Easy Ways to Double Your Magazine’s Digital Revenue

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Expert Eric Shanfelt shares some easy ways to double your magazine’s digital revenue.

Can you really double your digital revenue with simple adjustments to your business model and without burning out your list? Eric Shanfelt knows you can.

Eric, a recent Niche CEO Summit speaker and Founder and President of eMedia Strategist, has worked and consulted for dozens of media companies and built several multi-million dollar digital media businesses. He has seen what works….and what doesn’t. We asked him to share some easy ways for niche publishers to kick their digital revenue into high gear.

NMHQ: What are the most important things to remember when developing a digital strategy to boost revenue? 


First, make sure to follow the digital media revenue blueprint:

  1. Attract – Get the right audience to your website.
  2. Engage – Get them to opt in to a relationship (e.g. email).
  3. Retain – Deliver valuable content and nurture the relationship.
  4. Convert – Turn that relationship into revenue (advertiser or reader revenue).

There are so many ways that media companies can improve in all four of these areas … any one of which will significantly increase their digital revenue.

Second, focus on the fundamentals and avoid “shiny object syndrome.” There are so many options that media companies can pursue today … social media, apps, etc. … but most of them are distractions that take away valuable time and resources from what really builds an audience and drives revenue.

NMHQ: Do you have any tips to help publishers improve their digital business? 


Sure. Here are the ground rules that I always stress with any company I work with.

First, email drives revenue. Email sounds so 1990’s, but the reality is that it works and is still the best way to drive revenue. I will take one email over 10 Facebook followers, 100 Twitter followers, or 1000 page views.

Second, email list building is your website’s #1 job. It’s not delivering content, selling advertising, or selling to the visitor. Why? Because I can only monetize a website visitor once. But if I get their email address, I can monetize them over and over again: email advertising, increased web site visits, lead gen, ecommerce, event registration, subscriptions, etc.

My third rule is everything must be mobile-friendly. That includes your website, emails, landing pages … everything! If you’re not mobile-friendly then you’re losing revenue. Search engines will penalize your site, and visitors won’t engage, won’t come back, and you won’t be able to monetize them.

NMHQ: Is there any other advice that you can give to publishers about their digital strategy? 


I recommend that everyone download my free book, 10 Proven Website Revenue Tactics. It goes through 10 real-world examples of changes media companies can make … just to their website! … that will build a bigger audience and drive more revenue. Implementing just a few of these changes will significantly grow a media company’s digital business.



eric-shanfelt-100x100More about Eric: Eric Shanfelt is founder and president of eMedia Strategist. For the past 20 years he’s worked with dozens of consumer, B2B, and book publishers helping build their digital businesses. He’s also helped multiple media companies launch, highly-successful, multi-million-dollar online content communities with advertising, ecommerce and subscription revenue streams using proven, practical, audience-building and revenue-generating strategies to grow digital business.



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–also created a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events: blog.NicheEventNation.com  Check it out!

– Web: NicheMediaHQ.com
– Blog:  Niche Media HQ
– Twitter: @NicheMediaH
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Inc & Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ
– Google+: +NicheMediaHQ

 Image from freedigitalphotos.net





Niche Magazines Walk the Native Ad Tightrope


Expert Rob O’Regan gives us some insight into walking the native ad tightrope successfully.

In 2013, the big buzz was about figuring out how to actually define native advertising and what percentage of the budget should be allocated for it. And publishers are still experimenting to determine the best guidelines for their niche audience.

Now more than ever, all marketing and advertising must be done in a way to ensure your voice, your tone, and your unique platform are being communicated clearly AND transparently to your audience. So how do niche publishers walk the native advertising tightrope successfully?

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Ad Sales: Silence Can Be Golden!


The big, long pause in a client meeting. Awkward!!! Here’s Carl’s 6 tips to get you through it.

Most of us have, at one time or another, found ourselves in awkward client meetings. You know, the meeting where no one is really excited to talk, there’s no apparent connection and worst of all–there are long, uncomfortable gaps in the conversation.

Long pauses in situations like this can drive salespeople crazy! They feel compelled to chat it up and eliminate the conversation gap–which is a mistake. I have encountered these kinds of client meetings in my sales career and have learned some tricks to turn things around.

