Want to Create a Better Magazine? Think Like a TV Producer!


Drew Davis knows how TV Producers think–and it can help you be a better publisher.

Everyone watches some television, right? So what does the A-Team, soap-operas, Cheers, Sesame Street and even Happy Days teach niche publishers about online content? Guess what—creating profitable online content is just like creating a television show. Niching your niche is like creating or the lineup for a network.

Drew Davis, Founder of Monumental Shift, best-selling author and Niche Digital Conference peaker, tells us that publishers get so focused they lose the opportunity to see their brand the way a TV producer does.

Drew will be leading the session Publishers + TV Producers = Revenue in Nashville this September. We caught up with him recently to get some of his insights:

Niche Media: What are some important ways publishers can think like TV producers as they begin to think about creating an online content strategy?

DD: TV producers are responsible for all the creative content of “the show.” Publishers need to stop thinking about content in terms of advertising and think about content as branding. For example, look at CNN and TV cable networks—they think about the branding underneath their messages as well as the branding of the series line up within the network.

Television programs have notoriously well-formatted content. TV Execs know that the best way to build a long-term audience is to deliver that great content in the same format, week in and week out. The audience knows what to expect—and when it expect it. [Read more…]

How to Prepare for the First Call to an Ad Sales Prospect


Carl’s top 5 tips on preparation for that first ad sales call will help you make a great first impression with your prospects.

First impressions are important in all facets of our life. First impressions are even more crucial in the ad sales game. How you come across in that first ad sales call will have a major effect on the way a new prospect views you.

You can be viewed as a typical ad sales person that just wants to talk about their publication and sell a quick ad.


You can present yourself as an industry expert who really is interested in the prospect’s business and wants to help market their product or service. The key to this consultative sales approach is in the preparation.

Here’s Carl’s top 5 ideas on preparing for success on the first call:

1. Prepare fast! I’ve seen ad sales people spend and hour or more preparing for a call to a new prospect. But if you spend an hour per call, how many calls can you make? Not many. You need to be making A LOT of calls. So give yourself 10 minutes at most to prepare for the call. I do this all in the afternoon before my calls the next morning. [Read more…]

How to Host a Great Webinar: Your Questions, Answered!


Check out our “Wide World of Webinars” session at the upcoming Niche Digital Conference.

Mike Agron, Co-Founder of WebAttract and Niche Digital Conference speaker, recently teamed up with us to host our very first ever webinar. In the past, we really thought webinars sucked for the most part, bored in the first 10 minutes by many we had attended. Mike showed us the light, how webinars done right can provide high quality content to our audience and survey them at the same time. And then there’s the lead generation, additional revenue stream potential, brand awareness, live interaction and all that good stuff.

Q: How is social media used to attract registrations for webinars?Joseph, B2B, Niche Publisher
A: Social media, such as LinkedIn, are a great way to attract an audience that would have a specific interest in your topic to register. We use it all the time. For example, if you manage or are part of a LinkedIn special interest group, and you have a webinar coming up, you can post the webinar as an event– but sometimes groups are not that keen about that, as it could sound too much like a sales pitch. So I suggest you start a conversation with the group by asking as question or having them weigh in on a topic and then based on the conversation you can talk about the webinar.

Or another a great way to stimulate interest is to post some answers from questions asked at your last webinar, especially if what was discussed is topical to your group…….. (Editor’s Note: You are now experiencing the 5th dimension…..) [Read more…]

Team Call Zones Pump Up Salespeople and Ad Sales


Ad Sales: Get pumped up mid-summer with Team Call Zones.

Looking for a way to pump up sales this summer?  Team Call Zones might be the answer.

A client shared with me recently that their advertising sales reps lacked focus – they were dazed and confused. I immediately asked about daily call volume tracking and client tracking in their Customer Relationship Management tool. These CRM tools were not in place and would not be in place for several weeks, even if the ad sales manager liked the idea.

