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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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9 Membership Website Mistakes

Membership websites are hot for 2013

All the sudden in 2013 I found myself hip-deep in subscription and membership websites.

Perhaps it’s the tablet market evolving, the publishing market maturing, the continuing problems of advertising models or the renewed interest in the renewable revenue of continuity websites.   Continue

Best Landing Page Designs Depend on More than the Designer

Deploy your words to make landing pages more powerful

The best landing page designs aren’t about design.

OK, they’re sort of about design. I know that my copy can enhance and work with the design, or it can put the reader off the product featured in even the best landing page designs.   Continue

Now Available: Landing Page Inspiration

Look no further than these 11 examples to make your landing pages wildly successful

Whether you’re selling a product or hoping to trade a free report for an email address, your landing page is where you lay it all on the line. Badly written copy, sloppy formatting and lackluster layout lead to death on a page.

But there’s hope for even the newest landing page amateur. Pay scrupulous attention to certain best practices, and you’ll be rolling in dough (or email addresses) in no time.   Continue

Disavowing Bad Links: The Good, the Bad & the Useless

Can disavowing links really help your site?

Do you remember when JCPenny found out the hard way that it’s a really bad idea to hire an SEO company who buys backlinks to boost rankings? Do you think JCPenny believes it was worth getting banned from Google indefinitely for the quick boost in traffic they got? Probably not.

Google hates cheating, and that includes link farms. A link farm is any site that’s meant to create inbound links for your site, even if it includes writing full-length articles to do it. In fact, that’s the most popular strategy behind link farms, and why Google cited the popular and well-ranked EzineArticles as a link farm not too long ago. Lots of publishers used EZineArticles back in the day to write articles that drove traffic back to their sites, and thankfully sites like these are working hard to clean up their rep for everyone’s sake.   Continue

How to Make a Membership Website

Six membership site ideas all digital publishers must follow

How to make a membership website is a topic many publishers struggle with. Membership and subscription websites can be hugely successful in generating revenue for publishers with evergreen and updated content.

However, understanding how to make a membership website is often overlooked during the planning process. Let’s take a look at six tips publishers must adhere to while making a membership website.   Continue

Discover your F.U.Q.s Using Internal Site Search Data

Do you know what your F.U.Q.s are?

No, I didn’t just swear at you, F.U.Q. stands for “Frequently Unasked Questions.”

Your F.U.Q.s are the questions that someone may never ask you. A question we get asked a lot in person is “What does Mequoda stand for?” Well folks, it’s a shortened version of Media Quote Daily, the original name of our company. Most people are disappointed that it’s not something more groovy, like a Native American tribe.   Continue

Unlikely Web Design Tools to Help Decrease your Website Jargon

Usability and design are two key factors in publishing great websites. You may have a clear strategy and great content, but if your site is unusable and unattractive, it will be difficult for users to find what they’re looking for, difficult for you to get users to do what you want them to do and difficult to get users to become loyal customers and revisit again and again.   Continue

Landing Pages that Rock your Customers’ World

For successful landing pages, best practices are mandatory

At Mequoda, we never guess. Over many years of testing, we’ve developed proven best practices for just about everything. In fact, when it comes to landing pages, we have 12 of them. You can test these elements over and over, removing some or adding others, but in the end this even dozen will help you create landing pages that consistently deliver the desired results, whether it’s a sale or a conversion of some kind to gain an email address.   Continue

Ecommerce Website Design: Top Components of Your Online Store

What your ecommerce website design should look like from the first page to the thank-you page

Publishers sometimes forget that they are retailers; publishers do sell subscriptions, memberships, books, ancillary products, events, etc.

It’s smart for a publisher to think like a retailer: Get people into your store, where they can become your customers. And when they become your customers, get them to come back for more.   Continue

Two Types of Website Design Tools that Tell You What Users Click

The website design process hasn’t really changed in the last ten years. You come up with a wireframe, a designer mocks it up, a developer makes a test site and after weeks of going through each agonizing detail you deploy your new design. It’s a fairly static process; however, there’s an endless supply of questions about colors, calls to action, fonts, copy, images and everything under the sun.

