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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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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

11 Tips for More Conversions

Three types of conversions that will improve your online business

There are multiple conversion types that need to be addressed by digital publishers. The analysis will provide statistics on different parts of the online business, including engagement efforts, marketing efforts, and overall success in generating revenue.

For engagement, we can take a look at social media efforts. Today, social media is a nexus for engagement online, and can lead to more complex relationships, including turning social media subscribers into email subscriptions and buyers.   Continue

A Brief Guide to Surveying Your Audience

Tips and tools for getting advice from people who mean the most to your brand

Surveys and polls can be very telling. These direct comments from your audience can tell what they like and what they don’t like, while offering tips on creating better experiences.

When conducting surveys, remember to keep your research objectives in mind. This will help keep your questions focused on the end result.   Continue

5 Facebook Tools to Make Your Site More Social

Publishers are making adjustments to their websites to incorporate the social engagement opportunities presented by Facebook, which claims to have over 845 million active users.

Beyond strategies for publishing on Facebook, many of the adjustments being made by publishers involve the use of social plugins.   Continue

The Google Visibility Report: A Look at Your Potential Audience

After you have a keyword universe developed, how do you make sense of all the data? A keyword universe, which is the backbone of online marketing efforts, typically consists of hundreds of thousands of keyword phrases. Where do you rank on those terms? Which keyword phrases are the most important to your online business?

The Google Visibility Report, developed by Mequoda in 2006, provides you with these answers by documenting the popularity and organic competition for each keyword phrase. By citing the Keyword Competitive Index (KCI), you can determine which phrases provide the best targeting opportunities.   Continue

5 Popular Changes to Notable Publisher Redesigns

eMedia Vitals pointed out last week that five major magazine and blog publishers redesigned their websites recently. After studying their before-and-after looks using the Wayback Machine, it’s obvious that all of these publishers paid special attention to graphics in their redesigns, usually opting for more. Social media was also an important factor. Across all of the new designs, we were able to identify five common fixes that almost all of the sites made big changes on.   Continue

Systems Capabilities Needed by Digital Publishers

When starting off, some digital publishers approach their goals in strange ways. Would you ever expect success if you wanted to base your business off another, without any uniqueness to it?

For instance, if someone were to walk into our office and say, “I want to be the next Orbitz”, they probably receive a puzzled look because Orbitz already exists and it’s successful. If there were a specific direction altercation in mind that would make a significant difference in the business, it would be one thing. Without a differentiating factor, however, you’re only looking to be competition for a company that would likely win in a head-to-head battle.   Continue

Exploring Pros and Cons of Website Changes

Does seeing other publishers redesign their website or make changes to the content they provide make you wonder about your own possible changes?

Streamlining Digital Asset Workflows is a session from our Digital Publishing Bootcamp that helps you make changes within your organization, designed to increase efficiency through the use of automation.   Continue

Tools for an Efficient Website

There are dozens of WordPress plug-ins that can transform the functionality and efficiency of your website

WordPress is the system we’ve used to build client’s websites with.

If you’ve been looking, it’s clear that we aren’t the only consulting and development firm that approves of the work from the WordPress community. Publishers like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times use WordPress to power their websites.   Continue

Generating Revenue Through Subscriptions

Subscription websites have never been more valuable as digital evolves

Digital may be the direction publishers are heading, but a plan is required. It’s pretty clear that digital magazine publishers need a strategy. Making digital replica editions of magazine may be acceptable for a period of time, but it is enough to sustain a digital publication?

The point of utilizing new technological opportunities is to bring something new to your audience. Learning how to offer new, exciting digital content that connects with the current content you offer is how digital publishers will show value to their customers in the future.   Continue

Develop an XML Sitemap with this Plug-in

Operators of WordPress website can easily increase optimization with this tool

Sitemaps are a critical part of search engine optimization, especially if you have a lot of content on your website.

For instance, if you publish daily content like most successful digital publishers do, then you likely have hundreds or thousands of pages and posts. If you are following standard SEO strategies, you have included keywords in those posts, with your most important pages being highly optimized.   Continue

Mobile Site Design Focuses on Usability

Don’t be fooled; there is a proper way to design for mobile.

