Summer of Niche: A Surprising Way to Lengthen the Life of Your Magazine Content!

Luxe Beat Magazine June 2014 COVER-web

Luxe Beat Magazine tells us how they extended the life of their content successfully.

Yes, everything has changed in publishing–and that means many sound ideas come full circle. Get ready to embrace the new AND the old.

This week’s Summer of Niche great idea comes from Executive Editor Maralyn D. Hill and Editor-in-Chief Sherrie Wilkolaski of Luxe Beat Magazine. They have come up with a surprising and profitable way to expand and deepen the connection to their magazine content…….with books!    

Marilyn and Sherrie tell us how they did it: [Read more…]

Go All “Ad Sales Old School” with Face-to-face Calling!


We know it sounds crazy, but making ad sales calls in person can set you apart from the pack!

Everyone in ad sales complains about clients and prospects not returning emails or phone calls. You think,  “Are they not interested?” or “Do they not like me?

The answer is…….mostly they are just busy. If they answered every e-mail or phone call they receive from an ad sales person, they wouldn’t get anything done. Prospects may very well be interested. You just need to figure out how to get their attention.

How do you do that? Go “old school” on them and make a call in person at their office or have lunch. It makes a world of difference and makes you stand out because your competition is only doing the email or phone call deal.

In days of old (as in the early ’80’s) when I started selling, all ad sales calls were in person. I know it’s hard to believe now, but that’s how it was done. So I decided to change it up and I started making phone calls–when all the old time sales guys would never think of selling on the phone. And it worked! I actually made myself stand out because I used the phone to sell. I swear I’m not making this up. [Read more…]

What’s in Your Digital Marketing Toolbox?


Digital marketing expert Rebecca Sterner knows what works and what trends to watch.

What is most important when creating successful marketing initiatives? What digital marketing tools work best? Digital marketing expert Rebecca Sterner has worked with magazine publishers for over two decades and knows plenty about the tried-and-true ideas that work. She also knows about the newest tools out there that are generating revenue successfully for publishers. She shared her tips and tricks for publishers in the digital marketing space.

Here’s what she had to say:

Niche Media HQ: First, when publishers are creating new digital marketing initiatives, what are a few tips for setting up an effective plan? Are there some important measurements to keep in mind?

R. Sterner:

“To me, the most critical part of any digital strategy is having a clear direction and buy-in from the top.  If everyone understands the goal – to sell more subscriptions, increase natural search, deliver ad impressions, whatever – it’s so much easier for the team to reach them.  And since digital strategy requires the breaking down of the old traditional silos of advertising, editorial, circulation, production, it becomes even more critical for management to model and encourage a collaborative, risk-taking atmosphere.”

Niche Media HQ: Can you give us some real-world examples of publishers who have successfully used digital marketing tools to sell subscriptions and other content? [Read more…]

Summer of Niche: Connect Your Community with New Events!

Niche magazines are always looking for a new revenue stream.  Many are finding that creating new events is a very savvy way to achieve financial success. A few posts ago, we featured Edible Communities and their great idea of bringing together diverse organizations to hold a very innovative event: Events Are Made for Innovative Partnerships!FSM17-WEB 1

This week’s featured publication, Omaha-based Food & Spirits Magazine, took it even one step further by also raising money to benefit the community. The magazine created an event that brought together local restaurants, musicians and enthusiastic pizza-fans—plus all the proceeds helped provide scholarships for local students.

Publisher Erik Totten tells us how F&S did it:

“We created an Annual Omaha Pizza Review event with 15 different Omaha-area restaurants participating this year. Those attending voted for their top three pizzas and there was also judging by our magazine’s panel of judges. Winners were then announced, not at the event, but in an upcoming issue of the magazine. The proceeds of the event went to students attending the Institute for the Culinary Arts at the local college, some of who helped served the pizza.”    

The results? [Read more…]

Digital Publishing Dilemma: Which Metrics Can You Trust?


Oh, the dilemma! What digital metrics will best measure your audience engagement?

Niche friend and publisher Cecily Hastings of Inside Publications tipped us off recently about an interesting Newsosaur blog post. It explains well the dilemma of analyzing digital audience engagement. What numbers can you really trust?

The blog post points out some of the issues with the current metrics:

  • Unique visitors: Some experts say these stats can be 5x too high!
  • Pageviews: A page served to a viewer doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been viewed/read.
  • Social media shares: Sure, all publishers want their readers to do this on FB, Twitter, by video, etc, because word-of-mouth recommendations are very valuable. But are the sharers scanning only the top or are they actually reading down to the bottom? Hard to know.
  • Ad clickthrough: Clicks by mistake on mobile devices happen all the time. Plus there’s the bandits…

We asked our digital ad sales expert, Ryan Dohrnwhat niche publishers can do now to more accurately measure their audience engagement. Here’s what he told us: [Read more…]

Ask the Expert: Web Revenue Strategies for Media Companies

All publishers want to generate more online revenue, right? You know you need to drive traffic and convert users while at the same time creating engaging content. But where do you start when you want to kick your web strategies (and revenues) into high gear?


