Read All About It: E-Newsletter Checklist- Part I



E-newsletters are still a very essential role in content marketing strategies. If done correctly, e-newsletters are wonderful for maintaining audience attention as well as generating new leads. Creating an effective E-Newsletter for your niche publication can be somewhat difficult if you aren’t accustomed to it. We’ve rounded up a few tips and tricks for putting together the ideal e-newsletter. In this section of our two part series, we will discuss the beginning steps of the process, take a look:

Niche Media

Creating a good E-Newsletter involves various steps and actions.

  • Planning: Before you do anything else with your e-newsletter, it is crucial to have a solid plan for it. The last thing you want hitting a reader’s inbox is an unorganized E-Newsletter that will upset and confuse them. It is often best to plan your E-Newsletter strategy to match your overall content marketing strategy so that the audience feels the same tone and goals as they do in your publication.
  • Design and layout: After your initial planning is done, it is time to consider the design and layout for the e-newsletter. Create a streamline and organized E-Newsletter in order to get more out of readers. Stick to neutral colors and a good combination of pictures and text.
  • Readability: A well-designed e-newsletter is nothing without it being able to be read by audiences. In order to keep the content readable, keep paragraphs short and sweet and learn to summarize items rather than include everything. Also be sure the font type and size is consistent throughout and use bullets or other dividers to make scanning easier.
E-newsletters are a wonderful way to stay connected to your audiences while also giving them pieces of information they may not receive with the original publication.

Adapted from an article by George Passwater of Passwater Media and originally posted on the Content Marketing Institute blog here.

Photo from Free Digital Photos

Read All About It: Online Video Tips



Integrating online videos into a magazine website is becoming somewhat essential. Since many people learn better with audio and visual tools versus just reading alone, online videos are a wonderful way to generate revenue. Whether you choose to have videos professionally produced or do them on your own, integrating online videos into your marketing plan is crucial for not only growing your audience but generating revenue as well. It’s okay if you are a bit unsure of where to begin with online videos, we dusted off a few hints from our archives to give you some direction, take a peek:

Niche Media

Consider integrating online video into your marketing plan in order to generate revenue.

  • Pair with a video ad network: Once you create your videos, you will need a way to turn the views into dollars. One great way to do that is pair up with a video ad network, such as Tremor Video, YuMe, or Visible Measures, to insert targeted video advertisements into your content.
  • Make video content a bonus: In addition to inserting advertisements into your video content, you can also go the extra step to making online videos a bonus only to those who subscribe to the publication. Having this added extra is added incentive for readers to subscribe to the magazine and is a wonderful selling point.
  • Have content in a pay-per-download model: If you find that readers are hesitant to subscribe in general, you can have your online videos set up in a pay-per-download model. This model is excellent for viewers who want to watch one video or a handful of videos at a time and will be more appealing to the hesitant ones. In addition, being a nice publication means you have the advantage of viewers not being able to find your video content anywhere else, meaning they will come back to it if they really want it.
Using online videos in your marketing plan is a fantastic way to gain audience interest and generate revenue. Giving readers a different platform to connect with your content with is wonderful for boosting interest as well as attracting new readers.

 

 

Photo from Free Digital Photos

A Page Out of the Yearbook: Going Mobile



Taking your niche publication out of its traditional print format and into the mobile universe can be a daunting task. However, in order to keep up with the changing times it may be time to take your niche magazine to the next level. We know understanding how to get the process started can be confusing, and that’s why we’ve pulled a few tips from the Niche Yearbook to help you get a better understanding. Check out a few helpful hints for going mobile:

Niche Media

Check out a few items to consider before taking your publication mobile.

  • Observe others: One of the best ways to get a better understanding of how to take your niche publication into the mobile world is to observe the other niche magazines and their mobile products around you. You will get a better idea of what is working and what isn’t working. When viewing other magazine apps and mobile sites, take note that popularity isn’t as essential as much as a positive user experience.
  • Balance your goals with reader expectations: In addition, you will also have to decide whether you want an app or mobile site that is free for everyone, free for subscribers only or paid all together. In order to best meet your goals as well as the reader expectations, you will have to determine how you think your readers will react to a paid-only mobile app. If you think the reaction will be negative, consider making the app free and using advertisements to offset the costs.
  • Include a positive user experience: The mobile app for your magazine is nothing without great feedback from your audience. In order to ensure your audience is not only content with the app, but using it on a regular basis, it is best to get creative and come up with ways to keep users engaged. Instead of simply putting all the content in the magazine on a mobile app, consider various games or puzzles that could be incorporated as well so the user is getting an experience he or she could not get in the print product.
Creating a mobile presence for your niche publication is a great way to retain readers as well as generate interest from new ones. Giving your readers a new platform to connect with the magazine makes for wonderful revenue opportunities as well.

