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How to Double Your Publishing Revenue

Join other senior publishing executives at the Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020 Workshop—where you’ll learn how to plan, execute, and optimize a profitable magazine-driven membership marketing system. And how to double your publishing revenue!

Secure your registration now, while seats are available and Early-Bird Registration is open.
Membership Marketing Secrets: 2020

Should You Put Subscription Revenue First?

Headlines have been brimming lately with news publishers like The New York Times, The Guardian and Wired taking back their profits with paywalls and paid content. The New York Times made 60% of last year’s revenue from subscription sales, The Guardian’s 800,000 subscribers are now accounting for more revenue than advertisers, and Wired has followed their lead by instituting a new $20 annual subscription. It’s clear that publishers are no longer afraid to charge for content, and subscription revenue goals are at the forefront. And I think there are three reasons for it.

Put Subscription Revenue First in 2019

Publishers everywhere are seeing improved subscription revenue through premium membership websites, and surely you want to see the same results. In order to put subscription revenue first, you should know the three reasons why we think this influx is happening:

First, we all should be thanking Amazon, Netflix and other large online businesses who have trained

Mequoda Pioneers New Website Membership Marketing Systems for Publishers

Driven by marketplace shifts and changing consumer behavior, new membership marketing programs are multiplying profits for Mequoda’s publishing partners.

BOSTON, MARCH 1, 2019—Mequoda announces the launch of The Old Farmer’s Almanac 1792 Society, the latest Mequoda partner to take a legacy publishing brand and line of products and create a value-centric and engaging membership.

With The Old

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The 2019 Mega Trend: Premium Membership Programs for Publishers

You would have to be living under a rock in 2018 to have not noticed that premium membership programs for publishers are all the rage. After flirting with all forms of digital advertising, magazine, newsletter and website publishers have concluded that consumers will pay for premium content.

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Digital Magazine Marketing: 7 Ways to Promote your Digital Magazine

If you’re making plans for your own digital publication, it behooves you to also plan how to make money from it with strategic digital magazine marketing.

After all, buying a list and mailing a big direct mail package, in hopes of getting a bunch of people to subscribe as we all did in the old print days, is rather like trying to sell 21st-century tablets themselves at an old-fashioned general store where hardware, ladies’ hats and pickles all shared the same space, and the proprietor fetched everything on your list, then wrapped up your purchases in brown paper and twine.

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A Great Example of a Premium Content Subscription

A couple of years ago, Don outlined the attributes of a premium content subscription: not a website itself, but the thing that customers buy – the content subscription.

In updating this post (as we often do with our website content – a Mequoda best practice), we decided to give you an actual example of the perfect premium content subscription, and we settled on CooksIllustrated.com, the companion website to Cook’s Illustrated magazine from America’s Test Kitchen.

Deconstructing the phrase “premium content subscription” is a helpful exercise for getting this discussion onto the right track. Let’s take a look at each of the three words individually.

Best Digital Magazine Publishing Software You Can Use to Launch Your Digital Magazine

Digital magazine publishing software is important; which option are you using?

Publishers have been trying digital magazine publishing software during the last few years in hopes of creating the best digital products for their audiences. And like everything else in digital magazine land, digital magazine software has evolved at light speed since we made our initial recommendations in January.

Here’s our latest (opinionated) look at the magazine software landscape.

The 3 Most Profitable Subscription Website Business Models

Coming up with the right subscription website business model(s) is usually the biggest stumbling block for those wanting to get into this business.

Choosing your content focus is a business-critical decision, as the focus you choose pretty much dictates your chances of success with a subscription website. However, more serious than the focus on content for

Digital Magazine Publishers Targeting New Audience Expansion

Digital magazine publishers are putting more emphasis on digital audience growth, and doing it through a variety of methods including internal content, acquisitions, and third-party content partners.

How To Find the Best CMS for a Magazine

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all content management system. The best CMS for a magazine should be built with a publisher in mind. After all, you have a different business model than a software company, e-tailer, or a small business using the same CMS, which is often the case with some of the household name CMSs out there.

