Collaborate with a Media Partner to Expand Your Magazine’s Market


The right partnerships can make you more successful.

Andrew Davis is the author of Brandscaping and a popular Niche Digital Conference speaker. He thinks niche publishers should think more like TV execs to brand their content differently for different markets (like how all shows on Animal Planet share a theme, but aren’t all aimed at the same audience) and “…unleash the power of partnerships.” How does this work? Here’s an example of how niche magazine Our Health used partnerships to increase revenue, visibility, and reach:

When Our Health identified opportunities to increase coverage for Our Health advertisers, they decided to engage another media organization as a partner. [Read more…]

Ad Sales People – You’ve got to Present Yourself as an Industry Expert!


Become a respected industry expert by publishing your own blog or e-newsletter. Soon advertisers will be lining up to take your call!

Earlier this year I taught a Camp Niche Ad Sales Training class. I asked the group – all niche magazine ad sales reps and sales directors – who had their own professional blog or e-newsletter as an ad sales pro.

NOT their magazine’s blog or e-newsletter but THEIR own blog/newsletter as the ad sales expert in their industry.

Out of 45 people, only 4 sales people had either one. I couldn’t believe it!

How do you expect to have clients and prospects take your call without providing them with great industry information? The days of “I’m calling you to sell you an ad” have passed a looong time ago.

You’ve got to offer valuable info to your clients, and it doesn’t hurt to entertain them a little bit too. The results can be incredible.

5 Things that should be in an ad sales rep’s blog:

1. Industry info/stats: Provide information and statistics about the size of your particular market and product segmentation(s) that would point your clients to potential growing markets. A little market research can have a big payoff! [Read more…]

Niche Your Niche: Small Magazines Find New Revenue Streams by looking Within

Niche magazines know their niche. But most successful ones don’t just rely on what THEY think they know–they ask their readers what they want.


Niche your Niche! Here’s one real-world example on how a small magazine looked within and found great success.

Thriving niche magazines are also constantly searching for new ways to meet the needs of their evolving audience. These ideas have to make financial sense and make the readers happy a the same time.

How do you benefit your niche community AND create an additional revenue stream at the same time? [Read more…]

A Small – But Mighty – Nonprofit’s Publication Hits the Big Time with a New Subscription Plan


With Mequoda’s digital publishing know-how, this small nonprofit found new revenue in its publications.

One of several Mequoda Group nonprofit clients, The Biblical Archaeology Society was founded in 1974 as a nondenominational, educational organization dedicated to the study of archaeology in the Bible lands. In the 21st century, Mequoda has guided it to a brilliant strategy for monetizing its content online and generating entirely new revenues.

How? The Biblical Archaeological Society now offers not one, but two digital subscriptions. One is for its legacy print publication, Biblical Archaeology Review. And they manage to sell a healthy number of online magazine subscriptions at $19.95 for six issues per year.

The other subscription is for their massive library, including more than 6,600 articles from 35 years of Biblical Archaeology Review. The library even includes articles from two magazines they no longer even publish: 20 years’ worth of Bible Review and eight years of Archaeology Odyssey. That makes for a truly valuable product that appeals to researchers, scholars, archaeologists and Bible history aficionados. [Read more…]

Media Buyer Personalities: Dealing with “Too Busy Bob”


Know this guy? Here are some savvy
ad sales tips to deal
with Too Busy Bob.

What fun! You never know who you are going to get on the other end of the phone in the magazine ad sales game.

I’ve found that a lot of media buyers tend to use a “quirky” personality type to get you off the phone pronto. In a previous post,  I wrote about dealing with Mr. Love.

Today let’s meet Too Busy Bob: You talk to Bob and he’s VERY busy. This prospect always seems to be right in the middle of something when you call or visit. He’s always in a HUGE hurry. Just has one minute for you and always wants to talk tomorrow.

Strategy for Too Busy Bob: [Read more…]

How to Get Ad Sales Prospects to Respond to Your Emails – Free Burritos!


Get creative in your email subject lines to your ad sales prospects and they will be hungry to respond to you!

