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Tag: blog

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

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

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

How to Promote a Magazine Through Email Spotlights

I recently talked to a publisher who, up until recently, almost never promoted his magazine. But he didn’t realize it. He has a Portal with free content, a magazine website that sells his magazine, and an online store with a dozen books that sell for $10-$20 each.

He felt pretty organized and was excited to brag about how well he’d been implementing the Mequoda Method. And we were excited to hear it.

So as not to divulge this particular publisher, let’s say he’s in the fishing niche. He has ten fishing topics he writes about on his portal, and he publishes five days a week. He also has ten paid books, one for each topic he writes about. So far so good, right? This makes daily emails a no-brainer for him.

Magazine Publishing Companies Making Moves

Legacy magazine publishing companies like Time Inc. digital are trying to get smaller, while smaller publishers like Lonely Planet and Vox are trying to get bigger. Let’s take a look at a few stories from the inimitable Keith J. Kelly’s “Media Ink” column in the New York Post.

What Every Great Membership Website Has in Common

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

Video, Ad Viewability Define Recent Digital Efforts

Video ad viewability continues to be a crucial part of multiplatform publishers’ plans, particularly if you’re working under an advertising-reliant revenue model, of course. But even if you’re not, solid video viewability can help keep visitors on your site, secure subscriptions, and sell other products. Here’s a sample of recent articles from industry magazine Min that touch on the topic of video ad viewability and others.

Hugely Successful Advertorial Examples You Can Learn From

With these new-age advertorial examples, you’ll re-think your native advertising game
Sixty seven percent of Americans think advertorials, also known as custom content, or native advertising content — add value to a website.
Are you an editor, and does that number shock you? As advertorials have become the norm in online publishing, new editors have been up in arms about something that consumers are into, as long as they know it’s sponsored.
And if you’re an ad-driven legacy publisher, advertorials have been a part of your business model as long as you can remember. They occupied the 16-20 page “special advertising section” of your publication.

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

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

How to Create Evergreen Content From Deciduous Content and Save Your Reputation

Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you have to do is call, and your evergreen content will be there. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

We’ve talked about evergreen content and it’s antithesis, deciduous content, like news, or the process of newsjacking. Like a pine tree, evergreen content is alive and well all the time. And unlike a lilac, it blooms all year round.
Here’s how this applies to your content. If you are writing an article and “Mashed Potato Recipes” is your keyword, you could easily downgrade it to a petal-dropping deciduous post by calling it 10 Mashed Potato Recipes for Thanksgiving. But why would you want to do that? Your post,which could have been relevant all year round, has now been pigeonholed mostly to the month on November.

Online Video Distribution at the Top of Publishers’ To-Do Lists

Quality content built for repurposing: check. Multiplatform tactics like free downloadables, a blog, and live events: check. A relentless social regimen: check. You’ve crossed off all of these items as you grow into a formidable media company, but there’s always another milestone on the horizon. These days, the task at hand is online video distribution. We came across five recent articles in Adweek that take a snapshot – or “screen capture,” if you will – of the current business environment for publishers and other industry players when it comes to monetizing video content.

How to Use Website Architecture to Collect Email Addresses

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

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

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

Two Weekly Social Media Calendar Templates for Stress-Free Scheduling

Save a few notches on your social stress meter by using these social media calendars to get ahead
Social media is my favorite thing to write about next to recycling content in fun and unusual ways. When you’re launching a new digital magazine, or bringing your existing magazine brand online, there’s a list of to-do’s and

How Content Gets Profitably Recycled in Multiplatform Publishing

When you recycle a can or plastic bottle, you can wait and listen to the sound of the machine crushing the can. It’s almost as if the nickel it spits back at you came from the can itself.

When you recycle a magazine into apps, blog posts, videos, emails and events it makes sounds too: the sounds of web traffic rushing at you. The sound of social chatter and ultimately, ad or product revenue. It’s a bit more than a nickel, but you’ll take it, right?

How to Update a Blockbuster Post and Save it from Google Damnation

Give your top blockbuster posts a spa day on a regular basis in order to keep them on page one in Google
Every month, if you’re great at SEO, the majority of your website traffic comes from search. That’s great because it means you can spend less on paid traffic, like PPC. It also means you

What is Website Taxonomy?

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

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

How to Buy Traffic to Your Articles via Social Media Ads

Social media is undoubtedly the best way to get your articles shared. Since 2007 or so, the social media world has become a go-to spot for businesses who are looking to create content and then market it to the masses. Some would argue that social media is meant to be a one-to-one platform, but realists know that it’s a one-to-many platform.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reading articles about the “old days” of social media. The days where people listened more than they spoke, and they conversated more than they retweeted and shared.

We’re pretty cool with both – we like engagement, but we also enjoy getting shared. One thing is true – you have to work a little harder these days to be seen in social media. Once you are, you visibility will skyrocket, but getting to the point of noticed is a challenge in itself.

