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Tag: subscription websites

Make Your Web Magazine Better Today

In the summer of 2014, we launched what we believe to be the first-ever web magazine, I like Crochet. I Like Crochet was Prime Publishing’s first foray into premium content, aimed at readers looking for a higher level of access to unique and exclusive patterns and advice. The web magazine provided this access through fully

The Best Subscription Websites Already Know This One Thing

A publisher’s minimum information unit (MIU) is the bedrock on which the best subscription business models are built. Any online publisher who doesn’t bother to understand and identify their MIU will fumble trying to build a successful subscription website.

In this week’s Freebie Friday spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda, explains why using monthly pricing to accommodate a user’s desire to sample, is just one key to selling more subscriptions. From there you can download How to Use Contrast Pricing to Increase Subscription Revenue to learn more about pricing your print and digital magazine subscriptions.

Email, Web or Social – Which Should You Focus on Most?

If you think that your website should be the main driver of your revenue, think again. Email subscribers are responsible for between 60 and 80% of all digital revenue generation, while passing website visitors and social followers make up the balance.

Over and over again, we’ve found that passing website visitors don’t immediately turn into buyers. They simply remain

8 Ways to Sell Digital Magazine Subscriptions

It’s amazing to look back to just a year or so ago, when digital magazines were still something of a novelty. Today, it’s a given that print publishers will soon create a digital version of their product if they haven’t already.

Get More People to Subscribe to Your Highest Priced Product

The most effective blow-in cards of the 21st century aren’t made of cardstock, they’re digital. And since offering a sample of your magazine is less effort for the user when it’s done online, you have more opportunities.

In this week’s Freebie Friday spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda, explains why using monthly pricing to accommodate a user’s desire to sample, is just one key to selling more subscriptions. From there you can download How to Use Contrast Pricing to Increase Subscription Revenue to learn more about pricing your print and digital magazine subscriptions.

Give it Away to Make More Money? You Don’t Say!

Why would you give away content for free, in order to make money? Sounds crazy, but that’s how the smartest publishers we know have grown at an exponential speed.
Selling magazine subscriptions is part of a four-step process that begins with giving away free content.
By giving away free content, like downloadable reports, you can build new relationships

How to Use Six Sigma for Subscription Offer Testing

“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving,” said David Ogilvy, known as “The Father of Advertising” the “Original Mad Man”.

Even our best performing clients—who publish on multiple platforms, run several subscription websites, and have helped define our pricing best practices—will see a drop in subscription sales when they stop testing. I told this to a client recently who went from having some of the highest conversion rates of our clients to having our worst performing rates, and we believe the culprit is a lack of subscription offer testing with new offers, like a 30-day free trial.

8 Online Magazine Design Best Practices

Online magazine design has taken a number of steps forward in recent years, starting with the launch of the first-ever web magazine in 2014 called I Like Crochet. An online magazine, also known as a web magazine, is a premium publication that is read through a magazine subscription website. In our definition, it is not the same as the homepage of a magazine, where content is freely distributed, unless that content is metered by a paywall.

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

Designing Your Web Magazine “Above the Fold”

Twenty years ago, “above the fold” only referred to the upper half portion of a newspaper. Now, above the fold can be applied to many things, especially a website or web magazine, and the first screen of content a user will see when they go to your website.

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.

Subscription Website Publishers Expand Programs, Open to New Opportunities

News from subscription website publishers are focusing on enhancements of subscription offerings and tools, with the intention of turning more casual audience members into paying supporters.

The Mequoda Magazine Content Business Model

Some of the most successful publishers let their users generate more than 99 percent of their content. The publishers that can do this become masters at building communities that draw users to both read and post.

Out of the nine subscription website business models, the community subscription website archetype is the only one where the publisher relies on its community to create the content. There are six premium (paid) archetypes, and three affinity (free) archetypes. This is one of the three free ones.

Let’s Clarify: What Is a Digital Magazine?

Magazines are designed to be read from front to back. They have covers and a table of contents. Magazines are arranged in a series of articles. Portals are not meant to be read from front to back, and are in no way linear. Users may begin on an article they found through search and hyperlink their way across the site in a matter of seconds. There is no true table of contents, although there is arrangement in the form of categories, topic pages and related articles.

So what is a digital magazine? It’s a bit of a hybrid.

Last Day to Register!

If you don’t register for the next Mequoda Digital Publishing & Marketing Intensive by midnight, you’ll have to wait another year to start your journey to multiplatform publishing success.

Do You Have These Four Goals in Mind?

You don’t get from point A to point B without goals and milestones. This applies to most situations in life, from a cross-country road trip, to training for a marathon, to a career in publishing.

In today’s Strategy Spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda explains the four most important goals a publisher should hold close to their heart, in order to thrive as a multiplatform subscription publisher.

Subscription Websites Training Younger Customers Through Paid Content

The most successful subscription websites recognize the demographics that use their site the most. This way appropriate content targeting and marketing efforts can be made with alignment. Today we’re looking at subscription publishers that are targeting younger demographics, and the kinds of responses they are receiving.

