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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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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

Best-Practice Font Tips for Effective Website Design and More Readable Content

A recent Digiday story on publishers’ new approach to site redesign reveals that in place of the customary massive overhauls every few years, magazines are now outfitting their portals with infrastructure enabling periodic tweaks and tune-ups rather than part-and-parcel transformations. The realization that redesigns are capable of doing more harm than good has fueled this change in thinking.   Continue

9 Subscription Website Mistakes That Could Ground You

Because we quantify everything, Mequoda has identified nine (coincidentally) deadly subscription website mistakes that are commonly made when publishers build their online presence.   Continue

Creating Renewable Digital Revenue With a Course Content Business Model

When you have a course content business model, you organize a series of courses for paid subscribers that are updated regularly – but not frequently
Every successful publisher we know launched their digital existence with at least two content models. One is a portal content business model, and the other is usually a magazine content business   Continue

Increasing Profitable Platforms With the Book Content Business Model

The book content business model can give you a variety of items to sell that can be sold digitally for a large profit
When developing strategic plans for CAROTME (content, audience, revenue, organization, technology, measurement, and economics), it’s not uncommon for publishers to overlook certain content business model(s) that they could be monetizing.

We have identified 12   Continue

Increasing Time on Site With the Community Content Business Model

The community content business model can bring in users and keep them on your site
When developing your strategic plans for CAROTME (content, audience, revenue, organization, technology, measurement, and economics), it’s not uncommon for publishers to forget that you have to start with identifying and establishing a primary content business model(s) to monetize.

We have identified 12   Continue

Creating Traffic With the Calendar Content Business Model

The calendar content business model can provide a useful, linkable resource that keeps visitors coming back
It’s necessary to know the most ideal business model(s) for publishers, to be able to develop your strategic plans for CAROTME (content, audience, revenue, organization, technology, measurement, and economics). Not considering the content business model is a major mistake some   Continue

Understanding the Freebie Content Business Model

The freebie content business model is one website we build for all of our Mequoda Gold Members

Choosing your content focus is a business-critical decision, as the focus you choose pretty much dictates your chances of success with multiplatform publishing and subscription websites. However, more serious than the focus on content is the business model itself.

It   Continue

Don’t Build a Subscription Website Until You Identify Your MIU

Before any Mequoda client will build a subscription website, they first identify the most fundamental content their users will digest
At Mequoda, we talk a lot about your minimum information unit, and that’s because you should never build a subscription website without identifying what yours is, and how many you have.

A minimum information unit, or MIU,   Continue

Website Architecture vs. Web Design – Which Comes First?

Website architecture refers to the funnel that leads your customers from a page, to a point of interest, like a “buy now” button, or an email subscription form. It refers to the function of your website and its webpages. It does not refer to the colors on your website or your CSS stylesheet, but the actual structure of your website and its purpose.

Every page of your website should have intent. For example, before you “design” a page, create its structure. An article page includes a page title, URL, headline, subhead, body copy, and sometimes a photograph. Additional SEO elements include a meta title, a meta description and tags. These elements all contribute to the architecture of an article page.   Continue

How to Prioritize Building New Website Business Models

Before building out new website business models, inventory your existing content assets

Author and efficiency expert Stephen Covey writes about how difficult it is to reach goals that you don’t have. “Begin with the end in mind” is our personal mantra for every Mequoda System we start.

Publishing websites for magazines and newsletters are like Swiss Army   Continue

How to Perform a Quick Mobile Website Analysis

If more than 50% of your traffic comes from mobile, it’s time for a mobile website analysis to see if you’re looking as sleek as you think you are
In an interview, Hearst Head of Corporate Tech Allen Duan said, “We’ve removed the differentiation between the mobile and desktop experience. Fifty percent to 70% [of Hearst’s audience] are   Continue

