Focus On The Users: Technology Lessons From ‘WordCamp For Publishers’

What’s Good For the Tech… WordCamp for Publishers was a treasure trove of information for the publishing space, both on the marketing and technical side. In terms of marketing, ZEEN101 learned a lot about the value of subscriptions over ads as a revenue source. The technical lessons were, well, technical but they had some broader […]

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

The Challenge: Strong Content, Low Readership and Subscriptions 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 in […]

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. Revealing insights from Bibblio a Medium Source The content-recommendation–specialists Bibblio interviewed Modern Drummer and recently published an […]

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 Source: 2016 Folio: Ozzies Digital […]

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.    

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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,’s methods work. has a tiered membership model: a free level of service which serves up ads to viewers with free memberships […]

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 […]

Stripe vs PayPal, what’s best for a digital publisher?

In 2014, blogger, Shannon George, wrote a detailed article comparing two online payment processors, PayPal and Stripe . The article, Paypal vs. Stripe, is a great read to understand the differences, pros, and cons of each. If you are using the WordPress platform for your digital publication, both processors can handle subscriptions (recurring and non-recurring). It’s nice to […]

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 until your trigger […]

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 […]

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: Make them want to read the blurred […]

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, […]

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 […]