Forecast Trends for Your Own Niche Magazine’s Success



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You don’t need a crystal ball anymore to forecast trends in your niche.

What does the future hold for niche media companies? Seth Godin, Marketing Guru as well as a prolific author and blogger, predicted some revolutionary trends in sales/marketing/communication/web almost 10 years ago. We think it’s worth taking a look back to measure where we are now.

As Godin points out in his post 14 Revolutionary Trends, most of the trends he identified have either been appearing or are currently ramping up, some even big time.

How does this all apply to the niche publishing world? Well for starters, we all know about how user-generated content and sponsored content is a significant part of the valuable information we provide our readers online and in print. [Read more…]

Pump Up Online Revenue for Niche Magazines!



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NDC Speaker Ryan Dohrn shares his ad sales insights with us.

Ready to pump up your online revenue MEGA-fast? We have you MEGA-covered! Ryan Dohrn, Ad Sales Expert and speaker at the Niche Digital Conference this fall, will be leading the session: Mega Online Revenue Mania.

He will be teaching attendees new ways to maximize cash from your e-newsletter program, sell social media, use video to drive advertising dollars, apply new online pricing models based on user interaction, and ratchet up your enewsletter sign-ups. Today he shares some of his insights with us on how to maximize your online revenue.

Niche Media HQ: Can you give us 3-practical quick tips for developing high-revenue programs? [Read more…]

Need a reason to attend the Niche Digital Conference? Here’s the NICHE BIG 20!



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Sign up by August 28, 2013 to get the early bird discount and SAVE up to $300!

Niche Super Bowl is TODAY!

I know the Super Bowl is normally in February. But in NicheVille it’s today because it’s a day for wild celebration here at Niche HQ.

The Niche Digital Conference is in just 32 days and TODAY is the final discount deadline day and the day we’re probably going to completely sell out our event.

Here’s the Niche BIG 20! (20 ideas / reasons / benefits / bribes to Attend the Niche Digital Conference)

1. Super targeted event JUST for niche publishers trying to generate more online revenue.

2. NicheVille…I mean, Nashville is the coolest city ever!

3. Look! Drew Davis is wearing…… a suit. (Sort of!)

4. Fantastic pre-conference workshops that cover Content Marketing, E-Mail Solutions, Video, and Ad Sales.

5. It’s almost “Holler ‘N Swaller” time at the Nashville Welcome hoedown BBQ.

6. Meet the 20 best solution providers in the niche media world all at one location.

7. Meet celebrity speaker and author Jay Baer talk about Youtility: Why Smart Publishers Focus on Help not Hype.

8. Stay at one of the 100 best hotels in the USA: The Hutton Hotel.

9. Your ad sales staff can get the very best training in the world at Camp Niche.

10. Check it out – you’ll have access to 22 niche experts!

11. Learn how to eat a Goo Goo Cluster. (Tips provided by Grand Poobah Carl.)

12. You’ll receive a complimentary copy of the NY Times best seller Youtility.

13. You’ll meet all your fellow attendees even before the conference starts at the Niche Orientation Party.

13. 20 Online Revenue Generating Sessions. You can mix and match and go to the session you most want to see.

14. Meet the Godfather on Online Marketing: Aaron Kahlow.

15. You’ll even get to dance at SEO Gangnam Style.

16. How about experiencing 25 online revenue ideas in 50 minutes at Ryan Dohrn’s Mega Online Revenue Mania?

17. Steel Cage Match: Online Media Buyers Speak Out!

18. Check out our Niche Digital Conference brochure.

19. End the conference with a cocktail and a dozen of you’re new best media friends at the Niche Wrap-Up Meet-Up.

20. You get all this at the Early Bird Discount Rate. Save up to $300. But, you need to register TODAY!

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Carl LandauAbout the blogger: Carl Landau is Grand Poobah of Niche Media. He is a media/event guru, SF Giants fan and part-time blogger. His 15 minutes of fame took place in the mid-eighties when he launched his famous, “Buy an Ad, Get a Cat” ad campaign. He has long since patched things up with the SPCA.