Digital Advertising Trends: Avalanche, TNR, Conversions

Any and all recent discussions about digital advertising trends – including this one – make mention of native advertising. Some publishers have embraced it, while others are wrestling with the ethics, implications, and logistics. In this roundup, we’ll take a look at a potential solution for the latter group of publishers, as well as another example of the former. In between, we’ll check in on what advertisers themselves are looking for from publishers and platforms when it comes to metrics. All three updates come from WSJ.com’s excellent CMO Today blog.

Metered Paywall at New Yorker Working Wonders

For publishers, integrating a metered paywall into your subscription strategy has been on the table since at least 2011, when The New York Times took the plunge and not only lived to tell the tale, but also took the model to another level. Now, it’s all about theme and variation – who can deploy the tactic with the most skill and upside?

What Are Subscription Websites?

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

11 Elements of Highly Effective Event Websites

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

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

For Digital Publishing Companies: 5 Recent Stories to Check Out

With our blog, we aim to achieve a nice balance of posts that comprise the “Free Advice” we promise in our navigation bar. This combination includes best practices, case studies, and thought leadership to help digital publishing companies learn from each other. Another big component, though, is our effort to monitor digital trends from across the web. We’re consuming media around the clock, and love to get the day started with some industry news.

A Childhood Ambition Achieved, a New Platform Added to my Career

Mequoda Gold Members and every reader of this blog know me as a publishing consultant, journalist and blogger. Now I’m thrilled to introduce to you: Don Nicholas, novelist.

No, it’s not a mid-life crisis, and I haven’t been stolen by aliens. It’s actually a return to my earliest love (sorry, Gail), and the realization of a lifelong dream.

Here’s how it all happened.

5 Event Marketing Ideas to Keep Your Attendees Coming Back

I’ve been creating niche events (under 2,000 attendees) for over a decade now and have picked up some sure-fire event marketing strategies along the way. Creating dynamic marketing strategies for you events is definitely not for sissies, don’t you agree?

Here are 5 event marketing ideas to keep your attendees coming back for more.

Digital Magazine Archives: How the Legacies Monetize Theirs

Mequoda Members have fully grasped for a while now that digital magazine archives can do wonders for your multiplatform publishing and audience development efforts. Others, like Rolling Stone, are just catching on!

4 Things the Best Membership Websites Have in Common

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

Lynda.com Investment Largest of Its Kind in Six Years

A Lynda.com investment round announced on January 14 demonstrated a renewed commitment to both education technology and digital publishing.

3 Huge Digital Publishing Mistakes Legacy Publishers Make

With regularity, we have no trouble shouting the benefits of digital publishing from the rooftops. You can save money by recyling content, you can boost profits bycreating content on multiple platforms, you can serve your customers on their favorite devices with digital magazines. Rarely do we talk about what goes wrong in digital publishing.

With each new Mequoda System I agree to guide, I ask myself about the odds for success. I am old enough to know now that their success does not revolve around me. After all, I have worked on many successes and many failures. Other circumstances and behaviors will overwhelm my contribution to the enterprise. So why do some digital publishing teams succeed and why do others fail? I think about this a lot.

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

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

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

Audience Development Strategy: Going Beyond Acquisition

There are four main principles of the Mequoda Method: Attract, Convert, Engage and Monetize.

Engagement is one of the most important steps in the process of audience development because if you fail at keeping subscribers on your email list, or fans on your Twitter page, then you will never monetize them. If they don’t like what you’re publishing, they will unsubscribe and unlike and they’ll never hear about that great new book you’re publishing or event you’re putting on. They’ll be gone. Maybe forever.
So if you’re reaching for new ways to engage your audience and keep subscribers happy, keep reading:

8 Reasons You Should Launch an Online Magazine Library This Year

Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked a lot about digital magazines and specifically online magazines – the online edition of a magazine in HTML format, which typically comes with a library of back content.

How to Turn a Print Strategy into a Digital Publishing Strategy and Survive the Future

A print magazine looks, smells and feels good in your hands. When we asked digital natives why they might prefer paper over a digital magazine in a study a few years ago, that was their answer. Back in 2011 when we conducted that study, only 22% of our respondents said they subscribe to digital magazines. About 50% said they subscribed to print.

In the same year, Jann Wenner, co-founder and publisher of Rolling Stone notoriously declared that digital magazines were the future, but not for a while.

What is Digital Publishing? It Makes the Multiplatform World Go ‘Round

Up until ten years ago, the majority of magazine publishers did not publish online. Newspaper publishers were first to the game in the late 1990’s but even as recently as 2006, weren’t making money from them. Still, they pushed on, as did the magazine publishing industry.

And the publishers who have prevailed in digital publishing didn’t see the web as just one platform to re-publish the same content as print – they saw it as a new platform for many different products and many different variations of those products.

The Many Platforms of Multiplatform Publishers

Even the smallest of magazine publishers publish on two platforms: their magazine and their website.

Mequoda publishers typically publish five to six different platforms, and within those platforms, many more sub-platforms.

Based on the fact that every platform has completely different user experiences, we came up with our idea of what this looks like, and we call it the niche media user experience dashboard — that is, what users get out of the many different platforms.