A Website Architecture Map From Search to Sale of a Subscription

A visual website architecture map to show how we get from attraction to monetization
When we talk about our signature ACEM methodology (Attract, Capture, Engage, and Monetize) it’s easy to stop at Capture… or we’ll get to Engage and often pause there for a while, as there’s a critical acknowledgement that the process of attracting, capturing,   Continue

Subscription Marketing: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

As long as you’re selling to humans, you can’t go wrong with classic strategies. The more I read and write about the future of magazines and subscription marketing, the more I realize that the Internet continues to create a sea change for the magazine industry. When I learned the trade, I was learning what the publishing generation before me had learned, and the generation before that.   Continue

The Revenue Benefits of a Subscription-Based Business That’s Run Efficiently

The successful user-driven startups of today are the ones who offer subscription-based services. As a magazine or newsletter publisher, you know a subscription-based business takes the revenue of one product and multiplies it over the course of months, or even years.   Continue

The Best Subscription Business Models Are Based on Your Minimum Information Unit

As we always say, a publisher’s minimum information unit (MIU) is the bedrock on which the best subscription business models are built. Any online publisher who doesn’t bother to understand and identify his MIU cannot choose the appropriate subscription website archetype, and, in turn, will be simply guessing at how to be a publishing success.

Why do we say this? Because of all the website business models we’ve identified, the single characteristic which determines how you run your business is that MIU.   Continue

What to Consider Before Setting up a Subscription Website

Setting up a subscription website could be a costly test if you don’t think about these three things first
The answers are not always obvious, even to a seasoned print or electronic publisher. Setting up a subscription website from scratch is very different from running an existing enterprise. Our understanding of website publishing is rooted in   Continue

Website Affordance and Usability Tips To Make Users Feel Smart

Want to know a great way to confuse, distract and drive away new users? Design a website like a print ad. Go ahead, throw underlines under things that aren’t hyperlinks. Overdesign your button graphics so nobody knows that they’re clickable. While you’re at it, make it as hard as possible for someone to figure out how to get from one page to the next.   Continue

10 Reasons to Launch a Responsive Newsletter Website

A responsive newsletter website brings accessibility to the table

Totally unrelated to publishing, you may have heard that Patagonia recently ditched their app. If you open it, it will tell you that the app will no longer be updated, and they should head to their responsive website instead. “Thanks for supporting the Patagonia iPhone app. Now   Continue

5 Places to Test Video Landing Page Templates

Mequoda has been testing video landing pages for the past few years with great success. In fact, our Intensive attendees have told us repeatedly that our video is what convinced them to sign up. A few years ago I read a study by EyeView that said businesses who tested video on the homepages and landing pages saw a conversion rate increase up to 86%. These results were based on multiple iterations of video and placement, but 86% is no small feat.   Continue

Building a Google Visibility Report: A Step-by-Step Guide

Our clients publish in many different niches: food, investing, archaeology, environmental infrastructure, natural health and clinical pathology among many others. When they first come to us, they have nothing in common with one another, but after working with us for six months to a year, they all have one thing in common: a Google Visibility Report (GVR).   Continue

How to Prime an Online Magazine Business Model to Perfection

The sacred elements of any best-practice online magazine business model
Literary perfectionist Gustav Flaubert once said “our ignorance of history makes us slander our own times.” He was right on the money here and not just in his never-ending quest to find “le mot juste” (“the right word”) in a sentence. Finding the perfect word, he   Continue

When Existing Direct Marketing Systems for Publishers Aren’t Enough

Improving direct marketing results is a constant source of discussion for publishers. They are always tracking, evaluating, and testing different offers for their products in order to optimize their results, even moreso now that it can be done online through digital direct marketing systems.   Continue

5 Potent Ways to Curtail Subscriber Churn

The subscription model has a lot of perks and one of them is that subscriber churn rate is much lower than any other product you can offer. Customers don’t usually come to your website and buy a single issue, or a book every single month for years on end. Yet they auto-renew regularly.

Psychology suggests there’s a lot more involved to unsubscribe from a product than to simply not show up and buy something new.