So how can you get your prospects to respond to YOUR email when they are scanning through hundreds in their inbox every day? Sometimes the most basic themes resonate most with busy customers. Plus, you have to be creative and original in your approach to catch eyes.

By now almost everyone, (well at least those who have attended ad sales training at Camp Niche), knows the story of how Carl Landau of Niche Media offered free cats in the mail as a (very) successful ad sales approach. PETA probably wouldn’t appreciate that so much these days. 

Here’s an example of how you can use creativity and touch on basic needs to get prospects to respond to your ad sales emails:

I tried putting “Free Burritos” in the subject line of my email to prospects. Here’s how a typical exchange went: [Read more…]

Ad Sales: The Science of Persuasion


What persuades us? Find out about the science behind it with these 6 shortcuts.

We just saw this Youtube video about the science behind persuasion and HAD to share with you.

It’s totally worth your time. You can apply these ideas to selling advertising in your magazine, increasing renewal and conversion rates, getting more sponsorships for events, and just about any other revenue area of your media company.

This excellent short video by Robert Cialdini and Steve Martin gives you the 6 universal principles of persuasion based on actual scientific research — with real world examples. [Read more…]

Financials: 3 More Key Areas to Evaluate to Take Control of Your Magazine’s Costs

Your niche magazine’s financial picture is important. You know this.  Yet we cannot tell you how many successful niche publishers don’t know – even as a

Knowing your costs is vital to your magazine's success and profitability.

Knowing your costs is vital to your magazine’s success and profitability.

ballpark figure – what their costs are! It’s not always the most exciting part of the business, but you need to know the numbers.  

To help niche magazine publishers get a handle on their finances, we’re publishing advice every Thursday from financial wizard Jim Zielinksi. Jim has already shared with us how to understand and evaluate your niche magazine’s profitability. Last week he shared with us 4 key financial areas on which to focus on first.

Here are 3 MORE key areas to investigate and evaluate to get your magazine’s costs and overall financial picture under control:

 1.  Postage:  Postage went up 2.57% in January. Be prepared for more and soon, due to huge USPS losses. Can you consider co-mailing? What’s your frequency of postage? Ask your printer to do a co-mailing study.

2.  Paper weight and quality:  There are 5 grades.  1 is best, 5 is worst.  Most publishers now use 3 or 4 grade.  Moving one grade gets savings of about 5%.  Also evaluate the print contract cost per copy. Your type of magazine affects how much you can shift paper quality – a high end lifestyle magazine doesn’t have as much wiggle room as Gear & Cog Monthly. [Read more…]

Better Ad Sales Through Creativity: “Buy an Ad. Get a Cat.”

In the 1980’s, I ran an in-house ad in my nerdy Computer Language magazine titled, “Buy an Ad. Get a Cat.”  My 15 minutes of fame from this ad has lasted for over 30 years.

buy an ad, get a cat

The original buy an ad, get a cat in-house ad from Computer Language

To this day, I literally get asked hundreds of times a year about “that cat thing.”  Since then I’ve inspired many of my Camp Niche ad sales trainees to rip off the idea for their own magazines: “Buy an Ad. Get  a… Horse, Ant Farm, Brother-in-law, Lobster..”– you name it.  And my wonderful conference attendees have also stolen and substituted what they’re hawking for my original cat give-away promotion with great results.

Now, I’m not going to go into the whole “cat story” here.  Hey, for the full, uncut version you need to attend one of our Camp Niche Ad Sales Trainings.  Don’t take it personally, I’ve got rabbis and priests that ask what it means and I won’t spill my guts about it.  But what I WILL share with YOU is the great idea behind it.

90% of today’s ad salespeople are too vanilla and boring. They call up and ask: “How are you doing? How’s the ad working? Did you get the media kit?” Then the conversation ends right there. (By the way, do media buyers eat these kits?  What do they really do with them, anyway?)

You need to do something to separate yourself from the pack of dull ad sales people to get noticed, be remembered, and connect with media buyers.  Here are some examples: [Read more…]