Why you need the most flexible subscription platform for WordPress

Leaky Paywall is built specifically for the needs of news and magazine publishers that use WordPress. In fact, you can generate more revenue streams than you thought possible by taking advantage of its core flexibility. Flexibility = More revenue streams We thought it would be a good idea to showcase how different publishers are using […]

Introducing the Paywall Podcast

Looking to generate more subscribers with your paywall? We discuss paywall strategies and tactics for news and magazine publishers. With over 900 publishers running our subscription platform we have learned quite a bit about what works (and doesn’t) in digital publishing. Join Pete, Jeremy, and Tyler for a deep dive that will help you grow […]

Don’t design your new website… blueprint it

Grab a pencil and a couple of sheets of paper… this (true) story starts with a person I call the frenzied publisher. A big mess Some time ago I walked into the office of this publisher who was scanning a conference room table (with about 30 pieces of paper on it) in order to re-design […]

Building a subscriber funnel with Leaky Paywall

How would you like to add 1000 new email addresses to your list in a week? Or 7000 new in just a few months? This is exactly what happened when The Business Journal launched their free registration wall, and new subscribers continue to sign up. After limiting access to free subscribers they turned on Leaky […]

Why the Metered Paywall is the Heart of your Marketing Strategy

Two Truths Digital paid subscriptions have been a bit of a trial-and-error gig since the invention of the internet. But two seemingly unrelated things have become indisputably clear: The reader needs to be in control of their browsing experience Email marketing is still the number one acquisition and retention channel for digital publishers So what paywall […]

Tip: Premium Content Encourages Subscriptions

Leaky Paywalls Boost Subscriptions The biggest goal for any publication is to increase paid subscriptions. For web-based publications, a tool like Leaky Paywall is a crucial part of achieving that goal. We’ve talked about how, correctly used, Leaky Paywall can increase visibility on search and create a buzz on social media outlets.  It can be used […]

Join our webinar – Make The Most Of Your Metered Paywall

A metered paywall is a powerful tool for increasing your paid subscriptions and ZEEN101’s Leaky Paywall is as user-friendly as it gets. But even the friendliest and most powerful tool can be made more effective with a few tips and tricks. Join us for our FREE webinar and learn how to make the most of […]

How To Increase Paid Subscriptions Organically With A Weekly Newsletter

The Challenge: An Easy Path To More Subscriptions Military Living is a digital and print publication that de-mystifies travel for military families. In addition to its three travel guides, the website features frequent posts and updates on related topics. A digital subscription includes access to both the guides and the web content. ZEEN101 helped Military […]

How To Revive Old Content to Attract New Readers

Forgotten Treasures All successful publishers eventually run into the same problem: they amass a lot of amazing content that their growing body of readers never think to read. Different types of publishers have different versions of this problem. Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick Start Guide to Accelerating Digital Subscriptions A quarterly publication may […]

How An Online News Source Did Better Than Banner Ads

The Challenge: Successful Advertising For A Difficult Medium The Genesee Sun is a news source for Livingston County, New York. Conceived and launched in 2011 as a solely online and intensely local newspaper, the Sun’s income is dependent on web subscriptions and advertising. Their clever use of Leaky Paywall helped them with their subscriptions. Online […]

Traffic Surges and Web Growth: A Year With ZEEN101

A Year of Effort, A Year of Reward 2017 was The Year of Modern Drummer’s Digital Magazine. Originally a print magazine with a decent news blog and articles hidden in PDFs, Modern Drummer expanded to include a true, issue-based online publication. ZEEN101’s Anvil suite of products played a significant role in the process. Over the […]

How To Take Your Organic Subscriptions From Zero To A Thousand In Six Months

The Challenge: Staying Afloat in the Digital Waterways Small Boats Monthly – child to the broader Wooden Boat Magazine – is an all-digital, issue-based publication of three years. It features the history, designs, and denizens of the world of small hobby craft, as well as product reviews and events. Designers, builders, sailors, and adventurers can […]

Einstein Magazine and IssueM: An Award-Winning Combination

Time to Celebrate ZEEN101 would like to offer our heartfelt congratulations to Einstein Magazine for their recent recognition in the prestigious Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards. The Folio Awards are frequently touted as the top media honor in the digital space. Einstein Magazine, the alumni publication for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, was named […]

How to use Facebook to promote an issue-based publication

Social Media is Made for Issue Publishers Using social media for marketing is hardly a new concept at this point, but innovative businesses are always finding new ways to make the most of the medium. Modern Drummer Magazine, in particular, has found a way to exploit Facebook in a way that works incredibly well as […]

How a legal magazine managed their paywall to explode their email list (and subscriptions)

The Project & The Challenge: Strong Content, Low Readership The Practice is an online magazine published by Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession. It’s a valuable resource for legal professionals, full of news, analysis, and continued learning on the global practice of law. Published first in 2014, and running seven issues per volume […]

Subscriptions, Not Ads: Lessons Learned At ‘WordCamp for Publishers’

A Learning Experience This August, WordPress held the first ever WordCamp for Publishers in Denver, Colorado. Hosted at the Denver Post building and attended by publishers of every size and shape – including such giants as Condé Nast, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Chicago Sun-Times – it was hardly an event that ZEEN101 […]

Read the Bibblio interview on how a veteran magazine publisher got digital publishing right

The Beat Goes On The web-based issues and subscription success of Modern Drummer magazine is getting some attention. Fully customized web issue publishing and archiving, an easy-to-manage metered paywall, and an automated iOS and Android experience, helped drive their results. Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick Start Guide to Accelerating Digital Subscriptions Revealing insights […]

How a college magazine overcame the challenge of publishing effective digital issues in our mobile and sharing world

The Challenge: A Beautiful Magazine in the Digital Age Lynchburg College, a private college in Virginia, publishes a truly beautiful magazine for their alumni and community. Rich content, high-quality, high-resolution photos – it’s a biannual masterpiece. It’s not surprising that they’d want to migrate that content to the web. It’s also not surprising that they’d […]

Hardening your metered paywall can triple paid subscriptions

The Challenge: Established Publication, New Era For 30 years, Military Living has been providing an invaluable tool to the military community: a set of guidebooks for military travel. Military personnel and their families are eligible for a number of travel discounts and Military Living has made that simpler with their three publications: one for hotel […]

How a drumming magazine leapt into digital subscriptions with resounding success

The Project – A Proud Print History Modern Drummer is a comprehensive drumming magazine with a long history of compelling issues. Interviews with titans and rising stars, product reviews, tools and tricks of trade, reflections on the history of music – Modern Drummer has been providing the drumming brotherhood with a wealth of treasure for […]

Meet us at Denver’s WordCamp for Publishers!

