Tablets and Smartphones and Websites, Oh My! Bird Watcher’s Digest’s Journey to Multi-Device-Friendly Content


Publisher Bill Thompson III dove into the digital realm with great success and shares his insights with us.

Many niche publishers are running around in crazy circles trying to figure out a strategy to get their publication onto tablets and other mobile devices. Many of them make hasty decisions and sign up with the first service provider they find. Or they sit immobile, overwhelmed by creating a multi-device-friendly program. Can tablet subscription models drive revenue? Or is true tablet value in cross-platform advertising? In what formats do our readers really want our content? And will HTML 5 be the holy grail?

Only one thing is certain: NOBODY has this stuff totally figured out. But some niche publishers are blazing trails and inviting others to follow. In a highly interactive roundtable session at the upcoming Niche Digital Conference, Bill Thompson III, Editor and Co-Publisher of Bird Watcher’s Digest, will co-lead Tablet Truths: Headless Chicken Freakout Time.

Bill is an unapologetic futurist who dove into the digital realm and in this interview he shares with us what’s working, what’s not, and where their programs are headed next.

Niche Media HQ: As a publisher who has created successful multi-device-friendly platforms, what advice can you give other  niche publishers out there about getting started? Anything you would have done differently?

BT3: You can do a lot yourself now. When we first started, no one was really doing it. We came into a mobile strategy earlier in the game—we would call digital publishing solutions providers and no one would call us back. (That non-response actually added to my paranoia that we had somehow missed the train.) [Read more…]

Is Your Niche Magazine Pinteresting Enough?

Diana Landau, Niche Content Wrangler  By Diana Landau, Niche Content Wrangler

  Sticky, viral and doesn’t go away. No, I am not talking about the latest new flu strain. Pinterest still continues to be one of the fastest-growing platforms in social media since its inception in 2009. Are you using it to your magazine’s full advantage? Have you ruled it out completely, as it is only effective for wedding, apron, knitting magazines, or other B2C’s? Guess again, publishers. Whether you are a Business-to-Customer (B2C), Business to Business (B2B), or an Association magazine, this applies to you. User rates continue to increase rapidly and they are spending an average of over 80+ minutes on some boards.  ID-10066060

That’s not only supremely sticky, it’s ROI. Why? Because if your magazine actively engages in Pinterest, you are putting out powerful visual images for your current readers, future readers, and advertisers to learn more about who and what you really are. It’s branding and it’s easy.

I stumbled upon this great free tutorial from Marketing Profs that really explains well the reasons why any business should take full advantage of Pinterest. It was published last year, but it’s still very relevant to what you need to know. (It’d be a quick read on the plane, tuck it in your carry-on.) Still not convinced that Pinterest is worth evaluating as a social media tool for your niche magazine? Check out these stats  from Forbes Magazine.

Pinterest’s user engagement does not decrease like Twitter. It’s highly viral, with 80% of pins being re-pins, according to Marketing Profs. Think about it: If your niche magazine is about software usage or scrap material or for accountants, you can pin an “Infographic of the week” or “Inspiration of the week” for your particular niche. You just need to use your imagination. How does your niche magazine effectively use Pinterest? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter.


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 –  Check it out!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ


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Buzzwords that Matter for Your Magazine’s Social Media Plan

Diana Landau, Niche Content WranglerBy Diana Landau, Niche Content Wrangler

Hello all you astute B2C, B2B and Association Niche Magazine Publishers! Today I would like to discuss the latest technological advancements of GetGlue and Viggle.  I’m kidding. That’s a discussion about the burgeoning Social TV medium for another post at another time. However, with our rapidly changing content marketing world there are new terms to be learned every single day. Sometimes more. To create your own buzz, you must know the buzzwords, grasshopper.

