How to Start an Online Magazine From Scratch


Mequoda Group’s Ed Coburn shares sound advice on starting a new online magazine.

If you’re launching an online magazine from scratch, there are 3 steps to successfully branch into the world of online magazine publishing. You’ll soon discover that the planning required to start an online magazine is not much different than the planning required to start a print magazine.

Let’s begin by defining an online magazine. An online magazine is a web-friendly version of your magazine. It’s in HTML, it works like a website and it has a topic-based archive in addition to an issue-based archive. And while our research indicates that only 15-20% of users place a high value on being able to access content by topic in addition to accessing it by issue, those who do wish to access the content by topic value this feature very highly.

One question we often get asked is: If you’re a from-scratch start up, how many back issues do you need to launch with in order to have a viable archive? We believe the ideal scenario is to have 12 months worth of issues available in your archive. But if budgets are tight, you may decide to launch with as little as 3-6 months of back issues and allow the benefits of the archive to grow over time.

How to launch an online magazine in 3 steps [Read more…]

Ad Sales: Curb Your Enthusiasm!


This ad sales person is excited about his niche product, but not too excited…….

Huh? Tone it down? What could we possibly mean?

Many advertisers complain that when media ad salespeople contact them, they are immediately talking a mile a minute, wildly enthusiastic about their product. They can’t help it, right?

Consider for a moment–that kind of approach can impede the initial advertiser engagement because their shields are already up, just waiting for you to sell some snake oil next. [Read more…]

Launching into New Markets: Six Steps for Shaping Your Destiny!


To new markets and beyond! CEO Mark Hintz talks about launching a new product.

Editor’s note: Last week we shared some of CEO Mark Hintz’s Niche Media Conference presentation on how to deal with difficult disruptive change in your niche market. He showed us how to clean house to eliminate failing products, leaving you with only profitable flagship brands!  

Here is what Mark had to say on how to use change to launch new products and make your media company more profitable:

So you’ve cleaned house and you are ready to launch a new product. What’s next? Here are 6 key areas you should focus on in the determination phase for new media properties:

  1. Why should this magazine exist, and will people pay for it? Is the market under served? Is there room for another title?
  2. Can we provide an adequate product to satisfy the market? Look at these 3 areas: Do we have the editorial and design staff? Do we have the know-how? Do we have enough money to produce the product we need to?
  3. Are there enough viable advertisers to pay the print bill?
  4. Can we get enough circulation to make the advertisers happy?
  5. If everything looks good, do a newsstand test. Tell the world it’s a launch, not a test.
  6. Read the results, and budget based on those results.

Okay, you are not Warren Buffet, but you have gone through the above 6 steps and you have determined you are ready to launch your new magazine. How do you set your launch up for success? [Read more…]

Niche In the News! Rules, Tools and Premium Print


Cover ads, culture, and kudos: Niche is in the news!

Everything niche is the big buzz in the news these days, and we know why! Niche media publishers are way ahead of the game because they’ve already captured (and continue to increase) a niche audience! The big general interest mags are still trying to figure it out, aren’t they?

RULES:  NYT piece on rule changes—ads on magazine covers, editors managing native advertising process, etc. New guidelines allow magazine cover ads for award seekers [Read more…]

5 Best Guides for Emailing Ad Sales Prospects


Grand Poobah Carl Landau shares his 5 best tips for emailing ad sales prospects.

I just returned from a conference, and now I face Monday with the big task of following up by email with the dozens of people I made connections with at the event.

Do I dread it? Heck NO! Following up with prospects is a key part of the sales process. I have written about this subject over the last few years quite a bit, because how you email your prospects makes all the difference.

Here are some of my best practices for emailing prospects for maximum results: [Read more…]

Disruptive Change in Your Market? Time to Evaluate Your Product Line-up!


Soverign/Homestead’s CEO Mark Hintz shares his insights on disruptive change and how to deal with it.

Editor’s note: Mark Hintz, CEO of Sovereign/Homestead Magazine Publishing, shared his “7 Xtreme Revenue Secrets for Niche Publishing” at the recent Niche Media Conference in Denver. Here are some highlights on the topic of media disruption and what to do about it.  


