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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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Subscriber-centric: A Mequoda Open Content Standard

Being subscriber-centric puts a focus on your level of direct interaction

What makes your customer relationships unique? Is it that your content successfully brings value to your audience so they can do more and live better?

Publishers have ample opportunity to reach the right people in the digital age – they just need to take the proper steps to do so.   Continue

Google’s Keyword Data ‘Not Provided’

Online businesses aren’t able to see up to 50% of their keyword data after a recent Google change

For years, Google has been a major partner for content publishers. Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and usable,” – a concept all passionate online publishers could agree with.

We’ve been historical pleased with all the opportunities Google affords publishers – from organic search to paid Adwords campaigns, the search giant’s ability to bring content to target audiences has helped publishers grow their online businesses.   Continue

Make Your Website User Friendly with Google Custom Search

Even with recent frustrations, Google is still the search partner content publishers turn to. Its search engine is the most comprehensive, and we like to think that its actions are always performed with good intentions…their informal corporate motto is “don’t be evil” after all.

One way Google has helped published make their own websites more searchable is by creating the Google Custom Search, which can be implemented on websites without the need of a downloadable plug-in.   Continue

3 Ways to Get The Most Accurate Social Media Analytics

The fundamental differences between web analytics, plugin analytics, and social sharing platform analytics
Radio pioneer Lee De Forest once argued that, “while theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility.”

Just like the television, and every other new means of communication, social media has seen its “…but where’s the money?” days. And ROI may have been the most-hated acronym in the social media circle at one time, but today it’s just another way to prove the effectiveness of humanizing your business.   Continue

Edit Flow WordPress Plugin Helps You Organize Your Editors

Any large online publishing organization as one or several Managing Editors responsible for keeping the arrangement of editorial content flowing in an organized fashion. When you’re managing several editors at once, the “organized” part sometimes falls on the backburner and suddenly you’re producing content and looking in a few different directions for the most important things: due dates, topic ideas, and post assignments.   Continue

Mequoda Transaction Tracker

How are you monitoring the sales of your products?

Knowing which products generate the most revenue helps you optimize your content strategy while dictating the future creation of new products. Especially now with publishers embracing video content and bundles, it’s necessary to know how much more successful some efforts are compared to others, and which formats should be invested in for future production.

All online businesses are using analytics in modern times, and if they aren’t, they need to be. But beyond your analytics program, there are ways to streamline your product monitoring to increase the efficiency behind choosing the right products to promote.   Continue

Sponsors Go Direct To Consumer

Research into the investing market shows how major financial institutions are creating direct relationships with website visitors

While compiling the Mequoda 500 study – a detailed look at the content models of the most trafficked US websites – we took a deeper look at the top investing websites. We set out to highlight and compare the content models being used by today’s top investing websites and analyzed their strategies for building direct relationships with their website visitors.

We supplied this information to The Motley Fool, a popular and successful investment website and one of our consulting clients.   Continue

Using Internal System Plug-ins for Audience Support

Many niche, special-interest publishers have been focusing on customer relationships for years. There’s a passion behind the content shared by publisher and consumer alike. Plus, publishers realized building relationships directly with customers was necessary as their audience universes were much smaller than those of major banks or car brands.

Enhancing the user experience involves a combination of great content, interactivity and an efficient website.

To supply this experience, many publishers have turned to WordPress’ open source community to utilize a variety of plug-ins.   Continue

Editorial Calendar WordPress Plugin Update

Do you still use a large desk calendar? They’re effective at keeping you current with all of your upcoming appointments and tasks because it sits right in front of you… on your desk!

Wouldn’t it be great if you could manage all the posts your editors create on a calendar? You could see the upcoming month in all it’s glory and have the ability to pace out a series of content and know how your weeks flows together. Wouldn’t it be great if you could schedule posts from that calendar down to the exact minute they should be seen publicly?   Continue

Membership Website Strategy Released

Discover the nine deadly membership website mistakes when you download this new free report from Mequoda Group

Download your free copy of Membership Website Strategy: 9 Deadly Membership Website Mistakes & How to Avoid Them now

The membership website can be a lucrative addition to online publishers’ arsenal if they have the ability to create a premium product that meets the expectations of their audience.   Continue

Efficient Related Posts Plug-in

Providing related posts to your audience members helps them find more of the content they are interested in while becoming more familiar with your writers and the breadth of your content.

