Be Inherently Useful to Your Readers! (Interview with Jay Baer) has changed marketing and business in a fundamental way. As companies become content creators themselves and social media becomes an ever more powerful medium, publishers face more and more competition for readers’ attention. How can niche magazines make their stories (and their revenues) bigger and become an indispensable part of their readers’ lives?

Social Media & Content Marketing Strategist & Niche Digital Conference keynote speaker Jay Baer thinks he knows the wave of the future for niche publishers – becoming truly and inherently useful to your audience. This means helping your audience, even if it isn’t a topic strictly along your traditional path. Publishers need to re-imaging their role to find new ways to be involved in people’s lives. Mobile apps are just one way to become massively relevant, but there are many ways to reach out to new users, strengthen ties to existing readers, and build brand awareness and revenues. [Read more…]

Let Ad Sales People Sell!

It drives me crazy when I see publishers misuse their ad sales staff.

Lots of publishers have their magazine ad sales people do all the administrative parts of the job, including mailings, chasing down ad copy, billing and even doing collections!


Let your ad salespeople do what they do best–SELL.

By the way—having an ad sales person also handling the collections is the worst idea. But, this happens all the time.

I want my sales person SELLING! And selling big programs. Spending time prospecting. Writing blog posts and presenting themselves as an industry thought leader. Helping clients develop successful programs.

NOT chasing down production ads and doing a bunch of database work.

A good advertising coordinator is worth their weight in gold. They should be doing all the admin work AND helping the ad sales staff be organized. They can even handle the smaller accounts. [Read more…]

Hot Topics in the World of Niche Magazine Publishing

We searched the globe (via our desktops—sadly no trip to Singapore or Dubrovnik planned anytime soon) for innovations, updates, and just plain quirkiness in niche publishing. Here are some current news stories we just had to share with you:


The sky’s the limit when it comes to innovations in printing.

SEO Gangnam Style: Deadtree Edition tells us that Google is about to become magazine publishers’ new BFF with its new algorithm update. No one, not even search engines, like to read key-word stuffed content. The new emphasis on real, useful, authoritative content will give niche publishers an edge.  Google executive Matt Cutts said “We’re doing a better job of detecting when someone is sort of an authority in a specific space . . . and trying to make sure that those rank a little more highly,” in a video released Monday. [Read more…]

Nashville – Our Favorite City for Niche Fun!

Landau guitar

There’s a lot to see and do in Nashville, but don’t forget that the city is all about music!

Hi y’all. I know the Niche Digital Conference is not until the end of September, but we recently took a trip to Nashville and just have to share how much I love this place. Even if you can’t join us for the conference, check out this amazing city!

Seriously, Nashville is so cool. They have their own unique vibe there. It’s the home of Country Music (and all kinds of other music, too). There’s the Grand Ole Opry, the best BBQ ever, and people singing around the clock, every day. What more could you ask for? Just be ready to party Nashville Style. [Read more…]

Analytics Can Inspire New Digital Revenue Ideas for Publishers

When was the last time you really dug in to your Google Analytics?  There are ways for niche magazine publishers to look at the stats to uncover hidden gems that trigger ways to increase digital revenue.

Jeff Bruss, the Publishing King of numbers and Niche Digital Conference speaker, has plenty of analytics knowledge and experience to share. We caught up with him to ask him how he can help you decipher how mobile, page views, visits, trends and anomalies in analytics can inspire new digital revenue ideas.


Jeff Bruss, President of
COLE Publishing 

Niche: Many publishers use Google Analytics but are not fully utilizing the opportunities generated from that data. What is one thing a publisher could do today to utilize more out of their own data?

Jeff Bruss:The most important thing Google Analytics (GA) does for us is identify trends – both good and bad. By attaching query strings to things you want to track you can identify the paths people use to navigate your site. If a query string receives a high number of clicks you can duplicate characteristics associated with it. Likewise, low clicks means you need to take another look and re-evaluate link location, type, text, whatever. Utilizing all of this data leads to an increase page clicks, and increased page views lead to greater revenue opportunities. [Read more…]

How to Handle Gatekeepers Like an Ad Sales Pro

If you are in advertising sales there is a good chance you run in


Open! Open! Here are some effective ways to deal with gatekeepers and connect with the real decision-makers.

to gatekeepers on a regular basis.

