job board

Does Your Digital Magazine Need a Job Board?

Could your publication be doing more to help readers?

With an online job board, digital publishers can better serve their readers and generate additional revenue at the same time.

When most people think of online job boards, they think of the standalone websites like Monster.com and CareerBuilder. These websites publisher hundreds of thousands of listings from around the globe, but they can also be too generic and unwieldy for job seekers to navigate.

Publishers with city and regional magazines, along with niche publications that focus on specific industries, are in a unique position to benefit from adding a job board to their websites. Given the professional relationships these publishers have developed with executives in the industries or areas they cover, exclusive listings and advanced notice of upcoming job openings are a distinct possibility. Recruiters also understand that a niche publication’s readers are the types of highly-qualified professionals they’re looking for, and they will pay a premium to tap into that reader database.

In most cases, city and regional magazine publishers launching job board products are selling listings through self-service portals. That means businesses can visit their websites and enter their own information about the open positions into an online form. Payments for those listings are processed online, as well. Publishers then have the opportunity to screen listings to make sure they don’t violate any policies before publishing them on their own job boards.

Smashing Magazine is an online publication for web designers and developers with its own job board. Job seekers have the opportunity to search for remote or on-location work in the design and programming fields. Finding a job on the website is free, but businesses have to pay a fee that ranges from $75 to $225 to post their opportunities for 60 days.

From an ROI standpoint, a job board presents an incredible opportunity for publishers with existing websites. Once the initial work of launching the job board is done, incremental revenue continues to roll in with minimal financial outlay. This is particularly true for publishers with self-serve portals, since businesses can upload and pay for their listings without requiring help from the publisher or his staff.

Some digital publishers are finding that add-on services can help improve ROI, as well. For example, a publisher might charge businesses $30 per month to post a job listing, with the option to pay an extra $5 per month to include a logo or $10 per month for premium placement on the job board.

Another publisher that has found success with an online job board is PracticeLink. PracticeLink publishers in print and on the web—PracticeLink Magazine and PracticeLink Online—with content geared toward helping physicians navigate the recruitment process. The publisher’s job board receives more than 1.7 million page views each month, with 5,000 hospitals, medical groups, private practices and health systems posting more than 20,000 physician job opportunities. As is the case with many other digital publishers, PracticeLink allows job seekers to search and respond to opportunities for free, while charging hospitals and medical groups for its recruitment products.

The products that PracticeLink offers go beyond what most basic job boards provide. For example, in addition to listing healthcare opportunities for a fee, PracticeLink has created an active candidate database that in-house recruiters at health care systems can use to search for physicians. The publisher also has a number of additional recruitment tools, such as conference leads and career fairs designed for recruiters at larger healthcare organizations. Part of PracticeLink’s strategy here involves offering free trial accounts for recruiters.

While PracticeLink’s job board has been fully optimized to take advantage of as many revenue generation opportunities as possible, digital publishers also have the ability to take a scaled down approach. In fact, that’s what we recommend for publishers who are just dipping their toes into this new arena.

Job boards offer total flexibility from a publisher’s perspective. With the right directory software in place, publishers can grow their boards gradually over time.

Based on our experience helping publishers launch and grow their online job boards, we’ve put together this list of things to consider:

  • Create a job board with room to grow, since there’s a good chance your board could take off among companies and job seekers in your industry.
  • Make it easy for job seekers to search for listings. The more opportunities that exist for sorting and filtering listings, the more functional a job board becomes.
  • Don’t be afraid to send emails to job seekers when new listings that fit their criteria go live on your website.
  • Provide reporting tools that companies can use to see how many people have viewed their job listings and clicked on their links. Advanced reporting tools will be increasingly necessary as your job board grows and as larger employers start putting their exclusive listings on your site.
online directories

The Three-Pronged Approach to Successful Online Directories

Online directories offer some unique benefits for digital publishers. When they’re executed and managed in the right way, online directories can generate traffic, revenue, and engagement across a publisher’s existing websites.

We’ve talked a lot about monetization strategies for online directories in previous blog posts, so you should already be familiar with the various paths toward profitability. What you may not realize is that selling listings and charging readers for access are not the only two ways to generate revenue from an online directory.

Google loves online directories. Directories that are setup using the right tagging and markup standards, and following widely recognized best practices for search engine optimization, drive traffic from Google and Bing. Even better, online directories can be setup to push traffic back to a publisher’s existing website.

Pushing traffic to a secondary website is a powerful strategy, and it’s one that is under-utilized within the digital publishing community.

Driving Traffic with Online Directories

Online directories usually contain the type of SEO-friendly information and formatting that Google loves.

Let’s say you have an online directory that’s brimming with information about all the best restaurants in your city. When people search for terms like “best restaurants in Seattle” or “best tacos in Seattle” they should see your directory rank more highly than individual restaurant websites. That’s because Google has the tendency to rank online directories high in search results—something that works in your favor as a publisher.

One of the factors at play in Google’s decision to rank online directories highly is Domain Authority. Domain Authority is determined largely by the quality of website content (which should be excellent in an online directory with hundreds or thousands of business listings), along with who is linking to the website, the total number of links, and the overall value the website provides to its users. Each website has a Domain Authority score.

There is a good chance that your directory will perform well on search engines, even without much effort, but you can still improve your rankings on Google and Bing with simple upgrades. For example, page titles and meta tags can help establish a page theme. You should also be submitting XML sitemaps to make it easier for Google and Bing to index your directory.

