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).   Continue

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   Continue

How to Write Copy for a Subscription Website That Sells

We all have a need to feel taken care of. How many things do you buy to fill that need?

Don’t we go to a restaurant not just for the food but to be treated like royalty? What really matters is what they do to help us feel nurtured.

Every purchase is a symbol for emotional satisfaction. Buying decisions are emotional commitments to gratifying perceived needs and desires that we are often unaware of having.   Continue

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.   Continue

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   Continue

A 2017 Resolution for Subscription Website Publishers

Resolve to investigate the possibility of added revenue with a club-style business model in 2017

Every publisher and subscription marketer should recommit in 2017 to customer relationship building and asset leveraging—after all, these are two things that you already have, customers and content! And one of the hottest new trends for capitalizing on your content and   Continue

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   Continue

Reduce Subscriber Churn: How to Keep Subscribers Entertained & Engaged

How to reduce subscriber churn by providing new opportunities to engage with your content on a regular basis

People love subscriptions these days. Beyond magazine subscriptions, there are now box-of-the-month subscriptions. You can subscribe to a monthly box of beauty products like BirchBox, dog toys and treats like BarkBox, nuts and healthy snacks like NatureBox, or   Continue

Mequoda’s Top Subscription Website Publishing Posts of 2016

Our most-read subscription website publishing posts of last year show an interest in building profitable subscription websites and improving the usability and site speed of existing websites.
In 2016, toward the end of the year it was made abundantly clear to publishers they would need to focus on more simple site design with faster loading times.   Continue

The Best Social Media Management System for Publishers

What to look for in a social media management system from Haven Nexus, to Hootsuite, SproutSocial and TweetDeck
As a publisher, you’re publishing multiple pieces of content every day. Most Mequoda publishers are publishing at least three per day. When it comes to managing the social that goes along with each post, we find that most   Continue

The Best Online Shopping Cart System for Publishers

What to look for in an online shopping cart system, from Haven Nexus, to Shopify to WooCommerce

Ecommerce has become a core part of any multi-platform publishing business. Even publishers who are still selling print-only have developed online shopping experiences because the Internet has become the first place people search for new information products.

That one fact   Continue

Nail Down Your Magazine Experience and Combat the Publishing Recession

By all means, launch many content business models and diversify your publishing portfolio. But start with your magazine experience through your magazine subscription website.
We’re in a recession. Maybe you’re feeling pretty good right now personally, but publishers are in a recession. Big time. Last year was a recession especially for newspapers, according to Pew Research Center’s   Continue

The Best Email Management System for Publishers

What to look for in an email management system from Haven Nexus, to MailChimp to Constant Contact
Managing email marketing has become an increasingly critical issue for every type of business. Publishers, like everyone else, use email to communicate with customers and prospective customers, on a regular basis. But like all powerful tools, email can be mismanaged   Continue

How Amazon Is Helping Publishers Make Money with Video

How to make money with video on your own subscription website and beyond
Many multiplatform publishers have turned to e-learning platforms to make money with video and help subscribers either increase their skills or improve their lives. Publishers, along with many other organizations, such as universities and corporations, have found that text-heavy explanations of complex subject matter can   Continue

The Best Live Event Management Software for Publishers

What to look for in live event management software from Haven Nexus, to Bizzabo, CVent, EventBrite and Event Ready.
As publishers have struggled with print revenues during the last 10 years, many have turned to live events as an additional revenue stream. As a strategic extension of a publishing brand, events make a lot of sense.   Continue

Why We Always Pair Free Subscription Business Models with Paid Magazines

Why “free” is a subscription business model of its own and why every magazine should have one

Since the beginning of time, or at least the beginning of consumerism, businesses have been giving things away for free. You’ve probably received free samples in the food court, or free issues of the local newspaper when you first   Continue

Choosing the Best Lead Management Software for Publishers

What to look for in lead management software, from Haven Nexus to Eloqua, Marketo, Hubspot and others

Make money by giving content away.