 

 

Photo from Free Digital Photos

The 6th Annual Niche Magazine Conference



The 6th annual Niche Magazine Conference is almost here! This wonderful conference is a great way to learn more about all ways to generate revenue in your niche market. In order to ensure that you get the most from this conference, small sessions will be available that are 100 percent committed to helping you grow your publishing business. Wednesday, January 25, is the last day to save $100 on registration.

Niche Media

The Niche Magazine Conference is February 27th and 28th 2012.

The Niche Magazine Conference will take Nashville by storm February 27th and 28th. Bring your entire revenue-generating team to this country & western-themed event! There will be three complete Publisher Tracks and one Camp Niche Ad Sales Training Track.

Niche Magazine Conference sessions are small and interactive. In addition to standard conference sessions, you will be able to participate in small round table discussions on integrated sales, social media, budgeting & forecasting, audience development, and events.

Plus, you’ll have lots of opportunities to meet and mingle with your fellow niche publishers: the Welcome Hoedown, Speed Publishing (like speed dating for networking), and the Nichee Awards party.

Don’t wait to register for the Niche Magazine Conference or else it will be too late – this event sells out every year! You won’t want to miss out on this conference, trust us! Learn more about the conference as well as all things Niche Media by contacting us today.

 

Photo from Niche Media

A Page Out of the Yearbook: Social Media Dollar & Cents



Sometimes understanding the correlation between social media and revenue can be difficult to grasp. We know that pinning down some real ROI on social media can not only be difficult, but frustrating as well. Have no fear because Niche Media is here! We’ve pulled a few tips from our Yearbook that will help you get the maximum benefit of social media as well as get a leg up on the competition. All you have to do is take notes:

Niche Media

Take a peek at a few ways to get the most out of social media!

  •  Use social media profiles to build and monetize audiences: Social media profiles make it so much easier for publishers to connect with audiences. It’s no secret readers are hesitant to fill out forms but are happy to fill out information on a social media profile. You can use this information to interact with your audiences as well as gain information about them.
  • Get creative: Making money solely off of social media is near impossible. Instead, get a little creative and come up with ways to utilize social media in a way that will drive revenue. A few examples are, hosting a sweepstakes on the company’s Facebook page, host a tweet-up, or design a scavenger hunt for FourSquare.
  • Generate new information: Instead of re-stating information your readers have already seen, it is best to come up with new information. You should also come up with a strong strategy for your social media efforts that will ensure revenue generation from the actions.
We told you a little bit more about getting the most out of social media, now we want to hear from you! How do you get the most out of your social media efforts? Leave us a comment and let us know!

 

Troubling Time for Magazines? We Don’t Think So!



It’s no secret that when it comes to magazines lately, the topic of conversation always seems to focus on the negative aspects. While many may think all magazines are having issues, we think the niche publications are doing just fine! Apparently, CBS Commentator Conor Knighton thinks so as well! We uncovered this great little video in which he discusses his menagerie of niche magazines and why he adores them. Sit back, relax and take a look at the positive side of things for a nice change:

Niche Media

 

Now that we’ve shared this video, we want to hear from you! Why do you think niche publications are doing so well? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Grand Poobah’s Niche Notes: Get Creative!



Which would be more successful: singing cowboy or boring business suit?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Niche Heads,

Can we start having fun again in publishing? I’ve never stopped. And it works!!!

It started in the with ‘80s with the “Buy an Ad, Get a Cat” promotion I created. That same year my nerdy computer magazine, Computer Language, featured an April issue with a Macintosh computer getting hit in the “face” with a pie. Yes, they used to call them Macintoshes, and yes, this is what they used to look like.

The entire April issue was an April Fools joke – every article and most of the ads (yes, we got the advertisers to go along with our shenanigans). The issue completely sold out on the newsstand in just one week.