Utilizing related posts is even more popular on mobile devices as it efficiently points to similar content so the user doesn’t have to waste time or scrolling around on a small screen.   Continue

Audit Trail Plug-in Keeps Track of Your Users

Have you received an email late at night from one of your developers stating, “Site is down, we’re looking into it.” As much as we like to think that WordPress is infallible (wink wink), sometimes it breaks. It can’t be avoided, people push the wrong button, flip the wrong switch and delete the wrong post. Ok, hold on to your chair, it’s time for a scary thought. You probably have 20 or more people in and out of your sites each day. That’s 20x the chances that something will go wrong. It would be great if there was a plug-in that prevented all WordPress errors and breakdowns but it just doesn’t exist.   Continue

Subscription Website Triple Play: When Three Offers are Better than One

Why product, price, and offer have never been more important

The rush to create and sell digital information products is leaving a lot of money on the table. While I believe every publisher should be partnering with Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Zinio to sell digital magazines, newsletters, and books, the opportunity is much larger.

The one-size-fits-all nature of digital retailing limits the offer options available to a talented subscription marketer. Further, because there are more than 100,000 magazines and newsletters published around the world, the big online retailers have their hands full. Smaller publishers will never get the attention accorded the mass circulation titles.   Continue

Mequoda Auto User Login

Appease your audience with enhanced usability

Users of subscription websites should be able to easily access the content they subscribe to. This expectation is a key component for maintaining a successful subscription website that retains its audience base.

For our Gold Member clients, we’ve developed the Mequoda Auto Login plug-in.

The Mequoda Auto Login plug-in allows a user to be auto-logged into the website after verifying the user ID and token. The system operator can choose which links within a WhatCounts email campaign should auto-login appropriately coding them.   Continue

Strategic Opportunity Analysis Details Future Expectations

Discover the probable path your online business is headed on

If you are looking to expand upon your current business, create new aspects of it or develop an entirely new online business, it’s worth your time to properly research the market.

A strategic opportunity analysis allows you to build a future plan based on research and predictions from knowledgeable sources.   Continue

Choosing Mentor Sites & Best Practices

Modeling your website modeled after successful content producers in your market

If your website is getting created, or you’re working on a redesign, what parameters will it follow?

In order to create a website that will effectively meet the needs of your audience you need to have a relevant starting point. If you’re creating a subscription website, what amount on content will you give away for free and what percentage will be offered for a premium price?   Continue

WordPress Mobile Edition for Mobile Sites

How does your website look on mobile devices?

This is a question all online businesses need to be honest about. Mobile usage is quickly increasing, and expected to be more popular than desktop browsing within the next few years.

Since the smartphone and tablet markets keep growing, there is no reason to wait to develop and optimize your mobile site.

However, if you operate a WordPress website, the WordPress Mobile Edition plug-in may be the help you need.   Continue

Three Ways to Maximize Website Usability

Website usability tests are performed to determine if websites are functioning correctly. If they aren’t, users will have a hard time executing on their desired tasks, leading website publishers to fail in building rapport and generating revenue from these users.

There are three basic approaches to usability testing. They include expert reviews, heuristic testing and usability labs.

In an expert review, usability problems associated with a product’s interactivity are identified and diagnosed without the involvement of users. For example, malfunctioning links or contrast issues are a few of the problems that an expert review can easily find.   Continue

API Development for Successful Email Campaigns

The need for proper interaction between website programs

According to PC Magazine, an Application Programming Interface (API) is used to “communicate with an operating system or some other control program such as a database management system (DBMS) or communications protocol…An API implies that some program module is available in the computer to perform the operation or that it must be linked into the existing program to perform the tasks.”   Continue

AddThis Social Sharing Plugin Gets Google Analytics

AddThis, ShareThis and AddToAny now automatically get Google’s Social Plug-In Analytics

On any other day, there’s no real reason to recommend one social bookmarking/sharing plugin over another because as long as they work, it’s just a matter of visual preference on how you want your “tweet” and “like” buttons to look.   Continue

Featured WordPress Plug-in: SexyBookmarks

Don’t let the name fool you – SexyBookmarks has proven to be an extremely useful plug-in for sharing content.

This plug-in works by displaying a series of customizable social media buttons that link to approximately 50 different options, including the major social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

These buttons adequately depict the desired social network visually, so users can easily click to share your content on the social network they prefer.

