15 Digital Revenue Ideas for Niche Magazine Publishers

To get you primed for the Niche Digital Conference, here’s a list of 15 digital revenue ideas for target-interest magazine publishers:NDC_NoDates

1. Create new content for your website, not just regurgitated material from your print magazine. This gives people a reason to constantly return to your website, thus creating more traffic for online advertisements.

2. Use the full capabilities of your digital editions: add outtakes or additional content, press advertisers for videos or other digital content, and make your digital edition different from your print to capture more of BOTH audiences.

3. Make a content calendar for your website (editorial calendar on steroids) that contains everything from blogs to video. Strategically plan your online content while taking into account what has been successful in the past.

4. Your email list is a key asset in marketing, so you need to keep it updated and fresh. Grow your list by offering something in return for email addresses: premium content, e-newsletter subscriptions, user accounts for contents & polls, products or discounts, etc. Go through all email address of people who have not opened any effort in 6 months and remove them.

5. Use PPC (pay per click) online ads to give marketers their money’s worth in ROI. Charging a flat rate for each lead will give marketers peace of mind when deciding to advertise.

6. Find out what device your audience is using and target them directly. iPad? Blackberry? Make content design-friendly with the device your audience is predominantly using.

7. Engage your online audience with interactive content. Contests, polls, forums and video can create a dialogue with your audience. This gives you a deeper understanding of your audience and gives your audience the feeling that they are part of a community.

8. Use blog/content titles that will get social shares. Even though you can think of a great, edgy title for your article, it may not help drive traffic to your site. Create your headlines specifically to drive more traffic to your website and social media feed.

9. Try Podcasts! They are easy to make, don’t take special equipment, and give you one more touch point with your audience and advertisers.

10. Use pop-ups for e-newsletter sign ups. Everyone can agree that pop-up ads can be annoying, but they are also effective. Your goal is to get more traffic and e-newsletter subscriptions. Don’t be afraid that you might offend your audience with one pop-up.

11. Become an information resource with a blog. Make sure your blog has a point of view – don’t be afraid to have opinions! Make it exciting so people will want to read it. Invite industry leaders (often your advertisers) to be guest bloggers.

12. Make video clips of advertisers at tradeshows and make them available on your website as expert advice or new products. You can sell this! Make sure to get good interviews. You don’t need expensive equipment to do this!

13. Don’t give away social media! Use sponsored tweets (just put Ad: in front) and sponsored Facebook “new product” tabs as part of your ad packages!

14. Segment digital content by audience.  One extended education or training piece can be broken down into different segments based on the audience.  With one 60-minute lecture, you can sell an e-book, DVD, 12 “5 minute tips,” etc.

15. Create a unique incentive plan for your sales team that provides a bonus for selling online. Your margins are better in web, so pay a better commission. Or, structure a better plan for banners sold. Out of cash?  Give days off or free lunch. Get creative.


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!

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  1. Even for publishers who do not have a large budget, I believe that (1), (2), (5), and (7) are especially important. New website content can be expensive, but that content is crucial for driving online audience engagement, and at least some of that cost can be recovered form advertising once you achieve that engagement. In addition, contests and polls are great on social media, so why should they be any less useful for your online content?

    Our company understands that as more publications shift to a digital-centered model, their sources of revenue are shifting as well. And one really important source of revenue, especially relevant for niche publications, could be job boards – as the audience of niche publications are focused and knowledgeable in a specific field that recruiters would love to target. This is why we are trying to create a better experience for both our affiliate publishers by providing them with wider audience reach, and in turn make their self-hosted job boards more attractive to job seekers and recruiters.

  2. Jay McSherry says:

    Develop an index (e.g., confidence index, sentiment index) for your market that gets updated and posted to your site each month. Owning an index that can serve as a leading indicator for your industry is a great way to position yourself as major player in your space, wile generating PR from the business press and driving incremental traffic to your site. (It also can provide unique revenue-generating sponsorship opportunities.) A good example can be found here: http://wealthmanagement.com/advisor-confidence-index

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