Twenty years ago, I was a publishing student in Emerson College’s Writing, Literature, and Publishing program. I loved books and print, but—truth be told—I attended the program’s print publishing classes begrudgingly—solely for employ-ability reasons. (Because who wouldn’t want a $25,000/year job with no benefits in New York City…?) The print world didn’t thrill me. After […]

We help Einstein Magazine win Best Design – Folio Award

Einstein Magazine was chosen by Folio as 2016 and now 2017 Winner of it’s category for digital publications. It uses our IssueM toolkit for WordPress to manage live web issues. We are very proud that our issue publishing platform runs the core of this publication. Source: 2017 Folio: Ozzie Digital Award Winners Get our free guidebook: The […]

What happens when you lock down your paywall?

Visitor traffic plummets but subscription conversions increase four fold. What should you do? Watch this video [4:06] to find what the Wall Street Journal discovered and what options you have.     Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick Start Guide to Accelerating Digital Subscriptions

What’s the difference between a metered paywall and membership software?

​There are some big differences between membership software and a metered paywall… the biggest is that the meter will let Google index and rank all your articles in search. ​ ​The meter (which gives a reader X number of articles of their choosing before requiring a subscription) also promotes social sharing since any article can […]

Leaky Paywall is featured on the wpinnovator podcast

Lee talks about [1:37 secs] our metered paywall plugin for WordPress – Leaky Paywall Find out more: Learn more about monetizing WordPress websites at the wpinnovator podcast Leaky Paywall Thanks Lee! Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick Start Guide to Accelerating Digital Subscriptions  

How to add a display/banner ad into your WordPress sidebar

Learn how to quickly create a linked banner ad and publish it into your sidebar. This method breaks down into a few simple steps: In your Dashboard create a draft ad Page for this and future ad work Upload the display ad image and insert it into your ad page Link the image to your […]

How a new publisher used native apps to successfully launch their digital magazine

Tea Journey magazine quickly built up over 1500 web and app subscriptions during their first few months after launch. Watch this video to find out how they did it. For more information about the app platform head over to UniPress   Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick Start Guide to Accelerating Digital Subscriptions

How an innovative publisher built digital subscriptions from their travel guidebooks

MilitaryLiving.com produces 3 printed guidebooks packed with deals for Military and ex-Military travelers. They needed a way to move all their guidebook information onto the web in order to get found in Google search, encourage guidebook sharing in Facebook, and take digital subscriptions. Watch this (6:05) video to learn how we constructed the site to […]

Add a few tweaks to your sign up page to boost subscriptions 

This fantastic video from GoodUI will enlighten you as to what easy changes you can make to your subscription page to increase sales conversions. They review Harvest’s sign up page. The video is loaded with great improvement tips that you can implement on your own subscription page. It’s only 11 minutes long so you can have […]

How to curate outside articles fast with WordPress

Watch this video (1:19) to learn how to quickly curate and publish articles using the Press This tool in WordPress. You will be amazed how fast you can deliver additional valuable content (in minutes)… and your readers will appreciate it. Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick Start Guide to Accelerating Digital Subscriptions

Digital issues: Publish more issues with fewer articles

The Freedom Press Survey: Readers spend 10 – 30 minutes on average with a digital magazine What this tells us is that readers have about 20 minutes to spend with your publication. What should you do? Create each issue to be consumed in approximately 20 minutes. If you typically publish 12 articles per monthly issue, […]

Introducing Anvil…

We’ve got exciting news. For the past few years, the ZEEN101 team has been hard at work in our super-secret underground laboratory planning, sketching, building, and refining the first all-in-one digital publishing platform built expressly for publishers. Today, we’re thrilled to introduce Anvil: The First All-In-One Digital Platform for Publishers. It is content management. It […]

UK publishers are mixed on performance of Facebook Instant Articles

If you are considering trying Facebook Instant Articles to drive more traffic to your site, expect mixed results. Some publishers are reporting positive results and some are bowing out. Bottom line: Facebook is in control and results can change at any time. Is it worth the risk? U.K. publishers are gaining a better understanding of […]

Google to Penalize Pages with Intrusive Popup Ads Starting January 2017 

It’s time to rethink your ad strategy if you are making readers close popup ad boxes before they can get to your article. Google announced today that it will begin penalizing pages with intrusive interstitials, commonly known as popup ads, beginning in 2017: Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer exp… Not all interstitials […]

46% of 25+ year-olds pay for digital news subscriptions

The trend is turning… the world of low value free information is so underwhelming that we would rather pay for access to great reporting on our special topic of interest. Your readers prefer to pay for better information than they can get for free. So if you run a news site that produces original content for your niche […]

Leaky Paywall Version 4 is out

3 major features have been added to Leaky Paywall (along with UI improvements and bug-fixes): API integration for 3rd party payment gateways. You can now integrate with any payment system that supports APIs. For instructions on how to do this read our new API doc Stripe Credit/Debit Card Form: This will allow you to collect […]

How did Tea Journey Magazine raise almost $100k on Kickstarter?

Tea Journey helps consumers make informed tea selections, properly prepare fine tea and better appreciate the artisans who craft it. Just days ago enough tea enthusiasts contributed to successfully fund Tea Journey’s Kickstarter campaign. Tea Journey is now the third most funded (of 1,098) periodicals in Kickstarter history. That’s right a new magazine with a digital and […]

The Surprising Effectiveness of Digital Issues

In an effort to grab and keep the attention of an audience, many publishers—when they “went digital”—accelerated the pace of publishing to breakneck speed. Unburdened by the physical distribution limitations of print publishing—sourcing, printing, shipping, etc.—digital publishing meant rapid-fire publishing was now possible. Blogs, vlogs, ‘grams, streams, and all the other exhausting forms of stream-of-consciousness publishing proliferated—much to the frenetic joy of the audience and the frenetic stress of the publisher. Hello!

