The Niche Media 3-Ring: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Publishing


New Niche Media Prez Bekah Darksmith shares her insights….and yes, more to be revealed.

Coming back from last week’s Niche Digital Conference and having spent 3 amazing days in the company of some of the most talented and engaged entrepreneurs in media, I’ve been thinking a lot about why I love and remain committed to publishing.

I say it often, one of many turns of phrase I over-use (along with “worker bee”, “lone wolf”, “fair enough”, “tell me everything”, “more will be revealed”, and a whole host of other weird Bekah-isms for which I’m roundly mocked by Team Niche):

Publishing is not for the faint of heart. [Read more…]

Create Layouts That Connect to Your Readers!


Walking the tightrope between advertising and content isn’t easy. Take some tips from expert Steve Rank on creating a layout that connects!

LLS–Lazy Layout Syndrome, I call it. I still see design mistakes happening in niche magazines that really detract from the reader experience. There’s really no excuse for it! Sure, you have a small staff and you’re  jamming to get to deadline, but publishing a quality magazine must be the priority if you really want to connect with your readers.

Here a couple of common layout mistakes in niche magazines and solutions to make your magazine shine: [Read more…]

Are You Publishing Sideways?


Do you want your salespeople buried in admin stuff or selling? Tim Hermes tells us how to avoid publishing “sideways.”

Back in the day, it was so much easier for media salespeople.

In the print world, it was make a call, make a sale, collect the material. Move on. Nice model. Rate was high. Yield was high. Post-sale work was low.

Then print gave way to digital.

Now in order to meet sales goals, reps are selling smaller units at lower costs at a lower yield. We’ve become slaves to high-frequency media. However as a mentor told me once, “…doesn’t matter the size of the sale, the back end work is the same.” And although every salesperson would say a personal assistant to help traffic materials would be the greatest thing since Game of Thrones, most would still want to do it themselves for the “touch point” with their customer.

Last month I had one of my clients go through an exercise where their top sales rep kept a minute-by-minute diary of her work activities in a week. Her media portfolio includes email newsletters, websites, events, webcasts, and video. When we totaled her time, here’s the result based on a 40-hour week: [Read more…]

Niche Media IS the News!


Niche media is making news. Read what people in publishing are talking about now.

It’s true–being niche is the news. Latest stories on new launches, new types of publishers and different kinds of business models, read all about it:

Editor’s gotta brand new mag
Or tea bag, that is. Long-time editor launches new mag via Kickstarter. From TalkingNewMedia: Veteran editor unveils Kickstarter campaign to launch new digital magazine Tea Journey [Read more…]

Niche in the News: March 2016


Da buzz in the niche media universe. New rules from IAB, industry shifts, success stories and more!

Here’s the latest news on what’s happening in the niche media publishing universe. It’ll only take a few minutes to seem very smart and up-to-date to your peers, maybe even your dog. Your cat will never be impressed, sorry.

Read on:

Take that! New rules
Organization punches out 6 new tactics. From Advertising Age: IAB creates policy for publishers to combat ad blocking [Read more…]

Great Idea of the Week: Use Your Online Media to Promote Your Print!


Have you used your online media to promote your print product? If not, check this out from

We are always on alert to share a great idea with our readers.

As the media worlds of print and digital continue to meld, there are new opportunities out there to reach your audience and drive revenues. Sometimes publishers choose to view their online and print audiences as distinctly separate–and that could be a missed opportunity.

Great idea #1: Have you blogged on your magazine’s website about all the reasons why your readers should still love their print? [Read more…]

Niche Media News Flash: It’s All About Transformation!


What’s on your niche media horizon? Publishers are trying to stay ahead of what’s coming next in the shapeshifting media landscape.

According to Wikipedia, in the mythical world shapeshifting is a metamorphosis, the ability of an entity to physically transform into another form. In the real world, our media landscape is definitely shapeshifting–and fast!

Publishers are trying to stay ahead of all the changes and be proactive to what’s coming next. [Read more…]

The 7 Commandments of Monetizing Your Subscriber Base


Follow Prime Publishing’s lead and start reaping revenue rewards from your subscriber base. It’s easier than you think!

Despite innovation in other forms of online advertising, email remains the most powerful tool for generating ad revenue. With the near-global adoption of personal mobile devices, combined with the fact that users are checking their phones as much as 150 times a day, email remains the heavyweight champion of digital advertising. However, email is very often the most poorly executed means of monetizing one’s audience. There are pitfalls to simply increasing the ad-to-content ratio: subscriber fatigue, deliverability issues and user attrition. But there are big rewards for those that get it right.

For example, Prime Publishing, a women’s lifestyle publisher that reaches more than 7.2 million subscribers, wanted to increase newsletter ad revenue, but had serious concerns regarding subscriber attrition. All of these subscribers receive daily newsletters about cooking and crafting tied into 28 different websites that attract over 20 million page views per week. They were also worried that increased ad volume might impact the deliverability of their newsletters and the reader relationship.

The challenge for Prime Publishing was to achieve their revenue goals without sacrificing the extreme care they had historically shown their user base. By following the guidelines laid out below, Prime Publishing found that they were able to enjoy a sizeable — and entirely new — stream of revenue, without impacting their users in any negative way at all. [Read more…]

How to Start an Online Magazine From Scratch


Mequoda Group’s Ed Coburn shares sound advice on starting a new online magazine.

If you’re launching an online magazine from scratch, there are 3 steps to successfully branch into the world of online magazine publishing. You’ll soon discover that the planning required to start an online magazine is not much different than the planning required to start a print magazine.

Let’s begin by defining an online magazine. An online magazine is a web-friendly version of your magazine. It’s in HTML, it works like a website and it has a topic-based archive in addition to an issue-based archive. And while our research indicates that only 15-20% of users place a high value on being able to access content by topic in addition to accessing it by issue, those who do wish to access the content by topic value this feature very highly.

One question we often get asked is: If you’re a from-scratch start up, how many back issues do you need to launch with in order to have a viable archive? We believe the ideal scenario is to have 12 months worth of issues available in your archive. But if budgets are tight, you may decide to launch with as little as 3-6 months of back issues and allow the benefits of the archive to grow over time.

How to launch an online magazine in 3 steps [Read more…]

Even More Real World Great Ideas from Niche Media Publishers!


Here’s more great ideas from niche magazine publishers!

The best part of live events, according to attendees, is networking and sharing ideas with peers. That’s why each month we highlight a different niche magazine and what it does really well – consider each article an itty-bitty real world example that you can learn from to find new revenue streams and ways to connect with your niche magazine’s audience.

To get you pumped up for a great 2015 for your magazine and buzzing with ideas, here’s part 2 of our collection of some of our favorite 2014 Magazines of the Month and their awesome ideas. Enjoy!

[Read more…]