Think about doing your laundry at a laundromat. You probably have some kind of regular schedule, but most people don’t follow it exactly all of the time. Maybe you do it every Sunday, or maybe you do it whenever the baskets get full, or maybe you go full months without doing laundry because the laundromat isn’t very fun. You’re in control so you either do it or you don’t, and it take effort and brainspace to make that decision.   Continue

Recurring Subscription Billing Benefits and Considerations

When a customer agrees to have a specific charge card billed a certain amount for a pre-determined (or sometimes open-ended) period of time, that’s recurring billing. It’s sometimes called recurring payment or subscription billing. Bank accounts and debit cards can also be billed recurrently. Common time frames are monthly and quarterly.

Subscribers like recurring billing for several reasons. First, they can essentially finance a subscription, making a payment each month. Second, they can commit for a shorter period of time, allowing them to evaluate the service or publication before subscribing for a full year. And third, it’s a convenience—one less bill to pay each month or quarter.   Continue

Top Subscription Billing Software Solutions for Publishers

Subscription billing software allows publishers to manage their customer subscriptions and revenue by storing payment data and processing charges on a recurring basis. Of course, subscriptions have been an important economic model for publishers for a long time and good digital publishers continue to take advantage of the benefits.

Most publishers understand that merchant accounts and payment gateways are necessary to take someone’s credit card and ensure the funds end up in the right place. Subscription billing software ensures that accounts can be charged on a regular basis. These services store credit cards, and ensure that every month the right people get charged the right amount for their subscription service.

Some payment gateways have developed simple recurring billing modules on top of their existing systems. Other services have developed specific capabilities around subscription billing.   Continue

Choosing the Best Content Management System for Digital Publishers

Your content management system is, simply stated, the system used to manage the content on your web site … but it’s so much more than just that. Choosing a CMS is one of the most important decisions publishers make today.

When it comes to choosing the best CMS for your digital publishing business, you can find advice from vendors, marketers, editors, sales people, technology experts, web developers, and even consultants. Although there are many choices, publishers need to stay focused on their goals when selecting a system.   Continue

The Best Job Board System for Publishers

Publishers, especially in the B2B space, have always helped their audience by providing career development advice, and by promoting opportunities in need of qualified professionals. Often, publications will provide expert career advice, or interviews with industry leaders specifically about how to get a better job, or get the skills that can lead to advancement.   Continue

Choosing the Best Taxonomy Manager for Publishers

Most legacy publishers have years and years of content that sits on their website and can still be extremely useful for their audience. In addition, they create new content all the time, and that only gets added to the goldmine of content they are already managing.

But how do users find the exact piece of content they are looking for? What makes your website easily manageable so that users have a great experience and find exactly what they are looking for when they are looking for it? This is where a taxonomy manager comes in.   Continue

Mastering Subscription Marketing Language with a Story

So you’ve launched your subscription website. You’ve determined the right price, and how you want to offer your subscription to customers, and you’re ready to think about ways to entice, persuade and convince them, whether it’s copy on a landing page, or an outbound email. Few subscribers ever make a decision to buy from you based solely on your price or offer!   Continue

How to Launch a Magazine Subscription Website and Increase Digital Sales

If you are a legacy magazine publisher, guarantee success by learning how to launch a magazine subscription website, which is often misunderstood.
A magazine subscription website model is set up to sell subscriptions for a related print or digital magazine and to provide access to issues of the magazine.