Usability Testing for Websites

All website changes need to be tested to assure they work properly.

If testing doesn’t occur, the online business’ functionality may be in question. This could lead to breaks in your usability. Such issues hinder the retention process and create a bad first impression for new website visitors.

To assure our Gold Member clients the best results for new software, we offer usability testing of all new plug-ins installed on their websites.   Continue

Website Systems Needs Analysis Evaluates Online Businesses

A lot can be said about content, community and commerce

Think about it; aren’t content, community commerce the defining themes of not only business, but the society we live in? There is a lot of weight held by these concepts, and they all need to be represented accordingly by your online business if you want to succeed.

Are you adequately driving content, community and commerce? If your business’ direction is in question, then a website systems needs analysis can help you better understand the path to follow.   Continue

Mobile Choices Explored in SIPA Webinar – to be continued

Know What You Want at the Outset

During SIPA’s free-for-members Webinar last week—titled Going Mobile for Publishers: Developing a Content-Delivery System for an Increasingly Portable World (and now posted on our Website!)—Andy Swindler and Joanne Valentino waxed technologically about the realities of going mobile. Swindler and his Astek team have worked with Valentino’s group, The Medical Letter, to format their publications for mobile. The fact that this was a true case study made it invaluable. Swindler will be following up and answering further questions on mobile during SIPA’s weekly Wednesday TwitterChat, taking place at noon (Eastern time) tomorrow. To participate, just log onto your preferred Twitter client and search for the hashtag #NicheInfo. Just make sure you include the hashtag in your tweets as well so others can see their conversation! (We use   Continue

Website Systems Planning for Digital Products

Design and functionality need to work together on your website

If you are bringing digital magazines, and other digital products to your online business, you will need to align your systems capabilities with your business models and goals.

Take the emergence of digital magazines for instance. How will you provide these products to your audience? Will they be offered through a subscription websites? Or will audience members purchase them as independent apps for the iPhone or Android operating systems?   Continue

Mequoda Shopp WordPress Plug-in

An efficient option for retailing through WordPress websites

Think of the top online retailers…Amazon and Overstock come to my mind immediately. The reason I mention this is due to the ease in which transactions can be made on these websites.

Purchasing online is a common activity, but audience members expect the process to be safe and efficient. They do not want to entered sensitive information if the website is not secure, and they don’t want to waste an exorbitant amount of time completing the transaction.   Continue

The Process of Choosing External System Options

A variety of external sources will help your system perform better

Regardless of your business model, there are some external system options that will help you monitor the health of your system while making other activities easier to conduct.

For instance, Google Analytics is one free option that will help you track website traffic and conversions. You can use its features to determine the keyword phrases generated the bulk of your traffic; or you can set up goals to see which products generate the most revenue for you. Google Analytics is a great option for tracking your system’s performance for free.   Continue

Custom Programming Offered for Unique Online Businesses

Combine best practices with unique ideas to get to market quicker

Although all Mequoda Systems operate under the four open content standards (Content driven, Google-friendly, Subscriber centric, many platforms), each publisher is different. We understand this, embrace it, and provide custom programming to meet the needs of each Mequoda Gold Member client.

Even while utilizing the advantages of Framework1, which helps our architects develop comprehensive systems in a fraction of the standard amount of time, it’s expected that some level of custom programming is required by Mequoda System Publishers.   Continue

Mequoda Source Tracking Plug-in

Do you know how your audience members got to your website?

Do they arrive at your site through a specific promotion you ran, an email forwarded by an existing member or from search engines? The Mequoda Source Tracking WordPress Plug-in provides you with the answer.

This Mequoda WordPress Plug-in allows publishers to determine original source code and arriving source code of new audience members, while storing it in a comprehensive database.   Continue

Tablet Use Strips Time Away from PCs, Laptops

The tablet era continues to make waves in content consumption

Since the release of the iPad in 2010, publishers envisioned a new world where they content could live digitally.

There were hopes of tying editorial content with brilliant multimedia and interactive social elements.

New editions should be sent directly to the tablet when ready, so a subscription model could help publishers retain a healthy circulation of avid readers.   Continue

Akismet Helps Keep Spam Off Your Blog

This featured WordPress plug-in will help reduce the amount of spam on your website

As the Askimet website asks, “Are you tired of comment spam?” If you are, and you run a WordPress blog, then the Akismet plug-in may be your answer.