The first thing to know is that your initial iteration is unlikely to ever be the best one. As publishers, you’re probably on version five, 10 or even 20, depending how long you’ve been around. We spend a lot of time hiring beta testers to sit in front of computers with eye-tracking devices to test our clients’ websites. It tells us more about how easy the site is to navigate, find what they’re looking for, and how effective our calls to actions are. At this point, we’ve discovered a pretty standard set of elements that do work, and ones that just don’t.   Continue

Great Landing Pages Build and Retain Audiences …

… as long as you answer the million-dollar question

What’s in it for me?

This is more than just a popular refrain among toddlers and politicians. This is the question you must answer with every landing page letter you write. Great landing pages will convert visitors to members, and members to subscribers or buyers, only if you can capture the audience’s attention, keep it, and finally convince them to hand over an email address or buy your product.   Continue

Mequoda Systems: Options We Prefer for Email, Payments and beyond

These things are what make a Mequoda System. Options you have when building a publishing website are somewhat resilient in the way that while we always grow to adapt the tools we’re working with and the architecture to stay modern, but the end-goals don’t waver.   Continue

5 Website Design Tools to Make Your Website Lightning Fast

Five website design tools and three tips for speeding up your website

“People hate to wait,” Andy King states in the opening line of his book, Speed Up Your Site: Web Site Optimization (VOICES). “The Web is essentially a self-service environment. A core promise of self-service is speed. A customer turns to self-service to save time, to save money and because it is more convenient.”

Your website should load in three to five seconds, and that includes the stylesheet files that illustrate the fonts, colors, styles and structure of your website. People expect information these days to load instantaneously and require no-effort to consume. Two phenomena contribute to the users expectation of download time:   Continue

Comprehensive Website Design in 90 Minutes

Join us on Nov. 6 for Designing Media Websites that Work so you can improve the state of your website

Your media website must include certain components or you’ll fail to retain an audience and generate enough revenue to keep operating.

Some online business owners don’t understand all the aspects that go into designing websites, and then they reach market and develop many regrets.   Continue

Landing Page Examples: Tips and Landing Page Best Practices that Convert Visitors into Customers

Or, a thousand words are worth a single picture

Google the phrase “landing page examples” and you get 3,300,000 results. It’s enough to make the earnest copywriter throw up her hands in despair.

Of course, when you start digging into those results for actual landing page examples, you find that most of them are critiques based on the design of the page. But I’m going to completely ignore those landing page examples because it’s my blog post, and I’m a writer, not a designer. Please see posts from my colleagues Amanda MacArthur and Aimee Graeber if you want to talk design! There’s nobody here but us writers!   Continue

The “Pages” for Social Media Analytics

Have you been using Google Analytics to monitor social media activities?

For a while, online marketers were questioning the value behind social media. As time goes on, more analytical tools become available, which make it easier to monitor the impact social media has on your company.   Continue

5 Components of Successful Subscription Websites

These aspects will help your subscription website grow an audience and remain relevant to those consumers

Although there are different types of subscription websites, certain components belong in each of the separate archetypes to assure the correct result from the subscription website.

Now that subscription websites are turning into the core of online publishing companies, it’s important to create a subscription website that resonates with your target audience. It has to be filled with a great deal of valuable content that is updated regularly, and it has to show its reputability on the subject matter.   Continue

Portals and Newsletters: Getting the Most from Subscribers

The debate could be waged that either a portal or an email newsletter is more important than the other. And evidence could be presented for both sides. What’s really important to realize though, is that portals and email newsletters work together to build stronger relationships. There is harmony between the two.   Continue

5 Tips for Increasing Conversion Rates

The main point of online advertisements is to gain conversions.

Landing pages need prominent conversion architecture to successful convert casual visitors into email subscribers.