So here’s an idea that I have seen work in markets big and small–and  it has also worked well in consumer and B2B markets:

  •  Team Call Zones are set, specific times of the day where sales reps call new prospects or old clients for 35 minutes non-stop. 
  • They are allowed 2 minutes between calls to research the next call.   [Read more…]

Ad Sales Recap: Voice Mail, Cold Calls, and Gatekeepers, Oh My!


Make the telephone your ad sale friend again by mastering cold calling, voice mail, and getting past the gatekeepers.

Carl Landau, Niche Media’s Grand Poobah, has extolled the benefits of picking up the phone for magazine print and online ad sales and argues that calls can be more effective sales tools in a digital age.

We’ve gotten a lot of questions about what to do when that magical sales call is stopped short by a gatekeeper or ends up as a voice mail. Is all hope lost? Will you never get to talk to a decision maker and get that sale? Should you just go back and hide in your email?

Never fear! Ad sales aces Bonnie Dodson (Advertising Manager at Loss Prevention) and Daniel Stone (Innovator and Publisher of Study Breaks) have shared their best ideas with us for getting your sales calls back on track.
[Read more…]

What Does Native Advertising Mean for Niche Publishers?


Editor and Conference Speaker
Rob O’ Regan tells us about the essential nature of native advertising and what it means to niche magazine publishers.

We recently checked in with Editor Rob O’Regan of eMediaVitals so he could share with us some insights about the session he is leading at the Niche Digital Conference this fall–Native Advertising: Beyond Banners!

Native advertising is an increasingly popular countermeasure to the banner blindness that plagues so many websites – but what is it, really? Is it just a passing catch-phrase that will be become old news soon, like a George Clooney girlfriend?

Nope. It’s here to stay and niche publications have to figure out how best to find the right balance for their audience. 

Native advertising can take many forms, including sponsored editorial, pay-to-play blogging and microsites. Advertisers love the format because it ties them closer to the publisher’s brand; Publishers love the premium prices they can charge for native ad programs.

But there are plenty of risks as well – including the erosion of the church/state divide.  Rob shares his thoughts with us about how to walk the tightrope successfully. [Read more…]

Summer of Niche: Creative and Unique Events = New Revenue Stream for Publishers!

Nashville Paw Cover

Nashville Paw carved out three event revenue streams by finding underserved areas in their niche community. What can YOU do in YOUR community?

This installment of “Summer of Niche’” is from Heather Dowdy of Nashville Paw magazine.

Her great idea? Get creative in finding a new way to serve a niche to get the most bang for your buck with events. It’s a win for the readership AND the magazine.

Heather launched Nashville Paw magazine in 2006 with about 5,000 copies.  Seven years later, they now print 23,000 and, combined with their online readership, serve more than 50,000 pet lovers across Middle Tennessee. Heather credits their fabulous events with much of Nashville Paw’s success!

 “I realized early on that in order to really be an active part of the Nashville community,” Heather told us. “I wanted to create fun and unique events for pet lovers and their pet pals, offering our readers a fun way to network and meet one another through our platform. What I did not realize then was that these events would also prove vital to the financial success of the magazine.

“Our annual Barktoberfest is a “Howl-O-Ween” costume festival for dogs and their people.  It is free to attend – ROI comes from vendor space and costume contest entries. I started the event as a small patio event with 45 people and it broke even. Last year, our 4th annual festival welcomed more than 3,000 guests and had 50 vendors, live music, and food trucks. We gave out over $3,000 in costume contest prizes with a healthy profit left over for the magazine! This year, we have a Convention & Visitors Bureau on board promoting, we have moved to an even larger venue, and we anticipate a crowd of 6,000+ attendees and will have craft beer available for the first time as a new revenue stream.  Our goal is to make this an event that supports our magazine throughout the year.”

One of the secrets to this events success is that Heather found an un-served niche – there were lots of dog events in town, but nothing for Halloween. Barktoberfest offered something unique to the community. Heather also got creative with vendors to offer something different – instead of just the standard pet supply and service companies, she invited party-based companies like Pampered Chef – they loved the chance to sell to a larger audience, and guests loved a broader array of vendors, some of which they normally wouldn’t have access to! This win-win mean participants and vendors come back year after year.

