When Swans Attack! (A Parable for Publishers)



Sorry, Poobah, we really are. But we just have to tell them. We know that Ted Bahr, most excellent past speaker at the Niche Conference will be able to sympathize. (Even if his story involves demonic turkeys instead.)

Here’s a true, little story for your Freaky Friday:  

One beautiful spring day, Grand Poobah decided to walk to the office. His mind was swirling with great ways to create networks for Nichers.  He walked along briskly with furrowed brow, thinking and thinking about niche magazine publishing. (He actually ponders like this.)

Poobah had many cool ideas to write out so he wanted to get to Niche Media HQ more quickly.  Aha! I will take a shortcut through the park.

He was so engrossed in his thoughts that Poobah did not notice the new blooming blooms nor budding blossoming trees nor morning mist rising from the water in the duck pond.  He plowed on.  All of a sudden, out of NOwhere, two vicious, blood-thirsty, super-pecking swans attacked him!  They really did. [Read more…]

Niche Digital Conference – 2013 Speakers and Sessions Revealed!



Niche Digital Conference

We want to see you at the 2013 Niche Digital Conference in Nashville, October 1-2! We’ve just released all the new sessions and speakers.

If you think you just don’t have the time, can’t get away from the day-to-day responsibilities of publishing, that you can put this whole digital thing off for another year—think again. You have to make the time to get out of your office (I know it can sound impossible!) and surround yourself with your niche magazine & media company peers to take your media properties to the next level. Online, mobile, tablet, content marketing and social media & video are growing…the successful magazine of tomorrow will be the ones who create successful digital strategies today. (Plus, if you register TODAY – March 28 – you can save up to $600 with Mega March discount pricing. Don’t miss this amazing deal!)

Here’s a 2013 Sneak Peek to show you what’s in store at the Niche Digital Conference [Read more…]

The Essential Building Blocks of Marketing for Niche Magazines



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Build your niche media company’s strategic marketing program!

Are you overwhelmed with the dizzying array of new marketing tools and social medias?  Then you have come to the right place.  It’s baby steps, people.  Or just knowing the right steps to take.

We recently had the opportunity to interview Jeff Rohrs, VP of Market Research and Education for Exact Target and all-around Social Media and marketing expert. He knows how niche magazines can best use targeted marketing programs to get the results they want. We will be posting some of Jeff’s wisdoms over the next few weeks.

NMHQ:  What areas are important for niche magazine publishers to focus on right now?

JR:  It’s all about building your audience. Niche magazines must think beyond growing only paid subscriptions. There is a BIG difference between your paid subscribers and your marketing audience.  Social Media will expand your marketing audience. Take a look at your social media program and figure out which media work best for your niche. Think of attracting fans vs customers. 

It’s also important to determine how you will manage your social media, given your resources.  Often niche magazines are run by a few people wearing many hats.  Who within your organization is going to manage and stay focused on the social media program? 

NMHQ: Is email still an important part of marketing strategic plan?

JR:  An email program is still very important.  A few years ago, a publisher of a small travel magazine was leaving a session of mine and said he wished he had attended it two years ago. Why?  Because he thought everyone was supposed to focus on developing a social media program and that is what he’d been doing for the last two years.  Yet an email program is still very much foundational.  There is a direct ROI to be tracked with emails.   And if you have the funds to blast, just be careful you don’t get too monotonous in the long term or people will tune you out.

NMHQ:  What should niche publishers stop doing in terms of their marketing strategy?

JR:  They should stop any marketing designed to get the sale.  Now that sounds odd, but niche publishers need to design to get the sale AND get the audience build-up.  Niche publishers need to always serve those two masters.

 For the longer term, stop being one thing to all people. Niche publishers have a great advantage over more general subject magazines like Newsweek because they can use their own subscription information and leverage that data.  Niche magazines have that depth and the expertise about their niche and they need to use it.

NMHQ: Can you give us an example of how publishers can leverage their subscriber data?

JR:   It’s possible for niche magazines to “sculpt” their email program to really target their audience.  You have a passionate audience already there; it’s about finding the niches within your niche.  Also, email service providers have become much more sophisticated and can help you with that targeting.

Think of the different types of messaging you can send to different types of audiences within your niche.  It is also important HOW niche publishers apply that curated, sculpted content to future email campaigns. Keep your content dynamic and always, always curate.  Publishers have to learn to prioritize emails and make sure they resonate with their audience and are responsive to their audience. 

We may know these things intuitively but the stats prove it out.  A dual-focused marketing strategy on social media AND email programs is critical. Drill down into the subscriber data you already have to create NEW niches within your niche. Comments or questions? Share with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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jeff_rohrs-packshot-1Jeffrey Rohrs, VP, Marketing Research & Education, ExactTarget

Now: A recovering attorney, bacon-lover & Cleveland sports victim, Jeff Rohrs leads the Marketing Research & Education Group at ExactTarget. In this capacity, Jeff co-authors the award-winning     SUBSCRIBERS,FANS &  FOLLOWERS Research Series—an ongoing examination of how today’s online consumers interact with brands through digital channels such as email, Facebook, and Twitter.
Past Life: Jeff also spearheads ExactTarget’s Connections User Conference programming and SUBSCRIBERS RULE! philosophy.

