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Founders of Whitestone Communications & Peachtree Capital Advisors to Speak at Online Publisher Site Valuations Webinar

I'm happy to announce the names of our two guest star presenters for Subscription Site Insider's Jan 27th live webinar on Subscription, Membership & Paywalled Site Valuations: Baran Rosen, Founder & President, Whitestone Communications Mr. Rosen has been an M&A leader in the publishing, information and training industries since 1986, and founded Whitestone in 1994. He carefully guides clients through the intricate process of successfully selling and buying businesses and product lines. His particular strength is…

Highlights from WishList’s Membership Website Awards – the Wishies for Self-Publishers

Spurred on by the recession and ease of self-publishing, thousands of small-time self publishers have been entering the paid membership site arena in the last 24 months. I thought it would be fun to take a break from examining mainstream paid content publishers' businesses to take a look at what the self publishing crowd is doing these days. Out of a field of a dozen or so, WishList is one of the better-known software firms selling…

Case Study Lesson: Mad Mariner’s User-Generated Content Tactics

This week's Subscription Site Insider Case Study features the Mad Mariner, a site visited by more than 70,000 unique boating enthusiasts each month. One of the lessons we learned from site publisher Glen Justice was that you have to test different types of interactive content to find exactly what will engage and inspire your audience. Magazine sites often throw up a message board or add commenting capability to their articles and assume that's all it will…

Why Publishers Should Design for the Thumbnail… Instead of Just Squishing “Regular” Cover Art

Although Apple debuted its iBookstore in April 2010, they sent one of the first major email promotions to their customer email list about it just this Sunday Jan 15th 2011. I guess it's tough for product managers to get their broadcast on the schedule over at the marketing department, sort of like planes jostling for runway space at an terribly busy airport. The promo was list of book cover art thumbnails, with nothing more than book…

Case Study Lesson: Compete.com’s Clever Homepage Design

Based on our exclusive interview with Compete.com's Senior Internet Marketing Manager Drew Fortin, Subscription Site Insider's newest Case Study examines how the site attracts triple the traffic of its more established competitors, and how it's converting those visitors into paying subscribers. To my mind, one of the best lessons that other B2B subscription database & research publishers should take to heart from this Case Study is how cleverly Compete.com's homepage is designed.Most B2B database sites have…

Know Anyone Who Wants to Sell Their Subscription or Membership Site? Brokerage Offers a 10% Client Referral Fee

Mark Daoust, Founder of Quiet Light Brokerage, just contacted me to let me know he's offering a 10% referral fee. Quiet Light specializes in acting as a broker between buyers and sellers of small-mid-sized sites mainly in the $100k-$1 million range. They cover a variety of business models, including subscription content sites and paid membership sites, but also including other ecommerce and ad-based sites. Mark's team typically receive a 10% commission on any sales they help broker.…

Which is the Worst Online Newspaper Paywall? Our Little Internal Contest….

The #2 piece of feedback we've been getting from our NAA (Newspaper Association of America) training webinar on paywall design, is everyone wants to see an example of a well-designed newspaper paywall (presumably so they can consider copying it.) Although our training session featured copy-worthy samples from other types of subscription content sites, the only way we featured newspaper paywalls was to show what's wrong with them.We're not normally negative people. We've tried really hard to…

Case Study Lesson: Paywall A/B Test Helps Increase Paid Membership Sales by 51.8%

Our sister site, WhichTestWon.com, published a new a/b testing case study about the paid membership site SEOMOZ this week. SEOMOZ memberships range from $79 month to $2200+ per year. So this a/b test may make a big difference to their (already healthy) bottom line. The site tested two completely different versions of its paywall -- one was a short page featuring bulleted lists of features and benefits for each level of membership. The other was a…

Case Study Preview: Can a Blogger Make a Living by Asking for Donations?

I've been a bit snotty on the donations-for-content front in the past. Sure I contribute to public TV and Wikipedia.  But I guess my gut said, if your content is good enough, why not man-up and require payment to access it? Subscription Site Insider's new Case Study on blogger Ira Stoll's business Model changed my mind. Stoll has a mission beyond simply making a living by publishing something online. He focuses on a beat that he…

New Federal Law Concerns Online Subscription Sites & Paid Membership Sites: If You Do Recurring Billing or Trial Offers – Watch Out!

Last Wednesday, Dec. 29th, President Obama signed a new law known as the 'Restore Online Shoppers Conference Act' into being immediately. This new Act affects your business if you market services on the Internet to US consumers and you either offer recurring billing (also known as auto-renew) and/or you offer trials requiring a credit or debit card that will be charged when the trial is over. That's the vast majority of companies in the online subscriptions,…

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