Some of you may know all of these words or terms below, use them frequently, are totally immersed in the concepts of each, plus you enjoy the side benefit of greatly impressing your colleagues or at least your mother.  ID-100124017But there are also some of us out there who are wide-eyed and learning, not afraid to say “What does that mean?” Also possibly sweating a bit that we don’t always know as much as we should.

Although there will be no Official Niche Magazine Pop Quiz later, here is a handy little glossary below for your education and/or amusement:

  • Break through the clutter:  All the web chatter out there. Break through it. You may need to attend the  Niche Magazine Conference in Tempe in February to learn the best ways to do this.
  • Data Miner:  Person within an organization who mines or sifts or surfs through data for patterns and trends, interesting new content and/or updated contact information. This activity should include interns, assistants, sales, marketing dept—wait, ALL the depts plus the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief.
  • Digital storytelling:  There are many kinds of online storytelling today–such as Visual (video), Data-driven (infographics), Audio (through podcasts) and more.
  • Going for the longer burn:  Similar to oft-used term “long tail”, but this refers to a PR strategy that keeps lighting the interest fire through an integrated multimedia plan that includes video, analog, print, blogs, etc.
  • Newsjacking:  It’s walking the fine ethical line of dovetailing on a current event. Sometimes you can use today’s news to piggyback and share some info about your magazine with your readers.  Here’s some good advice on how to do that right.
  • Noisy:  Constant content with no substance. For example, some could say that if our U.S. Congress has a blog, it is, um, noisy.
  • Snackable content:  Short little content pieces or visuals that give a little something tasty for the reader to munch on–works great for Business-to-Consumer magazines on Pinterest.
  • Supercreatives:  Those that excel in the brave new content marketing world. You network with them at Niche Magazine Conferences all the time.
  • Stumbler:  Someone who is actively engaged in Stumbleupon. Second definition is someone at a niche magazine that does not learn how to integrate their media plan.
  • Tactical Enthusiasm:  Jumping into all the media streams (blog, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, Google Plus, Pinterest, etc.) without having overarching communication goals and strategy first. Not necessarily a good thing.
  • Vlogging: The concept of combining videos with blogging.

There are many more buzzwords out there we haven’t even touched on. Share some of your best buzzwords with us on Facebook or Twitter.


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!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ




5 Things Your Prospects Wish You Did on Ad Sales Calls

Better ad sales calls add up to more revenue for your niche magazine, but why do so many calls end in disaster? Recently I endured the Worst Sales Call of My Life, one so bad it drove me away from the company. It was for a service that I was really interested in checking out from a company I had done business with before – the perfect prospect, right? So how did it all go so wrong?

Now, I am not a sales person at all and don’t pretend to be (just ask the Niche Grand Poobah). But after the pain ended I realized that the call was so bad that it was a perfect example of what not to do and contained valuable lessons. Speaking for the sales prospects of the world, just follow these guidelines and we won’t run and hide when you call. (Want to see them in action? Check out the awesome little ad sales movie The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful!)

1. Do your client research and be prepared before you call. I know it sounds basic, but you can’t build a house without a solid foundation. Know the history of an existing client with your publication, or research a fresh prospect, before a sales call.  If you are going to take your prospect/client on a tour of your new digital or print offerings, have everything set up before the call (rates, packages, list of URLs, sites open if doing a screen share, passwords ready, or whatever else you need) and know your product, packages, and examples backward and forward.

2. Ask leading questions to find out what your prospect is looking for or what your existing client would like to add (or what isn’t working). Really listen. Don’t be so eager to give that pitch you’ve been practicing in your head that you miss hearing what you client needs. This will help you to…

3. Focus on how your product will benefit the client, not just that you really want/want to keep them as a customer. If you asked good leading questions and did your homework, then you should be able to adjust your sales pitch on the fly to deliver maximum value to the prospect.

4. Be persistent about new products, but lead with the products that will deliver maximum value for your prospect/client. You don’t want your first impression to be mediocre value! If something is a long shot, save it for a quick pitch at the end. No matter how cool you think your new product is, if a prospect says it isn’t a good fit for their business, then move on to greener pastures.