 

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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
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Inc & Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

Build Engagement and Brand Awareness in Your Niche with a Leadership Series (Summer of Niche)



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Niche your niche by creating a Leadership Series. Here’s how “Florida Doctor Magazine” did it.

The Summer of Niche series is winding down as we approach September. We’ve had so many great ideas from innovative publishing professionals! We send a big “thank you” to all publishers who have participated and shared great ideas with the niche media world.

Next up, a Florida niche magazine  for Doctors shares their latest prescription for success…

Who: Vanessa Wells, Editor and Community Manager of Beson4 Media

Niche Magazine: Florida Doctor – North

Audience: Healthcare professionals in the 9-county area of Northeast Florida, including 8 hospitals as well as major healthcare centers

GREAT idea: Create a CEO LIFE  series—instead of just writing the typical one or two articles featuring CEOs, they decided to create a series of personal, one-on-one interviews with the CEOs and the Editor. The focus for the interviews is business AND lifestyle.

The results: Their enewsletter’s open rate has exceeded a 20% threshold on a consistent basis since the series began. Brand awareness has seen a noticeable lift – plus the magazine (and editor!) has name recognition with the industry’s elite. Now the magazine hopes to eventually grow the CEO LIFE series into a live event as well.

Vanessa tells us how her magazine team did it: [Read more…]

Go Beyond “Ad Sales Rep” – Become An Expert Marketing Consultant!



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Although she may look like a sales rep, she is actually a successful, expert marketing consultant.

I’ve been talking to more and more publishers lately about the challenges with getting client meetings. Yes, it’s definitely a tough environment and has been for a while. Media buyers are busier than ever, and they don’t want to make the time to talk to your sales reps.

What if instead–your clients and prospects called to meet with your sales rep? What if they sought your salesperson’s expertise on a consistent basis?

It’s possible…but the challenge is that most publishers position their sales reps as just that, typical sales reps. What your organization and your customers need are marketing consultants.

Here is my action plan. This is not easy, but it’s necessary for the future of your business.

How to Transform Your Reps into Expert Marketing Consultants: [Read more…]

FREE Digital Publishing Forum September 30th – Trends and Best Practices



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Develop your strategy at this free digital publishing Forum

Cool Niche news! Niche Digital Conference sponsor Hallmark Data Systems is offering a free executive forum on trends and best practices in digital publishing. Their panel of four experts will share their insight and open the floor to collaborative dialogue – bring your burning digital publishing questions! The Hallmark Digital Publishing Executive Forum will take place on September 30th from 2:00 – 5:00 PM (the day before the Niche Digital Conference) at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville, TN. Read on for more details! [Read more…]

SEO Gangnam Style: How to Grow Web Revenues



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Web publishing wizard Ethan Smith of Yummly will be speaking at the upcoming Niche Digital Conference this fall. Here are some of his insights.

Want to grow web revenues? Of course you do. But how do you do it?

First you need to focus on growing your Web traffic. The right Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is the most effective way to grow sustainable traffic.

Web publishing wizard Ethan Smith will take advanced and beginner publishers behind the SEO curtain and reveal the secrets of solid SEO at the upcoming Niche Digital Conference in Nashville this fall.  He is going to teach simple and effective ways to boost your site traffic in the short term (the next 60 days), mid-term (180 days) and ongoing.

With the right strategy, SEO isn’t that hard after all. No theory! Ethan gives us real world advice in the Session: SEO Gangnam Style

We recently interviewed Ethan to share with us what is working now:

Niche Media HQ: What are some steps that niche publishers can take to begin to grow their web traffic and revenues in the next 60 days?

Ethan Smith: Here are 3 great ways:

1) Clean up your best practices–title tags, h1’s, setup webmaster account, etc.

2)    Improve your internal linking by how your pages point to each other and connect. It must be very easy for search engines to find your site.

3)   Reach out to your friends and network to get them to link to your site.

Niche Media HQ: Can you give us two real world examples of how these steps increased web traffic and ROI?