To Build An Audience: Improve the Worst…Don’t Beat the Best (Podcast)

The Digiday podcast this week talks with NowThis president Athan Stephanopoulos about his approach to capturing and keeping a digital audience. NowThis (formerly NowThis News) creates news videos for distribution to social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Their average video receives roughly 750,000 views, and they’ve gotten there, Stephanopoulos says, by focusing on improving […]

A Lesson Publishers Can Learn from the Evolution of TV

I like to keep my eye on all the content industries (television, radio, movies, etc.) for clues about how the (formerly-print) publishing industry might go. Often, different industries move at different speeds and evolve in different directions. But, sometimes one industry can solve a particularly stubborn problem for themselves that creates a spill-over demand in […]

Untapped Potential for your Magazine in … Podcasts?

Ancillary content is one of my favorite topics. By “ancillary,” I mean “side content” that you produce every day in the creation of your main content. This “side content” might not even strike you as “content”—it could be lists you’re making in meetings, or ranting emails you write to your board, or conversations you’re having […]

How to get to 5000 paying subscribers in 1 year

This question came in last week from a publisher looking to start up. Let’s jump in… in order to get to 5000 subscribers you need to do 2 things very well: produce exclusive “can’t get anywhere else” content produce content your audience “can’t live without“ What subscribers will pay for Let’s take a look at a […]

How a veteran publisher monetizes it’s digital magazine archives

Metered paywall + 60 web issues = 10x more visitors from Google search and social sharing Atlantis Rising Magazine (ARM) is a digital publisher who takes full advantage of offering its article archives to paying subscribers. In 2016 ARM took its existing WordPress site and upgraded it with a clean and up to date mobile-friendly design. […]

Apps sync with WordPress for true 1 click issue publishing (yes issue publishing!)

The American Bar Association’s Law Practice Today (LPT) needed to get in front of it’s audience of attorneys by providing convenient apps for a better reading experience… and doing so without creating any extra workload. The problem up till now was that producing apps to go along with a publication was time consuming, exhausting, and expensive. […]

The NYTimes 4 point checklist for digital success

Here’s a quickie: The New York Times is integrating this four point approach to it’s digital publishing success: Presenting a greater cross-section of what the Times publishes spanning culture, opinion, and sports; Using that fuller toolbox of typography, thumbnails and visuals to better express the range of stories offered; Presenting a finite list of stories […]

Consider Kickstarter to crowdfund your new publication

Your main challenge as a publisher is to reach readers and build a strong relationship with them. If you are just starting out, Kickstarter can help you with both of these challenges. Raising money through crowdfunding can raise awareness… we humans want to connect with you and support your mission. You can raise $$ and content […]

How Crunchyroll.com gets 750,000 people to pay for digital content

Like many digital offerings and publications, Crunchyroll is in a niche industry: a global video service for streaming Japanese Anime and Asian media (animated videos). Whether you publish articles, how-tos, or other content, Crunchyroll.com’s methods work. Crunchyroll.com has a tiered membership model: a free level of service which serves up ads to viewers with free memberships […]

Selling Digital Content Just Got a Whole Lot…Freer

For immediate release The #1 Metered Paywall for WordPress is Now Free In a welcome and unexpected move made early this year, ZEEN101 published their landmark—and formerly un-free—Leaky Paywall plugin to the WordPress.org Plugin Repository—making it free of the developer fees that accompany other paywall plugins or services. Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick […]

The New Yorker finds success with its metered paywall

If you are considering or implementing a metered paywall you need to read this article. The New Yorker magazine has some very compelling data about the success of it’s metered paywall. As of today they offer 6 free articles before you need to pay to subscribe. At article 4 they interrupt you to promote their […]

Facebook instant articles… should you jump in or is it AOL all over again?

This is a short and good article to get you thinking about Facebook’s Instant Articles offering. I think testing is a valid path but losing control of your relationship with your reader is something to be very careful about. Facebook can change their mind at any time and you are limited in your approach on […]

Apple pushes apps, Google pushes web… what do you do?

The digital world has revolutionized how we get our content to readers. According to the New York Times “the Internet was supposed to be a place where billions of potential users could be reached in one place, simply and inexpensively. But as Apple focuses on apps and Google pushes the mobile web, businesses are grappling with […]

New Corporate Subscriptions Plugin

Let anyone with @uniquedomain.url access your content. This plugin is perfect for selling subscriptions to companies and organizations. Once an organization is setup EG: @abccompany.anything or *.edu all their employees with a matching email address will have access to your site. How it works You set up the domain that will have access to your content in […]

Sell access to your archives with our new Auto-Archiver plugin

The new Auto-Archiver plugin for Leaky Paywall will automatically archive your articles/posts after X number of days. Only a premium level of subscribers will have access to your archived content. This is perfect if your older content has value. For example: Austin Monitor archives all it’s articles after 90 days. They require a Premium level of subscription […]

The New Yorker finds success with its metered paywall

If you are considering or implementing a metered paywall you need to read this article. The New Yorker magazine has some very compelling data about the success of it’s metered paywall. As of today they offer 6 free articles before you need to pay to subscribe. At article 4 they interrupt you to promote their […]

Documentation updates

We have been working hard on catching up on documentation. Here are some highlights: Leaky Paywall: How To Change the Subscription Details on a Subscribe Card Adding Fields To The Free Subscription Sign-Up Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick Start Guide to Accelerating Digital Subscriptions How Do I Hide the WordPress Admin From Subscribers? […]

Free IssueM support moves to WordPress forums

Just a big FYI if you are looking for free support for IssueM head over to https://wordpress.org/support/plugin/issuem Reason 1: After starting our support in BBPress and then moving to HelpScout we noticed that no matter how much we encouraged support off the WP repo folks couldn’t resist posting there :) Reason 2: Another big reason to […]

