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Tag: subscription website

At a subscription website, whether someone pays for the content or not, users subscribe in order to have content pushed (delivered) to them – by email, website, app or the U.S. mail – on a set schedule via their subscription.

A magazine subscription website and newsletter subscription website are, of course, familiar subscription products from far back in the print era, and portal subscription websites are Internet creations that share the same characteristic. In all three types of subscription websites, content is continually published and pushed to subscribers on a regular schedule.

In order to be a premium subscription website, the content being sold must stand out in the crowd to get customers to pay for it. By its very nature, the word premium means that the information product you’re creating is better than most of the products already available. It must meet an unmet customer need that’s compelling, valuable and easy to communicate.

Magazine and newsletter sites are usually premium (paid), and portals are free. Their purpose of a portal is to attract visitors with free content, convert them into email subscribers, and then push them to the magazine and newsletter subscription websites. They’re all valid and quite profitable website business models for publishers and are supported by Mequoda and our Haven Nexus CXMS.

One of the best things about subscription website publishing is that unlike a magazine, the website allows an observer to study all aspects of the publisher’s operation: content, design, curation, frequency, advertising and marketing. 

While many magazine and newsletter publishers have avoided building subscription websites, the rapid growth of tablet computers and the sale of tablet-based app subscriptions are convincing them to include digital subscription marketing in their core long-term publishing strategy.

However, as publishers begin to include website access in their long-term publishing strategy, they’re beginning to discover other ways of bundling web access into print and digital packages. The first, Universal Pricing, bundles platforms at a discount, but the second, Contrast Pricing, we’re finding is more profitable and gets consumers to pick higher priced bundles.

Success in subscription website publishing takes mastery. And no matter whether you’re just starting a subscription website or you already have one of the Internet’s successful subscription websites, you can learn and do more with your subscription website after you read our new FREE 130-page handbook, Subscription Website Publishing.

Your Subscription Website is Not a Magazine

As Don likes to say, your magazine is not a website. And your website is not your magazine.

In fact, your subscription website isn’t even a website. It’s actually three websites: A portal, a magazine and a store. And the Mequoda Method, which is utilized by successful niche publishers both large and small, calls for deploying a single piece of copy across all three to maximize your unique visitors, subscribers and buyers.

Mequoda Weekly: April 29nd, 2013 – May 3, 2013

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Mequoda Weekly: April 22nd, 2013 – April 26th, 2013

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

In Subscription Website Publishing, Queen Martha Rules … For Now

How big is the Martha Stewart brand? The formal name, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, pretty much says it all. And Googling the name for news of the company in the media world delivers stunning results.

Page 1 of Google results delivered nine listings from the website itself, and the usual listing from Wikipedia. One the second page, I found several news articles about its decision to fold two of its four magazines into the flagship product. More on that later … but more interestingly, I couldn’t find a single other search result that wasn’t from the website itself or from subscription retailers like Amazon … and I finally gave up on Page 9.

In short, Martha Stewart Living owns its own name in Google search, which is to say, on the Internet. I’ve never seen that kind of result when Googling any other publication. If there are any other references to the company on the Internet, they can’t compete with the company’s optimization of every single page for organic search and every magazine outlet that sells the magazine!

Mequoda Weekly: April 8th, 2013 – April 12th, 2013

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Subscription Website Publishing Proves Its Worth

The New Yorker shows that it’s not only the wave of the future, but can also remedy the sins of the past. Take a trip with me today to the Big Apple, home of The New Yorker magazine. This venerable publication, like everyone else in the industry, has struggled in the Internet era with declining ad sales and even more recently, with consumer disdain for print media.

Mequoda Weekly: March 11th, 2013 – March 15th, 2013

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Digital Magazine Publishing Software for Distribution

Three issues on the functionality and design of digital magazines

There’s been a tremendous amount of speculation on what the perfect digital magazine might be and where the future of digital publishing is headed.

While others pontificate, we have projects brewing. The focus is not to produce a digital magazine itself, but to produce the digital magazine subscription website where we believe the digital magazine will be ultimately housed. It will be the nexus between client and server relationships.