That statement sounds odd to many people in publishing and downright heretical to anyone in the subscription business, but there is no denying that it can work. More than one publisher has developed this   Continue

7 Ways Your Subscription Website Could Fail

If you’re thinking of launching a subscription website, don’t skimp on preliminary research.
So you’ve decided to start a subscription website. We get requests weekly from entrepreneurs, veterans and newbies, who see subscription websites as the gold they want to begin mining. And while we love the enthusiasm, you need to approach subscription website publishing with   Continue

The Best Marketing Automation System for Publishers

Publishers require a marketing automation system that works in tandem with a highly efficient content management system

In the last decade, marketing automation has become a hot topic for niche publishers. The term really refers to any software platform designed to automate repetitive marketing tasks to increase efficiency and reduce labor. Although this sounds simple enough,   Continue

How to Boost the Value of a Subscription Website

The more you can give a member of your subscription website, the better.
And it appears we’re not the only ones who think so.

Earlier in the week we talked about Condé Nast’s Wired Media Group who is launching a membership program for executives. According to Lucia Moses at Digiday, “for $4,000 a year, members of the Emerging Technology   Continue

Choosing the Best Learning Management System for Publishers

What to look for in a learning management system, from Haven Classroom, to Edmodo, Moodle, Teachery and Blackboard.
Many multiplatform publishers have turned to e-learning platforms to help subscribers either increase their skills or improve their lives. Publishers, along with many other organizations, such as universities and corporations, have found that text heavy explanations of complex subject   Continue

11 Profitable Content Business Models Publishers Are Using to Boost Online Revenues

Coming up with the right content business model(s) can be the biggest stumbling block for those looking to grow a publishing business.
Choosing your content focus is a business-critical decision, as the focus you choose pretty much dictates your chances of success with multiplatform publishing. However, more serious than the focus on content, is the business   Continue

The Best Online Calendar Management Software for Publishers

What to look for in online calendar management software, from Haven Calendar, to All In One Events Calendar, The Events Calendar, My Calendar, and Booking Calendar.
Online calendars are used by all kinds of organizations, from the largest trade associations to the smallest garage bands. Like many other things in digital publishing, the functionality itself isn’t so   Continue

The Best Web Analytics Tools for Publishers

What to look for in web analytics tools, from Haven Nexus, to Google Analytics, Kiss Metrics, Social Bro and True Social Metrics

Data analytics are critical for the success of your multiplatform publishing business. Your website, email and social media efforts are all used to promote your content and make more money for your business. It’s   Continue

Choosing the Best Publication Management System for Publishers

What to look for in the best publication management system, from Haven Nexus, to WP Member, MemberGate, aMember, and SubHub

If you are a magazine publisher, it behooves you to remember what makes the medium special. Although many print editions have disappeared, the format’s attributes make it desirable for some part of the reading population. And, whether in paper, tablet   Continue

Plug in a Classifieds Content Business Model to Boost Revenue Easily

The classified content business model is the modern day equivalent of what used to appear in the back of many newspapers and B2B magazines
Listings for products, services, and jobs are the backbone of the classified content business model. They are, as we are fond of saying, a great way to take lots of small checks   Continue

How Successful Subscription Based Websites Do Marketing

No publisher can hope to have a successful subscription based website without getting the marketing right. So if you have, or plan to launch, one of our three subscription website business models – a portal, magazine website or newsletter website – it’s worth studying the winning strategies used by savvy publishers, including, of course, our own clients.   Continue

The Directory Content Business Model Is a Win-Win-Win for Ambitious Publishers

The directory content business model is a three-fer
The directory content business has some pretty unique benefits. If executed correctly, this model can be a win-win-win for any ambitious publisher. Not many content business models can say that.

Not only is a directory a revenue stream, it can also be an engagement device on your website –   Continue

Choosing Website Color Schemes: 16 Tools for Designers

Branding comes into play when choosing colors for your website. Most brands stick with their main colors. However, some businesses go through an entire rebranding when they launch or relaunch their websites, causing the “color” question to be taken into serious consideration.

If you’re redesigning your website, or simply enjoy the art of color, consider these popular website color schemes and the tools that helped develop them.   Continue

The Event Content Business Model Generates Dual Revenue

This content business model drives interest in live events while also driving revenue from attendees and sponsors

Who would have imagined in the internet age that people would still yearn for live events?

The appeal of hearing, seeing, and speaking with actual people and touching real-life objects has never gone away, and thus the event business is   Continue