Successful conversion architecture is clearly labeled, above the fold and simplistic in nature. Whether the website is selling a product or offering a free signup for an email newsletter or a complimentary download, the positioning and language of the landing page’s conversion architecture needs to be the main focus.   Continue

4 Order Form Rules that Will Boost Your Landing Page Conversion Rate

Don’t expect to increase landing page conversion rates without following these four simple rules

Posting a landing page with a confusing or inadequate order mechanism is like opening a new Wal-Mart, but forgetting to install cash registers. What’s the point?

In direct mail advertising, one of the two most important elements of the package is the order form (the other being the outer envelope).

This checklist is especially important, because if you get everything else right and blow the order mechanism, your sales letter landing page will almost certainly fail.   Continue

How to Increase Landing Page Conversion Rates by Focusing on the Details

First Class Flyer is a great product with a great value proposition, which is a great foundation for creating a sales letter landing page with impressive conversion rates.

A new client recently asked me how many hours it would take to create a first-class sales letter landing page for his subscription website and newsletter. Having done this a few times, I answered that it would take 50 to 100 hours of copywriter time to create a great landing page.   Continue

5 Reasons to Test Your Landing Pages

Landing page testing is necessary for higher conversion rates

Who here is a landing page testing fanatic? I’m sure there are a few in the group. Landing page testing is a focus for some publishers, but unfortunately, not enough publishers and marketers. In fact, less than 45% of marketers have reported trying A/B tests. Only about 20% have reported trying multivariate testing.   Continue

The Landing Page Testing Roadmap

7 areas to test on your landing pages

On the subject of testing, some digital publishers and marketers aren’t fully sure what they need to test. Do you know what to test?

The first thing that would always come to mind in tests for me, pertained to email marketing and the subject lines used to get people to open. I equated this to landing pages and decided that the headlines of pages were important to test.   Continue

Discover 12 Key Metrics for Daily Use

The Understanding Google Analytics webinar teaches key performance indicators to make better resource, staffing, and content performance decisions

Understanding analytics should be the job of everyone in your organization. This unfortunately isn’t always the case, as many find the task boring or tedious.   Continue

Responsive Website Design Roundup

For those of you who are not sure what responsive web design is, it basically means designing your website so it will be able to adapt to whatever platform its opened on. Whether it’s a computer, tablet, smartphone etc. the site will adapt and fit on whatever screen is being utilized.

Below we have some articles going more in depth explaining what responsive web design really is, and some great visuals of how sites adapt when used on different platforms. In the third article, NetMagazine will give you a good jump start on how to begin creating a responsive web design of your own.
  Continue

How to Name a Website and Choose the Best Domain Name

3 Tips for Choosing the Best Website Name for your Media Company, blog, Portal or Subscription Website

Over the past decade or so, I’ve had the privilege and downright fun of getting to help name a few hundred websites. Most of the names I’ve helped generate have been for portals and blogs like Bible History Daily, one of my personal favorites. Occasionally, a client asks me to help name his entire company. American Lantern Press, another of my favorites, has now been going strong for more than a decade.   Continue

Resources for Planning and Updating Website Homepage Design

Website homepage ideas that will help you create a functional website

Whether you are creating a website from scratch, or you have launched a website and want to improve upon its design, there are often little nuances that may be overlooked. Some of these incorporate minor changes that create better engagement opportunities. Others are more significant, and should be accounted for while launching an online business.   Continue

3 Important Elements of Responsive Website Design

Is responsive website design the future for digital publishers?

As websites optimize for growing mobile demands, popularity turns towards responsive website design. Although not a new technique for designing, digital publishers are quick to consider the possibilities that come with responsive website design.

After researching the topic, I’ve come to find three important elements to responsive website design: flexible layouts, flexible images, and media queries.   Continue

Developing Towards Website Supremacy

Four webinars that will help you define, optimize, and analyze your website’s content

How would you define website supremacy? I’d consider it a market leader that provides functionality accepted by its audience members. It would share content, inform interested readers, and offer online business strategies focused on revenue generation.