Mequoda Weekly: March 4th, 2013 – March 8th, 2013

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Membership vs. Retail Subscription Website Information Architecture

Misunderstanding Membership Website information architecture

Misunderstanding the characteristics and attributes of a membership website compared to, say, a subscriber-access-only magazine or newsletter retail subscription website is a common misunderstanding when publishers are launching a paid-access-only website.

A Membership Website is an online medium—a destination—in and of itself.

It may be structured as a “pure-play” site, which does not depend on a primary relationship to, or experience with, an online or offline product. Or it may be structured as a “companion” website, which does relate to an online or offline product. Either way, “members” or “subscribers” register and pay to access information, organized library-style by topic of interest, or research information or find answers to a question.

The Best Digital Magazine Subscription Website Offer

While many magazine publishers struggle to find the right subscription marketing strategy, The Economist demonstrates its regard for long-term subscriber relationships.

The simplest subscription website pricing strategy is Universal Access and The Economist uses it well.

I’ve spent hours, and several hundred dollars, buying digital magazines. I’ve bounced around between my iPad, Kindle Fire, and the World Wide Web. I purchased from Condé Nast, Hearst, Rodale, and The Economist.

Website Design Samples of Our 16 Archetypes

Gas stations, supermarkets and bookstores are all retail businesses. They all resell products, yet the specifics of their business models and their physical infrastructures are very different. Optimizing those specifics will support higher revenue, lower operating costs and happier customers.

9 Membership Website Mistakes

Membership websites are hot for 2013

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

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

How to Increase Online Publishing Revenues … Exponentially

Gutenberg is dead. And you will be, too, if you don’t make the transition now to meet the public’s growing demand for digital information.

Fortunately, there is one resource, one unique program that can change the way you, your staff and your entire organization think of the Internet and help you catch up to the future. Mequoda’s Internet Marketing Intensive has guided some of the oldest and most respected publishing companies in the world including Meredith, Rodale, Interweave and more, in growing a single-digit percentage of their revenue from online sources to earning 20%, 30%, 40% of their revenues digitally. And because the demand for digital products is growing exponentially, so will their revenues.

Will yours?

My Top 12 Articles of 2012

I want to usher in 2013 by sharing some of my top articles from this past year. Each of these articles received a favorable amount of social interaction, so in case you missed them, here are my top 12 articles of 2012.

How to Make a Membership Website

Six membership site ideas all digital publishers must follow

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

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

Week in Review: November 26th, 2012 – November 30th, 2012

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Ecommerce Website Design: Top Components of Your Online Store

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

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

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

Week in Review: November 12th, 2012 – November 16th, 2012

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

5 Components of Successful Subscription Websites

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

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

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

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

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

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

Digital Subscriptions Growing for Some Publishers

Digital subscriptions are helping publishers succeed in times when advertising is high enough

With the economic problems of recent years, digital magazine publishers have had multiple issues to address.

First, they have taken to the digital frontier by creating subscription websites, audience development strategies, and digital one-off products that can be purchased on-site or through retail and affiliate partners. Many digital magazine publishers are currently in different states of this change.

How to Name a Website and Choose the Best Domain Name

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

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

5 Essentials for Digital Magazine Publishing Success

Digital magazine publishing tips from around the web

If you’ve already worked out the formatting, design and content structure of your digital magazine publishing efforts, then it’s time to consider some aligned essentials. Digital magazine publishing success relies on having great content and finding the most devoted audience members.

The following five digital magazine publishing essentials focus on ways to promote your content throughout digital platforms, and how to educate your audience about the digital magazines you offer.

Week in Review: June 4th, 2012 – June 8th, 2012

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Developing Your Audience with Subscription Website Archetypes

Three ways to generate free subscribers

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

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

3 Reasons to Develop a Subscription Website

The subscription website is the ultimate tool for digital publishers

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

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

Google Digital Newsstand & 2 Other Industry Myths

With so much bad information in the marketplace, many publishing industry CEOs are making bad decisions about their digital magazine publishing strategies

I had the pleasure of spending the evening recently with a group of publishing industry colleagues – most of them company CEOs. Unsurprisingly, the conversation turned to digital publishing, digital newsstands, and the programs offered by Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Zinio, and the rumored Google Digital Newsstand.

