While the big publishers fight for their share of the netscape, its time for niche publishers to show why being agile is often better than being big.
My wife and I raise AKC Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs. Small feisty little critters, but loving none the less. We also have an English Jack Russell Terrier. For those that do not know the breed, they weigh less than 15lbs, but think they are a Doberman on steroids. They are agile, quick and often very quick to the punch. They will often loose to a bigger dog in a fight for table scrapes, but the big dog will know that they have met their match. Thus the tale of big dog publishers and the rest of us ensues. We fight for what is left, but can we even make a meal of the left-over’s? Can we beat them at their own game? Perhaps we need to jump while they are distracted with bigger issues. While the top consumer mags are fighting for space online, you as niche publishers can shine bright with specialized content and specialized media that the big dogs only wish they had time to focus on.
NEW YORK (AdAge.com, March 3, 2008) -- When the magazine industry turned out for its latest digital conference last week, no one doubted the importance of the web. But now that they've moved online, many major magazine publishers are finding themselves nobodies in the new neighborhood, overshadowed by digital brands like Yahoo, MySpace and Huffington Post. So how much of the internet's growth can magazine brands snare for themselves?
What makes self owned and small publishers different is your ability to be agile and makes changes in a moments notice. All too often, I see niche publishers miss this opportunity to out shine the big players. Corporate owned pubs have many checks and balances in place that stop them from make snap decisions and putting up content fast. They have big fish to fry and there are about twenty chefs in the kitchen. I often teach that perfect preparation makes for perfect plans. But, when it comes to competitive strategy, often the more agile ship will win the battle.
Bigger magazines have their minds focused on the bigger issues. This gives niche publishers a chance to slip and steal the prize. What is the prize? Users.
Using very specific key words, key phrases and creating relevant contextual content, niche publishers can place content online that will be search engine friendly and thus will get you better results. Better results equals more users.
Contextual content is simply content that is relevant to your subject matter and that is presented in text on your page. For example, if you are a knitting magazine, you will want to have knitting in your title tag, knitting in your meta data and knitting in your most prominent main page content items. While bigger pubs might cover knitting, their sites will be laden with larger corporate issues and not fine tuned like yours. You have the ability to be simple, straight forward and proactive. You can add knitting video without getting corporate approval or having your video screened by a lawyer. Grab a camera and ask a friend to shoot you teaching a new knot or a new pattern. Do not wait for it to be perfect. We all have to start somewhere. Have an idea, put it up and ask users to take a poll. Want to share a user letter, place it in your blog. No blog yet? Come on now, catch up.
To win online you need to look for ways that you can be more agile and shine bright. You have the ability to throw stuff on the wall and see what sticks. This will make your magazine better and your presence online better.
The views of Ryan Dohrn are 100% personal in nature and do not represent the views of his employer, any other person, company or entity in any way. Any similarly is coincidental in nature. Please listen to Ryan’s audio version of this blog online at http://www.RyanDohrn.com
© 2007 Ryan R. Dohrn