I once read an article that claimed there was no such thing as mobile websites, because all websites were already mobile.

I hope the person who wrote that article doesn’t design sites for a living, or his clientele won’t last very long.   Continue

More Options on Considering Your Paywalls

Apps Give Companies Another Paywall Option

Just a month ago, the publisher of Britain’s largest-selling regional newspaper, the Express & Star, altered its online payment strategy by “removing its website paywall in favour of encouraging readers to purchase iPad and iPhone apps.” The apps, which give users pdf versions of the papers, cost £1.49 ($2.35) a week or £3.99 ($6.30) a month.

There seems to be good logic behind this. A recent study from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism on How People Use Tablets concluded that readers using tablets and apps are more likely to pay for their news and information. According to the study, 14% of tablet news users have paid directly for news content on their tablets. Another 23% have a subscription to a print newspaper or magazine that they say includes digital access. “Thus, the percent of these early tablet news users who have paid either directly or indirectly for news on their tablet may be closer to a third. That is a much higher number than previous research has found more broadly of people paying for digital content.”   Continue

Entice Your Readers With Your Own New York Times “Fly Out”

You know The New York Times, right? Of course you do. And what’s great about is that it features an exquisite layout that retains the look and feel of a read newspaper and provides the form and function for todays netizens as well.

One goal that digital publishers have is to keep readers reading and clicking, and The New York Times has a clever feature that entices readers to do just that.   Continue

The “Pin It” Button Plugin: Get More Attention On Your Most Visually-Appealing Posts

Pinterest is a social media community built on the idea of “inspiration boards”, and is currently the fastest-growing website in history, having just clocked 11.7 unique monthly visitors last month. As Pinterest users surf around the web they can “pin” webpages and images to one of their boards, which might be named something like “foods I want to eat” or “wedding ideas” or “crafty things”.   Continue

Easily Enable Social Sharing on Your Website

Add links to all your social media sites with this plug-in

If you visit a half dozen reputable websites right now, I’d bet most, if not all, have social media icons on their website.

These sites want you to interact with them in other manners. Brands are attempting to be more personal through their activities on Facebook and Twitter.   Continue

Bringing a Good Thing Back With Duplicate Post Plugin

In the good old days, you were able to duplicate posts in WordPress. It was built right into the CMS and made writing new landing pages and templated posts a breeze. It also helped new editors learn our styles and page structures more quickly. It really was grand. For some reason, this functionality went away. Thankfully, I’ve stumbled upon a new plugin that brings this functionality back and makes it even better.

The plugin is aptly called Duplicate Post and it lets you do just that—duplicate a post or page. You can even create a new draft of a post. With one click of the button you’re back in post editor ready to write.   Continue

Plugin for Social Sharing Icons

You should tweet this article…want to know why? Because it details the power social sharing has on the Internet community.

For instance, were you aware that social media has an impact on email? Recent data from GetResponse shows that the inclusion of social sharing icons leads to higher click-through rates.   Continue

Using the Tierra Billboard Manager to Promote Your Best Content

Daily publishers create and distribute a lot of high quality content. However, only certain pieces of content can be considered the ‘best’.

The best content does not take into account the editor or writer’s opinion of it; the best is defined purely by the audience’s interactions with it, the amount of social sharing it experiences and the valuable they find from it.   Continue

Salary Survey, Can-Spam and a Social Media ROAD Map

Special Reports Highlight New SIPA Website

The new SIPA website houses a treasure trove of information on the industry. One of the best sections is the Resources where the Specialized Information Publishers Foundation Library sits. That’s where you’ll find the just-released Memorandum From Counsel, the Independent Publishers Legal Handbook, MarketingSherpa’s 2010 Social Media Marketing Benchmark Report and the Salary Survey (conducted by the University of Georgia).   Continue

Subscriptions of Value to Digital Natives

In a time when publishers have a lot of opportunity to build their subscriber file, it’s worth knowing what their audience deems valuable.

