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 […]

Local News Publishers: Subscriptions v. Memberships v. Donations – Paywall Podcast

The Question of Revenue Should your publication be seeking subscriptions, encouraging donations, or offering memberships? The three main revenue models are a hot topic in the publishing world at the moment. The simple answer? All three. Episode 8 of the Paywall Podcast is a roundtable discussion between ZEEN101’s Pete Ericson, Jeremy Green, and Tyler Channell […]

How To Generate More Paid Subscriptions With Promotions – Paywall Podcast

More subscriptions, less stress Paid subscriptions are a key revenue source for most publications. Fortunately, there are any number of easy promotions and strategies a publisher can run to increase those crucial subscriptions. In this episode of the Paywall Podcast, How To Generate More Paid Subscriptions With Promotions, Pete, Jeremy, and Tyler go through a […]

An Interview With Street Photography Magazine – Paywall Podcast

A profile of a successful publication Every profitable publication is born out of a wealth of experience that can be shared. In this episode of the Paywall Podcast, Interview with Street Photography Magazine, Pete sits down with Bob, the founder of Street Photography Magazine, to discuss the journey and strategies that built its success. Listen […]

6 Examples of Successful Publication & Product Launches – Paywall Podcast

New ideas for a profitable publication Every publication is different, but even small or unusual publications can be profitable. In the third episode of the Paywall Podcast, 6 Examples of Successful Publication & Product Launches, Pete, Jeremy, share diverse examples of publishers who found creative ways to generate revenue.   Listen now.   Our featured publishers […]

October 2020 Monthly Update: Checking Your Foundation

Find Your Cornerstone This month, we’re focusing on perfecting the fundamentals. The first step to a profitable publication is getting the basics right. We kick it off with a few words on Leaky Paywall’s full compliance with SCA regulations. Then we unveil our new Paywall Podcast and a couple new integrations to simplify your workflow, […]

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 […]

Increasing digital subscriptions with an All-Access pass

Stepping Up The Tempo Of Subscription Success Modern Drummer Magazine is at the top of their game for growing subscriptions. As a veteran print publisher who successfully made the leap to a digital issue, they’ve also mastered the art of setting their pricing to increase both print and digital subscriptions. Now they’ve found a new […]

How to double your email list by getting rid of your email popup

An Essential Process Time and experience (and even a formal study or two) have proven that growing your email list is an indispensable part of growing your subscriptions. Readers who join your email list are 10x more likely to become subscribers. It follows that building that email list should take a more proactive approach than […]

How to make flipbooks part of your digital subscription strategy

A Long History True West Magazine is a veteran publication, publishing a highly visual magazine on the history of the American West since 1953. They started adding their content on the web fairly early, before the evolution of the digital issue. At the time, it was a fairly natural decision for President and Executive Editor […]

How to sell a Super-Premium subscription level

Special Handling For Special Content All of your content is valuable, but for most publishers there are some pieces that are simply more valuable than others. Take iPolitics, for example. A leading online source for Canadian political news, iPolitics is offering in-depth coverage of its upcoming 43rd general election. For the months of September and […]

What should you set your Leaky Paywall meter to? – a Profitable Publishing Webinar

New Research and New Regulations On September 12th, ZEEN101’s Pete Ericson and Jeremy Green hosted our third Profitable Publishing Webinar. This edition of the webinar kicks off with Pete’s tutorial on how to set your paywall correctly to grow your subscriptions. Then, Jeremy gives a guided tour of new settings in Leaky Paywall and compliance […]

Do Flipbook E-Editions Really Work?

Flipbooks: Yea or Nay? Flipbooks (or e-editions) were an early development in field of digital publications. It was a logical step: they were a perfect replica of the print magazine, right down to the flipping pages (and sound effect). As the digital world has advanced, flipbooks have fallen out of favor for many good reasons. […]

How To Build Your Email List and Track GA Goals – A Profitable Publishing Webinar

Strategies and Walkthroughs On May 14th, ZEEN101’s Pete Ericson and Jeremy Green hosted our second Profitable Publishing Webinar. This week’s session included the importance and ease of building your email list and how to set up and track event goals in Google Analytics. The 22-minute session was presented live to our premium customers, with the […]

Why You Should Shift Your Focus To Inbound Marketing

A New Perspective All successful publications have found ways of marketing that work for them: print mailings and cold calls, tracking subscriber (and ex-subscriber) behavior. These outbound methods are valid and will continue to be so. But when you switch to a digital publication, you open up a whole new world of opportunity and your […]

How To Make Digital Advertising Work For You

Digital Advertising That Works In Autumn 2018, at the National Newspaper Association’s annual trade show, ZEEN101’s Pete Ericson led a roundtable discussion on digital advertising. The consensus was that digital advertising is a mess (big surprise). Fortunately, when traditional methods falter, innovators will always come up with something new. You just have to think on […]

How To Turn Your Digital Issue Into Your Sales Funnel

A New Sales Engine The transition into digital publication has been rough on newspapers. (This year’s New York Press Association Spring Conference has made that clear.) Your digital front end isn’t just a supplement to your print edition – it’s the engine that drives all your sales, digital and print alike. It’s time to put […]

How To Build A Smashing ‘About Us’ Page

From Perfunctory to Perfect Everyone has an ‘About Us’ page. Their creation is often an afterthought – a few lines about the publication, maybe a set of profile pictures of key staff – but they have the capacity to be more. While your ‘About Us’ page may never contribute directly to the growth of your […]