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Why Digital Publishing Will Save the Future of the Publishing Industry

How often do you read something digitally? If you’re reading this, then you’ve done it at least once today. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this isn’t your first time.

How Do Online Magazines Generate Revenue?

So you want to know, how do online magazines generate revenue? The answer is clear: they go multiplatform.
If you’ve considered starting an online magazine, or are a legacy print magazine considering going digital, you’ve asked this question: How do online magazines generate revenue? And the answer is that the successful ones use a multiplatform approach.

3 Ancillary Media Platforms and Revenue Opportunities We Love

Three media platforms are generating increased revenue and profits for these three publishers
If you’re looking for new ways to increase online revenues and profits, consider learning from three publishers who we consider to be doing a great job building their multiplatform media empires, The American Ceramic Society, Countryside, and Country Living. Using these three ancillary

Digital Magazine Opportunities Expand for Lifestyle Brands

The digital magazine landscape continues to grow as more brands turn focus toward digital magazines. Today we’re looking at Apple, which is taking efforts to engage with digital magazine content more, and Robb Report, which has launched a new digital magazine.

Subscription Marketing: How to Market Your Super Club

If you publish a variety of subscription products for a single audience, you have the makings of a super club. Super clubs are the easiest money you will ever generate because their high profit margins are driven by content you already own and an audience that already trusts you and your brand.

The Evolution of Multiplatform Publishers Comes with Technology

The most successful multiplatform publishers are open to experimenting with a variety of channels to find the most-effective ways of reaching and building audiences. Today we’re looking at publishers and brands that are continuing this journey of platform evolution.

Creating Digital Magazines: Four Ways to Monetize Your Efforts With a Free Archive

“I simply don’t understand the opportunity,” one veteran magazine publisher told me at a recent industry conference. “My magazines are sponsor-driven. My issue archive includes hundreds of back issues. I have all these vendors and partners offering to digitize my back issue archive and make it available online. But I don’t have a clue how I make any money if I do it. Near as I can figure, my digital magazine archive is worthless.”

The magazine industry feels it is on the edge of a Renaissance. Digital magazines are the hot topic of industry events, digital magazine software platforms abound, and massive retail partners including Apple, Amazon, and Google are seducing magazine publishers with their siren songs.

“I simply don’t understand the opportunity,” one veteran magazine publisher told me at a recent industry conference. “My magazines are sponsor-driven. My issue archive includes hundreds of back issues. I have all these vendors and partners offering to digitize my back issue archive and make it available online. But I don’t have a clue how I make any money if I do it. Near as I can figure, my digital magazine archive is worthless.”

Giving Magazine Subscribers What They Want By Prioritizing Content Over Ads

Last week I was emailing back and forth with my friend and colleague Jack Edmonston, who often sends interesting news my way with some thoughts to pontificate on. This time it was an article from Politico by Jack Schaefer called, “Do Readers Own the New York Times?” Although the article is about newspaper and not magazine subscribers, it’s an interesting concept to think about for our industry, too.

Publishing Websites Make Changes on Audience and Content Needs

Publishing websites have experienced significant changes over the years as subscription websites have evolved along with technology. Digital publishers making strides to provide the best website to their audience keep their eyes to what’s working and the opportunities that become available.

Digital Publishers Are Developing New Product Focuses in 2018

Digital publishers continue to take steps into new territory for developing content platforms and revenue streams. Others look to changes that are merely tweaks to optimize current programs. Today we have news on publishers taking each route.

10 Most-Read Digital Magazine Publishing Posts of 2017

Our top-read digital magazine publishing posts of last year showcase ways you can start a digital magazine from scratch and how to ensure it’s success
We’ve studied digital magazine publishing efforts and found what works. These reader-favorite posts from the past year help publishers approach the business with confidence. There is advice on starting your magazine

Major Publishers Go Head First Into Video for Audience Development

Using video for audience development is more commonplace for major publishers today and this is leading to big audience gains. Today we’re visiting stories on two major publishers and how video has helped their audience development and marketing options. We also look at important news from Facebook.

