The publishing sector is one of the fastest-growing industries, with revenue that has increased to 18 billion dollars in the USA alone. The average revenue per user for digital publishing in the United States is close to 79 U.S. dollars per capita, and it is growing steadily.
Still, even with all that growth, some media publishers trail behind in the innovation game. Therefore, these companies can’t often overcome the perpetual challenges they face when they want to scale for traffic and increase the bottom line.
1. Not Adopting New Technologies
Over 30% of websites run on WordPress! It’s no wonder that so many leading news organizations and media publishers rely on WordPress as their CMS:
- The New York Times
- USA Today
- The Next Web
- Metro UK
- People Magazine
- New York Post
When you use a powerful CMS such as WordPress for your digital publishing business, you can’t afford to miss out on updates. Every new WordPress update leads to improvements that bring a better ROI for publishers who are not afraid to adapt to changes.
Even the slightest update can bring immediate enhancement to your UX and bottom line. If you’ve already built a custom CMS publishing platform, ensure regular optimizations. Contrary to that, the continuous regressions, migrations, and process delays can become a real barrier to success.
2. Using Obsolete Content
If you continue with the same type of content over and over, your publishing strategy will stagnate. If you want to stay in the game, you need to be innovative.
Keep in mind, a fresh content format is nothing without quality! Quality produces an impact. So, before you work on your content types, you need to focus on your strategy and know the goals that you want to achieve with the content.
Quality content is critical for the following reasons:
- Google rates original content highly. The search engine algorithms are getting better at indexing and ranking your content the way a human would.
- Quality content is shareable content. If people enjoy reading your content, they will share it with their friends, which is a good way to gain viral traffic for your digital magazine.
- Your readers will come back to your site again and subscribe to your email newsletters or RSS feed if they find your content entertaining.
Developing excellent publishing content is not as easy as it looks. But, few practices can make the difference between boring and engaging content:
- Diversify your content! Images, infographics, streaming videos, and auditory interviews can all make your content entertaining.
- When you create content, think about what your readers find interesting.
- Seek inspiration from the leaders in the industry! Create what they create and engage your audience with social media interaction and comments on your posts.
- Write in a web-friendly manner. Your content needs to be scannable and engaging. Short paragraphs, list-type articles, and bite-size pieces are all characteristics of readable content.
- Be consistent with your publishing schedule and always provide readers with something that makes them want to come back to your site.
Never forget that we’re in the video era of content. According to SmallBizTrends, video traffic accounts for 80% of all internet traffic. Create short videos and post them as a trimmed-down version of your initial article to keep the engagement going.
Think about infinite scroll, content galleries, and quizzes integrated into your articles as well. Publishers that handle massive traffic use gamification for greater engagement and ad revenue as well.
3. Bad Implementation of Advertising Models
As a digital publisher, you need to know how to successfully monetize your content. Today, tech-savvy audiences are familiar with the various ways that you want to place ad units in front of them in the articles that they want to read. If your digital magazine depends heavily on ad units for monetization, you need to ensure that:
- You leverage the right ad networks to serve ads.
- Utilize programmatic advertising and header bidding for better CPMs and enhanced profit margins.
- Monetize according to devices. Mobile traffic is growing larger, and tablets may still make up several percentage points of all the mobile devices.
- Implement profitable ad layouts.
Speaking of ad layouts, they are one of the key factors of successful publishers. If you look closely at the leaders in the marketplace, various trends will come to your attention:
- Different ad placements for diverse devices.
- Sticky ad units at the bottom of the screen or in a sidebar.
- Quizzes or long-form content that keep the users on the site while more ads are being served when the users are toward the end of their sessions.
- Refreshing ads at various times.
- Video players that load ads during the users’ session.
To find the best layouts for different sources is an ad ops wisdom alone. Fewer ads don’t necessarily deliver better UX. Also, too many ads can hurt your user experience and result in a ban from the ad network or your traffic sources.
4. A Weak Analytics Strategy
“Analytics” is a word thrown around in the digital publishing world and it is a science that you should not take for granted.
Web analytics is much more than page views. Yes, page views are important. But, as a digital publisher, you need to pay attention to other important factors when you analyze the success of your content. For example, the length of a user session is a metric that can help you gauge how long the readers are actively interested in your content.
By reviewing audience insights, you can determine the type of posts that deserve more space in the editorial calendar. You can also assess the article’s real-time engagement and see whether users bounce off or continue to scroll to the end of the page. Some technologies even inform you how ad placements affect the audience’s reactions.
Your analytics strategy is also crucial if you want more insights on user intent. Case in point, if you track how people use the search bar on your site, it can tell you what they are looking for when they open your homepage. As a result, you can develop content that will resonate with them.
Audience insights are the catalyst for decision making in digital marketing. When successful publishers launch campaigns, they track every metric and use the data to bring out the best of their content and web layouts.
This is why you need to invest in cutting-edge technology that tracks and analyzes every bit of data. Your audience analytics should be inline with ad budgets and ad revenue, along with automated campaign boosting rules.
5. Having a Terrible Hosting Infrastructure
With an unreliable hosting infrastructure, even a slight percent of traffic increase can hurt your web presence. Even the great giant Amazon had issues on Prime Day which resulted in $90M of loss.
For a successful publishing site, you’ll need a proper hosting infrastructure that can help you handle millions of visits to your site.
Enter Pagely, a scalable and media-ready WordPress managed hosting for publishers! Pagely, along with partners such as ourselves here at DevriX, who work tirelessly to not let your site slow down or lose traffic. Their hosting plans will correspond to each requirement of your WordPress publishing website.
Pagely works on top of AWS, the world’s largest cloud provider, so your website will have a practically unlimited pool of resources. It comes as no surprise why some of the biggest companies are hosted on Pagely, such as Time Inc, Booking.com, Comcast, and so on.
Don’t allow some of the mistakes above to happen. Implement innovations and work with experienced technical partners to scale for massive traffic and an increased bottom line!
If you’re planning to scale your publishing company to over 100M visits per month, you’ve come to the right place! At DevriX, we’ve scaled some of the best publishers to millions of monthly page views, maximizing revenues and cutting down on costs in the process.
Our WordPress Core expertise combined with our tech partners always results in more traffic, better UX, and ROI.