In the ’90s I wore a wedding dress for the cover of my magazine Brew Your Own. Hey, every bride should serve homebrew beer at her wedding!

Brew Your Own cover with Carl in a dress

Don't be afraid to get creative!

And now, we’re getting a lot of press coverage from our Niche Yearbook. The center spread is the Niche staffers in various stages of youth before they even dreamed of the stardom awaiting them at Niche HQ. (Click the image for a larger version.)

Humor works! In every industry. My theory: the more boring the magazine title, the better the opportunity for “funny bone success.” Stop taking yourself so seriously and get your readers and

advertisers laughing. You will laugh all the way to the bank.

Happy 2012!

Carl Landau

Grand Poobah, Niche Media

Other articles in Niched Out – January 2012:

• Ad Sales Mania: Boost Ad Sales with a Unique Value Statement
• Custom Content Oz: Open New Revenue Steams with Custom Publishing

• Success Story of the Month: Texterity’s Help with Rich Media and Mobile Paves Peloton’s Road to Success

• Niche Notes

• Niched Out Magazine of the Month: Manure Manager
• Email Marketing Tip of the Month

Open New Revenue Streams with Custom Publishing



By Fred Parry, Publisher of Inside Columbia

After returning from a roundtable meeting for publishers of city and regional magazines I was pleased to discover custom publishing opportunities were generating significant new revenues for publishing companies still feeling the pinch from our challenging economy. I can tell you from personal experience as a publisher that creating a custom publishing division was the saving grace for my company in 2011.

Publishing a magazine, annual report or catalog for an outside organization allows you to lend the resources of your talented staff to companies that likely could never afford the level of expertise you provide. The good news is that most publishers can achieve a 35 to 40 percent margin on custom publishing projects while offering customers a significant savings from what they’d pay handling it in-house or jobbing it out to an advertising agency or design firm.

Making It Work For You

When you think about it, offering these services makes perfect sense for a publisher. First and foremost, it allows a more robust utilization of your existing resources.  On average, I know that I’m publishing more than 100 fewer pages every month that I was three years ago.  Rather than laying off experienced designers, writers and editors, we’ve been able to keep them busy creating magazines for other customers.

You can provide one-stop, turnkey services that include concept development, writing, design, printing and distribution, using your existing staff and vendor relationships. You’ll discover that your incremental costs in providing these services are rather minimal, making larger margins possible. In some cases, the additional volume can help you gain increased efficiencies for your core products.

As publishers are looking at vertical integration strategies and finding new channels to distribute repurposed content, custom publishing is one more opportunity to broaden your base of business and expand beyond your core competencies.  A custom publishing project might just introduce you to an underserved industry or niche where a wider scope of your services may be needed.

Best Prospects

Your best potential for cultivating custom publishing projects are with local hospitals and surgery centers, educational institutions, ad agencies, large car dealerships, mega churches and  any company that offers complex business solutions or product lines that need significant explanation. You should also explore relationships with any companies celebrating milestone events such as a grand opening, anniversary or expansion.

Before You Get Started

You should expect a 50 percent down-payment before beginning work on any custom publishing project.  Because the publishing process is unfamiliar to many marketers, it’s important to begin your relationship with new clients with a very candid discussion of their expectations and goals.  Be sure you have identified key stakeholders within the organization that have the potential of slowing down (or expediting) the approval process.  Setting clear boundaries, timelines and responsibilities before commencing work will make your new venture into custom publishing a more rewarding experience.

Fred Parry is the publisher of Inside Columbia magazine in Columbia, Mo.  He currently serves on the board of directors for the City and Regional Magazine Association (CRMA) and serves as president of the Missouri Association of Publications (MAP). A former faculty member at the Missouri School of Journalism, Parry was named to Folio magazine’s list of 40 distinguished magazine and media professionals in 2010.

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Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
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– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

 

How to Connect with Your e-Newsletter Readers



By Melanie Kirin, e-Newsletter World Conference Director

Are you making the most of your e-newsletters? 69% of studied e-Newsletter readers said that they look forward to receiving at least one e-newsletter, and most readers said an e-newsletter had become a part of their routine [NN/G Email Newsletter Usability Study].  More than websites, social media, and traditional media, e-newsletters create a bond between the sender and the recipient. How can you impassion your readers and future readers? Make it, and keep it, about the users. Here are four ways to do just that.