This WordPress plug-in checks your comments against Akismet web service to see if they appear to be spam. It also allows you to review potential spam that is caught under your blog’s comment section.   Continue

Featured WordPress Plug-in: WordPress SEO

From HeadSpace2 to WP SEO, plug-ins effectively handle optimization

The WordPress SEO Plug-in is new the to Mequoda arsenal. HeadSpace2 was the original plug-in we used for SEO purposes, but are starting to make the switch to WP SEO plug-in, due to its ability to specify the primary, canonical reference.

Mike Ramsey, webmaster at The Successful Investor, originally suggested with plug-in and it’s been installed on the TSI website. Currently, they are the only Mequoda System using it. All new Mequoda Systems we launch will have it installed and all sites already launched will get switched over in the future.   Continue

Mequoda Text Include Manager

Since automation has become a key component of Mequoda Systems, our developers have created a special WordPress Plug-in that helps in automating the inclusion of inline text ads. We call this plug-in the Mequoda Text Include Manager and only offer it to our Mequoda Gold Members as an exclusive piece of software to help build efficiency for their team.

All Mequoda Systems incorporate inline text ads in their posts, which point readers to an aligned free downloadable product.
Since automation has become a key component of Mequoda Systems, our developers have created a special WordPress Plug-in that helps in automating the inclusion of inline text ads. We call this plug-in the Mequoda Text Include Manager and only offer it to our Mequoda Gold Members as an exclusive piece of software to help build efficiency for their team.   Continue

Things to Consider Before Building a Membership Website

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 believed, would lead to the Nirvana of written quality. Dramatics aside, the main lesson here is one that we all know well: history is important.   Continue

Effective Website Design Tips for a Senior Audience

Phrasing, lettering and style best practices for attracting seniors to your website

“I hope I die before I get old.” –The Who, My Generation

One of the most famously quoted lines in rock history, written by Pete Townshend, apparently has nothing to do with age, but rather, is speaking out on becoming rich and apathetic. So if one of the greatest rock bands in history has nothing against the elderly, neither should your website.   Continue

Updated Free Report Discusses How to Increase Conversion Rate

Discover how we increased conversion rate by more than 30% when you download our updated Rapid Conversion Landing Page Optimization Guidelines

Download a free copy of Rapid Conversion Landing Page Optimization Guidelines now

Most content marketers we talk to wouldn’t mind having a higher conversion rate.

How about you – would you like to have a higher conversion rate? If so, we have a major suggestion for you…   Continue

Mequoda Strategy Bootcamp Prompts Website Launches

Step-by-step approach helps executives go from business idea to website launch and execution

Unlike our former bootcamp program that conceptualized content marketing, our new Mequoda System Strategy Bootcamp details specific actions for launching or relaunching an online business.

During this step-by-step seminar, publishers and CEOs absorb hands-on information that directly aids in the process of designing and launching an online business.   Continue

Get to Market Quickly with a Subscription Website

3 software options for building an open content subscription website

It’s not an online editor’s job to tell you how to create a website…but I do consider it my job to provide you with as much relevant information on that topic as I can.

At the Mequoda Summit East 2011, the Mequoda System Strategy Workshop introduced the entire 49-steps to building an online business to a crowd of people interested in content marketing and online publishing.   Continue

3 Reasons Why You’re Not Converting Visitors To Your Website

Without conversions, your online business will suffer… these three tips might help you fix the problem

A consistent stream of website traffic is great, as is engagement with audience members through social media.

Unfortunately, in many scenarios, traffic isn’t enough to keep online publishers functioning. Conversions need to take place in the form of direct sales or registered members.   Continue

What is the Best CMS for Newspapers?

