There aren’t too many publications that aren’t utilizing the inherent power of the internet by the establishment and maintenance of an online presence, if there is they really should start to incorporate this into their business plan because let’s face it, the future of publishing is closely intertwined with being online. Sure there will always be printed literature in one form or another but online is where the real presence of eyeballs is; after all, the internet is a global resource and publications should be enjoying the enormous benefits that this entails.
So for the sake of this blog we will assume you already have an online magazine set up, if you haven’t you should go to 3D Issue now! Ok, so you have your online magazine setup, it’s looking great, you have spent time on creating the layout, focusing on slick imagery and typography as well as the interactive features that online publications are undoubtedly enriched by. So what now?
Well, one of the biggest challenges facing online publishers is creating and growing their subscription base, this is after all, the driving force behind any publication, monetization. Publications flourish or fail on the strength or weakness of their subscription base, in today’s blog we will look at some possible ways for you to boost those subscriptions and get your publication in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
Where to start?
So you have your publication ready to be published online, what should be your next move? First thing I have to point out here is that there is no quick fix remedy, no genie in a bottle, like most good things building your subscription base will take patience, patience and perseverance. There is no magic cure, these things take time but perseverance and patience will pay off in the end.
First things first
Chances are you will already have a site set up before releasing digital publication but if you don’t then put this to the top of your list. You have to have a website from which to launch your publication, your publication needs a home, a base where it can be found. A place where you’re content can live. Your site should be keyword optimized and as visible as possible to search engines such as Google. It will be through search engines such as these that you will be found, so it is imperative you give yourself a fighting chance, this may mean hiring an SEO expert to guide you on the construction of your site but this will be money well spent in the long run. If you haven’t looked into the value (and traffic) that organic marketing can bring your website then it is something you should seriously consider.
Google analytics/Page metrics
Again this is a sure fire way to assess how your site is performing, by utilizing these priceless tools you will garner knowledge on the keywords that are driving traffic to your site or publication, you will also be able to ascertain which sites or social media platforms are sending the most traffic to your sites thus enabling you to adjust your approach accordingly. There is no point spending valuable time on sites who only supply a small percentage of your traffic, use your time wisely. Split testing or A/B testing can be a very handy method for discerning what works and what doesn’t.
Page metrics and Google analytics are also invaluable in gathering information such as content overview – knowing which pages on your site/publication gets the most visits will give you an idea of what content they are looking for, once you find this gem of data, act upon it and create more of what the consumer requires.
Which brings me on to…
Consider writing blogs and supplying valuable content
When blogs or content contain relevant, informative content on a regular basis they can help you achieve a wide range of goals, you will raise your brand awareness and build. If your content is of a premium quality you will also position yourself as a thought leader, a source that consumers will turn to when they require information in your field. This in turn will demonstrate your organizations expertise and further fuel consumer confidence in your product which in turn will lead to more traffic/sales and subscriptions. Also consider placing this content in places that consumers of a like-minded nature will appreciate them, this could be social media groups, niche markets or specialized areas pertaining to your field of expertise.
Convert all traffic into email subscribers
Any traffic that visits your site should be encouraged to sign up for your email newsletter; you can entice the consumer with a variety of offers/rewards and perhaps a free sample of your publication simply by signing up to your newsletters. These rewards should be clearly marked as only being available through signing up to your consumer base, make sure whatever it is you use to entice the consumer to sign is as attractive as possible as this will be the building blocks for your subscriptions. Call to actions should be placed throughout the content on your site encouraging the consumer to join your mailing list. This list will be your absolute holy grail of information pertaining to consumers interested in your content; this should be one of your main focuses within your site. Keyword search and the correct use of Google analytics can provide invaluable insights as to where the traffic is coming from and visiting, use this to your advantage.
Once you have compiled a list of people who have subscribed to your newsletter by the methods alluded to above, you have to maintain regular contact with them by supplying high, quality content which will entice the consumer to engage and interact with you. This method of reaching out to the consumer is often under rated by publishers yet it is one of the most potent weapons in their armory, email newsletters remain your most effective method of reaching out to existing and potential client base. These are people who have already signed up to receive information from you based on the quality of your content and their preference to hear your content, make no mistake, this is as close to a subscription as you can get without the consumer actually subscribing.
Similar to the methods you would have used from above to entice consumers to sign up for your newsletter, pursue the same methodology within the newsletters to encourage signups for your online publications. What better way to drive up subscriptions to your online magazine by offering snippets of content that will be in your online magazine through your newsletter? If the sample of content that is on offer is of such a nature that the consumer simply can’t wait to read more then you are on a winner. Your goal is to have content of such premium quality that is supremely suited to the receivers of your newsletter. This gives you the best chance possible of ensuring they sign up for your online magazine.