Phone-friendly design guidelines

1.  User Generated Content:  Read blog posts, such as industry blog sites, and the associated reader responses to find compelling content for your e-newsletters.  Joe Pulizzi gives all the pros and cons here.

2.  User friendly subscribing and unsubscribing:  Don’t hide the unsubscribe link.  If some readers don’t want your content, let them go. This will give you more accurate data regarding your readership, and you won’t be wasting time, money, and effort reaching out to people who aren’t interested.

3.  User designed content and structure for mobile readership:  Many e-newsletters are scanned on mobile devices during ‘down times’, so ensure the design of your message is developed for mobile scanability. Next month we will take a detailed look at mobile design and talk details.  This graphic from Mass Transmit has the basic guidelines to get you started.

4.  User defined length and frequency: How long and how frequent?  If it is all about your readers, ask them.  Then deliver, test, and refine. Create usability groups, segment your content by user group, and continue to test the outcomes of your efforts.

Have a technique that has worked well for you and your market? Talk about your  successes and join the conversation @ LinkedIn.

 

Other articles in Niched Out – January 2012:

• Ad Sales Mania: Boost Ad Sales with a Unique Value Statement
• Custom Content Oz: Open New Revenue Steams with Custom Publishing

• Success Story of the Month: Texterity’s Help with Rich Media and Mobile Paves Peloton’s Road to Success

• Niche Notes

• Niched Out Magazine of the Month: Manure Manager
• Email Marketing Tip of the Month

Boost Magazine Ad Sales with a Unique Value Statement



By Nancy O’Brien, MoreAdSales.com

I am amazed at how many ad sales professionals I work with have only a vague idea of what sets their products apart from their competitors’ products.  “What makes your magazine unique?” is a question I regularly ask that is met with a bland explanation about how they are the bible of the industry or the premier publication.  Really?  What does that mean?

In order to position your publication for success in sales you need know, specifically, what you offer advertisers that no one else can.  You and everyone else in your organization needs to know this.  So how do you make this happen?

Unique Value Statement.

Creating a Unique Value Statement for each of your publications and offerings is essential in presenting a clear picture to advertisers about why yours is the best choice when doing a media plan.  A UVS should be short and to the point and it must be backed up with data or research.

Some examples of great UVSs are,

  1.  “ShowTimes is the only publication written and printed onsite and distributed to all attendees at the tradeshow”
  2. “Foglights.biz delivers more impressions than any other website  in the weather industry”
  3. “Band Magazine has the lowest Cost Per Thousand of any publication serving the college marching band market”
  4. “Cameras Expo has more attendees than any other tradeshow in the photography field”
  5. “The Niche Magazine Conference is the only conference targeting small to mid-sized publishers  with exclusive content on revenue generation.”

These Unique Value Statements all tell the advertiser that by buying advertisements or sponsorship with them, they are getting something that they can’t get anywhere else.  Without a UVS, publishers all look the same, which creates an environment where the media buyer makes decisions on price or circulation alone.

So how do you create a UVS for your products?  First gather all of the sales and marketing staff at your company and work on it together.  Determine three benefits that make your offerings the best of any of your competitors.  Do you have data or research to back up these three benefits?  If not, pick one that you can substantiate with data.  You must be able to support your claims so if you have no data it is time to do some research.  Types of data are circulation statements, rate cards, website metrics, tradeshow attendee numbers, in-house or readership research or any other data that helps support your claim.  You must have this information on your publication as well as all of your competitors.

Once you had found ONE (or the best) unique benefit with data, then create your statement.  It should start with the name of your publication and be as concise as the examples above.  Once you have a final UVS it should be used by every sales person on every call and in all marketing and promotion materials.  Take the guess work out of buying advertising for your customers.  Tell them why you are the best with a well-written Unique Value Statement. 

Nancy can teach you first -hand how to create a UVS at Camp Niche.

 

Other articles in Niched Out – January 2012:

• Ad Sales Mania: Boost Ad Sales with a Unique Value Statement
• Custom Content Oz: Open New Revenue Steams with Custom Publishing

• Success Story of the Month: Texterity’s Help with Rich Media and Mobile Paves Peloton’s Road to Success

• Niche Notes

• Niched Out Magazine of the Month: Manure Manager
• Email Marketing Tip of the Month