Grab your reader’s attention with a great subscription footer nag

ScienceNews.org has a lot of things going right online. Not only is the subject matter totally awesome, and the photos spectacular, but they also manage to nail the metered paywall approach. Here’s how it works: Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick Start Guide to Accelerating Digital Subscriptions 1. Metered paywall They give you a […]

Coupon Codes plugin for Leaky Paywall is here

Create unlimited coupon codes. Assign them to individual subscription levels and more. Create as many coupons as you need Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick Start Guide to Accelerating Digital Subscriptions Coupon Options Tip: use the Reporting Tool to filter coupon usage by price. Get the Coupon Codes plugin here

Harper’s launches metered paywall using our Leaky Paywall for WordPress

Harper’s is the second oldest print magazine in the United States and is making their way in the digital world. They recently decided to employ our Leaky Paywall to give readers 1 free article from their publication before requiring them to subscribe. This gives Harper’s three important benefits: Allows readers to sample a full article […]

3 simple subscription nags that work

Your reader has reached the end of their free article meter and your nag to subscribe pops into the article. What can you do to motivate readers to subscribe? Here are 3 easy to setup nags that work. 1. Embed an image that sells your subscription View a few articles on http://dynastyfootballwarehouse.com until your trigger […]

3 simple subscription nags that work

Your reader has reached the end of their free article meter and your nag to subscribe pops into the article. What can you do to motivate readers to subscribe? Here are 3 easy to setup nags that work. 1. Embed an image that sells your subscription View a few articles on http://dynastyfootballwarehouse.com until your trigger […]

Live Chat with BoSacks and Linda Ruth – Thursday July 16

Join publishing’s top two thought leaders BoSacks and Linda Ruth in a Live Chat on Twitter Thursday July 16th at 3 pm.  Tweet your questions and comments using #MagBiz. For direct questions, use @BoSacks and @Linda_Ruth. Ask the experts anything! Use #MagBiz on twitter to follow and join the conversation Bo Sacks, Precision Media Group – @bosacks For […]

Leaky Paywall version 3.0 is here

This major update covers a lot of ground as was fueled by your feedback and requests. Thank you! Here is what’s new: Multisite compatibility My Account page Custom welcome email Accept 138 currencies New subscriber redirect Multisite compatibility Run Leaky Paywall on two or more subsites with one WordPress multisite installation. Lets readers choose to […]

Apps For Publishers

“You must have an app.” No doubt all publishers have been told this at some stage probably as a singular statement of fact, rather than part of a cogent argument. But the rise of apps shows no sign of abating and whilst the traditional website is far from dead – indeed, the most recent research […]

Creating Your Content Hub

The mantra of modern online publishing is create your content and leave it to your readers to decide where they want to consume it. It’s a noble sentiment but the reality of enabling this approach can be daunting, as well as time and resource intensive if not planned properly. So, how feasible is it for […]

Ad Blogging: Monitization strategy #4

#4 Ad Blogging – letting advertisers promote 24/7 on your site One of the best kept secrets in advertising is simply giving your advertisers the ability to blog their promotions on your website’s homepage. Let’s call them “ad bloggers” Instead of filling up premium space with banner ads, go ultra premium: let advertisers publish their […]

The Paywall: Monitization strategy #3

#3 Your Paywall – readers try before they buy If you think your content solves a pain point for your audience that motivates them enough to pay then you absolutely should be running a metered paywall. What is a metered paywall? Simply a metered paywall lets your reader view X number of articles over a […]

The Native Ad: Monitization strategy #2

#2 Native Ads – preserving the trust What is a native ad? Remember the advertorial in magazines? Well, native advertising is the same thing. You publish an article that is sponsored or paid as if it were a regular article. The difference is you must flag it to the reader as “Promoted or Sponsored” and […]

The Banner Ad: Monitization strategy #1:

Your audience is always willing to “pay” to read your publication. How much they are willing to pay is the unknown you must uncover. Let’s explore the possibilities and put an approach together for your publication. Before we begin, consider what your audience will tolerate: Your reader will always pay by Accepting ads, Subscribing with […]

4 Secrets to Making More Profit from your Content

Your audience is always willing to “pay” to read your publication. How much they are willing to pay is the unknown you must uncover. Let’s explore the possibilities and put an approach together for your publication. Before we begin, consider what your audience will tolerate: Your reader will always pay by Accepting ads, Subscribing with […]

Make them read the blurred text – get readers to subscribe

You run a metered paywall. Your articles are getting found in Google search and they are getting shared in Facebook. Your readers arrive at your site and comb through more articles. They are interested. They might subscribe. How do you encourage them? Do what the Austin Monitor does: Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick […]

Make them read the blurred text – How to motivate readers to subscribe

You run a metered paywall. Your articles are getting found in Google search and they are getting shared in Facebook. Your readers arrive at your site and comb through more articles. They are interested. They might subscribe. How do you encourage them? Do what the Austin Monitor does: Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick […]

Publisher profile: Running a metered paywall and apps… together

Profile DKonPittsburghSports is a Pittsburgh sports news site run by the award winning journalist Dejan Kovacevic (DK). DK offers readers 2 free articles using a metered paywall. The paywall is integrated with his iOS and Android apps for centralized subscriber management. After a reader views 2 articles either on his website or in his apps, […]

Publisher profile: Running a metered paywall and apps… together

Profile DKonPittsburghSports is a Pittsburgh sports news site run by the award winning journalist Dejan Kovacevic (DK). DK offers readers 2 free articles using a metered paywall. The paywall is integrated with his iOS and Android apps for centralized subscriber management. After a reader views 2 articles either on his website or in his apps, […]

ZEEN101 gets featured in People’s Pundit Daily

How Zeen101’s WordPress Leaky Paywall, IssueM Are Revolutionizing Internet Publishing – People’s Pundit Daily Since it’s release on May 27, 2003, the WordPress content management system (CMS) has evolved from a blogging platform to an industry leader in Internet publishing. Their brilliance was in their decision to make WordPress a free, open source software for […]

It’s a trend: monetize your back issues

Why are readers drawn to content decades or even centuries old? The answer is a simple one: Articles that were once popular as cutting-edge news are now highly valued for their historical content. Digital archives are typically being made available through premium multimedia subscriptions that command significantly higher rates than print-only subscriptions — while still […]

It’s time to monetize your back issues

Why are readers drawn to content decades or even centuries old? The answer is a simple one: Articles that were once popular as cutting-edge news are now highly valued for their historical content. Digital archives are typically being made available through premium multimedia subscriptions that command significantly higher rates than print-only subscriptions — while still […]

What Does ‘Going Digital’ Actually Mean For Publishers?