Nashville Paw doesn’t settle for just one event or just one revenue model, though.  “Our second annual Cover Dog Search contest and event just welcomed 121 canine contestants on May 11th, and our annual Canine Summer Splash (which offers the chance to bring your dogs to swim at the YMCA outdoor pool) welcomed more than 250 dogs with their families last year. There’s no room for vendors, so we charge admission. The YMCA was reluctant to try the event, but after two successful years (last year we welcomed 220 dogs and gained tons of news coverage), they are thrilled to be hosting something the community is so hungry for.”

With each year Heather and her team have found more revenue streams to incorporate into the event and find ways to attract more people. In just 5 years this publication has transformed its break-even, labor of love events into profit powerhouses for the publication that readers and the community absolutely love. “The events have literally saved the magazine,” says Heather. “Unlike many magazines, I did not begin with any seed money or loans, and I wear many of the hats. When the economy fell many advertisers had to jump ship, but folks still wanted to come to our events. As ad sales plummeted, our event profits actually soared!”

“In a nutshell:” Healther tells us, ” find a unique, fresh and fun angle on your event, something that no one else is doing, and the community will flock to it. Here’s to happy and successful events!”


Diana Landau, Niche Content WranglerAbout this blogger: Diana Landau is Content Wrangler of Niche Media. A former corporate marketing hack, she has now found nirvana in writing and wrangling quality content. Diana is a food, wine, art and SF Giants enthusiast who sometimes gets carried away.



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

Magazine of the Month: How to Be a Redhead Rocks a Natural Born Niche

redhead_logo_tm.2Each month we feature a niche magazine or media company that is especially creative in reaching its niche audience (and is just all-around awesome). This month’s pick: How to be a Redhead! This amazing resource for redheads has it all, from REDTV “reditorial” videos  and Red Diaries for redheads to share what it means to be rocking the red to skin and hair products and fashion tips just for redheads. Now they are even branching out with live events!

Adrienne and Stephanie Vendetti are sisters, best friends, natural-born redheads and Founders of How to be a Redhead. Together they are painting the world red! Founded in January 2011, How to be a Redhead is empowering every redhead woman to feel confident, to look amazing and to rock their beauty. Red hair is more than a color, it’s a lifestyle! [Read more…]

Get Social To Increase Ad Sales!


Kenneth Maclean tells us how to connect with prospects in your niche: Tweet and follow!

In an earlier blog post I covered the value for niche publications in having a CRM platform to enhance customer relationships and increase sales.   Not ready for that level of commitment?  Start by getting social.

 At a minimum, I strongly encourage publishers and sales professionals to get active in social media.  Twitter is a simple and free channel to communicate with advertising partners.  

(Editor’s note: If you don’t want to take advantage of simple and free media channels, there’s no point in reading the rest of this. You will probably be too busy worrying about why you can’t find a decent typewriter repairman in the Yellow Pages.)

Creating a Twitter account takes less than a minute and enables you to get in on conversations with other Twitterites in your niche…including advertisers.  Start by following them and re-tweeting their news.  There’s a very good chance they will return the favor.

A few tips for using Twitter as an effective sales tool:  [Read more…]

King Arthur Flour Cooks Up Success with Baking Sheet App

KAF-App-LaunchKing Arthur Flour, who most of us know for their healthy whole grain products, tasty recipes, and cooking classes, is actually a prolific publisher with exclusive niche content.

Earlier this year they came to GTxcel (formerly Godengo+Texterity) with an ambitious plan: they wanted to amass more than 3,000 recipes distilled from 22 years of publishing their Baking Sheet, a monthly 24 page compendium of original, kitchen-tested delights.

The King Arthur Flour Company was founded in 1790 and has evolved with the market, often leading the charge in baking technique and yes, publishing. See the back story here.

What resulted was a free app with paid content.   The app is built for smartphones and tablets —  iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, and Google’s Nexus 7. [Read more…]