We asked Prime Publishing’s Stuart Hochwert about successful web revenue strategies for publishers.

We recently caught up with Stuart Hochwert of Prime Publishing. They are generating 100% of their revenue online. In just 5 years, this start-up has built 5.3 million subscribers and generates over 15 million page views of its content per week. We asked him about successful web revenue strategies and here’s what he had to say:

Niche Media HQ: What kinds of web revenue strategies have been successful for you and why?


“Like most web sites, we offer banner ads. Direct sold brings us the highest CPM. After that, Google AdSense is what I recommend for everyone as a major revenue source for unsold inventory. That said, every industry has some banner networks that may do well for a specific vertical or niche, may be even better than Google AdSense. There are also hundreds of general networks out there. Some are worthy of testing and do well for us.  In addition, some of our sites have video and we sell pre-roll directly. This can be a very nice source of revenue. [Read more…]

Is Your Niche Event on the Decline? Here’s 5 Key Areas to Get Your Event Back on Track


Here’s Carl’s 5 key areas to focus to get your niche event back on track.

I have been creating successful events for a long time. Every once in awhile, I will get a call from a niche publisher who is frustrated by the results of one of their niche events and is not sure where to start or who to blame.

They want to know what went wrong and how to get their event back in growth mode. Often the niche event had been a sure-fire formula for a long time, but it suddenly fell flat. Why?

It could be declining attendance, or lack of sponsors or less revenue generated—but it is usually a combination of several factors that create the problem. The publishers need to either fix it fast or watch it fade away.

Here are 5 key areas to analyze when an event isn’t producing the results you want so you can get it back on track and growing:

1. Market: What are the overall market conditions for the event you are producing? Has your competition changed or grown? Time to do some research and call on experts.

2. Dates: Check the timing of your event. Just because these dates or that time frame has worked in the past, does not necessarily mean they will always work best for your audience forever. Survey your attendees and sponsors and do some research on what other events are happening about the same time. It might be time to change it up. [Read more…]

Summer of Niche: Promote Professions within Your Niche!

Here’s another cool Summer of Niche idea, shared from an association publisher (but this can apply in the B2B and B2C space too): Create a special-issue publication to promote your niche’s employment opportunities.


Promoting your niche’s professions can produce great results!

Inside Supply Management’s Editor John Yuva tells us the Institute for Supply Management created the stand-alone, yet complimentary, publication Supply IN Demand to expand awareness and promote supply chain management as a profession of the future. Supply IN Demand highlights worldwide universities that offer supply chain management criteria, along with sustainability classes.

Here’s how they did it: [Read more…]

Mum’s the Word for Doha Family Guide

Halfway around the world, Roxanne Davis found herself in a new culture in 2008 when relocating to Doha, the capital city of Qatar. With no network for expatriate parents like herself, Roxanne decided to create one, and Doha Mums was born. The network has since grown to 1,500 mums from 100 different countries, hosting 70-90 events per month, with a public website as well as a private member website for group discussions. In addition, Doha Family Guide – the country’s only regularly published parenting magazine – is distributed quarterly. A third website will soon be launched to complement the existing channels. DMFG_issue9_cover_low

As with any niche publisher, their key to success is delivering highly relevant content and advertising. “We ‘theme’ each of our quarterly issues to entice specific advertisers to participate, so the ‘beat the heat’ issue may contain a heavy emphasis on the hotel pool/beach clubs and indoor activities, while the ‘party’ issue will contain quite a few ads for birthday party provider,” says Roxanne.   Doha Family Guide is distributed in more than 100 locations throughout Doha, and is provided to families moving to Doha by large companies such as ExxonMobil, Shell, Maersk and Sidra Hospital. [Read more…]

Lights, Camera, Branding! Editors + Video = Sales Supercharger!

For many brands – if not all, then most – your editor serves as more than the content creator of the publication. Just as importantly, he/she also serves as the “human incarnation” of your brand. Take a trade show for instance…do you go to a show and leave your editor behind, riding a desk at the home office? Hope not! As my son would say, “That’s a trip to crazy-town.”


Ad sales: Great Video + Your Editor = Successful brand image

As an editor circulates in a market, they leave a trail of spinning “brand” impressions on the audience they interact with. The brand becomes more than just the site, magazine, event.

Everyone loooooves a meeting with editors – from customers and readers to analysts. Want proof? Have an editor go with a sales rep on a sales trip and see how many more appointments they get if the client knows Mr. Big is along for the ride.

So as a sales rep, how can you magnify your editors’ industry face time – properly? 

With video. Video is the niche market’s killer app…not only does it drive higher time-onsite, but encourages interactivity with the brand and is eminently viral-capable.

But video has to be done well. A dimly-lit, poorly-shot video on a crowded trade show floor with an editor who doesn’t have a good social skill-set can also lead to a poor perception of your brand. I’ve produced a few donkeys in the day and looking back would love to have had the chance to do it right.

Here are my 6 top tips for you to execute great editor video: (An easy way to remember it: “FLAASH.”) [Read more…]