“Going digital” has been the publisher’s catch-cry ever since the web started to take hold but for many small publishers it’s always been a costly undertaking. In the last few years, that’s all changed as low-cost, often free, products have once again levelled the publishing playing field. Now, the problem is not one of cost […]

How to choose the right platform for digital publishing success

Your choice of platform today can make or break your publication. With 1000’s of publishing solutions available, it can be an overwhelming decision. There is some good news in that today we know what we really need to succeed online. There are 8 things your platform must do to attract readers and keep your content […]

How to choose the right platform for digital publishing success

Your choice of platform today can make or break your publication. With 1000’s of publishing solutions available, it can be an overwhelming decision. There is some good news in that today we know what we really need to succeed online. There are 8 things your platform must do to attract readers and keep your content flowing fast: […]

Shopify integration for Leaky Paywall

Run a Shopify store and need to to let buyers buy a subscription to your publication through Shopify? or… need to sell a product that comes with a subscription? Now you can tie a Shopify purchase to a subscription. The Shopify plugin for Leaky Paywall developed by Maciej Bis Allows you to import the emails of recent […]

Using Issues To Help Readers Achieve Finishability

Being economical with links and using issue-based publishing are key components in The Economist’s digital strategy. Should they be part of yours too? ‘Finishability’ allows readers to feel that they are on top of everything and gives them permission to do something else. And it’s central to the strategy to The Economist, the 170 year […]

Use WordPress issues to throw better parties

HOBNOB magazine wants to help you throw better parties Really… and it’s pretty cool. Their secret is packaging how-to articles (based on a party theme) into “issues” that you can read depending on what kind of party you would like to host. Want to host a party about things that are small? Check out the The […]

Use WordPress issues to throw better parties

HOBNOB magazine wants to help you throw better parties Really… and it’s pretty cool. Their secret is packaging how-to articles (based on a party theme) into “issues” that you can read depending on what kind of party you would like to host. Want to host a party about things that are small? Check out the […]

Ad Dropper – Manage ads faster

Ad Dropper makes it a snap to add, manage, and track ads anywhere on your WordPress site Some fast features: Create multiple ad zones: header, footer, sidebar, and in-content Create any type of ad with the WordPress editor: banner, text, video, or insert 3rd party ad code Assign 1 or more ads to your ad zones […]

Does your reader need to read your publication in an app?

The short answer is yes… because your apps make it easier to read your content and brings your reader closer to you, the publisher. According to Nielson: 89% of media consumption is consumed on mobile apps Only 11% of media is consumed on mobile web. Check out their nifty chart: Get our free guidebook: The […]

Does your reader need to read your publication in an app?

The short answer is yes… because your apps make it easier to read your content and brings your reader closer to you, the publisher. According to Nielson: 89% of media consumption is consumed on mobile apps Only 11% of media is consumed on mobile web. Check out their nifty chart: Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ […]

How to Create the Most Compelling Pitch to Subscribe You Have Ever Seen

So you’ve built your digital publication. You have protected your content behind a metered paywall. A reader hits the end of his free articles and it’s time to tell him he needs to subscribe (pay) to read more. How do you nudge him to fork up some $$$ and gain access to the rest of all your fantastic content? A video […]

Gift Subscriptions for Leaky Paywall now available

Generate more subscriptions to your publication by letting friends and family buy gift subscriptions! Grab the gift subscription plugin now. Features: Gifter can send a personal email note to the recipient (or not) Gifter can choose the date they want to have the gift subscription delivered. EG they can choose to send the gift on […]

Reporting Tool for Leaky Paywall now available (free)

The Reporting Tool for Leaky Paywall is a free add-on that will let you filter and download (CSV file) the subscriber info you need. Open up your downloaded CSV file in Excel or other spreadsheet program to analyze your subscriptions. Filter results by: Subscription price Expiration dates Subscription levels Active vs cancelled subscribers Payment methods Subscriber ID […]

How to Create the Most Compelling Pitch to Subscribe You Have Ever Seen

So you’ve built your digital publication. You have protected your content behind a metered paywall. A reader hits the end of his free articles and it’s time to tell him he needs to subscribe (pay) to read more. How do you nudge him to fork up some $$$ and gain access to the rest of […]

The best clean magazine and news themes for WordPress

I get asked pretty regularly: What is a good magazine or news theme to start a design with? The great news is there are many themes to chose from these days… almost too many. I spent many hours combing through magazine and news themes from all the major theme publishers and selected a group that […]

Top Magazine and News themes for WordPress

I get asked pretty regularly: What is a good magazine or news theme to start a design with? The great news is there are many themes to chose from these days… almost too many. I spent many hours combing through magazine and news themes from all the major theme publishers and selected a group that met […]

“Things” to Sell: Sparking New Ideas for Publishers

My last post “Rediscovering the Sense and Economics of Publishing ‘Things’” was, I’m happy to say, well-received. We heard from publishers via email, Twitter, and phone calls that the post spoke to a core concern they’d been having about “the digital future” equaling a purely “free content” future. We, of course, argue that it doesn’t […]

“Things” to Sell: Sparking New Ideas for Publishers

My last post “Rediscovering the Sense and Economics of Publishing ‘Things’” was, I’m happy to say, well-received. We heard from publishers via email, Twitter, and phone calls that the post spoke to a core concern they’d been having about “the digital future” equaling a purely “free content” future. We, of course, argue that it doesn’t […]

Rediscovering the Sense and Economics of Publishing “Things”

