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How Big Is Big When You Are a Digital Magazine?

  |  March 15, 2013   |  Comments

Use this 10-point checklist to help position yourself for large-scale growth.

According to the AAM, only 65 percent of magazines in the market today offer a digital version.

In the second half of 2012, close to 8 million digital magazines were sold, which was a huge leap from the nearly 3 million digital magazines sold in all of 2011.

Is this big?

The total number of digital subscriptions compared to print subscriptions is still estimated to be only between 1 and 6 percent of total circulation. For those of us in the publishing industry, we can attest, getting to this point hasn't been easy.

Industry analysts are predicting that by 2015 close to 10 percent (and possibly 15 percent) of all subscriptions will be digital. By 2020 that percentage will swiftly move to over 50 percent. The growth we expect to see is just beginning. Is your company (and are you) prepared to handle it?

To help position yourself for large-scale growth I have created a growth preparation checklist you can print out and keep with you. This checklist won't tell you what to do to grow, but it will help you ask questions to ensure you are setting yourself up for growth.

If you have valid answers to eight or more of these, congratulations! You are destined for digital stardom.

If you can answer four to seven of these with confidence, great! Keep it up. You are on your way to success.

If you can only answer one to three of these right now, don't fear. Innovative business models take time, patience, and perseverance. Now at least you have a checklist.

If this list made you cry, cringe, or hit your screen, you might want to stop for a bit and go get a coffee.

The "Are you big enough?" readiness assessment:

  1. Does your digital magazine deliver enough revenue to offset your production and marketing costs?
  2. Can you preview and buy your digital magazine from any platform (even if it means using a web browser)?
  3. Are you selling your digital magazine in countries other than your own?
  4. Do you have a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Kred, and Wikipedia presence?
  5. Are you creating XML for your files?
  6. Do you have distribution outlets outside of major app stores?
  7. Are you working with at least 10 brand partners?
  8. Do you know who your best customers are (in digital) and why?
  9. Have you considered which generation is your best target?
  10. Have you considered three new ways to monetize your content that do not include selling annual subscriptions?

Image on home page via Shutterstock.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen, a recognized women-in-business and tech, is known for her entrepreneurial style and her ability to build, shape, and grow brands into well-known dominant, successful entities. Jeanniey is a pioneer in email, mobile, and digital marketing; publishing; and brand-building. She now leads her own agency, YellowBean LLC, focused on assisting companies of all sizes with driving innovation and growth. Most recently, Jeanniey was the Global EVP, CMO, and subsequently Chief Growth Officer for Zinio, where she worked to define and implement strategies creating explosive growth through strategic partnerships with publishers, technology companies, brands, and consumers during her five-year tenure. Jeanniey has authored and contributed to multiple books, blogs, and magazine articles. She is a regular columnist for ClickZ, a blogger for Huffington Post, and a frequent keynote speaker. A serial networker, in 2005 Jeanniey founded the Email Experience Council, which was sold to the Direct Marketing Association in 2008. She sits on the Advisory Board for IndieFlix, and on the International Executive Council of the Internet Marketing Association. Jeanniey is recognized as both a Top CMO and Top Author on Twitter, and was most recently featured as Mover and Shaker by the Professional Woman's Magazine, and a featured Woman in Technology by The Legacy Series Magazine.

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