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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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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

Three Ways to Block Ad Blockers

Hide in plain sight and make your advertising messaging look like regular content to block ad blockers
Ad-blocking software has been around almost as long as people have had personal computers in their homes, so they’ve always existed at the same time that you’ve been depending on ad sales. But only last month did publishers begin   Continue

What Is a Subscription Website?

Subscription website business models have evolved exponentially in just a few years
Once upon a time, there were a few different versions of subscription websites that Mequoda defined. We wrote about them, analyzed them, and built them for our clients.

Over time, we watched new versions of subscription websites come into being. So we revised our naming   Continue

Website Masthead, Nameplate or Header?

No matter what you call your website masthead, the top of your website is a strategic website design challenge
A funny thing happened on the way to today’s post. While doing keyword research to discover what you, our audience, call the top of your website, I found some disagreement. Various posts at other websites, from Wikipedia   Continue

8 Elements of a Proper Website Traffic Report

Do you know what to monitor in your website traffic report?
We’re constantly reading and writing about how to drive website traffic, but how often do we discuss the website traffic report that all of us should be pouring over to see whether or not our hard work is going anywhere?

Anyone who has installed monitoring and   Continue

How Can I Find My Top Keywords Using Website Analytics?

Using website analytics to determine your top keywords and then what to do with them
When developing a new subscription website, it’s crucial to know which keywords to develop your site around.

When a client comes to us, one of the first questions they ask is, “What are my top keywords?” What they’re usually talking about are   Continue

The 8 Characteristics of a Subscription Website

Each subscription website business model we write about has a distinct combination of characteristics
When Mequoda writes about subscription website business models, we always include a chart that outlines eight different characteristics of the different models. As far as we know, we’re the only ones writing at length about publishers’ website architecture, much less going into   Continue

14 Best Website Design Guidelines for Improving Any Website

Since 2006 we have held these fourteen guidelines as the most fundamental principles of the best website design.

Every website is unique to its own audience, so you can’t include things like the best colors to use, or anything that will tell you exactly how to design a site. What we’ve put together is a report card that can be applied to any website, of any age. Like I said, this report card has existed for almost a decade and when we update it (like we did today), all of the rules still apply.
  Continue

Why Subscription Website Business Models Are Ideal for Every Publisher

A magazine or newsletter subscription site paired with a portal subscription website leads to publishing success
If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you’re quite familiar with the Mequoda Method for multiplatform publishing success. You may even understand the acronym that sums it up: ACEM, which stands for:

Attract new visitors to your site organically.
Convert those   Continue

6 Ideas For Where To Put The Facebook Like Button on Your Website

Since the future of your articles in SEO-land is now so dependent on social media, it’s more important than ever to enable your readers with easy-to-use like and share buttons. The “like” button comes in a few shapes and forms, but if you have any interest in getting people to follow you on Facebook and share your articles, there are several important places where installing it is a pretty great idea.   Continue

The Mequoda Classroom Website Business Model

The classroom website is one of 10 website business models that Mequoda currently supports. There are six premium (paid) archetypes, including the classroom model, and four affinity (free) archetypes.   Continue

Webify Your Subscription Website While Avoiding Shiny Object Syndrome

Designing a good website isn’t easy.

Many interconnecting elements have to be correctly executed to achieve profitability. Even when your website is created, how can you know if it wouldn’t benefit from a tweak here or there?

One good indicator is how many repeat visitors you generate.   Continue

Get More Subscribers: Top 8 Reasons Why Visitors Resist Subscribing to Your Website

Do new visitors to your site subscribe, or do they take one quick look, then click back to where they came from? Here are the top 10 reasons your visitors may not be converting to subscribers.   Continue

8 Subscription Website Homepage Ideas for Audience Engagement

These subscription website homepage ideas will help you provide a better user experience through website design

Mequoda has long quantified its own best subscription website homepage ideas, which we put into action with all of our clients. Having recently launched two brand-new websites and re-launched a third, this is an excellent opportunity to show you how we put our subscription website homepage ideas into action.   Continue

The Mequoda Community Subscription Website Business Model

Some of the most successful publishers let their users generate more than 99 percent of their content. The publishers who can do this become masters at building communities that draw users to both read and post.

Out of the 16 website business models that Mequoda currently monitors, the community subscription website archetype is the only one where the publisher relies on its community to create the content. There are six premium (paid) archetypes, and four affinity (free) archetypes. This is one of the four free ones.   Continue

How Web Maintenance Will Improve the Results of Your Publishing System

Over the past few months, we’ve been strongly encouraging our clients upgrade their Haven Nexus Systems.

