10 Things Successful Publishers Always Do

sovrnmarketing // September 30, 2014

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So we recently gave you a peek at 6 things publishers should never do. Now, we’re going to dive into the good stuff. Do these! And if you have another “must-do” please share it with us!
1. Be consistent.
You’ll hear this a lot in the world of online publishing. It is important to find a pace and stick with it. If you want to publish once a month, fine, publish once a month. Once a week? Great. Publish once a week. Once a day? Even better. Stick with it. However often you decide to publish, just be sure you can maintain that pace. Why is consistency so important? Your readers. They’re the most important part of your website. Without them, you just have a pretty page with cool content. When you begin to accumulate a steady flow of readers, they’ll become accustomed to not just the quality of the content, but to the quantity and timing as well. If you miss a post, or two, or three, you’ll lose readers. Don’t do that.
2. Fail fast. Fail often. And learn much.
This is true for anything we do in life. When you take risks, you’re not going to succeed 100% of the time. In fact, most of the time you’re going to fall flat on your ass. That’s actually a good thing. Why? Because you’re learning! Gather yourself and recharge quickly for another attempt is key. Evaluate what did wrong. Why did you fail? Adjust. Then strike again.
3. Take advantage of social media to promote your content and shape your image.
Leveraging social media to capture and drive traffic is a simple and effective way to promote your content across a wide range of audiences. You’ve already done the hard part by creating interesting content. Now make a catchy social media post and link to your stuff, and if it’s any good then people will look at it and if it’s really good then people will share it. Create a community for fans of your content. That way, they can spread your content for you. If they follow you, follow them back. If they have a blog, comment on it. Build a connection and build a community. That’s how you build a strong consumer base. Be active. Be visible.
4. Make it mobile. Seriously now. You know how often you’re on your phone.
Is your site mobile responsive? If not, making it so is truly worth the effort. Many of our publishers are reporting that mobile traffic to their sites is eclipsing desktop traffic. Once it’s mobile responsive, make sure you have mobile ads. Mobile makes it easier for your readers to browse your site and in return, makes more money for you.
5. Diversify your income. 
This means different things to different people. Just don’t rely on one type of advertising to get the job done. Instead, choose advertising partners that can help you with affiliate programs, display, video, and mobile. Video goes a long way towards spicing up your content — engaging your readers, AND helping you monetize more effectively. There are so many options. If you create your own video, you can easily monetize using pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll advertising. Heck, if you don’t want to create your own video, there are syndicated players out there like Viral Gains who can also help you.
6. Headlines matter. Don’t ignore them.
Your mother or teacher always said, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But in today’s information-saturated society, a headline is the only reason someone is going to click on your article. Pair it with a good picture when you share with your social followers, and you’re going to reap the rewards.
7. Manage your SEO, A.K.A. “Search Engine Optimization.”
It’s a pain in the ass and unbelievably time-consuming, but absolutely worth your time. The term has been defined as “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or web page in a search engine’s ‘natural’ or unpaid (organic) search results.” This will take some time, but good SEO can make all the difference. Writing great content is obviously important, but it’s only half the battle. What you do after the writing is just as important. What good is a unique piece of content if no one can find it?
8. Pay attention your analytics.
Find out where your readers are coming from and what they’re doing. Besides creating great content, your readers are the most important component to your website. They are your fans. Make sure you have Google Analytics. Also, if you want to see what your site looks like to an advertising partner at the moment an ad is served check out sovrn’s Audience Analytics Beacon for audience analytics and demographics.
9. Engage with other publishers in your realm of expertise.
Knowing what other successful publishers are doing in your topic-space is invaluable and will help you get a better understanding of what people are interested in. Follow the major players and your favorites on social media, attend industry-specific events, communicate via public forums, etc.
10. Have fun.
This might be the most important of all the traits. If you’re not having fun and enjoying what you do, it will show in your published work. Readers are drawn to publishers because of their passion, their expertise and their outlook on a certain topic. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, see #2.

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