Interview about membership growth with Greg Grisolano of Land Line Media

Profile of Site Redesign for a Legacy Publisher

LandLine Magazine is the official publication of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), making it the premier publication of the trucking industry and, essentially, the only one target to the drivers, rather than the C-suite. With almost 50 years of history, the publication had grown beyond the boundaries of its early digital framework.

In the most recent Paywall Podcast, An Interview with Greg Grisolano of Land Line Media, the conversation between Greg and ZEEN101’s own Pete Ericson tells the tale of how they met and the project they undertook to bring Land Line out of the past and prepare it for the future.

The Highlights

Key takeaways include:

  • The profile of a site redesign:
    • The Why: an outdated CMS, a mobile-unfriendly site for a largely mobile audience, lost opportunities to display legacy content, siloed multimedia outlets (magazine, opinion blog, podcast).
    • The How: go find subject matter experts to talk to, pick their brains, find the right team to work with.
    • The Goal: searchable, shareable, mobile-friendly, visually appealing, with a symbiosis between what used to be siloed.
    • Unforeseen Benefit: space and time to explore new opportunities in SEO, social, newsletters, and apps.
  • Lessons learned from early on in the process:
    • Bring over as much content, including legacy content, at the outset.
    • Migration can be a huge undertaking, but worth it.
    • Don’t be discouraged by an early dip in traffic; by the end of the first year, Land Line Media had not only regained all lost ground, it had grown.
  • Don’t be afraid to restrict your paywall – high value content is worth it to your readers.
  • Newsletters are a tremendously valuable tool, especially when you’ve got your paywall locked pretty tight. For non-subscribers, they’re halfway there. Send them valuable content and they’ll start looking forward to it, wanting more. Plus, there’s a lot of versatility in what you can do with different newsletters to different parts of your audience.
  • An introduction to Subtext – the texting version of a newsletter.
  • Advice from an expert in his own field: If you find yourself overwhelmed by all the data – make a leap. Go to a conference, sign up for a course, find someone to learn from. Don’t be afraid to put your toe in the water.
  • On social media: know where your audience is, figure out how to open a dialogue.
  • A brief introduction to the value (and potential pitfalls) of using Facebook to meet with your audience.
  • Audience engagement is the most important thing for a publisher to do.
  • Parting advice: Have a focused idea of who your market is, who your publication is for, where they are – this will guide your priorities.

Did you miss an episode?

Our past episodes answer common publisher questions, provide explanations on making the most of your paywall, show off how other unique publishers have found success, profile the growth of a successful publication, and provide a wealth of tactics for growing your subscriptions:

Stay tuned for the next episode of the Paywall Podcast, available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Pandora.

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