advertising with an online magazine

Why Every Online Publication Needs an Editorial Calendar

editorial calendar An editorial calendar is essentially the plan for the next month, or even several months, of what's going to be published on your site. The length will depend on how often your publish, but even those who don't publish every day or every week can still find value in an editorial calendar. Here's why every blog or online publication needs an editorial calendar, whether your publish four times a day or four times a month.

It Forces You to Come Up with Article Ideas in Advance

Consistency is huge when running an online publication. Miss a day or two and your audience will notice that something is going on. The more often you publish, the more consistency matters and the harder it is to deal with writer's block or getting something out in a time crunch. This is where the editorial calendar comes in. If you need an idea, then simply refer to the calendar. If you release a new post every Wednesday, then all you need to do is look at the calendar on Monday or Tuesday and get writing. No longer will time be wasted scrambling for an idea because that time would have been spent beforehand coming up with all sorts of ideas to fill your calendar.

Note: This doesn't mean that you can't do something in response to breaking news, or a post on something you thought about that day. The editorial calendar and impromptu writing are not mutually exclusive. This tool is there so you don't have to waste time staring at a blank screen coming up with an idea. You have a whole list of ideas to choose from.

It Can Help Attract Advertisers

If you are making money from your blog or online publication, or want to start making money, then think of the editorial calendar as a way to attract advertisers that match the content you will product as well as your audience. For example, if you are a tech blog, and you are going to spend a week in October entirely on apps, then you can use your editorial calendar to show potential advertisers some of the topics that you are going to cover. If you are going to have an article or two about health apps, then potential advertisers might want to advertise on that day or week. They may also want to contribute sponsored content that adds an additional perspective, as a such a topic will interest very specific brands. The revenue is not only valuable to you, but the advertisers benefit from targeting that's based on who will read that article, and not just who will read your overall site.

It Can Be More than Article Ideas

The most basic editorial calendar just has topics or blog post titles listed when they are supposed to be published. That's great, but the editorial calendar can also include much more information than that. Below are some good ideas to include on your template (or use this one from HubSpot, which is really good).:

  • Category/Type (ex. Recipe, How-To)
  • Tags/Keywords
  • Photo/Illustration
  • Author
  • Status
  • Publication Location (if you have multiple blogs or often guest post)
  • Note
  • Deadline
  • Reception (keep track of how many tweets, likes, or pins the post got)

If you don't want to create your own or use the one from HubSpot, then Wordpress has two really good editorial calendar plugins: Editorial Calendar and Edit Flow. Anyway, the point here is that it can be for more than post ideas. Use it to come up with your tags and keywords prior to writing the article. Use it to track the success of your articles after the fact. It's also a good tool if you have several writers on staff, so that you can manage what all of them are doing and what progress they are making with a little more ease.

Overall, the editorial calendar is an incredibly handy tool. Even the solo blogger who is writing for fun can benefit by saving time and reducing the stress of what should be a hobby and stress-relieving activity. There aren't many reasons why you shouldn't use an editorial calendar.

Related Links:

How to Write a Press Release for Your Blog

Why Every Online Publication Should Have a Style Guide

How to Treat Your Blog as a Business


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How to Advertise in an Online Magazine

online magazine advertisingAdvertising with an online magazine is certainly different from advertising in a print magazine. You're reaching the audience in a slightly different way, and it's likely that the online magazine is geared toward a narrower audience than the print magazine. Online magazines may have different publishing schedules, or more advertising options if the magazine has both an online and a print presence. Even with these obvious differences, some may still perceive advertising in either form as the same thing. Advertising in an online magazine is not the same as advertising in a print magazine. This article in Industry Leaders gets a few things wrong or muddled and those things need to be set straight so other online magazines don't make these mistakes.

