Summer of Niche: Reader Experience–It Matters!

Inside Publications

Inside Publications has a very popular feature and ensures customers love it. Here’s how.

This week’s Summer of Niche great idea includes a little twist. Most local/regional publications include some sort of reader-submitted content. Cecily Hastings and her team at Inside Publications recognized the popularity of one of their special features and took the time to make sure it continued to stay that way for their customers.

Cecily tells us how they did it:

“It started about a decade ago when a savvy PR guy in town took a copy of the magazine to Paris and sent us a photo of himself and his daughter reading the magazine in front of the Eiffel Tower. We ran it and then soon more started to arrive and we developed it as a full page.

It is probably one of the best loved reader-oriented features in our magazine. For many years it was called Readers Near and Far and last year we redesigned and renamed it as we updated our entire publication design. We now call it “Have Inside, Will Travel.”

Here’s the results:

“Within a few years, we had a backlog of more than a year’s worth of travel photos with the magazine.  When people began writing to ask how long they had to wait for their shot to appear, we bought an extra 12 pages of print and ran the backlog as a special section. It has been very well received!  Plus, now we only have a backlog of few months and our readers aren’t waiting and waiting for their photo to appear.

We are amazed that we have had shots from practically every country on earth! And most importantly, we are blessed with such loyal readers each month.”

Here’s the lesson: Periodically gauging customer satisfaction, even for a highly popular, long-standing feature, means that you are not taking your customers’ experience for granted. Ever. Way to go, Inside Publications!


More about Cecily and Inside Publications:  Cecily Hastings is the founder and publisher of Inside Publications. The 4 neighborhood publications feature 100% local original content and are direct mailed at no charge to neighborhood homeowners. More than 350 small business advertisers support the publications with ads that appear in from one to all four editions.


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!

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Analytics Can Inspire New Digital Revenue Ideas for Publishers

When was the last time you really dug in to your Google Analytics?  There are ways for niche magazine publishers to look at the stats to uncover hidden gems that trigger ways to increase digital revenue.

Jeff Bruss, the Publishing King of numbers and Niche Digital Conference speaker, has plenty of analytics knowledge and experience to share. We caught up with him to ask him how he can help you decipher how mobile, page views, visits, trends and anomalies in analytics can inspire new digital revenue ideas.


Jeff Bruss, President of
COLE Publishing 

Niche: Many publishers use Google Analytics but are not fully utilizing the opportunities generated from that data. What is one thing a publisher could do today to utilize more out of their own data?

Jeff Bruss:The most important thing Google Analytics (GA) does for us is identify trends – both good and bad. By attaching query strings to things you want to track you can identify the paths people use to navigate your site. If a query string receives a high number of clicks you can duplicate characteristics associated with it. Likewise, low clicks means you need to take another look and re-evaluate link location, type, text, whatever. Utilizing all of this data leads to an increase page clicks, and increased page views lead to greater revenue opportunities. [Read more…]

Let Your Audience Tell Your Media Company What to Do


Know the right new media for your magazine by asking your audience.

How do you determine which new media your magazine should jump into? Very often media companies venture into the vast unknown of the media frontier because they feel they have to or they will be seen as an Old Dog. (Shudder.) Or as a company that is not keeping up with the times.  (Wince.)

I often think that my clients launch out into new projects based on how they “feel” about it and NOT based on what the reader, viewer or listener is demanding.  For example, one of my B2B publishing clients  in the oil and gas sector launched out into Pinterest.  They were so proud.  They spent a ton of time (which means money) on the project.

They were in love with what they did.  So in love that when readers did not immediately begin pinning and purchasing, they were very hurt.  “What’s wrong with my readers?” the publisher said… “Pinterest is so cool!”  Yes, Pinterest is cool. And it works very well for some B2C, B2B and Association magazines.

But when I asked about the feedback from his most recent reader survey, he responded… “Those are too expensive.”  [Read more…]

Niched Out Magazine of the Month: Scrap – Building Relationships for Niche Success

Every month Niche Media features a target-interest magazine with creative ideas to better serve its niche and its readers. This month’s pick: Scrap Magazine!Scrap Magazine

First things first. No, the publication isn’t about scrapbooking. Scrap Magazine is about the scrap recycling industry, a $100-billion(!) business that recycles everything from metals to paper to plastics to electronics and more. This bi-monthly association magazine targets scrap recycling business owners and has a paid circulation of 11,000.

The Scrap team’s secrets to success are dedicated relationship building and really loving their niche. Sure, publications know that they have to create relationships with their readers. It’s all about commitment, folks — and this magazine walks the walk.

How do they do it? With a dedicated strategy in four key areas: Scrap has forged solid, enduring relationships by profiling their niche’s people and companies, routinely calling on industry participants as sources, actively attending industry events, and holding “Reader Forum” meetings to solicit reader feedback. As Publisher Kent (the Wiser) Kiser puts it, “It may sound simple or hokey, but our solid ties with our readers is what gives us an edge over our less-nichey competitors.”



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!

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