5. Think about the future with prospect/client relationships! Don’t encourage time wasters who will never commit, but just because someone doesn’t advertise or upgrade to your new product this time around doesn’t mean they won’t in the future (or won’t share how awesome you are to others). If an existing client doesn’t take the upsell but wants to talk about maximizing return from what they already buy, then taking a little time with them goes a long way to building and maintaining your relationship with them for the future.


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!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

10 Ways to Supercharge e-Newsletter Revenue

By Ryan Dohrn, Niche Digital Conference Director and CEO of 360 Ad Sales Training 

Not getting great ROI from your e-newsletter? Make a resolution to grow your customer base and your organization’s success by giving your e-newsletter a little love and attention. An e-newsletter (or three) can build strong connections with customers and keep you top of mind. The trick is delivering meaningful, easy-to-read content that customers want while building strong partnerships. Here are 10 ideas that you can implement today to increase revenue from your e-newsletter.

1. Don’t Forget the Subject! Write the subject line last and really spend time on it. Be descriptive, be direct, use a call to action, use numbers, etc.

2. Segment! Have different lists for different e-newsletters, delivery frequencies (daily/weekly/monthly), reader interests, etc. broken out from your  master list. If you just use one email list, then you lose people forever if they unsubscribe from one e-newsletter.

3. Short and Sweet. Increase user interaction by increasing frequency and reducing the amount of email text.

4. Think About Partnership. Think of how can you partner with someone willing to pay for exposure to you readers, then use those ideas and partnerships to develop each issue.

5. Network & Collaborate. Create a networking group  with 6-8 business partners to share e-lists (disclose this in your privacy policy) and or space in each others’ e-newsletters. Meet or call quarterly to coordinate on topics, ideas and potential sponsors.

6. Research. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Sign up for other e-newsletters to get ideas for designs, styles, partnerships, and promotions.

7. Tighter Targeting. Segment your e-list by demographic. Targeting will enhance the user experience and be more valuable to potential sponsors.

8. Make a Date. Sync your promotional and e-news calendars to create consistency and synergy.

9. Say it with Pictures. Create a short video to showcase what your e-newsletters offers sponsors.  Keep it focused on how partnership benefits them.

10. High Touch. Increase connections with clients by scheduling business quotes or marketing tips in January and continue sending monthly for the test of the year.

Implement even a few of these ideas and watch your e-newsletter’s revenue soar!


Adapted from Ryan’s blog


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!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

3 Questions to Ask when Trying to Boost Google SEO for Your Magazine

It’s important to have solid SEO rankings for your niche magazine. However, we understand that taking steps to boost your publication’s Google SEO rankings can be a bit confusing. That’s why we have put together 3 key questions to ask yourself when trying to do so. Have a look:

Niche Media

Check out a few tips for boosting Google SEO rankings.

  • Is this page relevant to me? One of the first questions to ask yourself when trying to boost Google SEO rankings is whether or not your niche magazine’s page is relevant. Decide which keywords and phrases you want to associate with it so that when people search them on Google, your page is coming up.
  • Is the site credible? You should also make sure that the website for your niche magazine is credible. In order to do this, try having other industry-related websites link to you so that readers feel as though your content is credible and knowledgeable.
  • Is the information understandable? It is also important to ensure that the information on the website is understandable. All tags and captions should be visible in order to make the experience for the reader that much easier.
Google SEO rankings are crucial to your niche publication and you should be trying to boost them for more success.