10 Multiplatform Publishing Lessons for Profitability in 2015

Over the past year, the Mequoda team has made many new discoveries regarding search optimization, audience development and subscription websites, but moreso than ever, we have spent time working with publishers on their multiplatform publishing strategy.

Impact of the Latest Google Panda Update on Publishers

Google Panda has been strong-arming content producers into improving their content since 2011. Occasionally they update their algorithm, just like they recently updated Pirate 2.0 and Penguin 3.0., to make sure we’re doing our due diligence.

As a company that packs consulting, website development and content development into one package for our Gold Member clients, we have the distinct advantage of data. Every month we compile the data from each of our member portals to determine their ebbs and flows. With access to this data, and the brains behind it, we can actually paint broader strokes of analysis when it comes to SEO – because we can also watch the ebb and flow of Google and its algorithm.

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

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

Email Call to Action Examples Done Right by Mequoda Members

If there’s one thing Mequoda is strict about, it’s aligning your free content with paid products — making sure that for every free topic you write about, there’s a paid product on the same topic. Or vice versa. On the web, we refer to this as Consistent Channel Conversion architecture, or 3C Conversion Architecture.

In email, the

Subscription Websites: What’s Your Minimum Information Unit?

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

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

‘New York Times’ Launches New Daily Newsletter

First Draft is the new politics website and daily newsletter just launched by The New York Times.

The Four Foundational Multiplatform Building Blocks

Mequoda Multiplatform Publishers build profitable Mequoda Pyramids with a Mequoda Matrix as their guide and a Mequoda Portal as their foundation…
Over the past several weeks, we’ve rolled out a foundation of what we consider the most essential building blocks of a multiplatform publishing system. We believe that by using these building blocks, any publisher can

Your MPI is a Key Predictor of Multiplatform Success

If your website doesn’t attract at least 5x more free visitors than paid subscribers – your publication is probably in trouble
Marketing expert Seth Godin recently spoke at the HOW magazine conference and said, “I can reach 10 times more people writing a blog post than writing a book.” I’ve always liked that guy.

If you apply

Minimum Information Unit

A minimum information unit or MIU is the smallest piece of a publisher’s content that tells a complete story. It could be an article, blog post, record, profile, review, book chapter, report, document, lesson or episode. The MIU depends on where a publisher’s content originates. If the publisher creates sewing patterns, the pattern would be

Designing a Website: 12 Best Website Design Tools

Use these 13 best website design tools when designing a website

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

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

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

Great Media Brands Continue to Sell for Rock Bottom Prices

Condé Nast’s latest in a long line of recent deals includes the sale of Women’s Wear Daily, as Penske Media has acquired Fairchild Fashion Media for $100 million. The New York Times reports that the purchase will be completed in September, and that Condé will keep consumer site Style.com and blog network NowManifest.

Mobile Outlook: Traffic Outpaces Desktop for UK Publishers

Digiday reports that the top magazine and newspaper publishers in the UK have seen their mobile website traffic surpass that of their desktop visitors, as more than half access it via tablet and other devices. In addition, according to Ofcom’s Communications Market Report, 61% of UK adults now own a smartphone, and 44% of households own a tablet. Mobile has become the favorite board for British surfers.

Shareability, Other Social Qualities Among Publishers Ranked

MediaBistro.com’s 10,000 Words blog reports that analysts at Shareablee have released their rankings for publishers’ social media performance. The June list is the company’s first in what will be a monthly service for advertisers and other interested parties.

15 Digital Revenue Ideas for Target-Interest Magazine Publishers

How to generate more revenue as a target-interest magazine publisher
Our friend Carl Landau run the Niche Digital Conference. The conference is about generating more online and mobile revenue for niche magazines. Carl shared with us a list of 15 digital revenue ideas for target-interest magazine publishers from last year’s conference:

1. Create new content for your website,

Golf World Mag Goes All Digital

Starting next week, Condé Nast’s Golf World will go digital-only and be absorbed into the Golf Digest website, Ad Age reports. The magazine was acquired from The New York Times Company in 2001 and has printed 31 issues annually since. It will now see distribution as a newsletter 50 times a year on Monday mornings, Michael Sebastian writes.

The New Mequoda Pyramid

The Mequoda Pyramid supports the notion that products have a natural hierarchy
Publishers implementing a vertically integrated strategy use outside media to acquire new customers, leveraging “free media” first. They use content to build a permission database. They create many products in many formats and recycle, reuse, and republish content. Finally, they are able to pull customers

Tablet Statistics Show that Mobile Magazines Are Here to Stay – and Getting Stronger [+Video]

Digital apps are driving readership, traffic and profits: In the three years since the introduction of the iPad, it’s become clear that the tablet has rescued the magazine industry from the brink of destruction. Mequoda noted as early as 2011 that digital magazines had already become solidly profitable, led by Hearst Magazines and other forward-thinking publications such as The Economist.

Modern SEO Press Release Guidelines [+ Video]

Utilizing proven SEO press release guidelines can translate into more website traffic and member conversions