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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! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events – blog.NicheEventNation.com  Check it out!

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

Image from freedigitalphotos.net

15 Digital Revenue Ideas for Niche Magazine Publishers



To get you primed for the Niche Digital Conference, here’s a list of 15 digital revenue ideas for target-interest magazine publishers:NDC_NoDates

1. Create new content for your website, not just regurgitated material from your print magazine. This gives people a reason to constantly return to your website, thus creating more traffic for online advertisements.

2. Use the full capabilities of your digital editions: add outtakes or additional content, press advertisers for videos or other digital content, and make your digital edition different from your print to capture more of BOTH audiences.

3. Make a content calendar for your website (editorial calendar on steroids) that contains everything from blogs to video. Strategically plan your online content while taking into account what has been successful in the past. [Read more…]

Stop Dealing with the Jerk Advertisers! (And Sell More Ads!!!)



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Stop the madness! Sell more ads by ditching bad apples.

I’m going to tell you something that will blow your mind:  If you want to sell more advertising and sponsorships, you’ve got to drop 4 or 5 advertisers.

I know it doesn’t seem to make much sense.  Hey, times are tough you want to get every last advertising crumb you can.  Right?  Wrong!!

My experience is there are 4 or 5 advertisers you deal with that drain all your time and energy. [Read more…]

Friday 2 Minute Stretch for Niche Magazine Publishers



We get so bogged down with everyday agendas that sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees, we’re knee deep in the muck, we lose sight of the big picture–know what I mean? So take off those swamp boots for a moment and put on some track shoes. It’s Friday, remember?

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Win the work week race by doing our 2-min quick stretch on Fridays.

Here is our Friday 2 Minute Quick Stretch to check in with your media company’s content creation and social media ROI:

1.  How content rich is our website? When was the last time we sat down, put ourselves in our customers’ shoes and read it? What can we improve/edit/delete? [Read more…]

Financials: 4 Places to Evaluate and Improve Your Magazine’s ROI



Jim Zielinski, niche magazine financial guru, has been sharing with us how to gauge your magazine’s profitability. He’s covered where to start,  and understanding where you are now.

Improve ROI by looking at these 4 key areas

Improve ROI by looking at these 4 key areas

Now that you’ve made a financial profile of your magazine and figured our where to cut costs, it’s time to gauge your ROI. At our recent Niche Magazine Conference, we learned  from Jim 4 key areas to focus on for increased ROI.

Here are Jim’s 4 key areas to investigate and evaluate to improve ROI for YOUR niche magazine: [Read more…]

How to Make the Sale When There’s “No Money in the Budget”



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Ad Sales–Do you ever get this response?

These are the 5 dreaded words that we ad sales people HATE.  Media buyers LOVE saying, Soooorrrry, there is NO money in the budget.”  

We’ve been talking about how to handle this objection in our Camp Niche Ad Sales training program for years.

Media buyers like saying it because most ad sales people freeze and say something clever like, “Oh, that’s ok, when will you be working on next years budget?” The answer is almost always the same. “Check back with me in 6 months.” Media buyers love it because you won’t be bugging them for those 6 months.

Don’t give up!  Here are 3 things you can say to counter the objection and make the sale…. [Read more…]

Niche Magazine CEOs Can Lead with Fun!



We all work together at our niche media company for 8, 12, 14 hours a day.  Right?  Why not make it fun?  I’m a firm believer that the more fun you have, the more

Niche Media's Grand Poobah Carl landau

Niche Fun is serious business – happy employees are more productive and creative!

efficient and hard-working your team will be.  Plus it inspires creativity and helps with employee retention. Research proves this out!

When I actually worked for a living (pre-Niche Event Nation/Niche Media), I had a magazine publishing company called Niche Publications. We published 3 magazines and held 1 national event. We had a staff of about 15 people. We worked a lot, had a ton of fun and made a lot of money. Part of the secret was building a fun work environment.

Here are just a few “fun” ideas to keep your team inspired… [Read more…]

What to Accomplish in Your First Ad Sales Call



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Your first ad sale call with a prospect is the foundation for your business relationship. Do it right!

Everyone who sells advertising is in a hurry to sell advertising.  That’s what we’re there to do, right?  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.  If you come on too strong about how great your magazine or website is, then your prospect is going to try to get rid of you fast!  And they won’t be taking your next call in a hurry, either. The truth is that the most important goal in your first magazine ad sales call with a client isn’t to sell them an ad right off the bat – it is to establish a relationship with them!

Here’s what you want to accomplish with that first call to a prospect: [Read more…]