How to Monetize Your Magazine with Ad Sales & Subscriptions

By September 28, 2017Business, Marketing, Tips

Monetize Your Content

Ask nearly any growing magazine publisher what they spend the most time planning, worrying, brainstorming, or scheming about, and they’ll tell you it’s monetizing your content. Digital magazine publishers today can take advantage of a variety of tools, resources, and strategies to increase readership to improve the final product, all of which drive profitability, and help monetize their efforts.

Monetize your content today:

Check out our other monetization guides on how to create a media kit and creative marketing.

Stay focused on your brand, audience, and content

What is your vision for your publication? Who is it for? What content do you want to bring to your audience? Staying focused on your brand, audience, and content will always be your true North when things get crazy.

    • Brand: Digital magazines like Sweet Paul take time to craft a strong brand identity. Your brand is essentially a sum of everything your customers will experience and remember about you, from your logo, to your customer service, to your voice and tone in social media. A cohesive experience builds brand recognition and trust. Trust leads to loyalty and return visits.
    • Audience: What do you know about your readers and fans? Many platforms you may be using, like Twitter, Facebook, and Issuu, will provide you with content and audience insights. You can also run a survey on your site or audit your blog and social media comments to find out more about your audience. Knowing your audience helps you to tailor your content, which helps monetization.
    • Content: Publishers NKD Mag and Exit have built a foundation of creating original and high quality content specifically for their target audiences. They don’t use any stock photography, their writing is crisp, and their layouts are clean. Readers pay for the content that they want to read so it’s important to find a niche that aligns to your interests and execute with high production value.

NKD Mag – Issue #75 (September 2017)

Featuring: Val Chmerkovskiy, Alexander Jean, Meghann Fahy, Shannon Purser, Lights, DALES, Britt Baron, Andrew J. West, Kyla Drew, Froy

Sell Digital Issues and Subscriptions

Accessibility and great user experience are key reasons why the digital magazine market is continuously growing. It’s perfect for readers who want to unwind by reading an issue from their favorite magazine on their desktop, tablet, or mobile device. Nowadays, you can even a sell digital issues at a super affordable price, just as  online music and entertainment magazine NKD Mag does. This allows readers to have access to digital issues at their fingertips at anytime! Any solution you consider should offer a seamless reading experience, easy setup, and fast and secure payments mechanisms. Use Issuu Digital Sales to sell your magazine online.

Sell Print Issues and Subscriptions

The beauty of print is tangible, and many readers still enjoy holding a print issue in their hands. You can work with a commercial printing company or made-to-order online publishing platforms like Peecho and Magcloud, where you can mark up your own prices and they handle the shipping, packaging, and distribution. Kinfolk offers print and digital subscriptions, and even an a unique ‘Archive Bundle’ that includes a few print back-issues with 30% off the original price.

Dive into Ad Sales

In the words of Leo Burnett from Mad Men, “Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” Ad sales are not just a short-term ‘money maker,’ but an opportunity to build long-term relationships with advertisers, especially ones that align with your magazine’s overall mission and core values. Your marketing efforts to grow your subscriber base and email newsletter list will help fuel your ad sales as well. To get started, create a media kit and showcase what your magazine is all about – check out our guide to creating a media kit. You will also want to experiment with ad rates, sizing, and placement, or creating ad custom packages.


Read parts two and three of this post, check out our guides, how-to videos and connect with issuu’s Publisher Community Hub.

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