The riddle of how to monetize your website is a tough one for online magazines and digital content publications to solve. The majority of online readers tend to surf from website to website, reading and engaging with content as it grabs their attention. With the vast plethora of free content available online, it’s becoming more and more difficult to convince readers to pay a subscription fee to access content.
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Unfortunately, it costs publishers money to produce websites and fill them with content, which makes some form of monetization a necessity. While the paid subscription model of generating revenue might be struggling, it’s certainly not dead. Here are a few tips on engaging readers and building loyalty you can use to better convince them to become paid subscribers.
Know Who’s Reading
The International News Media Association recommends using both semantic and behavioral analytics to analyze your readers and their habits. It’s important to know not only who is accessing your content, but also why. How did they come to the site? What are their reading habits? Which visitors are loyal readers who come back again and again? Such data will help you tailor recommendations to your visitors, and also help you segment your readers into useful categories, such as “subscribers,” “non-subscribers” and “likely to subscribe.”
Keep Them Reading
Understanding your readers’ tastes and behaviors will also help you keep them engaged by offering them content geared to their individual interests and tastes, according to the INMA. One of the best ways to entice readers to become subscribers is to provide them with relevant content that gets them to keep clicking and reading. Offer suggestions based on what brought visitors to your site in the first place to keep them from bouncing away from the site once the initial article is read.
Practice Smart Pricing and Marketing
The INMA recommends researching subscription pricing for other publications and setting your own prices accordingly. In such a tough market as paid online content subscriptions, it’s important to develop a competitive pricing strategy.
It’s also important to be smart with your marketing efforts. This is where segmenting your readers can come in handy. Knowing your reader’s habits and interests lets you to tailor subscription packages to the interests of your “likely to subscribe” group, such as promoting a special sports subscription package to the sports fans among your loyal readership.
Targeting your visitors’ interests and providing relevant, engaging content is a great way to keep them coming back for more. Returning readers are likely to become loyal to your publication, and loyal readers are the most likely to become paid subscribers.