Online publishing is a hot trend these days, and it has been for the recent 5 years. Various e-catalogues, e-libraries, stores that sell e-books and research articles have become a reliable source of digital information sought after in the modern society. Since the competition in this market is incredibly intense, online publishers have to become true perfectionists to succeed in the long term. Just having a website full of content does not mean having lots of readers and customers. Online publishing business has its own pitfalls and stumbling blocks that prevented lots of businesses from flourishing. In this short blog post we’ll focus on tips to become successful in online publishing.
First off, one should understand that web publishing covers lots of websites and services, from e-books and catalogues of articles, to file sharing and mobile content. It does not really matter what kind of content is offers, since rules of the game are identical for everyone.
- Content is king. This does not sound new, however the postulate is to be repeated all the time. No matter what content is offered, it has to be popular with people. To find this out, analyze search engines stats. If millions of people are looking for certain e-books or articles, mobile content or podcasts, why not offer them that exact content? Such analysis will help in outlining general trends and real needs of people. Sure, the best option is to be a bit ahead of a trend and offer content before it becomes popular, thus pioneering the market. Profound research is the key. Analysis of competition in the market will also help choose the right niche.
- A user friendly, functional and attractive website. The majority of users tend to leave websites offering great content which is however difficult to buy or download. The kiss principle (keep it simple, stupid) works perfectly here. Bulky flash websites are history now. Instead, plain, fast and user friendly pages attract millions of visitors. The content should be accessible, while the site should offer no puzzles even for PC dummies.
- Paid vs free content. By offering only paid content, online publishers are likely to scare lots of customers away. Why not offer a few free e-books or journals? A few free mobile apps or files will contribute to a positive business image and the right attitude to customers. Online publishers need to show their interest in people, not their money. Free products are a great way to promote any business; web publishing is not an exception.
- SEO. You may like it or not, but any web publishing business has to accept the rules offered by search engines. Thus, SEO optimized content and a sober backlinking campaign are a must. Although Google is constantly updating its algorithm, the secrets are still in quality and SEO optimized content and backlinks from trusted sites.
- Strategy and evaluation of performance. Every business must have a strategy, as long as its owners want to succeed in the long term. It is imperative to think who website customers are and what the business will be like in several years. Luckily, there are many interesting performance evaluation frameworks, like Six Sigma or Balanced Scorecard that help in evaluation of performance, strategic planning and problem solving.
- Communicate with customers. Gathering feedback on a regular basis will let online publishers evaluate the market demands and possible trends.
- Love your work. Never exaggerate the value of content and be patient. Success is not achieved overnight. Be ready to resolve problems and change strategies. Research and innovation are keys to success in this business.