Haven Nexus CXMS is a state-of-the-art SaaS tool built, owned and maintained by Mequoda to enable all the functionality that multiplatform publishing businesses need to be successful and profitable. Our operating environment includes a state-of-the-art LAMP data center and is built on an open source core and is compatible with WordPress plugins.   Continue

What Great Website Design Actually Means and How to Measure it

Have you started the venture on your next great website design? Maybe your original design was pretty great when you launched, but it’s been a few years now and it’s not so great. What exactly is the definition of great, anyway? Is it a good color pallette? A fancy design? Does it shuffle content more effectively, or draw your eye to the most important calls to action? Does it generate revenue for you? Has it been effective at building an email list? Are you consistently seeing more revenue generated through it than the month before?

You can probably guess at which of these questions are more important than others. If we have to hear another new marketing intern complain about pop-ups without looking at the 20-30% increase in email captures when they launched, we’re going to go all Nate Silver on them. Business goals – do you have them? Good. Are you willing to do what it takes to reach them? Great.   Continue

3 Ways to Master Landing Page Storytelling like Hemingway

Giving the reader enough information to make a decision in your favor

Landing pages are fickle. You can change the color of a button and it can increase conversion rates by 30% or more. You can change the headline on your landing page and get a similar response.

One thing that we’ve found in our testing, however, is that any landing page needs to provide some kind of story. This doesn’t always need to be an elaborate novel-length story but it needs to do all of these things:   Continue

How to Price and Sell Online Magazine Subscriptions

Now that we’re 5+ years into the advent of the iPad and responsive website design has penetrated to a point where it’s now a must-have for Google-friendly sites, it’s become widely accepted that online magazine subscriptions and native tablet editions are the future of publishing. One challenge remains: Few publishers understand how to architect and monetize their content online.

Without a clear plan to profit from digital publishing, most publishers upload their magazine content to the web and cross their fingers that it’ll work. They may create a flip-book style or PDF version of their magazine and hope that’s enough to please their readers. At Mequoda, we have a bulletproof plan that makes finger-crossing unnecessary. And one of our clients, Prime Publishing, publishers of digital-only magazines I Like Crochet and I Like Knitting, is proving that online magazine subscriptions built natively can be a solid revenue stream.   Continue

10 Great Website Design Ideas that Make Lazy Visitors Click More

Reader engagement is a key metric important to all publishers. Time spent, pages per visit and return visits are all numbers that every online publisher should hold near and dear.

The problem with the information overload of the internet is that website readers get lazy. When they come in from search engines, they often click, find what they’re looking for and head off in another direction.

However, if you give them better reasons to click, they’re more likely to keep digging.   Continue

What Every Great Website Design Requires (And You Might Be Missing)

I’d like you to take a minute and decide the actions you’d like a user to take when they arrive at your website. If you were conducting any kind of simple usability tests, you’d want to do the same thing.

In a heuristic usability test, where you’re watching a user engage with your website, you are required to come up with 5-10 major tasks, many of which require the one element that every website design requires: a very obvious call to action.   Continue

How to Analyze Your Referring Website Analytics + 7 Steps for Using them

There’s a lot to learn in Google Analytics, but unless you’re a business analyst or marketing manager, you probably don’t need to know all of them.

However, one set of metrics that every user of any capacity should know are your referring website analytics. Referring websites are those who are linking to you and sending you traffic. Referring traffic is comprised of visitors that find those links to your site and click on them.   Continue

Three Membership Website Copywriting Tricks to Improve Sales Dramatically

If you want to convert more website visitors into new members for your membership website, or any type of subscription website, write compelling copy. Use emotional copywriting to twist their heartstrings (eharmony.com) or tap into all the ways your product will benefit the new member (ladders.com).

Below are some wise tips from our Executive Content Director Mary Van Doren who has mastered the art of writing landing page copy for every type of subscription website.   Continue

What Every Great Membership Website Has in Common

Membership website publishers must recognize the value in their products. Not all subscription websites are created equal, but the best ones do have something in common.
The commonality that all great membership websites include is an affinity (free) subscription website, which could be a portal or a blog. This is a place where content can be written and published to attract users, because their minimum information unit, their MIU, is a user profile.
An affinity subscription website is the most important accompanying part of the premium subscription website model. It’s this free part of the website which helps attract new users through great content and strong SEO. For the website itself, having a free subscription blog helps build the audience, potentially developing a larger base of paying customers, too.   Continue

17 Tips for Starting a Membership Website

The answers are not always obvious, even to a seasoned print or digital publisher. Starting a new website is very different from running an existing property. Over the past 10 years, our team has worked on over 100 successful digital publishing startups, as well as several that were not successful.