Audience Development Evolves with Industry Standards, Engagement

The evolution of audience development comes through the evolution of online tools, social networks and communities.

Today we’re looking at some recent news for audience development, including a set of standards being shared by the Media Rating Council (MRC).

Content Publishers Partnering With Social Channels for Greater Reach

Content publishers at Hearst, Time Inc., and Bonnier are creating new partnerships with Alexa, Twitter, and Skype, respectively
We’re seeing some of the biggest content publishers utilizing partnerships to build upon their large online audiences. Today we’re looking at these partnerships and what they mean for the publishers involved.

We begin today with Hearst, who has partnered

5 Subscription Management Software Requirements

For every publisher who dreams of creating a subscription website, choosing the right subscription management software can be a daunting task

When we set out to launch the I Like Crochet digital magazine website (the first of its kind) and tablet edition, we knew we wanted to build a state-of-the-art publication management system. We needed subscription

Scaling Marketing for a Growing Product Line

Multiplatform publishers have a lot more choices – and decisions – to make about marketing campaigns. It’s almost enough to make even a strong person run screaming for the nearest direct mail package designer, isn’t it? But you don’t have to surrender to the confusion – paralysis by analysis is not an option!

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Digital Publishers Partner for Greater Audience Access

Opportunities for digital publishers develop through new technology and partnerships, even some that appear to be unlikely candidates for a cooperative venture. Today we’re looking at some unique partnerships being offered by digital publishers.

Multiplatform Publisher Hearst Makes Big Moves with Content

We’re pleased to share news on an acquisition that many in the magazine industry believed was coming. Multiplatform publisher Hearst has agreed to buy Rodale Inc., a publishing company we’ve talked about a lot due to the organization’s propensity to follow much of Mequoda’s methodology.

Today we’re looking at this acquisition and what it brings to Hearst. WWD reports, “Rodale, which is based in New York and Emmaus, Pa., publishes Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Prevention, Rodale’s Organic Life, Runner’s World and Bicycling. It also includes Rodale Books and an international division with which Hearst already has a joint venture. The company boasts 93 editions in 64 countries. Hearst Magazines includes 300 editions and web sites around the world, including 20 titles in the U.S.”

How IMDb Uses CPA Advertising To Make Money Online

The first rule of choosing a business model that’s ad-driven is being sure that you can make more money from advertisers than from your own products. Clay Hall once said to me that the great thing about having your own products is knowing what your ad space is worth. Because why would you let an advertiser buy a space on your site for $12 per M when you can make $15-$20 selling space to yourself?

Ad-driven websites generate value from users and sponsors. Consumer-focused websites ask users to pay—not with money, but with time and information. They spend time viewing web pages, emails and RSS feeds, thus creating advertising inventory that can be used to sell the publisher’s products (internal advertising) and/or sold to third party sponsors (external advertising) on a CPM, CPC or CPA basis.

Google Ends First Click Free, and Beats Amazon on Product Discovery

Keeping an eye on Google’s changes is one way digital publishers are able to stay up-to-date on the best audience development strategies for the market-leading search engine.

Today we’re looking at news on changes to Google search that may impact and influence publisher decisions.

5 Hugely Profitable Multiplatform Sponsorship Advertising Models

Multiplatform publishers can generate revenue from users, from sponsors, or both. Consumer-focused portals that are sponsorship-based ask users to pay – not with money, but with time and information. They spend time viewing web pages and signing up for email feeds, thus creating advertising inventory that can be used to sell the publisher’s products (internal advertising) and/or sold to third-party sponsors (external advertising) on a CPM, CPC, CPA, or SEA basis.

Publishers Consider Brand Awareness of Digital Ads

Procter & Gamble Co. cuts digital ad spend; Customers reportedly more trusting of marketers than many imagine; Condé Nast uses neuroscience for better digital ads 
Publishers using digital ads have a lot to think about. Not only do they need to create ads that are effective and help to build positive brand awareness, they also have to figure out

Audience Development Expanding Through Major Brand Initiatives at Facebook, Amazon and Instagram

Facebook, Amazon and Instagram are expanding audience development options for content publishers
Social media can be a major traffic generator when they approach the right platforms properly. Today we’re looking at news from social media networks that are expanding their audience development opportunities for content publishers.