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!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Inc & Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ


Photo from Free Digital Photos

20/20 #3: Stanford Social Innovation Review – Redefine Your Digital Story

Here’s our third 20 for 20 (20 niche magazines in 20 days  sharing their strategies for success):  Stanford Social Innovation Review – redefine your digital story!  SSIR’s vital statistics:

Stanford Social Innovation Review

The Stanford Social Innovation Review redefined its digital story to raise rates, revenue, and circulation

PUBLICATION: B2B non-profit, quarterly, paid subscriptions plus newsstand, 12,000 subscribers
TARGET: Executives at non profits, foundations and socially responsible businesses
BIG IDEA: Raise and restructure your rates

The SSIR forged where many are afraid to go: they raised prices. After 9 years of offering only one price for print+digital, they changed their pricing structure to increase their subscription price by 33% with a flat fee for for digital only. In just one year, subscription revenue has increased by 22% after 5 years of limited revenue growth. Regina Ridley of SSIR said the magazine also redesigned their website at the same time, so that it is clearer to visitors that most of their content is gated. The online content that is free is high-quality and has prominently featured photos to make visitors want to read more and subscribe, and now they have more options to do so. Since the launch of the new pricing and website redesign, average unique visitors have increased from 60K to 94K. Redefining=upward trajectory for this niche publication.

70 Great Digital Revenue Ideas for Your Niche Magazine!

Every year our Niche Digital Conference attendees share their most successful digital revenue ideas.  Here’s a collection of 70 of their best ideas  just for you!

1. Exclusive advertisers: Allow one advertiser on a certain day of the month to occupy all the ad spots on each page of your entire website.

2.Create an archive of back issue digital editions that is fully searchable.  Make it available – for a fee – to existing and new subscribers.

3. Create a LinkedIN group for your niche.  Even if one exists, you might be able to make one that is better.

4. Offer to do video interviews/demos for sponsors & advertisers as part of a digital bundle. As an up sell, make it available on your site, on their site, and on DVD (for offline mailing).

5. Provide an RSS feed of news to advertisers with static websites. Most advertisers have dead, static sites and your content can liven them up and help them look more relevant. Use Feedburner to help.

6. When building an incentive plan for your sales team that provides a bonus for selling online, use total number of units sold rather than ad dollars to increase volume and keep the numbers simple and easy to track.

7. Use Tweets as a part of an ad package.  “If you buy from us we can Tweet a link to your web site or to your ad to our users” This is a HUGE benefit – do not give it away for free!

8. Our best response from email campaigns are personalized html text.   Intersperse graphics intensive efforts with “plain” text.  Try it, you’ll like the response rates you see.

9. Charge advertisers to run surveys against your audience.  Make sure that the survey is attached to a solid offer to get respondents.  When the budget is tight, often advertisers have research money allocated.  In addition, you can use this data to boost your sales data.

10. Evaluate new social media and get on board with ones that work for you: Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc. Then make a plan!

11. 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.

12. Create special holiday or seasonal digital editions. From holiday gift guides to summer camp guides, take ideas and turn them into digital-only special publications. Be sure to tell advertisers how you are going to tell the public about the special digital edition.

13. Register the .tv and .mobi for your main domain. Expand your offerings!

14. Create an e-newsletter from your sales team to your current advertisers. Create a list of your current clients and start sending out an e-newsletter. This should contain helpful hints, links to great articles, and deadline information. You can find great information about this on,, and

15. Use short videos to answer advertisers’ common questions. Is there a question that you are often asked by advertisers? Record an answer and create an answer archive. Keep it simple. Jing is a great tool for this type of sales tool.

16. Spread out your content! Don’t publish all of your magazine’s content online at the beginning of the month. Use the date stamping tools of your content management system to load your content all at one, but publish it piece by piece over a period of time.

17. 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.

18. Stop giving digital away! Just stop it!

19. Create e-books from magazine content. You have years of content, so put it to good use. Create e-books around a specific topic.

20. Use a daily video tip to drive B2B sales. Advertisers like the exposure, and they are also your best experts. Have them pay to be the expert in a section on your site and record their answers to submitted questions.

21. Create an interactive media kit. A PDF just isn’t enough. Advertisers require more stimuli than ever before to make a decision. Also, they want information NOW! is a great example of an online media kit.

