Let’s be real: whether you’re a writer, editor, or designer working independently or for a digital publication, growing an e-magazine audience is hard.
You’re spending most of your time writing incredible multimedia content pieces for the magazine only to hear silence from your audience.
The growth statistics for each article you write are stagnant. You feel frustrated.
You want to improve these statistics. And you want to monetize your audience. But how?
You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about growing your e-magazine audience.
10 advanced strategies for growing your e-magazine audience
Use these ten strategies to boost your following and monetize your e-magazine audience.
Strategy #1: Create a business plan
Just like any other business, your e-magazine business requires a business plan, too. Follow these steps:
Step 1: Outline your vision and mission statement.
For example, your vision is to be one of the top 10 brides magazines in the USA.
Your mission is to bring you the most authentic wedding stories from around the world — a digital publication that readers trust when it comes to choosing the perfect bridal dress or unique hairstyle for their special day.
Step 2: Decide the niche you’ll focus on
Shane Barker perfectly explains: “Harmonizing multiple interests under one roof isn’t just smart; it’s the future of engaging content.”
You could be a generic online magazine or niche-specific. However, you can have a combination of different niches on your website. For example, an e-magazine that covers topics like home decor, travel, weddings, and so on.
Step 3: Define your target market
Once you have picked the niches, it’s time to focus on and define who your target audience is. Is it writers, designers, photographers, and artists? Or is it digital marketers and professionals who want to learn more about technology?
Step 4: Understand if your target audience can pay you
One of the pressing questions regarding scaling and monetizing your e-magazine business is whether your audience has the money to pay you.
Not sure of the answer off the tip of your tongue? Conduct a SWOT analysis to uncover this information.
Step 5: Decide on your offering
Do you want to offer a subscription to your readers? If yes, what would the offering look like? What are the things you’ll offer to the reader in your pricing plan? Write it down clearly.
Strategy #2: Offer a freebie
People like free value. So don’t underestimate using freebies to drive the reader’s attention to your digital magazine.
Plus, it’ll help indicate the quality of your content. Once they’ve had a taste of your writing style and topics, they’ll likely want to come back for more.
A few ways you can offer freebies to your readers include:
- Magazine previews
- A specific number of articles for free before needing a subscription
- Recirculating some of the articles that you published months ago
For example, Medium, an e-magazine, allows its readers to read three free stories per month. If the reader wants to read more articles on Medium, they’ll need to opt for a pricing plan by the publication.
Strategy #3: Write content that lives on the web
Focus on writing content that gains traction even after months and years of publishing it. How do you make that happen? Writing a stellar content piece and strengthening your SEO game.
Here are some helpful tips on how to do it:
- Focus on writing more interview-focused content pieces, educational content, and opinionated pieces. Use storytelling elements to amp up your digital piece and share in-depth information and anecdotes.
- Define a primary keyword for each content piece in your e-magazine. Use this keyword to optimize your article. For example, add the keyword inside your content piece, in your article’s title and subtitles. Personalize your content by hiring a content writer.
For example, when you write an article on Medium, the writer sees an option to optimize the platform. It asks the writer to add a description for the article, optimize its headline, select topics relevant to the article, and so on.
Also, Medium also asks you to add Alt text for image SEO.
Strategy #4: Get a mentor
So you’ve tried your hands on every strategy that’d have worked to grow your e-magazine audience, yet you don’t see results? It’s time to rely on a mentor.
Look for people online who have already grown their e-magazine audience. Follow them on social media, read the content they publish, and reach out to them for help.
Share with them your challenges and ask them for guidance on how you can optimize your current strategy.
Strategy #5: Work with your team
From publishing the next edition on your magazine’s website to marketing its social media accounts, you need to work with your content team if you want to constantly improve the quality of content in the online magazine.
Maybe your team thinks a newsletter will be a great content marketing strategy for your e-magazine. So, collaborate with your team members.
For example, if you want to write an announcement article and share it with your target audience about the affiliate program, you may need help from graphic designers to design an image for the article. If you have a specific design idea in your mind, you need to give direction to the designer to produce the exact design that you’ve envisioned.
Strategy #6: Plan 12 months ahead
Create a detailed plan on how you’ll multiply the growth of your e-magazine not just for this quarter but for the next 12 months.
This way, you’ll know your next action steps — what activities you need to do and what steps you need to accomplish those activities.
Suppose you want to leverage social media marketing for growth figures. For this, you should have a 12-month social media calendar. This social calendar should clearly state the following:
- The number of social media posts
- What type of posts
- What platforms do you want to publish to
Strategy #7: Run webinars and courses
Running webinars and courses is a great way to educate your audience on certain topics your e-magazine emphasizes and increase your engagement with them.
For example, Forbes has hosted several live webinars on topics like personal branding, using LinkedIn for a professional presence, and so on.
In these webinars, they invite experts who’ll lead the entire webinar. This way, their audience will get insights from experts themselves, which not only helps build better engagement with the audience but also signifies the quality of content Forbes delivers.
Strategy #8: Start your own affiliate program
Besides offering e-magazine subscriptions, affiliate programs help you with direct monetization. With affiliate marketing programs, the affiliates receive a commission when they bring in a new subscriber for your magazine.
For example, Springer, a scientific and professional literature magazine, runs an affiliate program called The Springer Nature Author Affiliate Program.
In this program, all the authors on the publishing platform, when signing up to become the affiliate, get a special link. When someone places an order from Springer Shop or SpringerLink using the author’s special link, the author receives a 30% commission.
So, how do you create your own affiliate program?
To create an affiliate program, decide how much commission you’re willing to give to the affiliate. Once done, write the description for your affiliate program and share it with your existing subscribers and on social media channels.
Strategy #9: Follow up with readers on social media
Your readers are active on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter — which makes it a good medium for you to stay connected with them.
Establish your presence on these social media platforms and share your content. That way, your readers will know about your social presence, and your digital magazine will reach a wider audience across platforms.
For example, Medium shares articles on Twitter, which are then reposted by their followers on the platform. Also, Medium’s readers constantly mention them in their tweets — which increases awareness about the platform and gets more readers.
Strategy #10: Test everything
Finally, it’s crucial to test and iterate on every strategy we’ve mentioned so far.
Don’t leave any stone unturned. If you are running short on time (or resources), here are a few priority items to test:
- Building a personal brand on social media
- Implementing an affiliate program
- Adding a paywall or “gate” to your magazine through a subscription
- Offering freebies
- Sending weekly newsletters to your loyal audience
Now, review all your marketing efforts and see which activities got you results.
- Did adding a layer of subscription bring you a month? If yes, how many subscribers and how much revenue in a specific time?
- How successful has the affiliate program been? How many new paid subscribers did you get through this collaboration?
- Are you getting engagement on social media? If yes, how have you used it to grow your reader community?
Once you test everything, analyze what’s working and what’s not — and weed out the things that aren’t performing well. That way, you’ll be able to double down on your efforts in the activities that work in your favor.
💡Pro tip: Use detailed analytics to review and analyze the performance of your marketing efforts.
And there you have it — a comprehensive guide to monetizing your e-magazine audience. But before we bid goodbye, let’s recap a few things we’ve learned:
- Offer freebies like sharing older articles in newsletters or giving a preview of your magazine edition.
- Start an affiliate program to get paid readers through your affiliate partners.
- Create your presence on social media and use it to engage with your readers.
- Run webinars and courses with expert guests to provide valuable information to your audience.
With these tips (and some dedication), you can grow and monetize your e-magazine audience within a few short months. Here’s to your success!