Our first story takes a look at Facebook and the social

Our 2016 Mequoda American Magazine Reader Study & Handbook

Take this information to the bank … 2016 Mequoda American Magazine Reader Study & Handbook & Handbook polled 3,241 U.S. adults with internet access and found that nearly 42% of them are reading digital magazines, up 13.8% from 2015.

Subscription Publishers Evolving Products and Offerings

Subscription publishers New York Times and others make changes to their subscription products; “Trump bump” subscriptions leveling out for publishers
Subscription publishers will make changes to products or evolve their subscription offerings as ways to determine the most effective ways to meet audience members where they are shopping.

Our first story today looks at Mashable and how the

The Rate of Change in Multiplatform Publishing is Accelerating

There’s a quote out there from Jonathan MacDonald I heard recently at an IMAG event that says, the rate of change you’re experiencing now represents the slowest rate of technological and societal change you are likely to experience in the rest of your life. So if you’re thinking that change in multiplatform publishing has been fast so far, you haven’t seen anything yet. It’s accelerating!

7 Golden Steps to Planning Successful Digital Magazine Editions

Ask yourself these seven questions before starting your journey towards digital magazine transformation
I’m going to go ahead and assume if you’re reading this, you have a print publication who is asking for siblings. You’re at the magazine store and it’s eying the “big brother” t-shirts and wondering when it’s getting playmates.

Below you’ll find a comprehensive

Subscription Websites: Offerings and Requirements are Getting More Complex

Condé Nast U.S. expands subscription business; Amazon’s subscription service becomes an option; Subscription websites need to utilize ads that don’t violate rules
Subscription websites expand in a multitude of ways. Of course, as expansion takes places, there are always other issues to address. However, sometimes the levels of expansion are significant, and major multiplatform publishers can

The Power of 3 in Selling Magazines

When we are in the process of business planning for a client, one big question we need to answer is what platforms they will publish their magazine on, going forward. Often they are selling magazines that are printed and wondering if an app or web edition is the logical next step.

A Simple Framework for Planning and Modeling Your Digital Magazine

The questions you need to ask and the answers you should have before launching a new digital magazine
Publishers are embracing digital magazines because users are. And it’s true for B2C and B2B, as well as pure paid subscription, controlled circulation, or both. These publishers are taking advantage of digital editions to provide the features users want

Shopping Cart SEO: How to Optimize Your Cart for Search and Reviews

In practical terms, many publishers don’t really need a shopping cart. Many publishers have only a few products to sell. If your business offers one or two magazines, a few books and not much else, a direct offer management system is probably all you need. But if you have many products to sell – multiple subscription magazines, newsletters, books, webinars, videos, DVDs, etc – then a shopping cart is essential for facilitating more sales.

Are Digital Advertisements Becoming More Popular for Audience Development?

Today we’re seeing increases in a variety of digital advertisements that some publishers have been using as part of their audience development strategy.

We begin at Media Post, which is reporting on native ad data from AdsNative. “More than half of publishers don’t believe that Google and Facebook “own” the digital advertising market. That’s one of the findings of a recent survey conducted by AdsNative, which polled its customer base of 7,500 Web and mobile publishers on the state of native advertising in Q1. The survey found that 53.9% of publishers don’t believe ad budgets are going to just a handful of players.”

Digital Magazine Relaunches While Others Launch Communities and Services

Zink digital magazine relaunches; National Geographic launches digital network; Amazon looking at offering subscriptions to publishers
Not all the digital magazine content we report on involves launches. Sometimes we have relaunches to share about, too.

We begin today with the relaunch of Zink Magazine, in both digital and print. WWD reports, “Zink Magazine, the indie fashion magazine founded

Publisher Websites Using Technology to Build Audiences

The publisher websites with the greatest ability to drive traffic and build audiences utilize proven strategies and relevant technology. Today we take a look at some of these publishers and the changes they’ve made to their websites recently.