How to Choose the Best Subscription Pricing & Single-Copy Pricing Strategy for Your Subscription Websites

While the challenge of choosing the right subscription and single copy pricing strategy is not new to magazine publishers, it’s virgin territory for most subscription website publishers and many publishers exploring the digital newsstand landscape.

Even magazine publishers are faced with new economic realities.

The marginal cost of delivering a digital subscription to your own website is near zero. The cost of delivering digital issues via the Apple, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble digital newsstands is based on remit and the cost of delivering a digital issue paid to your digital publishing software provider (Mag+, Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, etc.).

Bringing Discipline to Chaos

Mequoda is a little unusual as an organization, people tend to feel puzzled about us. Are we a consultancy? Are we a developer? Most often this confusion becomes apparent when we meet one of two types of clients, described below.

Subscription Marketing on the Internet Just Got a Little Easier

If you’ve ever joined a club, purchased a membership, or even became part of a team, you understand the benefits of mutual collaboration and teamwork. This year, our goal at Mequoda was to help our Gold Members run and grow their subscription marketing and publishing businesses even more by creating a publishing network of like-minded publishers.

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.”

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.

Mequoda’s Top 10 Subscription Website Publishing Posts of 2017

Our most-read subscription website publishing posts of last year show a continued interest in building profitable subscription websites and improving their speed and ranking.
Last year, publishers focused on increasing profitability through apps and subscription website publishing. As publishers continue to search for digital content success through subscriptions, we think the chosen top ten most-read posts

5 Ways Top Subscription Websites Optimize for Search

Magazine publishers have been giving away their content for decades in an effort to attract new subscribers. In online publishing, ad-driven subscription websites have an additional incentive: Increasing the eyeballs that see their sponsors’ ads.

Publications like Mother Earth News put all their magazine content on their subscription website. They believe it hasn’t hurt their circulation, and at the same time, says General Manager Bill Uhler, it helps them cast a wider SEO net.

Subscription Websites Testing New Grounds with Targeted Membership, Social Options

Publishers of subscription websites are warriors. They constantly work to improve their standings, even when there are forces working against them. Up until recently, social networks and search engines were problematic areas. However, there may be some changes coming to fruition that will help subscription website publishers.

How to Generate Additional Publishing Revenue Through Your Website Portal

As a publisher, you should make your website’s top goal to maximize your TOPX (Total Orders Per Ten Thousand) page views by making sure that every page on your website is ready to convert visitors into buyers and subscribers at any moment and increase publishing revenue.

Your Portal is the main page where you give away free articles and content. For many magazines, this is on their main domain, like TIME.com or People.com. If you’ve been following along with Mequoda you know that we advocate for every page on your Portal to have a set of best practice conversion architecture we call 3C Zone Architecture.

3 Subscription Websites Seeing Major Growth

Subscription websites can be a major revenue stream for savvy digital publishers. Today we’re looking at some examples of this from major publishers.

We begin with The Atlantic, a subscription website publisher who is experiencing significant growth with its membership program. Digiday reports, “The Masthead has grown the program gradually, testing it with a small beta group of 250 before opening it up to subscribers for $100 a year. This week, membership was opened to everyone, at a price of $120 a year. Starting narrow has enabled The Atlantic to isolate the feedback of its most devoted readers. It’s been testing different content formats in email to the group and asked recipients to grade them on a scale of one to five.”

The Most Profitable Websites Have Mastered this Simple Advertising Strategy

Forbes contributor Benjy Boxer recently warned, “The combination of free publishing, social distribution, and the commoditization of advertising will eventually wipe out almost all of the advantages of a large media company.”

Further, he advised that “scarcity” is the only advantage left to media companies, and they’ll have to create that with their unique content or unique services to advertisers. Luckily for the niche subscription website publishers we advise, scarcity comes right along with being “niche,” unlike larger publishers competing with Yahoo and CNN for cost-per-click (CPC) dollars.

Website Redesigns and Product Launches for Subscription Publishers

We constantly pay attention to the changes subscription publishers are making to gain ground in the digital landscape. Today we’re sharing stories of three publishers and their methods for expanding and evolving content streams.

Digital Magazine Content and the Impact of Social Networks

Digital magazine content can find great homes online, especially when it’s offered throughout a variety of popular channels.

Today we’re looking at some offerings for digital publishers that are coming from Facebook and Google, as these major social networks continue to work on its relationship and revenue strategy with content.

The Publishing Revenue Secrets of Multiplatform Wizards

The secret behind increasing publishing revenue is in the power of three
In the Harry Potter books and movies, a man named Xenophilius Lovegood wore a necklace with the symbol of the Deathly Hallows. When Harry asks Lovegood about the symbol—which appears as a circle inside of a triangle and a straight line down the middle—he explains that

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.

The Paywall Model vs SEO: How to Win at Both

This week, a friend of mine referred to the paywall model as a “marketing method Trump would support.” I got a good chuckle out of it, but it seemed like an appropriate segway to the pros and cons of gating content, but also, how you can obtain the benefits of both – notably, SEO. Not the wall.