From what I’ve seen through my work here at zeen101, the publishing world right now is taking one large step backward—and, in my opinion—that’s the right direction. The lavish promises of digital publishing have captivated the publishing industry for nearly two decades. The idea of instant publishing with instant worldwide distribution is quite compelling—so much […]

Rediscovering the Sense and Economics of Publishing “Things”

From what I’ve seen through my work here at zeen101, the publishing world right now is taking one large step backward—and, in my opinion—that’s the right direction. The lavish promises of digital publishing have captivated the publishing industry for nearly two decades. The idea of instant publishing with instant worldwide distribution is quite compelling—so much […]

Huffington Post publishes our how-to article on native advertising

Good advice from our very own Jesse McDougall. If you are running or considering adding sponsored content to your publication, do yourself a favor and follow Jesse’s 2 simple rules to keep you out of trouble. It’s a quick read at HuffPost. Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick Start Guide to Accelerating Digital Subscriptions

Make better decisions about your site with Google Analytics

If you publish a magazine or news site online you will often be faced with decisions on how to improve the experience for your readers. The answer is quite simple: you have to know how your readers got to your magazine and what articles and other content they are naturally gravitating to. So how do you […]

How to QUICKLY find great free stock photos for your articles

Get your hands on the right free photo fast. The problem with most free stock photo sites is they suck all your time just trying to find a good photo for an article. There are lot’s of free options and some provide really beautiful photos but the wasted time hunting through the long photo galleries […]

How to QUICKLY find great free stock photos for your articles

Get your hands on the right free photo fast. The problem with most free stock photo sites is they suck all your time just trying to find a good photo for an article. There are lot’s of free options and some provide really beautiful photos but the wasted time hunting through the long photo galleries drives me nuts. […]

Play the Long Game: Serve Your Audience First

This post was inspired by an article over on Copyblogger by Sonia Simone titled, “The Right Way to Think About Google.” Simone offers five wonderful rules to help us blogger/publishers guide our thinking about Google and its awesome and awesomely-fussy power. The article culminates with Simone’s fifth rule, which is this: “Serve the audience first.” […]

Play the Long Game: Serve Your Audience First

This post was inspired by an article over on Copyblogger by Sonia Simone titled, “The Right Way to Think About Google.” Simone offers five wonderful rules to help us blogger/publishers guide our thinking about Google and its awesome and awesomely-fussy power. The article culminates with Simone’s fifth rule, which is this: “Serve the audience first.” […]

Simmons College publishes an issue based magazine with WordPress

Here is a great example of a WordPress publication that features regular issues and also publishes a blog for in between news: The Field Educator What’s it about?  It is published by the Simmons School Social Work and according the about page: Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick Start Guide to Accelerating Digital Subscriptions […]

How to craft great titles for your audience

There are many popular schools of thought when it comes to titling an article. Unfortunately, the trend we’re seeing lately relies too heavily on fishing: Pack ’em full of keywords so the Google robots find you; Bait your readers with scintillating tantalization; Tell your readers they JUST WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT…!; …Make a list! […]

How to Target Your Titles for Your Audience

There are many popular schools of thought when it comes to titling an article. Unfortunately, the trend we’re seeing lately relies too heavily on fishing: Pack ’em full of keywords so the Google robots find you; Bait your readers with scintillating tantalization; Tell your readers they JUST WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT…!; …Make a list! […]

Is native advertising doomed?

This video made me laugh. It’s funny, really funny and makes me glad I have an HBO subscription so I can watch more John Oliver. John, in a completely satirical way, lambastes the entire native advertising movement. He points out that advertising and editorial are “church and state” and should never be mixed together. Is […]

Is native advertising doomed?

This video made me laugh. It’s funny, really funny and makes me glad I have an HBO subscription so I can watch more John Oliver. John, in a completely satirical way, lambastes the entire native advertising movement. He points out that advertising and editorial are “church and state” and should never be mixed together. Is […]

Swimming Through Mud: The State of Publishing Online

Publishing online today is like swimming through mud—difficult, unclear, tiring. Any print publisher of any stripe—book, news, magazine, school, corporate, etc.—looking to put content online is quickly overwhelmed by a mudslide of large, and sometimes esoteric, questions: Free content or paid? How do we prevent rampant piracy? Is SEO still a thing? Flipbook- or blog-style? […]

Swimming Through Mud: The State of Publishing Online

Publishing online today is like swimming through mud—difficult, unclear, tiring. Any print publisher of any stripe—book, news, magazine, school, corporate, etc.—looking to put content online is quickly overwhelmed by a mudslide of large, and sometimes esoteric, questions: Free content or paid? How do we prevent rampant piracy? Is SEO still a thing? Flipbook- or blog-style? […]

Shrink your publication’s header for better branding throughout your site

The New Yorker is doing it, the New York Times is doing it, you can do it… and it’s pretty easy. Here’s how: Step 1: Reduce your header logo size Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick Start Guide to Accelerating Digital Subscriptions Readers don’t care about your logo… really. It is important they know […]

Adjust your publication’s header for better branding throughout your site

The New Yorker is doing it, the New York Times is doing it, you can do it… and it’s pretty easy. Here’s how: Step 1: Reduce your header logo size Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick Start Guide to Accelerating Digital Subscriptions Readers don’t care about your logo… really. It is important they know who […]

Some Required Resources for Effective Content Marketing

Publishers and authors do not need an army of geeks in order to create and execute effective content marketing campaigns. That said, content marketing does require a few things in order to be effective. I’ve laid them all out here so that you can see—before starting out—what you’ll need to arrange or line up to […]

How to publish a native ad in WordPress

With all the discussion and growth of native advertising, we thought it was time for us to provide a simple yet effective plugin to flag an article as “Sponsored” or “Promoted” We couldn’t find a good one so we built one that’s free to download. Watch this video to see how it works: Get our free […]

How to share a great article you found with your readers (curation)

A fishing publication asked me today how should I go about sharing an article with my readership? It’s a great question and yes you do want to share (or curate) articles from other sources… and it’s simple. When you run into a great article do these 4 things: Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick […]

How to create links in your articles to attract more readers

Easy and powerful. If you are writing copy you need to always link to sources. Linking properly is key to humans clicking and Google ranking your stories in search Get our free guidebook: The Publishers’ Quick Start Guide to Accelerating Digital Subscriptions

73% of Publishers offer Native Advertising

Native advertising is like the old advertorial… it’s publishing an article that is really an advertisement. The ad is native to your stream of articles or blog posts. Why is this so popular now? Read on to find out!