How do you think website supremacy can be achieved?   Continue

Website Analytic News from CMS Wire

Today we are focusing on multiple blog posts from CMS Wire relating to website analytics. CMS Wire is a great site that focuses on website analytics news and is the place to be for up-to-date website analytics information. They have tons of new, fresh content on ways to improve analytics and lots of new info on social media analytic news.   Continue

Responsive Website Design Cost, Mistakes, Ideas and the Need for a Great CMS

Today we are looking in depth at different website design tips from top bloggers.   Continue

Inducing Traffic Through Better Web Design

When you’re designing a website one of the main objectives should be inducing traffic. No matter what the content of your website is, if you don’t create traffic its not going to be very successful. Not only do you want to create traffic, but also you want your users to stay for a while, rather   Continue

Mobile Web Growth Drives New Responsive Website Design Standards

The number of people who own smartphones has been consistently rising for years and doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon. Approximately 50% of people who own a cell phone have chosen a smartphone. What does this mean? That your websites need to be able to adapt for the smartphone viewer. Below are a few articles that may offer some techniques on improving your website’s mobile design.   Continue

Analytics Means Action: A Love-Hate Story of Data Dumped

Below are a few articles about analytics from Search Engine Journal (SEJ):   Continue

Developing Your Audience with Subscription Website Archetypes

Three ways to generate free subscribers

The digital subscription is an interesting audience development tool. It can be used to build an email marketing file, and it can help develop free and paid subscribers. There are three subscription website archetypes that particularly target free subscribers,

In many circles, blogging is still misunderstood by many. However, as more knowledgeable people come forth to share information on the topics they are passionate about, the value of blogging becomes more apparent.   Continue

Subscription Platforms for Getting Found Discussed at Bootcamp

Your blog or portal is central in building an audience. The amount of content provided in these locations equates to the amount of landing pages that can bring in audience members. The search engine optimization used on each of these pages and posts dictates the visibility behind them.

Multiplatform publishing has become the name of the game for digital publishers as they’ve realized there is a vast landscape online, one with many different options for users. In harnessing the power of multiplatform publishing, digital publishers can attract subscribers through their blog, portal, social media, RSS or email.   Continue

3 Reasons to Develop a Subscription Website

The subscription website is the ultimate tool for digital publishers

After years of selling subscriptions for print products, digital publishers realized that subscription websites could be the digital counterpart. In today’s world, where tablet publishing is quickly gaining popularity, presenting content in an interactive digital format provides a new opportunity for publishers.

Any media company with frequently added content could benefit from a subscription website.   Continue

3 Tips for Converting More Visitors with Your Website

Website landing page suggestions that will help you build a larger audience

When audience members arrive on your website, they have a few options. If they find your content relevant, they can check out other aligned articles. If they don’t find the information to be what they seek, they can bounce off your site. If they determine your content is top-notch, they may decide to receive updates with email newsletters.   Continue

Tools for Effective Website Design

Effective website design is based on efficiency, clarity, and user-friendly elements.

Website design that does not utilize these components will have a hard time generating a robust audience of devote fans.

There are a variety of tools online to help develop effective websites. Four of these tools are listed below.   Continue

Developing Persistent Navigation for Your Website

A persistent navigation is specifically valuable when websites are complex, with a lot of pages and options. This can include a blog, service information, different storefronts, and an about us section.

When users come to your site, it should be clear where they are within your site. They should know where to find your content, products, how to login and how to contact you. They should also be able to determine where they can go, and how to maneuver back to where they started, if they so choose.   Continue

How to Write a White Paper with the Aid of Story Telling

7 editorial tips for writing a white paper

Knowing how to write a white paper is one step in building your audience. We often talk about optimizing landing pages to get new users to your website. It is typically free white papers that these visitors are seeking. However, if you provide poor quality white papers, the audience member may opt out of your email list and never have interaction with your brand again.

