How Magazine Publishers Can Use a Blog to Increase Ad Sales

Revenue - Increasing ad sales with a blog

It seems that everyone has a blog, and it’s no wonder why. Our appetite for on-demand media consumption has fueled the proliferation of blogs that provide consistent, relatable content on a wide variety of topics.

But, with everyone else doing it, what can magazine publishers do to gain benefit from setting up a new blog without getting lost in the noise of already established blogs?

Below are several blog ideas that can cut through the noise and help you increase subscriptions and advertising revenue.

Events calendar

One of the most popular ways to generate traffic to a blog is to focus on events that your audience is interested in. For regional audiences, focus on local happenings. For national audiences, focus on events closely associated with your publication’s core content topics.

Spotlighting specific events will increase your website traffic, and can help you generate sponsorship and advertiser revenue.

In each post, offer current event information with details about frequently asked questions like parking, admission prices, maps, performers and speakers. Your blog articles will show up in search results when people are looking online for additional information.

To generate even more traffic, consider having a tab that is just a calendar with frequently updated events. You can mirror any content in your print publication or offer teaser information in your print issues that lead back to the blog. As you continue this effort, you will become a trusted source of information and you’ll be able to use that to attract new advertisers as well as increase the spend of current advertisers.

Blog posts can build on, or add value to, printed content

Similar to the events calendar idea above, you can develop blog posts around additional content for articles found in your printed pages. Consider featuring one of the businesses or services that advertise with you—tell their story and talk about what makes them unique or experts. If you notice content that readers seem to respond to strongly, offer something additional on the blog that lets people know where they can learn more or feature a topic from that particular area of interest. You can even make blog access a subscription-only feature as a way to add value to subscription packages.

Guest writers

If there’s a local or national person of note, consider reaching out and asking them to write a blog post on a particular topic for your publication. It could be something that is specific to their line of work, or it could just be their perspective on a topic or issue that relates to your magazine’s focus. This works to drive traffic to the blog, as the person can help to cross-promote on their own digital channels leading to increase visibility for you.

If you aren’t ready or don’t have the time to devote to a blog, you can still utilize the medium to increase visibility for your brand and potentially increase ad sales and subscriptions.

Popular content bloggers

If you focus on a specific topic, consider reaching out to well-known bloggers to see if they would consider writing something about your magazine. Perhaps you could trade—they feature you and you do the same for them. This way, cross-promotion helps drive traffic and create higher visibility and new exposure for both of you.

Local bloggers

The same idea holds true for creating connections with local or regional bloggers who might have a large audience and be able to find a thread from their readership to your magazine.

Events are particularly helpful for creating these relationships, as most local bloggers would enjoy having the inside scoop on an event or even getting to be featured as a speaker or special guest.

If you’re sponsoring an event or putting it on yourself, consider asking a local blogger to write something about it. Outside of events, find a topic that would be interesting—maybe a historic site or a notable person in the area who you might even ask to guest blog about.

Ad space

If there are other popular blogs that relate to your publication, consider buying ad space on them. You can even utilize tactics explored in our article about How to Add Digital Value to Print Advertisements­—consider doing a special promotion that leads people back to your printed pages.

Blogs, while maybe viewed as tired by some, are still a powerful medium when used in the right way. If you decide to create your own, make sure to read up on best practices, and find a cadence that is sustainable and manageable within the bounds of both manpower and hours. If you don’t want the commitment, plenty of bloggers do it well, and there’s ample opportunity to create relationships with them to grow your digital imprint. Either way, blogs are an effective vehicle to potentially increase subscriptions, audience and ad revenue.

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