Our understanding of website publishing is rooted in the world of print, which has given us insight into the similarities and differences between the two types of launches. These tips will document the best practices we’ve seen, and been part of, over the past decade. These tips are geared toward a website that will generate $2 to $5 million per year in total revenues after three to five years.   Continue

Responsive vs. Fluid Design: Do You Have to Choose?

Design is a delivery mechanism for content – nothing more and nothing less. The more elegant, the better, of course, but getting caught up in appearances is never a good idea no matter what you’re doing. When we talk about good design at Mequoda, aesthetics (as much as we love them) take a back seat to user experience. And when discussing the responsive vs. fluid design problem, we always caution publishers to not overcomplicate things by getting bogged down in industry buzzwords.   Continue

How to Use Website Architecture to Collect Email Addresses

If at least 2% of your website visitors aren’t converting into email subscribers, then you’re reading exactly what you should be. And most publishers are averaging much less than a single percent, so odds are, you’re in the right place.

To develop a website that eagerly accepts email addresses, start with a freemium.

Your freemium is a free product that you give away in exchange for an email address. If you’re a knitting magazine, it could be a pattern. If you’re a health publisher, it could be a white paper on heart health. If you’re a food publisher, it could be a free digital cookbook.   Continue

Website Taxonomy Mistakes That Publishers Make Too Often

Your website taxonomy is how you speak to those who are looking at your website. Publishers live in the visual world and have a habit of going for over-designed websites that overwhelm users more often than they inform them. If your readers are running in the opposite direction of your sales pages, then this could be the problem.   Continue

5 Ways Your Website Taxonomy Should Work For You

If your website taxonomy is perfect, it means that your readers are never confused by the language on your site. It means they know what they’re clicking on and subscribing to, or unsubscribing to, based on the words you use. We often focus the taxonomy conversation around the primary website navigation, usually at the top of your site. But your entire website is full of the taxonomy you chose, like buttons and links in your footer.   Continue

What is Website Taxonomy?

Website taxonomy needs to be clear and easy to understand so your audience members can find the information they seek. The mobile version of your website has to be even more concise and understandable since it’s displayed on a much smaller screen.

Did you go through all your online business’ topics prior to launching your website? Is all the content properly aligned with uber phrases labeling the top content and related topics found within them?   Continue

Creating the Perfect Subscription Website Portal

Here at Mequoda we can never stress enough the value of a free portal to any subscription website, no matter what archetype it is. It’s the key to driving website traffic, it helps you convert random visitors into email subscribers, and it keeps paid customers engaged with your content.

But just because it’s free to your users doesn’t mean it’s easy to create and maintain. The centerpieces of a portal are your regular, frequently-updated, concise posts. And that’s a style of journalism that few magazine publishers understand.   Continue

What Are Subscription Websites?

Many subscription websites charge a fee to access the premium content found behind the paywall, which is why subscription websites are among the most profitable websites on the web. And it’s not just publishers who are creating them – although the brands and startups who are, might consider calling themselves publishers sooner or later.   Continue

11 Elements of Highly Effective Event Websites

Are you missing any of these cha-ching worthy event website elements?
Publishers aren’t strangers to events. B2B publishers often get more involved in audio conferences and webinars, but both consumer- and business-facing publishers host live events and often sell access to these with event websites.

Event websites have their own business models. They are built to sell seats   Continue

Add Event Websites to Your Internet Business Model and Top Off Your Revenue Pyramid

Digital events are quickly becoming a highly profitable Internet Business Model

The Mequoda Research Group has identified nine methods used by successful publishers for making money online:

The 9 Online Content Business Models include:   Continue

The Battle for Best Website Design Lies in These 16 Questions

No matter how many website awards there are out there, no one website could ever win the battle for best website design of all, because there are so many factors that come into play.

For example, some might think they have the best website design because their website is “pretty,” with loads of white space and great fonts. But if it’s not also search-optimized for someone to find it, then who cares? Another example is a site that’s completely search-optimized, even user-friendly – but there’s not a single call to action to be found. What’s the point?   Continue

4 Things the Best Membership Websites Have in Common

One of the more popular paid subscription website models that Mequoda has identified is the paid membership website. Unlike some of the other models, it’s user-driven and content-based, and its unique minimum information unit (MIU) is content created by a member.   Continue

How to Build a Website with a Simple Website Architecture Template That’s Great for SEO

People concern themselves with the external factors (link-building, social media, etc.) of SEO, but those are nothing without website architecture that’s built to pass link juice through the website’s pipeline. Did you know that there are ways to build a website for great SEO that go beyond inbound links and even the words on your website?