Disruption” occurs when an existing market and value network, over years, becomes displaced by a new technology or innovation. We see this happening all the time in the media landscape now.

So how does your B2C, B2B or Association magazine deal with disruptive change? [Read more…]

2015 Nichee Magazine Award Winners Announced!

2015 Nichee Magazine AwardsWe’re excited to announce the 2015 Nichee Award winners!

Our fantastic 2015 Nichee Award winners!

These eight magazines demonstrate excellence in the niche media space and have really dialed in on their niche market. Congratulations to all our winners and a big thank you to Trend Offset Printing for sponsoring the Nichee Award bash in Denver, CO! The 2015 winners are:

Best Overall

Best Niche Consumer Magazine (tie): Yoga Journal

Yoga Journal is about the whole experience in this growing market: great layouts, content, and integration with the web and their events.



Best Niche Consumer Magazine (tie): Culture

Culture: The Word on Cheese is everything a cheese lover could want: recipes, stories about cheeses & cheese makers, stunning photography, and and solid, expert-guided editorial.


Best Niche B2B Magazine: RISKSA

RISKSA knows the niche market and serves it with style: it’s packed with high-quality content and great design. It’s rich in both great data and people. Truly an outstanding B2B magazine!


 Best By Sub-Category:

Best Niche Regional Consumer Magazine: Northshore Magazine

Packed with local editorial and quality advertising, Northshore Magazine is a one-stop quality info source for the region.



Best Niche Enthusiast Magazine: WatchTime

WatchTime provides everything a watch enthusiast could want everywhere they want to look for it! The print/digital integration is outstanding!



Best Niche B2B Association Magazine: PCMA Convene

PCMA Convene combines solid content and design with well-integrated special regional advertising sections. We’d read it!



Best Niche Consumer Association Magazine: American Woodturner

American Woodturner succeeds where so many association magazines fall short: it delivers the kind of solid, relevant, quality content that keeps members checking their mailboxes and coming back for more.


The Spirit of Niche Magazines: is the perfect example of a magazine that truly owns every part of a niche market. It has fantastic online resources, a great website, solid content, useful content, interaction, and integration withe events. It truly delivers!

[Read more…]

A Radical Idea for Audience Development: Integrate your database!

Editor’s note: VP Eric Rutter recently spoke at the Niche Media Conference about 9 radical ideas for audience development. Here are some of the highlights from the first idea in his presentation, “Integrate Your Database!”


Down with silos! Audience development expert and speaker Eric Rutter gives us the benefits of an integrated database.

Down with silos!! Often a magazine’s database is solidified in silos according to the typical segments, such as print, digital, events and lead gen. This old business database model doesn’t fit with the times anymore.

Think about an integrated audience database. An integrated database is far more useful to you when you connect the dots between website, events, podcasts, webinars, enewsletters, print, mobile, video and all your magazine’s other content platforms. [Read more…]

Niche Media Risk and Growth: Expert Insights on Company Structure and Funding

When GigaOm unexpectedly announced they were shuttering in March, it sent shocks through the media and tech communities and raised important questions about the funding and structure behind media companies. For example, see MediaShift’s recent post: How Media Companies are Structured and Funded and Why it Matters.

So what can niche media publishers learn from this example in general? We consulted two experts in niche publishing to get their insights:

NMHQ: All but the biggest niche media businesses today need more than one way of making money, with subscription and advertising, live events, e-books, education and webinars, etc. What are some successful areas right now for our niche publishing audience to test the waters when creating multiple revenue streams? [Read more…]

The Sales Game: It’s Like Playing Chess!


Sales expert Chris Ware shows us how to up our ad sales game with probing questions.

Most sales people talk 90% of the sales call. Stop talking and start asking great questions! Like a game of chess between 2-players, each of your questions should develop to your next move. Each progressive answer from your advertiser will then help you get to the desired position of being able to offer a solution.

So what are some of your top probing questions? Here are 4 tips to getting the game right: [Read more…]

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