76% of readers will abandon your publication on their phone

These people won’t even bother trying to use a non-optimized site, or will turn to a competitor instead (article from Venture Beat) You need to run and make sure your publication is mobile optimized… now. Another shocker as of December: Mobile browsers now make up 20% of all internet traffic. And to top it off: […]

Should you publish issues or blog style?

There is no right or wrong way to publish. Consider whether your audience demands information as it happens (blogging) or whether curating and packaging articles into issues serves them better. It’s up to you. Below I will cover the pros and cons of using a blogging vs. issue based approach and also combining the two. […]

Should you publish issues or blog style?

There is no right or wrong way to publish. Consider whether your audience demands information as it happens (blogging) or whether curating and packaging articles into issues serves them better. It’s up to you. Below I will cover the pros and cons of using a blogging vs. issue based approach and also combining the two. […]

How to choose a great web address for your magazine or news site

Find out how to quickly uncover domain names that are available and would suit your publication. If you are just starting out with an online magazine, you need to make a very important decision: what domain name you should promote to your audience. Watch this video (4:40) to find out how to find and choose […]

How to Choose a great web address for your magazine

Find out how to quickly uncover domain names that are available and would suit your publication. If you are just starting out with an online magazine, you need to make a very important decision: what domain name you should promote to your audience. Watch this video (4:40) to find out how to find and choose […]

Advertiser blogs make serious money

What if your advertisers could compete for the #1 spot on your publication’s homepage? The homepage of your news or magazine site holds great value for your advertisers, so why not let all of them claim the spot? As a bonus why not let your advertisers change their message daily or even hourly? The Camden […]

Let your advertisers blog on your homepage

What if your advertisers could compete for the #1 spot on your publication’s homepage? The homepage of your news or magazine site holds great value for your advertisers, so why not let all of them claim the spot? As a bonus why not let your advertisers change their message daily or even hourly? The Camden […]

Don’t design your online magazine… blueprint it

Grab a pencil and some paper… This story starts with a person I call the frenzied editor. Not long ago I walked into the office of this publisher who was peering over a conference room table, with about 30 white pieces of paper scattered about. What he was doing was busily sorting out what pages […]

Don’t design your online magazine… blueprint it (a how to)

Grab a pencil and some paper… This story starts with a person I call the frenzied editor. Not long ago I walked into the office of this publisher who was peering over a conference room table, with about 30 white pieces of paper scattered about. What he was doing was busily sorting out what pages […]

Profile: Dartmouth Alumni Magazine

Join Sean Plottner, the Editor of Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, and I for an inside look at running an alumni magazine at one America’s most prestigious colleges. Here is the transcript: Pete: Welcome Sean Plottner. We’re interviewing Sean Plottner. He is the editor of DAM Magazine, that is Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. It’s my favorite acronym in […]

Interview with Dartmouth Alumni Magazine – Running an online publication

Join Sean Plottner, the Editor of Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, and I for an inside look at running an alumni magazine at one America’s most prestigious colleges. It’s 26 minutes and you can download the interview (right click/Save As). Listen in: [powerpress] If you prefer to read here is the transcript: Pete: Welcome Sean Plottner. We’re […]

What platform should you use for your online magazine? (Hint: WordPress)

Why WordPress? The war for attention online is brutal. Today, you absolutely positively must do these 5 things right: 1. Open your arms to Google search: let your articles get easily found Paper doesn’t do it. Flip-book/digital mags rarely show up. iPad/Android mags don’t do it. PDF’s don’t do it very often. So what format […]

Your article page is more important than your homepage

Your articles are more important than your homepage. Why? Because we humans search for answers to specific questions online. And that sends us to a specific article that answers that specific question. Consider this statistic: On average (for news blogs and online publications) 70% of search and social sharing traffic lands directly on article pages […]

Time to ditch your banner ads?

…unless you have a large community and readership. Forget ads and create products to sell Your biggest strength as a magazine or news publisher is that you have a community that is focused on your topic area and are passionate about it. If you do a good job building and interacting with your readers then […]

Banner ads won’t make you (the magazine publisher) any money

…unless you have a large community and readership. Forget ads and create products to sell Your biggest strength as a magazine or news publisher is that you have a community that is focused on your topic area and are passionate about it. If you do a good job building and interacting with your readers then […]

You must add site search to your WordPress magazine or news publication

Problem: How do you increase the number readers to your online magazine? Solution: Create articles that readers tell you they want 1. The typical way to get your publication ranking in Google search is to look at the keyword searches that are being done online (using Google Adsense which tells you the search volume for […]

Add site search to your web publication to spot trends

Problem: How do you increase the number readers to your online magazine? Solution: Create articles that readers tell you they want 1. The typical way to get your publication ranking in Google search is to look at the keyword searches that are being done online (using Google Adsense which tells you the search volume for […]

How to price your digital magazine

I see a trend. The trend is $1.99 per month. Why? Because the Apple Newsstand (found within iTunes’ App Store) is now selling quite a lot of magazines and is showing price points for publications. Many are at $1.99/mo. Web magazines (see The Magazine, The Dish) are also converting to the $1.99 per month pricing […]

How to price your digital magazine

I see a trend. The trend is $1.99 per month. Why? Because the Apple Newsstand (found within iTunes’ App Store) is now selling quite a lot of magazines and is showing price points for publications. Many are at $1.99/mo. Web magazines (see The Magazine) are also converting to the $1.99 per month pricing model and […]

What platform should you use for your online magazine? (Hint: WordPress)

Why WordPress? The war for attention online is brutal. Today, you absolutely positively must do these 5 things right: 1. Open your arms to Google search: let your articles get easily found Paper doesn’t do it. Flip-book/digital mags rarely show up. iPad/Android mags don’t do it. PDF’s don’t do it very often. So what format […]

Proper article formatting guidelines – a how to

You need to read this article on how-to firm up your article formatting guidelines. Do you want to let your contributors write and format any way they want? Do you want to spend extra time editing the formatting on submitted articles? i didn’t think so… so do yourself a favor and head over to WP-Daily and at least save this […]

Article formatting guidelines – a how to

You need to read this article on how-to firm up your article formatting guidelines. Do you want to let your contributors write and format any way they want? Do you want to spend extra time editing the formatting on submitted articles? i didn’t think so… so do yourself a favor and head over to WP-Daily […]

Why do publications fail?