If Digital Natives are in your target audience, our Digital Native Survey shares a lot of information on the media consumption habits of Digital Natives.   Continue

Easily Assign Multiple Authors to a Post with Co-Authors Plus

You’ve just wrapped up another successful week; Articles were posted and traffic keeps going up. A reminder alert from your calendar app flashes on your computer screen letting you know that Jim is going to be on vacation starting on Wednesday of next week. Jim’s one of your senior editors and is about 50% done on 6 posts he’s working on. Looking at your editorial calendar you notice that a few of them are posting soon. This is where Co-Authors Plus springs into action. You can quickly assign your new editor David to all of Jim’s articles he’s working on, ensuring they’ll be finished.   Continue

Help Your Digital Content Get Found Easier with this Plug-in

Whether you’re optimizing your subscription website or adding keyword tags to the rapid conversion landing pages of your digital products, utilizing an XML sitemap helps search engines find your content easier.

XML sitemaps make it easier for the search engine crawlers to see the complete architecture of your website so they can retrieve the information more efficiently. This process helps take in account all the optimization components throughout your pages; make it possible for you to experience better search engine rankings.   Continue

The Mequoda Most Comments Plug-in

There are a lot of ways to boost your SEO articles. Beyond all the contextual items needing optimization, it has been shown that social engagement helps boost SEO rankings.

Why does this happen? Google sees comments from audience members as votes of confidence for your content. If people are actively commenting on your articles, they found the information worth reading.   Continue

Add Footnotes with Ease Within WordPress

Sometimes within your blog posts you need to explain things a little more deeply. Maybe you need to cite a source or even update a post with new information. Adding in extra or new information can get messy, especially if you’re trying to maintain the integrity of your post.

The writing gods created footnotes as a solution to this problem, (let’s also not forget that technical writers were going to riot if they didn’t come up with a solution. I suppose this could have been a footnote.) There is a slight problem, though. You’re writing these posts in WordPress, and there is no way to quickly change the style sheet for the entire website just to add in a few footnotes.   Continue

Help Your Audience Find You with the Mequoda Keyword Autotagger

How do you add new keyword tags into your WordPress system?

Some operators are able to do it manually as they don’t add many keyword phrases at once.

However, for online publishers with a lot of topics and a lot of keyword phrases being added frequently, the process of adding keywords manually may becoming daunting. Fortunately there is a WordPress plug-in that can make the process much easier.   Continue

A WordPress Plugin That Trains New Editors on Style

Sometimes, depending on their background, your new editors may be too technical or too informal in their writing style. It’s all a matter of educating these editors and through the use of proper tools. One such tool is the FD Word Statistics Plugin for WordPress. FD Word Statistics gives you the word and sentence count for the post you’re writing and also includes three different readability scores. Below is a screenshot of what the plugin looks like in the top and bottom of the WordPress post editor.   Continue

Create a User-Friendly Experience with the Mequoda Password Manager

Sending an email of assistance to users in need is a great way to improve your relationship with audience members.

If you’ve ever forgotten a password to login somewhere online, I’m sure you know what I mean. I’ve personally done this dozens of times, and have even given up the attempt to login once frustration levels rose.   Continue

A Plugin For News Publishers To Format Dates/Times “Correctly”

The AP Stylebook has been setting the standards for news writing since 1953. I wonder if the creators of WordPress (the good folks at Automattic ever imagined how many publishers would be using their platform.

Are you a publisher who follows the AP Style Guide? Do you wish the dates and times in comments, posts and pages followed the AP style guide much like most major news websites out there? You’re in luck. There’s a free WordPress plugin called AP Style Dates and Times plugin.   Continue

Using the Color Wheel to Design Content

Whether you are designing your homepage to launch an online business, a template for an email newsletter or the components of a digital magazine, a color wheel helps for picking contrasting colors for your content.

Some color wheels offer you complete options visually, and when you hover over the colors of interest, you’re provided with the correlating HTML font color code.   Continue

Membership Website Mistake #9: Lack of Cost-Effective Paid Marketing

If you are not utilizing some form of paid marketing, you are limiting the size of your online business. Google Adwords pay-per-click campaigns, affiliate marketing partnerships, retailer partnerships and banner campaigns all help to sell your products for a percentage of the revenue.   Continue

Membership Website Mistake #8: Ignoring Organic Marketing

Publishers need to embrace organic marketing methods for audience development purposes. Utilizing only premium models is a mistake that isolates the single biggest channels for adding new subscribers to your database like search engine optimization and social media marketing.