22. Monitor your SEO ranking and search volume monthly for key search terms. Each month you want a report that shows you where your site ranks for all the key terms that you have researched as important. Also, you want to re-run your key word research often. Raven is a good tool for this.

23. Create a social media interaction plan.  Each day a member of your team should be assigned to monitor and reply to social media comments. Assign days and make it mandatory.

24. Create a simple website sign-in with Facebook Connect. Make it as easy as possible for users to sign in to your web site. This is critical if you want to survey behavior or demo targeted advertising.

24. Place each email you collect on multiple e-mail lists.  This allows you to send topically based messages. If a user unsubscribes you will not lose them completely.  Instead you’ll just lose them from one list.  Be sure to tell/ask users about this practice.

25. Engage your audience and create community by forming self-serve classified portals on the web.  You can start free and offer paid up-sells.

26. Create an e-newsletter from your sales team to your current advertisers with content that that positions you as a leader in the marketplace. Fill it with industry news, local news, upcoming issues, current hot topics, and your social media offerings. (Not just ad deadlines!)

27. Use custom Facebook tabs to offer new product launches for your advertisers. Tabs can be simple HTML creations with embedded pictures, white papers, or videos.  Keep the run short: 7-10 days.

28. Develop a pricing matrix for digital ad opportunities based on the total spend with your publication to encourage a larger spend.

29. Upgrade your banner ad delivery system if you can’t give your advertisers solid stats and inventory reports. Use these stats, good or bad, to create conversations with your advertisers.

30. Sell videos on your site to current advertisers. Contract with a videographer or buy a camcorder and go to town. Making the video is also a great way to build your advertiser relationships and boost revenue at the same time.

31. Use Google alerts to keep up with news in your industry and your advertisers’ industries.

32. Make a photo CD particular to your industry from back issues (royalty-free, unlimited use). Sell the photo CD in your e-newsletter.

33. Add a product pavilion (an interactive directory) to your website for new products and services. Easy navigation & a simple look is key. Create a competitive environment by placing marquee ads in the pavilion and then use that to sell to their competitors.

34. Create category-specific custom editorial content, such as sponsored monthly articles about an advertiser’s area of expertise: health & fitness, automotive, sports & recreation, financial security, travel, etc.

35. Package print and web together in ad programs to create special sections aimed at niche markets within your niche market.  For instance, a resort destination magazine might create a package for marketing property management companies.

36. Set a goal to create at least three e-newsletter lists that are specific to your niche.  Monthly specific pushes need to be very specific and very driven.  Advertisers can provide and pay for content inclusion.  This is not another editorial e-newsletter.  New product updates, new services updates, legal updates: you name, create it.

37. Compilations!  Compile related archived content into a sponsored and/or paid eBook.

38. Sell 4-hour static banner ads on your web site.  Isolate several ad units on your web site and offer them to a single advertiser for a specific period of time during the day.  For example, a city and regional magazine might sell a static ad to a local café for 11am to 1pm.

39. Create a path of least resistance.  If you sell a complicated product with many options, select one for your audience and create a landing page (with a clear call to action) specific to that audience.  They can always customize later, but giving them an “easy button” starts the conversation.

40. Double up: Sell sponsorship of your digital edition and also the email blast releasing the digital edition to your subscribers.

41. Create co-op programs if they do not exist in your niche.  Go to the manufacturer and create the program for them, then go to the distributors and sell them on the program.  This is a win/win.

42. Create an online monthly promotional calendar and sell your advertisers into it.  Give away their products in all promotions and create a winning situation for your advertisers.  Plus, it saves you money because you do not have to buy prizes.  Without a promo calendar your sales team will not be able to sell ahead.

43. Boost digital magazine readership with a special 3D edition.  Send out 3D glasses with a special URL to the issue. (You can even get the glasses paid for by an exclusive sponsor.)

