Case Study: Small Boats Nation Tackles Monetization and Content Organization


Small Boats, a digital magazine publisher, was grappling with monetization and content organization. They needed a robust subscription system and a way to streamline their content by issue.


Small Boats partnered with web agency 50fish and the Leaky Paywall team to develop a subscription funnel that began with a registration wall, nudging casual readers toward paid subscriptions via clear upgrade prompts. They used IssueM to publish web-friendly issues, enhancing search and social sharing capabilities.


In just 30 days, audience growth shot up by 20% due to the registration wall. The strategy to tightly restrict content access proved fruitful, pulling in casual readers with the temptation of “just one more article.” Subscription conversion soared, hitting nearly 30% of free registrations. The new organization strategy helped drive additional website traffic, making it clear that outdated formats like PDFs and flip-books just wouldn’t cut it.


A free newsletter was rolled out to serve registered readers, offering an upsell path for paid subscriptions in each email. Sponsors gained more exposure as the email list expanded. They also breathed new life into older long-form articles by repromoting them every two weeks, boosting value for paid subscribers.


Small Boats ditched print and e-editions in favor of iOS and Android apps, focusing on enhancing the subscriber experience through mobile platforms.


Small Boats Nation successfully tackled their main challenges through a smart combination of Leaky Paywall’s flexible subscription options and IssueM’s content organization features. The results were quick and significant: more readers, higher conversion rates, and a more organized content system.

To explore how Leaky Paywall can elevate your publication, let’s talk. We’ll dive into your content, audience, and revenue possibilities.


In case you want to see their very effective free newsletter, here it is:

Small Boats Free Newsletter

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