It’s important to understand that in a content-driven world you need at least one of two different types of subscription websites: the portal and the blog. Both of these content models are Google-friendly options, which makes it easier for your content to get noticed, crawled by the Google bots and ranked within search engine results pages.   Continue

WP-Plugin Review: After the Deadline

Don’t you wish you had a second pair of eyes to look at your article before you publish it? Even the best writers make spelling and grammar mistakes. Operating systems like Apple OS X and Windows 7 have pretty good spell-checkers built in, but they certainly won’t catch wrong word usage or improper grammar. Luckily for remote editors there is great WordPress plugin called After the Deadline.

Membership Website Mistake #7: Ignoring Legacy Business Model

Legacy magazine publishers are not paying close attention to whether their business is sponsor-driven or commerce driven. They are then going online with a completely different model.

In doing so, publishers disregard the historical print business model. If a publisher monetized his magazine assets in the past by selling advertising, it’s highly likely that the economics favor an ad-driven online publishing strategy. Or, if a publisher operates where circulation is the primary source of revenue, a membership website is a good option.   Continue

The Mequoda Year/Month WordPress Plug-in

There are a number of proven strategies for success being used by online publishers.

One such strategy involves the use of a subscription website, for publishers with an excess of content who want to generate renewable revenue. With growth in the tablet and smartphone industries, subscription websites and apps are becoming to prove even more profitable for the right type of publisher.

For subscription websites on the WordPress platform that want to group articles from a specific magazine issue, we recommend using the WordPress Year/Month Plug-in as a best practice. This plug-in allows operators to group all articles from a specific issue of a magazine or newsletter together.   Continue

Membership Website Mistake #6: Lack of Market Access

Niche businesses need additional channels to acquire large enough market share to succeed.

Beyond building an audience through search and website traffic, it’s important to generate retail partners like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Partnerships are how online businesses are able to open new channels to build upon the market share they need to grow.   Continue

Promote Your Best Articles with the Help of this Plug-in

Regardless of how people arrive at your website, your overall goal should be to keep them there with great content, get them registered as an email receiving subscriber and turn them into a paying customer.

As stated, keeping them at you site is the first step in this equation, and it can be difficult for many publishers. However, this premium WordPress plug-in can help you retain your visitors easier.   Continue

Designing Your Online Store

The design of your online store is crucial to selling products. It needs to be clean and easy to navigate or potential customers are likely to get frustrated and leave.

Beyond a clean, manageable design, there are different ways of creating your online store. For instance, some retailers incorporate search engine optimized content to help rank in search engines. Others allow for on-page comments, typically about the products on page, to also help in ranking.   Continue

Membership Website Mistake #5: Charging Too Little

People often overestimate their market. They do this by looking at the number of nuclear engines, bakers or weekend woodworkers and assume they can get a higher penetration than they’ve seen.

Look at the market, profession or hobby and pay close attention to the penetration levels of mature products in the two-five year range.   Continue

Create Another Content Option with WP-Print

Consider this scenario: Your email sends audience members back to your blog. They read the article and completely love it. What happens then?

In some instances they may bookmark the article. But how often do people really return to content after it’s been bookmarked? Dozens of my bookmarks were done on impulse and never returned to.   Continue

Membership Website Mistake #4: Charging Too Much

Every website is going to have its own dynamic in terms of pricing. Let’s take the premium reference content model for instance. There is a typical inclination to decide upon a particular price due to the fact that you’re bringing archives online. The decision to charge more due to an archive of content is a common mistake.

The best strategy for a magazine, newsletter or periodical model is tiered pricing. For example, some publishers utilize the one-some-all pricing structure. Here, the consumer can buy one issue and receive the lowest possible price point that will meet their need. This process exposes them to some pricing. The next ideal step is subscription, considered to be the platinum option.