44. Attend trade shows with a small, but nice, video camera and interview your advertisers.  Take these behind the scenes videos and use them as content on your web site.  Only do this for serious advertisers or clients you are trying to get to advertise.

45. Social media MUST be a part of your new ad packages or you will miss out.  Price it in such a way that you show massive value at a great price.  Most sales people fail to show value in their ad packages.  What is your total value offering?

46. Podcasts:  Arm your editorial staff with audio recorders.  Every interview can also be a $.99 iTunes download.

47. Collect emails from a giveaway and do not give to the advertiser.  Instead, email on the advertiser’s behalf and drive people to their fan page or back to yours to find out the winner.  DO NOT email the winner’s name out.  If you do, why will people come back to the site?

48. Do not become guilty of paralysis by analysis – DO IT!  The beauty of the web is trial and error.  Give it a shot. If it does not work, shut it down.  IF you think about your web strategy for too long, then you will always find a reason not to move forward.

49. Produce and qualify sales leads by collecting detailed opt-in data from users who download and read your white papers, presentations, articles, product literature, or related content.

50. Assign a sales person to call people that send in press releases to your editorial team.  If they have a limited budget and are just looking for press, sell them into one of your many e-newsletters.

51. Sell links! WV Living Magazine’s – a designated wedding website – sells hyperlinks on their Wedding Checklist.  So when they say “Book Your Photographer”, when someone scrolls over it a photographer’s website appears.

52. Create bottom ad units on your web site to increase ad impressions.  Do not assume that since and ad is at the bottom of your web site that no one sees it.  If you have content on the page, have an ad near it.  Do not sell these units as a separate buy. Instead, run top ad buyers in the bottom slots too as a bonus and boost their total reach.

53. Use Facebook text ads to draw in fans.  Be careful to write them well and be specific.  These ads are cheap and can bring in a ton of fans fast.  Make your offerings very clear.  Be sure to isolate the ads to only what you “truly” offer.  Be specific.  Grow your fan base so that you can grow the amount you charge for reaching out to this fan base.

54. Take 300×250 banner ads and cut them in half.  Sell more space and increase frequency for your advertisers.  DO not create a blinking mess of a web site, but increase your inventory by having more ads units available.

55. Change up the format of your promotional emails.  Many companies have the exact same format for everything.

56. Ask advertisers if they have promo videos for their product or service.  Then, create a channel to house and offer these videos to your audience.  Most advertisers have spent a ton of money on these videos and want to use them.

57. Use a giveaway to promote a new product and expand your social media reach at the same time. One attendee launched a digital magazine (free) that was sponsored by advertising dollars and a supplement to our subscription-based site.  To generate interest and views, they had a sweepstakes to give away an iPad and free subscriptions to those that shared on Facebook, Twitter, their blog, or subscribed to our newsletter.
They had 80% growth in their Twitter followers, 25 blog mentions/posts, and 80% higher newsletter signups during the 1-month time frame of the sweepstakes!

58. Your list is the most important part a success email campaign!  Make sure you the right named contacts; continually update bad addresses; and always be prospect for new names.

59. Create comparison sheets for your sales team.  If you are the market leader you need to prove it when on a sales call.  Do not assume that your advertisers understands or cares about your competition.  Show them in black and white why you are bigger, badder and better.

60. Drop the 160×600 sky scraper ad units and replace with shorter sizes.  Skyscrapers are a bit old school and they take up too much space.

61. When redesigning your web site, make the advertising spots a serious priority.  Make sure that the sizing is right, the placement is right, and that you set up your advertisers for maximum ROI.

62. Use a phone tracking system to help your clients track calls from your magazine.  Call tracking services are cheap and being able to prove that people called from your ad in your magazine will help with renewals.

63. Hold monthly “lunch and learns” for your clients.  Use a good old fashioned phone conference call system and set these meetings up in advance.  Invite one speaker to talk about a topic that is important to your advertisers.  Focus on digital issues and help educate your advertisers.   Become a resource!

