As Content Director for the Specialist Media Show I’m always on the look-out for innovative specialist media businesses who could be winners of the Media Pioneer Awards. Their stories are always inspiring, as they take advantage of technology and their deep understanding of their markets to uncover new ways to grow their revenues. Ryan O Meara, MD of K9 Media, who creates content for dog owners, is one such inspiring publisher. You can read the full story of his “back to front” publishing business on the Specialist Media Show site, but here are six new digital publishing tricks that (forgive the pun) even old publishing dogs can learn from:
1. Pick a niche you can dominate
Focus on a specialist topic and niche audience, as then you can dominate the market. See K9 Magazine, which provides tips for younger, technically savvy dog-owners. Google keyword tools are a simple way to check the volume of interest in your market – and the level of competition.
2. Focus on evergreen content that can be repackaged
Practical information – such as dog behaviour, health and training – that doesn’t date for a few years, is ideal for digital publishing, as the archive has value to new subscribers and can be repackaged as ebooks.
3. Create ebooks to find new customers
Ebooks on niche topics – such as diabetes in dogs – can be sold at a reasonable cover price, and used as a way to find new customers for digital magazines through search.
4. Build a valuable membership package using your archive
The “back issues” of a digital magazine are a valuable added benefit for new subscribers or members, and cost very little to deliver by email. Ebooks that have a real cover price elsewhere are an added incentive to pay for a subscription.
5. Encourage interaction via digital magazines and emails
Having a clear welcome programme for new subscribers that asks them to contribute their stories and pictures builds the relationship and encourages loyalty. Digital magazines have ample opportunities for comments, surveys, polls and competitions that readers can respond to instantly online.
6. Provide a marketing service to your ad clients
Banner ads aren’t enough these days. The way to generate high yields – and those enjoyed by K9 Media are impressive – is by creating bespoke packages of sponsored content, competitions, email marketing and “buy this” links on product reviews.
I’d be interested in your comments on this approach to digital publishing, and hear your own experiences. Join the Specialist Media Network on Linked-in to swap ideas with other specialist media owners – or ask Ryan a question directly as he is on the network.
About the author: Carolyn Morgan runs Penmaen Media, a consultancy advising media owners on how to profit from digital media and marketing. She is also content director for the Specialist Media Show. If you’d like an informal discussion about how you can develop new revenue sources for your specialist media business please contact Penmaen Media for a chat.