How Automated Email Marketing Can Triple Your Audience

A Powerful Tool Email might just be the biggest direct marketing tool in your arsenal. It can also be the easiest. Studies show that readers who join your email list are 10x more likely to become paid subscribers. And getting people to join your email list doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, most of […]

10 Amazing Subscription Prompts To Inspire Paid Conversions

An overlooked Weapon You have subscription cards. It’s a necessary part of the process – bring them in with your awesome content and then you have a page that tells them how to get more and how much it costs. But, used correctly, this simple necessity can actually become part of your sales pitch. We’ve […]

How to turn your Thank-You page into more subscriptions

An Unused Tool In Your Toolbox Every publisher has a secret weapon that they just don’t know about yet. It’s a tiny tool in their arsenal but it is perfectly placed to leverage into great effect. What is this mysterious asset? The thank you page. That’s right. The obligatory splash page that everyone displays after […]

How to double your email list in 6 months with a metered paywall

An Easy Win We’ve talked a lot about the importance of building your email list. It’s a gateway to paid subscriptions: readers on your email list are ten times more likely to become subscribers. So, it’s always exciting to see a publisher come up with a clever and effective way of doubling their email list. […]

How To Use Leaky Paywall As A Hybrid

Leaks Aren’t For Everyone Your content is your currency, so it’s not surprising that an entire industry has arisen around keeping it safe. Leaky Paywall is hardly the only metered paywall out there. But it is the most versatile. For most publishers, the strongest selling point of a paywall is the leaky bit. Allowing readers […]

How Your Ad-Blocker Strategy Can Win Paid Subscribers

Everyone needs an Ad-blocker Strategy Advertising is a time-honored part of the publishing world. The digital space, however, has changed the game. ‘Banner blindness’ keeps readers from registering the content of banner ads. And for any kind of pop-up ad, over 30% of site visitors have installed ad-blockers. Many browsers now build in ad blocking. […]

How to grow your print subscriptions with digital issues

The Digital Dilemma In an increasingly digital world, it’s difficult to fathom staying afloat as a print publication. But the transition into digital hasn’t been easy either. First, there’s the slow evolution of exactly what a digital issue means (don’t worry, we have an answer for you). And then, there’s the problem of advertising. Digital […]

How To Build Your Audience With Email and Social Media Engagement

Foundations Are Just Beginnings You can’t attract an audience to your digital publication without first creating amazing content – and fortunately, that’s your wheelhouse. Once you’ve got the content, you can protect it (but not too tightly) with a metered paywall, allowing readers a taste of their choosing, without giving away the whole feast. That’s […]

How to Price Your Digital Publication to Retain and Increase Your Subscriptions

And now for something completely different… We talk a lot about how to woo your subscribers. But before you can start growing your digital subscriber base, you must answer a very important question: How much should my subscription cost? Pricing a digital publication is a crucial starting point.  You have to start in the right place. […]

Create New Sources of Revenue from Existing Content

Untapped Goldmines We’ve talked about this before, but there is an undeniable truth that deserves some time in the spotlight: Your digital publication has a ton of content that is either being overlooked or underutilized. Think about it. You’ve spent years putting out article after article of solid, brilliant, valuable content. There’s no way that […]

Why You Should Be Publishing Special Digital Issues

Everybody’s Got Issues Publishers already work incredibly hard. Your attention is on creating brilliant content: finding the right audience, the right sources, the right angle, the right words. On top of all that, you have to do the actual publishing: the platform, the distribution, the promotion, the revenue streams. It’s a lot. In recognition of […]

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 […]

20 Best Features of Leaky Paywall You Don’t Know About

Easy Doesn’t Have To Mean Basic Leaky Paywall is an easy tool to set up. It can be installed easily, you can input your baseline settings easily, and then it can begin increasing your subscriptions easily. Of course, we can make it fancier. We’ve recently discussed some of the ways we have tweaked and customized […]

What if you simply let paid subscribers post classifieds?

The Challenge: Classified Ads De-Classified Advertising is often the lifeblood of a magazine, financially speaking. Whether it’s a full-page photo ad with an attached perfume sample or a veritable catalog of classified ads, advertisements are a source of income. To a certain extent, this is true of web-based publications as well. Though banner ads have […]

How To Boost Paid Subscriptions with a Free e-Book

The Challenge: A Reason To Subscribe For more than 10 years, Soccer Coach Weekly has been the go-to digital publication for the mentors of The Beautiful Game. Replete with drills, training plans, and even personalized advice, Soccer Coach Weekly is an invaluable resource for the entire range of juvenile soccer coaches. Originally launched in 2006, […]

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 […]

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 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 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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Quartz is launching its first major mobile App – Why?

QZ.COM’s reasons for adding an App: Notifications: Quartz want to reach readers with push notifications Advertising, 42% of readers are on mobile web Native apps are preferred by 89% of the general reading public Give them the ability to get closer to their best readers Provide a convenient way for readers to watch video and […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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: So YES, if you run a […]

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 […]

“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 […]

Apps vs Mobile Sites: 3 Ways Apps Build Stronger Relationships with Readers

Publishers of every stripe have wrestled, at some point, with some variation of this question: Are we better off developing a slick app or a killer mobile website? Strong cases can be made for both approaches to delivering a publication to a mobile audience. Get our free guidebook: The publisher’s Subscription Accelerator™ guidebook

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? […]

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 Readers don’t care about your logo… really. It is important they know who is producing content, but how hard is it for them to figure that out? […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 This […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]