A properly optimized site has a chain of command that would look very similar to your business model if you put them side by side.   Continue

How to Build a Website with Multiple Business Models

Knowing how to build a website isn’t just about design, it’s about the business models behind every tab

If you’ve read Mequoda Daily before (I hope you have!) then you know we frequently speak about subscription website business models. Most people see these business models as different tabs on their websites, but we make distinct separations between them.

For example, if you look at Natural Health Advisory, the “Home” and “Free Newsletters” tabs are part of a Portal website business model because they exist to distribute free content in order to attract website traffic. The NHA Library and NHA Letter tabs are part of a Newsletter subscription website business model, which is a premium model meant to drive revenue. Free and paid models like this, should always go together.   Continue

Determine How to Build a Website for your Magazine in 10 Questions

If you feed a mouse a cookie, then it’s going to want some milk. If you own a magazine, then you’re going to want to build a website. If you do not yet have a website, or rather, if you do not yet have a good, profitable website, then your next steps are as follows.

And yes, if there was ever a true use for the phrase over-simplification, you’re about to read it.

Let’s also think hypothetically, and that we hypothetically own an organic gardening magazine.
  Continue

10 Subscription Website Publishing Lessons for Profitable Website Design in 2015

If you publishing any kind of periodical, then you’re no stranger to subscription websites. This year we published more than fifty new posts about subscription website publishing.   Continue

Sovereign Publishing Unites Four Different Publications with Launch of Warfare History Network

Profitable combination of direct marketing, fulfillment, advertising and content expertise hits one out of the park
Some of you might be familiar with our favorite publisher, Rose Harper. Of course Rose isn’t a real publisher – she’s someone we invented as the embodiment of a typical publisher who we use as an example in teaching our   Continue

Subscription Websites: What’s Your Minimum Information Unit?

How many types of websites are there on the world wide web of sites?

At one time we were watching new ones popping up every day. But in the past few years, we’ve identified a solid nine subscription website archetypes for publishers to consider, depending on their business goals and their content. I’ve posted about all of the six premium (paid) models in the past few months.   Continue

Designing a Website: 12 Best Website Design Tools

Use these 13 best website design tools when designing a website

The most important goal when designing a website is to figure out the main funnel that gets a visitor to complete a transaction. That transaction may be monetary (a sale) or not (a subscription to your email newsletter).

Effective website design is based on efficiency, clarity, and user-friendly elements that take the visitor through the funnel.

Check out these thirteen best website design tools that cover all of the above.   Continue

Five Keys to a Profitable Sales Letter Landing Page

Make sure your landing pages answer this question for your users: “what’s in it for me?”
  Continue

Digital Magazine Circulation, Ad Revenue Up

PricewaterhouseCoopers released a study recently that projects digital ad revenue will increase 22.4% to $3.9 billion this year and hit $7.6 billion by 2018, Ad Age reports.   Continue

MIT Review Offers New Subscription Plan

The MIT Technology Review’s new “Insider” subscription plan, which the journal debuted last week, offers three tiers of annualized content access, Folio: reports.   Continue

Creating the Perfect Magazine Website

Ten years ago, most magazine publishers fell into two camps when it came to online magazine publishing. Some buried their heads in the sand and did little or nothing, apparently hoping this crazy fad would pass. We’ll call them “Reluctants.” Others jumped in, investing enormous amounts of time and money with little or no planning and mixed results at best. We’ll call this group the “Eager Beavers.” Of course there were publishers who did have a plan, executed it well, and achieved success, but they were more the exception.   Continue

Digital Dollars Increasing for Media Advertisers

Digital advertising spending is set to increase faster in the media and entertainment industries than in any others, according to eMarketer’s “The US Media and Entertainment Industries 2014: Digital Ad Spending Forecast and Trends.”   Continue

Three Subscription Website Best Practices from the May 2014 Mequoda Intensive

At Mequoda, we maintain the publishing industry’s most comprehensive database of website design best practices. These best practices are continually evolving and guide publishers to design and manage high-performance websites that deliver on three primary goals: using free content to attract, engage and retain users; selling and delivering premium content that generates revenue; and building online communities that dominate their target markets.   Continue

Mequoda’s Top 10 Subscription Website Publishing Posts

The subscription website publishing posts below get into subscription website best practices in design and monetization. They also dive into the many different archetypes that we’ve identified.   Continue