Gatekeepers can deter and discourage the sales psyche, but don’t lose hope! Here are two ways to effectively deal with the gatekeepers that stand between you and that next sale:

The Mike Brooks Method – SAY PLEASE 

Brooks states that a gatekeeper’s job is to prevent you from wasting their time and, more importantly, their boss’ time.

Being less than transparent to get around the gatekeeper will only make it worse and send a red flag to the gatekeeper to screen you.  

Brooks suggests being polite, upfront and direct about why you are calling. [Read more…]

10 Tips for a Better (and More Profitable) e-Newsletter


Fresh out of fresh e-newsletter ideas?
Try these!

Not getting the e-newsletter subscribers you want? Do you feel like the whole thing needs a re-vamp but you don’t have a lot of time, energy or resources?

Don’t fret. Don’t sweat. Here are 10 easy tips to make your e-newsletter better:

1. Create PDF sample files of your e-newsletters rather than forwarding a sample, ensuring the graphics look right. [Read more…]

Just the Facts, Ma’am – Better Magazine Ad Sales Research with Surveys


Surveys are an important tool in your ad sales tool kit!

In case you haven’t noticed, the business of selling advertising has changed. I remember fondly the days when selling ads meant “print” ads and the most sophisticated question was, “How many readers do you have, and what does it cost?” Now clients say, “I want a data driven understanding of the influence your readers have over the buying process.” Huh? Say what?

In our data-driven world, surveys are a powerful way to gather information to make a successful sales pitch to today’s client. Your advertiser doesn’t want to know how much it costs or how many impressions he’ll get. He is looking for a multi-media platform to promote to people who are proven to have influence to buy his product. He wants to know what your readers consider to be the most reliable way to learn about his products and what convinces them to make that purchase.

First, choose a way to build and distribute your survey. I use Survey Monkey but there are many other services. You can even get add-ons for Facebook and other social media sites. Plumb your various email lists, distribute through your Facebook page, or use your website to reach the target the group for your survey. Keep them simple and short, and make sure to let participants know how much you appreciate their time! Here are some sample questions from a ten-question survey to select e-newsletter subscribers: [Read more…]

5 Ways to Brand Your Editors


Don’t make your editors mysterious! Encourage them to be a face for your publication.

Your editors are already building engagement (or should be), but can they also build your brand? YES!

A brand isn’t a brand until you add a personality to the mix. Otherwise it’s a simple physical representation of your product or service. “Face” editors who are willing – and able – to travel, speak publicly, visit news sources in person, go to trade shows, moderate panels and events, and even give keynote speeches, are worth their weight in gold.

A well known editor drives industry prestige, can make your publication seem “bigger” than it is, can impact digital ad sales and sponsorships, and have a huge impact on your publication. How do you get them started? [Read more…]

Media Buyers are People Too! How to Sell More Magazine Advertising by Improving Relationships with Buyers


Follow these guidelines and media buyers will LOVE you!

Media Buyers.  For publishers, those two words stir up both good and bad memories; perhaps even terror!  But no matter if they are good, bad or ugly; buyers are the flame to illuminate the path to publishing success.  Use them right and they can be a great resource; use them wrong and you may get burned.  So what can publishers do proactively to improve their success in the media buyer relationship? We asked seasoned media buyer Ryan Keough to give niche magazine publishers some tips on how to make media buyers love ad sales reps. It isn’t as hard as you might think!

  1. Know YOUR readers and be prepared with the data to prove it.
    The days of buyers trusting anecdotal perceptions of who you think reads your publication are over.  Today’s media buyers use data more than ever to compare their options and make their purchasing decisions.  Luckily, technology has made it cheaper than ever for you to get it.  Survey your audience, gather both quantitative and qualitative data, and make it a regular part of your media kit.  If you have a web property, get an analytics product (Google Analytics is FREE!) and get the hard numbers the buyers NEED! [Read more…]