64. Use Youtube to draw a crowd.  There are many video serving options, but Youtube can help you with free distribution and SEO.  You can often work around the Google ads on the videos by looking closely at your descriptions.  Google ads on the videos are driven via the title and descriptions you provide.

65. Often advertisers are THE experts in the industry.  Ask them to create content.  You often can charge for this type of exposure.  Make sure that they know to soft sell or they will lose their impact.

66. Encourage advertisers to use custom URLs to track success.  If you look close at Google analytics, you will see a traffic statistic called direct traffic.  This can account for as much as 20% of total traffic and most advertisers do not track their direct traffic.  Make sure you get credit for traffic that you drive to an advertiser’s website.

67. Balance editorial calendar against SEO research. Use key word research tools to determine what web users are “really” searching for… then write content about those topics.

68. Grow revenue by selling leaderboards as a package.  Bundle newsletters, websites, digital editions, and mobile apps for a premium price.

69. Fill out your own contact and subscription forms to make sure they are user-friendly and collect useful data.

70. Get creative with your digital editions! Brainstorm extras to add value, like a hobby or home magazine that has a do-it-youself project linked to a parts list and extra step-by-step photos (or even a link to an auto-filled shopping cart through a sponsoring store).

Have an awesome digital revenue idea that we missed? Or have you been really successful using some of the techniques above? We’d love to hear about it in the comments or at

The Niche Digital Conference will take place in Chicago, September 24-25, 2012.

How Will You Support Your Digital Platform when Banner Ads Disappear?

By Andrew Davis of Tippingpoint Labs, Niche Digital Conference keynote speaker and author of Brandscaping: Unlocking the Power of Audience

As a publisher of content (digital or not) you’ve been trained to sell time in your podcasts or videos and space on your website or in your magazine. But the fact is that digital display advertising won’t be around forever. You need to start thinking beyond advertising if you’re going to be viable long term.

The Phenomenon of Banner Blindness, in three images.

Banner Blindness

Banner Blindness

You’re looking at a heat map from an eyetracking study. Across hundreds of webpages users don’t focus on display ads. Some people scan articles (far left,) others partially read the content (center) and some completely read the article (far right.) Study after study has proven that more and more users are ignoring digital display advertisements. Banner blindness, as it’s called, means those ads are less and less effective for the brands who pay money to appear alongside your most valuable asset: your content.

The Economics of Supply and Demand

Not only are banner ads being ignored more often, but the revenue you’re generating from each impression and click isn’t increasing, in fact, it’s being diluted by an ever increasing supply of freshly published content. Google estimates that tens of billions of web pages are published every single day. Now, I’m no economist, but the simple laws of supply and demand state that as any commodity increases while the demand remains unchanged (or even as it decreases), it leads to a lower price for that commodity (with a higher quantity left unpurchased). This is exactly what’s happening to display ads.

There isn’t enough demand from advertisers in the universe to fill the tens of billions of web advertising opportunities that pop up everyday. This means, you can’t simply rely on selling advertisements forever.

So, What do you sell?

Great question! I’ll be honest, I don’t think I have THE answer, but I have AN answer. The next big battle for branded dollars will be within the context of your content. You heard me right. Brands want to be where the eyeballs are. A quick look at a heat map proves that your advertisers will soon be asking how to be part of the content your readers want to consume instead of the content they chose to ignore.

Ask Yourself…
If you’re going to drive new, higher-value, revenue opportunities for your advertisers what are you going to sell inline with the content?

This article is part of the July Niched Out News. To read all articles in this issue:

Ad Sales Mania: The Secret to Selling More Ads: Stop Talking!

Digital Oz: How Will You Support Your Digital Platform When Banner Ads Disappear?

Success Story: PMQ’s Pizza Magazine becomes first Godengo+Texterity Publisher to Use Full Digital, Web, and App Suite

Niche Magazine of the Month: Fastline

Content Marketing Tip of the Month: 3 Questions Before You Begin a Content Marketing Program

Think Niche – Think Video!