Ethan Smith: I worked with a design firm who changed just the title tag to include the phrase “design firm” on their homepage, and their traffic went up by over 30%.

We fixed our internal link structure at Wize.com, and our traffic more than doubled because a lot of the pages that weren’t getting crawled by Google got crawled.  When we changed our links, they got crawled, and thus we got traffic.

Niche Media HQ: Why do you think SEO seems so mysterious? Can you de-bunk some of the myths for publishers?

Ethan Smith: Google wants to return the best results to users.  They use algorithms to do this.  No algorithm is perfect, and people have an incentive to do whatever they can to get their pages to rank including gaming the algorithm to get their lower quality pages to rank.  Most people won’t intentionally do this, but many will because there’s a huge incentive to do so.  So, while Google tries to help webmasters understand how to design their site in a way that is good for both users and Google, they intentionally keep a lot of the details of their algorithm secret to avoid having people game the system.

Their secrecy on details means that there is mystery around those details.  This leads to a lot of speculation about those secret details. Much of this speculation is, in my opinion, false.

The way I choose to think about SEO is that the only things I believe are things that Google has explicitly and unambiguously said, and things that have clear statistical data to support. For example, I made a change to the home page, traffic went up 50%, the change was statistically significant and I compared it against a control set.  

Google puts out a lot of good, useful information on their webmaster blog and youtube channel for webmasters.  Everything else anyone says — whether they be SEO “experts,” people I know, SEO companies, etc.– I disregard.  If someone tells you something about SEO, ask them for the quote from Google, and/or the data to support the statement.  If they can’t provide either, then don’t believe it.

Niche Media HQ: What are some ways that you see SEO strategies evolving in the future?

Ethan Smith: I think social is interesting.  Google has said that they consider social signals.  I have yet to see any compelling evidence that they consider these data much at all, but I expect that they will do so more in the future.

There are new types of search engines like facebook, pinterest, youtube that receive large amounts of search activity.  Because these just launched, the knowledge around optimizing for them is very limited. I expect that will evolve a lot over the coming years.
Niche Media HQ Bonus Question: What is your favorite guilty pleasure food?

Ethan Smith: …Caramel Napoleon.

Niche Media HQ: Ok, readers, here’s a recipe.  YUM.

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More about Ethan Smith: Ethan Smith is the Head of Product at Yummly.com, an online digital kitchen platform mapping the food genome and making life better, easier, and more fun for everyone who cooks. He leads SEO strategy, manages business intelligence and site design, and works on community outreach and social media.

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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
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Inc & Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

Niche Your Niche and Your Media Company Wins Big Time!



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Here’s even more ways to niche YOUR niche!

I think the biggest mistake magazine publishers make is not taking full advantage of the market they already own—they don’t niche their niche. (By that I mean segment their existing market.) There are so many opportunities within a media company’s existing niche! It just doesn’t make sense to reinvent the wheel to start every product in a new niche when you have an established brand.

What makes niching your niche so much better than exploring new territory? I’m an old time ad sales guy, and everyone in sales knows that it’s 5 times easier to sell advertising to an existing account than a new client. Why wouldn’t you come up with more opportunities for your readers and advertisers? (For details, check out my keynote at the Florida Magazine Association on Niching Your Niche.)

So what can you “niche out” for your publication? Here are a few ideas

  • Events are perfect way to further segment your market. A regional lifestyle magazine, for example, could have a large food and wine festival, a small cooking seminar series, a home and garden expo, a home tour, art events, etc. Each event targets a different segment of their market.
  • Multiple websites make it easy to provide targeted content. It also gives you more exposure to sell to advertisers. Have a pet magazine and website? Why not have a website all about traveling with pets? Plus, the more specific your content, the more likely someone who has never seen your magazine will find your content online and keep coming back. (I’m going to the coast and want to know which beaches are dog-friendly, etc. Wanda the pug needs a tan)
  • Multiple blogs and e-newsletters are a super easy way to niche your niche!  A B-to-B magazine about specific industry (paid parking, oil, wood floor installation, etc.) could have a blog or e-newsletter on legal developments and regulations, one on new technologies, one on business models, one on marketing, etc. Each will appeal to a different segment of their audience, becomes an industry resource, and provide an opportunity for advertising and sponsored content.
  • More magazines! Have a fabric crafts magazine? Create new magazines that cover hot trends (like aprons). You already have the resources and staff – adding a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th magazine won’t add much cost, but doubles your revenue opportunities!