First, the article says that what advertisers need to do is "place your advertisement on articles that either mention your brand or at least relate to the industry and category your product/service falls into." There are two things wrong with this advice. First, the way this advice is phrased makes it seem like the advertise has 100% control of where the ad goes in the magazine. This is not necessarily the case, unless you specifically purchase a spot in the magazine, such as the inside covers. Otherwise, you ad will be placed where it fits. This may not be an article that mentions your brand or your industry. And besides, if you only focused on placing your ad next to industry mentions or company mentions, you wouldn't have a whole lot of places to advertise. Second, with more online magazines focusing on niche topics or niche communities, advertisers ought to be targeting magazines that match the industry or service, instead of just the target market or demographic. SolarPro is a solar industry magazine that does a good job of showcasing industry-relevant advertising. This type of online magazine ensure that those who see the ads are the very people that buy the product.

Second, this article say that the effectiveness of an ad in an online magazine is difficult to measure. If the ad is done right, this is simply not true. An ad in an online magazine ought to include a clickable link to a website or landing page, or a QR code, or both, which are easily measurable in clicks, visits, downloads etc. This is one of the unique advantages to an online magazine advertisement. Since it's being accessed online, it can include these additional ways to engage potential customers. That way, an advertiser isn't just relying on brand awareness or page views as a way to measure ad effectiveness, but actually has hard numbers to determine if the ad was a worthwhile investment, and what could be done to make the ad more effective.

Third, the author says that "online business magazines are not like print magazines where the reader flicks through pages leisurely, looking at content, photos and ads." Umm, that's exactly what readers are doing with online business magazines, or online magazines in general. Just because there aren't necessarily pages to flick doesn't mean that they are not browsing leisurely, or only looking at content that interests them or is what they are looking for at that particular time. There's still a minimum amount of time to get the readers attention, while there is much more to compete with when advertising in an online magazine (not just the other articles and ads, but things like email and social media can easily distract a reader from the magazine all together). Don't be fooled that just because the magazine is online, that it's a lot easier to advertise. On the contrary, as an online magazine has much more competition than a print one.

Overall, there is nothing wrong with advertising in an online magazine, but getting it right is much more than placing the ad in the right spot and crossing your fingers potential customers see it and engage with it. You have to makes sure the ad gives them a reason to engage, and pushes through everything else that is clamoring for the readers attention.

How to Advertise Effectively with an Online Magazine

online advertising Dwhani Shah with Industry Leaders magazine had the right idea when it comes to advertising effectively with an online magazine. However, Shah needed to take things one step further with her suggestions. Her suggestions in building a website for ads to link to is a good one (as should be the case when it comes to any a banner ad or such online), although these ads shouldn't link to brochureware or a plain home page.

That point isn't clarified, but it's what that ad links to that will mean the difference between your ad generating tons of hits or generating tons of leads (which is what you really want, right?). To get the leads, you ads simply shouldn't be taking visitors to a home page, a product page, or something that resembles an annoying pop up. These ads need to be going to landing pages, where visitors are offered something free for their visit, and in return they will provide their information.

By "offering something free for their visit", I mean an offer such as an ebook, a whitepaper, a demo, or an invitation to a webinar. By providing the free offer, you give the visitor a clear cut action of what to do after clicking on your ad. This is much better than taking them to a home or product page, where there isn't a clear cut action and a visitor can too easily click away from the site, or spend all their time browsing without you getting info on who they are, and what they could need from you.

When going with the landing page option, make sure that the ad reflects the offer, or the problem the offer helps solve. If you're having an upcoming webinar on social media marketing, for example, your ad should say something about social media marketing and probably the upcoming webinar. That way, anyone who clicks on your ad might need help with social media marketing, and is probably interested in the webinar. it's much more targeted than an ad for your company or product.

Shah was right on in pointing out that online ads, whether banner ads or in a magazine, ought to be clickable and engaging. It's just that landing pages and free offers are much more clickable and engaging than a home page or a product page. Plus, landing pages and free offers driving leads and give you information on your web visitors and potential customers. Home pages and product pages don't do that. Advertising effectively with an online magazine ought to be measured by the leads you generate, not just the clicks or impressions.