Knowing how to write a white paper will allow you to introduce new audience members to your brand and the information you provide. Take a look at the following seven steps on how to write a white paper that utilizes the art of storytelling. These specific examples help you take your editorial content and develop it into a more reader-friendly white paper.   Continue

Business Plan Development Aided by Proxy Metric Modeling

Tomorrow’s webinar will discuss proxy metric modeling – a short form of modeling that allows you to find a handful of key metrics. These key metrics define how the business operates.

A proxy metric serves as a placeholder for much more in depth analysis. A full online publishing model would be in Excel, updated monthly, be 72 columns wide, and 500-600 rows deep. It would look at every source of business, every traffic source, etc.   Continue

Plugins For Editorial Efficiency

Three WordPress plugins that will help your online editors perform their jobs better

Keyword universes and tools for finding keyword phrases were new tools for online editors. They weren’t familiar with these in traditional editorial positions, but are beginning to discover how useful they can be.

Below I’ve listed three plugins that can be helpful tools for online editors when it comes to having their content edited and positioned.   Continue

Avoiding Website Design Disaster: Begin With the End in Mind

Author Stephen Covey is fond of pointing out how difficult it is to reach goals that you don’t have. “Begin with the end in mind” is my personal mantra for every website design project I start.

Publishing websites are like Swiss Army Knives. They can do many things well. This makes them the perfect tool for digital publishers. A well-crafted publishing website can build audience, generate leads, and sell products and services. Each of these three major goals requires a separate and discrete business process that is embodied in a well designed website. Further, a well designed website that does two or more of the above must do so with tactically discrete processes that are strategically aligned.   Continue

Tools for Efficient Website Load Time

When I first became the Managing Editor of Mequoda Daily, I wasn’t very familiar with optimizing images. However, I learned quickly, and realized how important it can be to optimize images.

If you are adding images to your website that aren’t optimized for the Internet, you website’s load time can be impacted.   Continue

7 Steps for YouTube Optimization

Optimizing YouTube video content will lead to enhanced branding and the chance to drive more website traffic

YouTube clearly doesn’t want its users bouncing from the site and going to the website of other content publishers. Digital publishers utilizing YouTube to house and share video content want to drive traffic back to their website. So how can digital publishers optimize their YouTube page for the chance at driving traffic to their website?   Continue

Changing Your Website? Don’t Make This Mistake…

We love to share our own experiences at Mequoda Summits. It is our program after all, and we’ve designed it to share experiences, both positive and negative, with our clients and attendees.

Within the last few months, we made a major change by redesigning our entire look and feel of our daily blog. This change focused on eliminating some of the clutter that comes with content-based websites, so we ended up taking out permalinks, category listings, category topics in navigation, related articles at the end of posts, tags, and breadcrumbs.   Continue

The Best Reporting Interviews Happen

Getting the most out of your interviews

In yesterday’s member profile, Minal Bopaiah, editor of Subscription Site Insider, spoke of the importance that case studies play in their success. She conducts one every other week, speaking to a head of marketing or CEO for 1-1½ hours on the phone and then writing up the study. “Our subscribers like them because they are seeing exactly how another company—a successful one—operates; they’re pragmatic.”   Continue

A New Way to View and Judge Paywalls…

A reverse paywall would reward your most loyal readers

John Paton emerged from running the regional Journal-Register newspapers to become the CEO of the enormous MediaNews Group—and he does not like paywalls. He wants audience and more audience—thinking that once that comes, monetization will follow. In a speech last month, he urged the media industry to give up the information gatekeeper model.   Continue

3 Options for A/B Testing Tools

Every online marketer in 2012 should be praising the power of testing. It is the proverbial golden goose, which can lead to more effective money making options.

Beyond the results themselves, the most exciting part of testing is the options. Website operators can test different creatives, including email subject lines and calls-to-action.   Continue