So get out there and niche your niche!

By the way, I recently followed my own advice by creating the Niche CEO Summit, a micro event within our niche to give CEOs of niche media companies a place to connect and share. Instead of the usual speakers and sessions, it will have discussion groups lead by our Fab Four experts.

This is a totally interactive event, and that’s not a bunch of fairy dust – these 50 CEOs will be blazing a trail together to the future of niche media. No lectures either! It is 100% discussion groups and meaningful roundtables led by industry experts and broken down by media type (B2B, B2C, and Association) on the topics ATTENDEES want to talk about. And it will be in a beautiful setting next to the Pacific Ocean this December. What’s not to like?

Know a media company CEO or Head Honcho who might be interested? Please pass on the details:

Niche CEO Summit
December 4-5, 2013

Topics (a.k.a. what keeps you up at night):

Organizational Development Topics – Mergers & Acquisitions, Staffing Strategy, Budgeting Matrix, Funding Strategies, Sales Management, Sales Compensation, Hiring and Firing Strategy, Staff Motivation and Focus, and more.

Revenue Topics – Digital Strategy, Media Integration, Events, Marketing Services, Big Data Development, E-Marketing, Content Marketing & Social Media, and more.

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Carl Landau About the blogger: Carl Landau is Grand Poobah of Niche Media. He is a media/event guru, SF Giants fan and part-time blogger. His 15 minutes of fame took place in the mid-eighties when he launched his famous, “Buy an Ad, Get a Cat” ad campaign. He has long since patched things up with the SPCA.
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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

“Distinctly Montana” is Distinctly Niche!



DM_Summer13-cvr 600 Each month we pick an outstanding target-interest magazine as our Niched Out Magazine of the Month. This month’s pick: Distinctly Montana. This regional magazine has made huge changes to its content, circulation, and web sites to adapt to changing readers and new opportunities. They’ve jumped in to social media and events with both feet. They’ve even partnered with local TV newscasts for great exposure!

Bill Muhlenfeld, Owner & Publisher of Star Ridge New Media LLC, gave us a road map for how he and his team transformed their magazine and why they love it:

Want to know more about grizzlies, glaciers, ghost towns or geysers?  Distinctly Montana magazine is quickly becoming the “go to” zine of choice among all Montana “niche” magazines – in print and online.  We have made a variety of decisions and taken a number of actions over the last three years to create a quarterly magazine which differentiates us from all our competition, starting with what we feel  is “a good read.”  DM advertisers benefit from greater reader engagement. [Read more…]

How 10 Missions Media Uses Audience Data to Set the Table for the Future



10Missions-ComboBig Data, 360 degree views, unified databases… the investment in tools and technologies to harness the power of audience information is no longer just a privilege for the global media conglomerate.  10 Missions Media through its partner Knowledge Marketing is proving that special interest “niche” publishers can make dramatic gains in their audience engagement and operational excellence through web-based audience management technology.

Minnesota-based 10 Missions Media is a successful, growing special interest publisher with innovative products in automotive aftermarket, including the award-winning FenderBender and Ratchet+Wrench magazines.  As the business has expanded into websites, e-products, mobile applications, social and other emerging channels the complexity of managing audience data has been amplified.  Jay Dewitt, President and CEO, summed it up perfectly:

“Audience data very well may be a niche publisher’s greatest asset, and that can be both a blessing and a curse because managing it effectively can be challenging.  The reality is that if we don’t get organized on how we care for our ever-expanding universe we’re throwing money right out the window with each passing day.” [Read more…]