By Atul Patel, CEO of OneScreen

The battle for audiences in the niche space is heating up.  As large general content destination sites continue to expand their content offerings, niche publishers are in a pitched battle for recognition, additional page views, and advertising revenue.  The answer for how to maintain audience levels and increase dwell time on your sites is staring them straight in the face: video.

The concept of the “niche” is the cornerstone of today’s content and publishing markets.  Audiences are always engaged with their niche, whether it is by interest, opinion, language, locale, occupation, or life-stage.  Separately, audiences have more control than ever before over when, how and where they watch content.  These two things together create a new challenge and opportunity for you, the niche publisher.   The challenge is that there isn’t enough content, yet the opportunity is that there isn’t enough content!

There is a common misconception among publishers that having a niche focus makes a publisher too inconsequential for a digital video strategy, but the reality is just the opposite.  To be fair, it is not easy for niche publishers to foresee just how much impact digital video would have on their audiences, advertising customers and business partners, and most importantly, the bottom line.  It takes people, money, and time, none of which publishers have lying around.  With an understandably short-term mindset, it is hard for publishers to take the plunge.  However, with a long-term strategy in place, you can benefit your audience and your bottom-line.

To build a successful digital video strategy, there are a few key themes for publishers to take into account.

  • Know the numbers and trends, and take action:
    • The number of views and the growth curve of video consumption are astounding.  According to comScore, in February of 2012, 179 million U.S. Internet users watched nearly 38 billion videos online. By failing to act on these new trends, your audience will no longer consider you a go-to source for the form of media they want.
    • Advertisers are following this audience to video.  According to eMarketer, the share of online advertising spending attributed to video will be 15.0% in 2016, up from 7.9% in 2012, growing faster than all other formats aside from social.  Furthermore, spending growth in online video is set to grow over 40% each year for the next three years. This means advertisers need new video content from publishers, so that they have more opportunities to place their media and reach their audience.
  • Think niche, not small:
    • By design, a niche publisher appeals to a well-defined audience, something advertisers struggle to find.  While you might only reach 10,000 people, your publication and properties might be covering 100% of those interested in a particular topic.  That is an advantage often overlooked.  It enables niche publishers to command a higher price for their advertising space.   Niche targeting yields greater return, making advertisers willing to pay more for that value.  Google is a prime example through their search business model, which targets users for higher-priced click advertising.  By giving advertisers the option to incorporate video in their advertising campaigns, publishers are offering them a way to deliver their message with sight, sound and motion.  Most advertisers are either experimenting with video ads already or are anxious to begin.
  • Implement a video strategy
    • Being a publisher of some form of media in your niche, even text and image content, already puts you at an advantage.  Niche publishers know the subject matter and are a trusted source for their audience.  With that in mind, adding video content to your business model will only better your user experience and monetization, but keep your video content true to your niche.
    • Ask your audience!  Survey them at least twice a year.  Your audience is frequenting YouTube, Facebook, and other portals for a variety of reasons.  Find out if video is one of those reasons, and identify what content they are interested in.  Based on your their feedback, you may find that they are interested in videos directly related to the stories you publish, or something entirely different.
    • You do not have to go at it alone.  There is an explosion of people and companies able to provide video services to you.  There are companies that provide a piece of the solution or even end-to-end solutions for digital video, including content, players, ad serving and more.

With these points in mind, publishers should immediately embrace the growing demand by taking even basic steps towards offering more video.  Your audience is waiting, and the advertisers will follow.


This post is part of the March issue of Niched Out News.

How to Become a Media Buyer’s Best (Ad Sales) Friend

Think Niche – Think Video!

Success Story: Renaissance Publishing Thrives in the Big Easy with The Magazine Manager

Magazine of the Month: The 2012 Nichee Award Winners!

Niche Notes

Email Deliverability Tips and Myths