Stop being in the game of numbers and change to a game of members instead – Mr. Magazine This is the publishing truth. Your publication, whether it is digital, print or made of sheets of steel… must serve, connect, and be one with your community. Publications fall down because the publisher broke the relationship with […]

Why does a publication fail?

Stop being in the game of numbers and change to a game of members instead – Mr. Magazine This is the publishing truth. Your publication, whether it is digital, print or made of sheets of steel… must serve, connect, and be one with your community. Publications fall down because the publisher broke the relationship with […]

What’s the difference between a blog and a magazine?

There is a great discussion going on on Linkedin about this question which was posed by Lorraine Phillips in the Magazine discussion group. Here is her question: Can someone define what the difference is between a “regular” blog and an online type magazine. Is it the amount of sections or different content that pull together […]

What’s the difference between a blog and a magazine?

There is a great discussion going on on Linkedin about this question which was posed by Lorraine Phillips in the Magazine discussion group. Here is her question: Can someone define what the difference is between a “regular” blog and an online type magazine. Is it the amount of sections or different content that pull together […]

How to add a display/banner ad into your WordPress sidebar

Learn how to quickly create a linked banner ad and publish it into your sidebar. This method breaks down into a few simple steps: In your Dashboard create a draft ad Page for this and future ad work Upload the display ad image and insert it into your ad page Link the image to your […]

How to build a WordPress news site

Middlebury College recently rebuilt and launched their MiddleburyCampus.com news site. Their #1 point of pain was workflow as their current news site was slow and difficult to manage. Middlebury also publishes the campus news in print every week and needed to be able to publish digital editions to match this schedule. What did they do? They turned […]

What happens when you put up a hard paywall? (a magazine mini case study)

The Times of London recently reversed themselves. They removed some of the paywall that they had put up which charges subscribers to read their news. The Times decided to offer some teaser text free of charge with their articles. All their articles were previously blocked for 2 years. So why did they do this? The […]

What happens when you put up a paywall? (a magazine mini case study)

The Times of London recently reversed themselves. They removed some of the paywall that they had put up which charges subscribers to read their news. The Times decided to offer some teaser text free of charge with their articles. All their articles were previously blocked for 2 years. So why did they do this? The […]

The Content of Your Communication is Important—Not What Carries It

The following is the introduction to my latest book #tweetsmart: 25 Twitter Projects to Help You Build Your Community (O’Reilly Media, 2012). This intro sums up my attitude toward Twitter and the perilous practice of “marketing” on Twitter. Enjoy! At nearly every conference I attend I meet people who tell me, “I have no use […]

Your magazine article page layout – Top 7 todos

The problem: Google tells us that 70% of all readers land on your article pages or blog posts and not your homepage. This is an amazing statistic and I have experienced the same. Now why does this happen? When people search, they search for something very specific. So lets pretend you published an article called […]

How to create a fabulous article in 10 minutes using video

I was talking to a couple of folks involved in real estate, a landscaper and a real estate broker. They both publish on their blog and they both realize that publishing good content is good for their business. It attracts natural Google search traffic and it builds trust with the visitors that land on their […]

How to create a fabulous article in 10 minutes using video

I was talking to a couple of folks involved in real estate, a landscaper and a real estate broker. They both publish on their blog and they both realize that publishing good content is good for their business. It attracts natural Google search traffic and it builds trust with the visitors that land on their […]

Your magazine article page layout – Top 7 todos

The problem: Google tells us that 70% of all readers land on your article pages or blog posts and not your homepage. This is an amazing statistic and I have experienced the same. Now why does this happen? When people search, they search for something very specific. So lets pretend you published an article called […]

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a hot new term in the world of marketing. And, as it is when anything new and potentially revolutionary comes along, confusion and fear about this new 12-headed-beast run rampant. I’ve heard some bewildering arguments against content marketing that were based on little more than fear and some yeah-well-my-second-cousin-the-web-geek-told-me-that-xyz reactionary belligerence. One […]

Using “Twitter Links” to Improve Your Social Media Tracking Efforts

Twitter—the wildly popular “micro-blogging” service—is making a giant impact on the internet, and joining the ranks of internet giants by doing so. If you’ve watched any cable news program in the last year, you’re probably already familiar with how it is helping to cure us all of the reckless habit of using sentences longer than […]

Boost Your Site’s Productivity with 3 Easy Updates

I realized the other day that I’ve now spent over ten years working with small business web sites. Has the internet even been around 10 years?! Was it really 13 years ago that I was ducking class and hiding in the school’s computer lab so I could “email” the fellow geek sitting at the computer […]

Three Reasons Book Publishers are Perfect for Social Media

Yes. I admit that I may be biased. My life-long interest in book publishing, my background in the industry, and my general love for books, may make me an unsuitable person to declare a particular industry most-suited to participate in the world of social media. I’ll make my quick points and leave it up to […]

Your Web Site: The Essential Hub of Your Social Media Strategy

The world is all a-buzz right now (at least my corner of the world) about social media marketing and how to make Twitter or Facebook or YouTube or LinkedIn or Digg or Bloopt work for your business. I happen to think that these services—except for Bloopt, which I just made up—CAN work for businesses in […]

The Billboard Analogy & The Importance of Proving that Social Media Sells

Coca-Cola isn’t alerted by Rickie’s Convenience Mart every time you buy an ice cold bottle after walking past their signs at the local little league field. Nike can’t run the numbers (groan) on how many times people have purchased new kicks after seeing skinnier people in their ads on the subway. And McDonald’s can’t track […]