The paywall model isn’t an SEO-killer, even though it’s been billed as one. Technology has advanced a long way since the days when content was either locked, or unlocked. Firstly, there are two types, a hard paywall, and a soft paywall (and varying degrees in between).

Subscription Websites Increase Renewal Rates and Product Offerings

Subscription websites offer publishers the opportunity to generate renewable revenue consistently. That’s why we are big supporters of digital subscription models. Today we’re looking at some additional subscription and content offerings by major content purveyors.

An Encyclopedic Collection of Digital Publishing Strategy

If you’re a publishing professional, don’t wait a minute longer before downloading our best practice handbooks. They were carefully curated into what we think are the most comprehensive handbooks on the four most important digital publishing topics:

The 9 Ultimate Digital Magazine Features

How do your digital magazine features stack up to users’ expectations?
Contrary to what you’ve probably been thinking, the ultimate digital magazine is built in a browser, not an app. That’s why web magazines are skyrocketing to success, because users are quickly figuring out that they’d rather use a web magazine than an app magazine.

Users are

Your Guide to Building a Profitable Subscription Website

Like any other business, subscription website publishing relies on getting your website taxonomy exactly right. Information architecture isn’t easy to understand – people earn special college degrees in order to grasp it! But subscription websites are different from ecommerce, event, retail, or a dozen other kinds of websites. And you simply can’t learn about subscription website taxonomy from those.

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

Content Recycling: Staying Relevant and Dominating SEO

Content recycling—it’s all around us! At some point you’ve probably had dinner, maybe watched the news, and watched an early-evening episode of Big Bang Theory, or Two and a Half Men. Maybe it was on its normal station, maybe a different one, like TBS. Either way, this is just one way of experiencing content recycling, and TV watchers love it. They get to see their favorite TV shows more often, and even if they’ve already seen an episode, they watch anyway. Meanwhile, the TV station gets to produce ad revenue without going bankrupt attempting to produce a new TV show for every hour of the day.

Subscription Models Evolve for Multiplatform Publishers

Subscription models are always evolving with technology and audience interests. Today we’re looking at some subscription models and strategies, including successes and failures of them.

Fresh Website Design and a New Subscription Website Offering

Time Inc. adds to its subscription website offering; SNEWS and Smore launch new sites
A brand can enhance its value through its subscription website offering, in addition to the overall design of its website. Today we’re looking at three websites with new content and designs to share.

We begin today with Time Inc., which has upped its

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

Digital Publishing Transformation Involves Expansion, Acquisition, and Shifts of Priority

MPP expanding American market; TNG acquires Ingram Periodicals; Digital publishing becoming a priority for Reader’s Digest
Digital publishing transforms in a variety of ways, from new technology in the digital age, to different management and ownership of media brands.

We begin today’s news with news of expansion for MPP. MediaPost reports, “UK-based tech company MPP Global has

Strategy Spotlight with Don: Let’s Work Together in 2017

Mequoda has helped hundreds of media brands build vigorous, profitable, growing multiplatform publishing businesses. And we can help you.

Every quarter, I work on a 5-year business plan with one publishing company, or association looking to expand their publishing arm.
I’m writing today to tell you that the deadline to apply for our 60-Day Subscription Business Plan Development Program for Q3 is almost here, and expires Friday, May 26.

Hiring, Firing & Building a Better Subscription Website

To build a better subscription website, we’ve created a collection of our best resources on everything you need to know when it comes to how to leverage outside partners
Most publishers seeking to improve the performance of their subscription website and online marketing efforts use a patchwork of systems.

Marketing offers and performance for subscriptions, books, webinars,

Strategy Spotlight with Don: How to Keep 100% of Your Online Magazine Revenue

The Internet has made it cheap, easy and efficient to launch new streams of niche media revenue. 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 a subscription website is the business model.

Social Media Brands Turn to Subscription Websites

The term “subscription” is a hot topic these past few weeks, especially for new age publishers and media companies like Twitter and Medium. Twitter recently sent a survey to users to ask if they’d be interested in a paid $20 subscription account that would give users access to a premium product, which all seems to boil down to having a cleaner, more curated feed through Twitter’s TweetDeck App.

What All Subscription Website Publishing Experts Should Know

Before hiring subscription website publishing experts, take this advice straight to the bank.

If you’re looking to grow the most beautiful rose garden on the block, would you prefer to go to your local gardening center and rifle through the rose section to see what’s brightest, or would you head straight to specialty rose nursery, with employed experts in growing roses?

So then why is it that so often we hear of publishers who hire web development companies that have no experience developing subscription websites for publishers? A magazine or newsletter website requires an expertise in search engine optimization, conversion architecture, subscription management, and content management, in addition to an array of other specialties.

What Is a Mequoda Subscription Website Portal?

A Mequoda subscription website Portal generates value from both users and sponsors
Mequoda has guided the development of more than a 300 successful niche media websites on a wide variety of niche media topics. Our best practice is to pair a free subscription website Portal with any premium subscription business model like a magazine or newsletter.

When you charge