Digital Magazine Publishing: The Art of Monetization

As digital grows, membership strategies are a focus

Three interesting notions came upon me recently.

The first involves creative software superstar Adobe. The company announced that between March 1, 2011 and January 31, 2012, they experienced “over 16 million downloads of digital publications powered by the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite”.

Entrepreneurs Turn to Content Management Systems

Are you looking to quit your job and start a new online business?

Content management systems saved the lives of content publishers.

OK, maybe not literally, but content management systems help greatly. They allow major customization, often within communities of designers and developers who continuously create plug-ins to make the systems even better. WordPress, for instance, thrives on a major support group of users and developers, who have helped transfer the content management system into a favorite of digital content publishers.

Week in Review: January 16th, 2012 – January 20th, 2012

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Transitioning to Digital Magazines

Legacy magazine publishers have the opportunity to develop a multi-platform strategy in 2012, which can lead to success.

Publishers with a background in print and a bulk of content are prime candidates for the world of digital, where they can create digital magazine replicas and digital magazine replica plus editions while using the Internet to recycle content and build a larger audience.

Week in Review: January 9th, 2012 – January 13th, 2012

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Digital Magazine, Book and Video Prices Fall in 2012

In 2012, the publishing industry will continue to shift manufacturing and distribution costs to the consumer, causing unit pricing to fall and publishers to introduce more premium editions

In a free market, economics is a predictable science. Over the next few years, consumers will snap up more than 300 million tablet computers. These network devices will link to media cloud servers via wireless connections that will also be paid for by the consumer. The ubiquitous Internet will also continue to flatten the media world, empowering users to shop for digital magazines, books and videos in a global marketplace.

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.

Week in Review: January 3rd, 2012 – January 6th, 2012

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Digital Publishers to Meet in New York

The Digital Content Marketing Bootcamp is set to kick off 2012 with a step-by-step checklist for online publishers launching, relaunching or prioritizing their online business.

This 49 step tried and true marketing and distribution plan helps online publishers stay focused in a constantly evolving digital landscape.

Week in Review: December 27th, 2011 – December 30th, 2011

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Week in Review: December 19th, 2011 – December 23rd, 2011

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Week in Review: December 12th, 2011 – December 16th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Three Reasons Time Magazine Should be Free

As magazines quickly transform themselves from atoms to bits, their basic business strategies are likely to gain greater economic clarity

It is both a difficult and exciting time to be a magazine executive. The nascent tablet revolution has finally given magazine publishers a platform that will allow them to convert their products from atoms to bits. When I first entered the magazine publishing industry in the late 1970s, magazine economics were an odd mix of circulation and advertising revenues. It was considered normal for consumer magazines to generate half their revenue from users and the other half from advertisers. Compare this with the book publishing industry where consumers are the sole source of publisher revenue. Or think about the television industry, where advertising foots the bill.

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.

Week in Review: December 5th, 2011 – December 9th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Digital Magazine Exposure Grows

The digital magazine footprint increases in surprising ways

When the tablet computer first hit the market, how long did you think it would take before it made significant waves?

Before answering this, realize that at the time of launch, publishers thought they were prepared for this channel but didn’t know how to exactly enter the world of digital publishing. Some introductory period was needed to figure out what could be done with their content, how they could package it and if the iPad or any tablet to follow was worth the investment of time and money.

Week in Review: November 28th, 2011 – December 2nd, 2011

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Week in Review: November 7th, 2011 – November 11th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

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.

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.

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?

Using Mequoda Best Practices to Define Your Internet and Content Strategies

A guidebook for exploring options available to maximize online revenues

If you are launching, relaunching or fine tuning a website and would like to understand all the things you need to decide – like choosing an ESP, which is just one of the 49 steps – we will be addressing them at the Mequoda System Strategy Bootcamp.

We’ve called this bootcamp by any number of names over the years. People like Clay Hall, Tom Winsor and Bob Brady – professionals who are in the know and on our advisory board – understand and recognize this type of event.