Here are 6 tips to turn the big pause to your sales advantage:

  1. Breathe!: Remind yourself that pauses happen sometimes and it’s not a bad thing. Keep your cool and your client will too.
  1. Sum up: Use the pause to summarize the conversation so far and focus in on the main points of the sales call.
  1. Question: Ask your client to talk about their specific objectives and goals. You can even go for broke and ask a crazy question! What’s your sign? Your favorite cartoon as a kid? Anything to get a chuckle and get the client to relax.
  1. Change course: The pause can also be an opportunity to start another, NEW conversation topic. For example, talk about (or ask for your client’s opinion) about current hot topics or future trends they see coming.
  1. Don’t give up too soon. Resist the temptation to bail from the conversation too early. Yes, it’s uncomfortable to sit there but it’s important to leave the client with the best impression you can.
  1. Acknowledge: If the above 5 tips don’t work to move the conversation along and you are both just sitting there in stone silence, then acknowledge the pause: “Well, this is awkward!” Sometimes pointing out the obvious can put everyone at ease.

Above all, don’t take it personally. The client could be totally distracted, late for another meeting, mad at their boss or missing a deadline of their own. End graciously and with confidence. And try to get another meeting set for the future!!



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.


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–also created a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events: blog.NicheEventNation.com  Check it out!

– Web: NicheMediaHQ.com
– Blog:  Niche Media HQ
– Twitter: @NicheMediaH
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Inc Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ
– Google+: +NicheMediaHQ

Image from freedigitalphotos.net


Takeaways from the Niche CEO Summit: Create a Company Culture that Makes Real Dollars and Sense!


CEO Bryan Welch shares his insights on creating company culture that’s fun AND profitable!

How do you create a fun culture of dedicated, engaged employees who care about your readers? How do you do that AND create and grow successful, revenue-generating products at the same time? Here are some of Bryan’s takeaways from the recent Niche CEO Summit:

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The Power of Niche!!


Niche in the news: 2020 predictions, new revenue opportunity for video and more!

We’ve been curating the top news, blogs and enewsletters for all things niche. Here’s what people are buzzing about now:


Brave new world

“What do you predict will change by 2020, and what will companies need to do to continue to thrive in that environment?” From Nielsen, top media experts’ 2020 predictions: Uncommon Sense: Back to the Future Perspectives on ‘Thriving in 2020’

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Ad Sales: 5 Quick Lessons We Can Learn from Baseball


Carl gives us 5 quick lessons to be learned from…you guessed it…baseball!

Ok, most everyone knows my favorite baseball team in the entire world is the San Francisco Giants. I love the games, the players, the coaches–even the hot dogs and beer. Since I have spent a great deal of my adult life in ad sales and also watching games, I see some connections.

So Carl, what can ad salespeople possibly learn from baseball?

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Ad Sales Summer Reading List


Ok, summer reading would be way more fun at the beach right now. We can dream.

Taking a few days off from the blog while we’re at the Niche CEO Summit in Chicago. Stay tuned until next Monday, 7/20 for an info-packed week of posts–plus leadership updates from the summit.  

Here are some of our most popular ad sales posts for your summer reading:

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Niche Digital Conference 2015: Savannah or Bust!!


“Midnight in the Garden of Good and  Evil” embraces Savannah’s unique, passionate and sometimes eccentric spirit—a perfect fit for Niche!

The Niche Digital Conference is in about two months and Thursday, July 23rd is the final super-discount deadline day! Here’s the Niche BIG 20! (20 reasons to attend the 2015 Niche Digital Conference.)

Niche digital publishers need 3 BIG THINGS: Concentrated time for learning new ways to generate online revenue, super-networking, and they need it fast! We have the perfect solution for you:

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How to Capture and Turbo-boost Your Audience’s Attention!


Beehive Media’s Bill Shander tells us how to clear through the digital clutter to get to the important stuff!

In our info-glut digital universe, it can be overwhelming to determine the right content strategy, target audiences, and sub-niches to create and increase reader engagement all at the same time. We asked Bill Shander, founder of Beehive Media and a true innovator, for insight into the dizzying world of digital content and data.

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Trending Up, Up, Up in Niche Media!


Here’s some top trends that might be worth holding onto!

Way back in the depths of 2009, Subaru CMO Tim Mahoney said, “All brands are niche brands.” But niche media companies already knew that. In 2015, niche magazine publishing has become a hot “new” trend. Here’s the latest on what people in our industry are talking about: 

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