Quick and Easy Ways to Monetize a Digital Magazine

If you ended up here, it must mean that your organization is like the many others right now trudging through the struggling (but still hanging on!) print magazine industry. You’re probably wondering whether it’s the right time to make the shift to digital, or are generally skeptical about introducing a new platform to your audience. But if you read my previous post about the state of the publication industry back in September, you’ll remember two key points that ring true in our current recession:

  • We’re in a race to remain relevant. It’s critical that publications adapt right now to keep readership — and advertisers — engaged.
  • Digital may not be new, but it’s necessary. Our world has shifted. Permanently. There’s no going back to “the way it was before.” Not entirely.

It’s no secret that making this transition or expansion to a digital magazine is an investment — any worthy cause typically is. In order to invest confidently, it’d probably be helpful to know that there are ample opportunities to quickly and effectively monetize a digital platform. If you’re still on the fence, we’ve compiled a short list of some of the best ways digital magazines can make placements more appealing to advertisers and readers:

  • Digital magazines mean more diverse (and frequent) advertising opportunities. Gone are the days when the only difference between ads were their size and location. Digital magazines open up a whole new world of opportunity for advertisers from affiliate links and e-commerce to website banners and digital ads. With these opportunities, publishers can attract more diverse advertisers.
  • App-based magazines create brand new engagement opportunities. Apps allow for a level of interactivity that a print publication never will. Plus, this interactivity often comes with something even more invaluable: data. With reader behavior data, you’ll understand your audience and be able to tailor your content in a whole new way.
  • Digital magazines allow for more targeted advertising. Just as there are greater opportunities for segmenting content by audience, so are there for segmenting ads. And the ability to hyper-target makes these placements more relevant to readers, which increases the value to advertisers.
  • Digital magazines allow for less expensive and more frequent distribution. Online readers can consume your content on a higher frequency. The day your edition is distributed, it’s in a reader’s hand.
  • Incentivized membership options. With a digital magazine, organizations can experiment with different revenue sources through their readers. In creating valuable content that readers cannot get anywhere else, people should be willing to pay for it. In recent years The Atlantic, New York Magazine, and Bloomberg Businessweek all adopted subscription revenue. The Guardian even offers different tiers for digital readers including Supporter, Partner, and Patreon with varying costs and exclusive benefits

There are plenty of other reasons why digital is the way this industry is headed, but hopefully these seemingly simple, yet impactful observations help you decide that digital will be the difference for your publication. (And help you put your money where your mouth is when you make this recommendation!)

If you’re looking to make the shift to a digital magazine, but don’t know where to start, we’re here to help. Connect with us.

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Nikki Francois

With nearly a decade of experience in strategic communications consulting, Account Director Nikki Parrotte leads Beyond Definition’s account and project management teams in the development and execution of successful brand-centric integrated campaigns.

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