For the past 20 years, our team has been   Continue

The Best Classified Ad System for Publishers

What to look for in a classified ad system, from Haven Nexus, to yClas, Classipress and ClassifiedEngine
Classified ads have a long tradition of providing service to readers. For newspapers, classifieds were a major source of revenue until online sales services, such as Craigslist, and all the online job search services, such as Monster, took over the space they   Continue

The Best Community Management System for Publishers

What to look for in community management systems from Haven Thread, to Simple:Press to Kunena
Forums really leverage some of the best things about the Internet. Sometimes called message boards, forums allow users from all over the world to communicate together on shared interests on one platform. People offer advice, ask questions and users from the   Continue

10 Types of Landing Pages and Knowing When to Use Them

The first thing you need to have to create great landing pages is a basic understanding of the seven types of landing pages used by Internet marketing professionals. With that in mind, we think your odds of increasing landing page conversion rates will definitely improve.   Continue

FTC Guidance on Native Advertising Provides Clear Boundaries for Publishers

FTC provides sponsored content labeling guidelines in ‘Native Advertising: A Guide for Business’
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidance on native advertising for publishers, released late last year, greatly helps publishers by defining the boundaries of what is acceptable in their eyes.

Why is the FTC involved? In general, under the FTC Act, an act or practice   Continue

Test Your Landing Page Copywriting Expertise by Taking this Copywriting Test Now

My publisher friend is a fervent believer in creating A/B splits for his landing pages, focusing specifically on the titles of his paid handbooks. The graphic design of each cover is identical in color, typeface and size. His sales letter landing pages use the exact same persuasive editorial copy except for the title of the book.   Continue

3 Subscription Website Publishing Predictions for 2016

Consumers will respond to memberships over subscriptions and publishers will thrive with more integrated publishing systems
The one thing you can count on as a magazine publisher is that there will always be subscribers. Except that in 2016, they’d prefer you stop calling them that, because they’d prefer to be members who subscribe to your magazine.   Continue

10 Top Subscription Website Publishing Posts of 2015

Our most-read subscription website publishing posts of 2015 reveal a desire for better understanding of building, publishing and pricing subscription websites
This year in our Subscription Website Publishing articles we’ve tackled everything from choosing profitable subscription models, to choosing the best colors and fonts for your redesign, and pricing your subscription websites appropriately. However, there are a   Continue

5 Signs of Bad Website Design & How to Fix

Websites are not magazines (most of the time). However, magazine content can be the basis of a successful periodical website that follows the basic rules of periodical website design and content management.   Continue

Great Examples of Newsletter Subscription Website Sales Pages

Each of these newsletter subscription websites illustrate how to collect and convert website visitors into paid digital subscribers
If you sell a print newsletter, considering a newsletter subscription website is a business-critical decision. Consumers expect to access their periodical subscriptions digitally, and they’re willing to pay more for access when it includes back issues they don’t   Continue

12 Features of Great Magazine Subscription Websites

TIME almost hits the mark with their magazine subscription website, but niche publishers hit the bullseye
One of the most profitable subscription websites is a magazine subscription website.

It’s not because it’s cheaper to build, or brings in substantially more revenue than other business models, it’s more profitable because once your platform is up and running, you   Continue

Understanding the Role of Metadata in Google Visibility: 5 Best Practices

Your metadata doesn’t matter anymore … Just kidding. It does, sort of.

Recently one of our clients noticed that the metadata they were putting into their articles wasn’t necessarily the data that was getting pulled into Google search results.

In days of old, metadata was valuable. It’s what Google used to determine the content on our pages. When we wrote it, it showed up in search engines. There was no discrepancy between what we put in the meta description field, and what showed up on the page.   Continue

How Subscription Websites Bring in Publishing Revenue with Little Spend

For print magazines and newsletters, subscription websites offer a plethora of ways to gain publishing revenue with little upfront cost
Legacy publications should be ultra focused on how to create dynamic sources of publishing revenue online. Most print publications already have a digital edition available, but it’s time to take an extra hard look at developing   Continue

Google Visibility Math: Organic SEO Metrics that Matter

Almost a decade ago, a close colleague told me that it was impossible to figure out how much search traffic a website could or should be receiving from Google and other search engines. He was wrong.

Let me explain how to calculate the amount of traffic Google and other search engines could be sending your way.   Continue

The Library Website Business Model

Discover how ConsumerReports.org and Lynda.com are utilizing the reference subscription website model

A reference subscription website archetype allows paid subscribers continued access to a library of content that is updated constantly with new information.   Continue