Redefining the word “best” when searching for the best CMS for newspapers

“Best” doesn’t always equal the most popular, especially in technology and when referring to companies who have been in business for over 300 years—many whom are stuck in their ways. Well, I suppose that isn’t so true, considering the first official American newspaper, Publick Occurrences, Both Forreign and Domestick was shut down after only it’s first issue in 1690. The true “business” of newspapers began in 1721 with the New England Courant and the presses have been running ever since. Still, almost 300 years.   Continue

How To Track Competitors: What They’re Selling & How They’re Selling It

Discover how to track competitors and the tools that make it a little bit easier bought simply because they had been a great affiliate that they were starting to notice IMDB expand into the Amazon space around 1998. As of late, one of the biggest trends in digital media is to buy your biggest opponent, or whomever makes a product that you should have made yourself. Google does it (YouTube, JotSpot, Motorola Mobility), Twitter is doing it (Tweetdeck, BagCheck, BackType, Tweetie, etc.) and every other “2.0” web business who is likely to make it through the bubble is doing it.   Continue

How We Increased Conversion Rate By More Than 30%

This radical change to our rapid conversion landing page format has increased conversion rate consistently over the past three months

We occasionally run organic marketing tests at the Mequoda Daily and enjoy sharing the results with our community.

The latest test we ran has resulted in a 32% increase in overall net conversion rate on our rapid conversion landing pages, all thanks to a radical change to the template.   Continue

Mequoda System Metrics

All Mequoda Systems share audience development components but have different methods of generating revenue

I always find it interesting to watch, listen to and facilitate the interaction between different publishers who are new to Mequoda Summits.

One thing that often happens when talking about Mequoda Systems is that they assume it’s a single business model. Although there are thousands of publishers running systems that utilize the open community standards of a Mequoda System, those new to the system typically have a misconception that all Mequoda Systems are generating revenue the same way.   Continue

How to Use Testimonials to Enhance Landing Page Templates

Landing page templates with legitimate comments from users will help persuade others into downloading a freemium or purchasing a product

Are you giving yourself credit by offering testimonials?

If someone writes you, or leaves a comment on your blog talking about how great your content or products are, you are receiving a testimonial.   Continue

Yahoo! Site Explorer Says Goodbye, Understudy Tools Say Hello

Yahoo Site Explorer starts writing its bucket list, Open Site Explorer gets ready for primetime

Get ready to officially say goodbye to yet another Yahoo! creation. Set to close down sometime this September, Yahoo! Site Explorer, will be gone for good. Created in 2005, Yahoo! Site Explorer was a service that allowed webmasters to view information on websites in the Yahoo! search index. Among other things, webmasters could also enter a personal or competitor’s URL and Yahoo! Site Explorer would return with information on your website links. An optimal and free tool, many SEO’s are already mourning the loss.

Never fear, for Yahoo! has not left their customers out to dry. The Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance are replacing the old Site Explorer with Microsoft’s Bing Webmaster which provides a way for webmasters to submit a sitemap and web feeds. It also allows users to decide on the crawl rate, and how many pages have been indexed.   Continue

How to Choose the Right Landing Page Testing Method

During today’s live webinar on landing page testing and optimization, you will discover how to perform the best possible landing page tests

In the Mequoda Daily yesterday, we showed an example of how a few simple changes to a landing page increase the conversion rate by 20.2%.

Who wouldn’t want an increased conversion rate of 20.2%? That means a bigger audience of more than 20% – which could possibly lead to more revenue generation.   Continue

Landing Page Testing & Optimization: Clearing the Clutter

An example of how to de-clutter your rapid conversion landing page template

How many of you have a primary goal of converting casual website visitors to email recipients?

Chances are if you’re a content marketer, online publisher or author, you use this audience development strategy.   Continue

Negative Ranking Factors You Should Know About

3 website factors that can lead to lower page ranks

Online publishers and content marketers are constantly looking for ways to increase their search engine optimization.

We are all aware that Google makes algorithm changes and plays with ranking factors each year. Due to this, a lot of attention is given to correlating factors that lead to better search engine page ranks.   Continue

Simple Landing Page Tests Can Make a Big Difference

Do you know how long to run your landing page test for?

In yesterday’s Mequoda Daily, we discussed the Landing Page Testing Roadmap, which outlines a procedure for optimizing landing pages with the help of A/B and multi-variate tests.

The article went through criteria that should be the focal point of your tests. Ultimately, these criteria pointed out the actual components of landing pages that are often overlooked in the testing process.   Continue

The Landing Page Testing Roadmap

Do you have a specific plan in place for testing your landing pages?

If you’re like me, you need directions sometimes…

For instance, in my old car – which was 16 years old – I no longer had a working power outlet, so I wasn’t able to easily have a GPS. Due to this, I found myself pulling to the side of the road and looking up directions on my iPhone many times…before I had an iPhone the situation was even worse…   Continue