Increasing Engagement on Existing Websites

Now that a user has found your online directory via a search engine, the first thing she’s going to click on is a listing. Your business listings should offer up all the pertinent information, including a brief description, location, hours of operation, website link, and phone number.

In order to take advantage of the three-pronged approach to success with online directories, you always want to make sure your listings link back to your existing website whenever possible. In this case, that means including links to relevant articles that have been featured on your website, such as any reviews that have been written about a restaurant with a listing in your directory. You could also link back to image galleries or maps.

Publishers who run online magazines and blogs should consider coordinating content to promote engagement on their directories. That means making sure links to directory listings are included any time a business is mentioned in an article.

Revenue Generation Strategies

Blind luck could be responsible for an online directory having excellent traffic and engagement metrics, but generating revenue requires a strategic plan.

The majority of publishers with online directories utilize self-serve portals, where businesses can pay a nominal fee to add listings to the website. Having a self-serve system means the publisher doesn’t need to worry about staffing up a large sales team to create and publish individual listings. From an ROI standpoint, self-serve portals are always smarter for digital publishers than going the full-service route.

In addition to charging businesses for listings, publishers in certain sectors are also finding that readers are willing to pay for access to their directories. For example, a niche healthcare publisher might charge physicians to access an online directory, knowing that physicians and hospital administrators are more likely to pay for access than the general public.

Considering all the blank space available around the perimeter of most websites, publishers are also smart to run display advertising. Display advertising rates have been falling in recent years, however this is still a popular strategy for generating additional revenue.

If you’d like even more information about the three-pronged approach to success with online directories that we have developed here at Web Publisher PRO, reach out to our team for a consultation.

job board location tagging

Here’s The Feature Your Job Board Is Missing

Have you heard? Right now is possibly the best time in history to be running a niche job board. Sure, the big three players in the job board market—Monster.com, CareerBuilder, and Indeed—are facing increasing threats from LinkedIn, but smaller digital publishers are finding that the niches they’ve carved out are still large enough to build profitable businesses that are sustainable for the long-term.

Despite those successes, there’s still a website feature that many online job boards are missing, and it could be causing publishers to lose out on monetization opportunities.

The feature that many niche job boards are missing is location tagging.

Adding a geo-location feature to your job board will improve search engine visibility and make your website more useful to job seekers. Location is one of the most important elements that job seekers look at when evaluating online listings, well ahead of compensation and benefits packages.

How to integrate location tagging into an online job board

If you’ve already created a self-serve portal where recruiters and companies can upload their own job postings, then adding a location tagging feature should be simple. Create a space in your submission form to add an address for each listing. Even if you make that space optional, you will be surprised by how many companies choose to include a specific address with their listings.

If your job board software allows for it, you can add a map to your website as a way to help candidates search for positions in specific locations. The Google Maps Platform is a great place to start, since it offers publishers a way to build customized experiences with dynamic maps and Street View images. Not only do these types of interactive maps add a visual element to an online job board, they also add valuable functionality for job seekers who are interested in working exclusively in certain cities or areas of town.

Location tags can be useful, as well. Your job board software should extract the city from each address to create location tags, which visitors can browse. Local publishers in large metro areas may want to go even one step further by including neighborhood tags.

Adding a location feature doesn’t mean recruiters are limited to posting about jobs in specific cities. Ideally, recruiters and companies posting jobs on your website should have the choice to get as specific with the location as they feel comfortable with. In a large metro area, a company might post the exact address of the office building, while a company in a more rural area might post just the city or the county.

Recruiters should also have the option to include regional tags, like ”Northeast” or “Southwest,” or even more generic tags, like “United States” or “Remote” when they can’t publicly share the specific location of an opportunity. Listings with the “Remote” tag won’t show up on any maps, but they should be searchable, for job seekers who are exclusively interested in working from home.

Whether you decide to allow multiple job locations to be tagged on a single posting is up to you, based on how the back-end of your job board website is setup. However, as a general rule of thumb, recruiters should not have the ability to select more than five to 10 locations for a single job listing.

As a side benefit, having specific location information can also help ensure your listings get included on Google Jobs, the AI-powered job board from Google that launched last year. Many niche job board publishers have seen an increase in traffic since the launch of Google Jobs. Although the majority of listings are from larger players, like Monster.com and LinkedIn, niche publishers are represented on the platform. Having the proper job schema will increase the chances of getting the listings from your job board included on Google Jobs, and that means including specific location details whenever possible.

Adding geo-location tagging to your job board is one way for your website to evolve and meet the changing needs of job seekers. It’s also an effective strategy for upping profits and boosting search engine visibility.

If you’d like more information on the strategies that job board publishers are using to monetize their websites, reach out to our team here at Web Publisher PRO.

community calendar

10 Places to Find Events for a Community Calendar

Designing a community calendar is the easy part. In order for your calendar to be a success, it needs to be brimming with events that are timely, relevant, and interesting to your readers.

Digital publishers often find that there is a fine line between having a community calendar that’s too sparse and having a community calendar that overflowing with too many listings for irrelevant events.

The ideal community calendar is one that includes details for all the most important activities going on in a specific city or region, with functionality that allows visitors to filter out content that doesn’t fit their interests. For example, Layton City’s community calendar includes details about sporting events, concerts, family activities, and restaurant events in and around the city of Layton, Utah. Knowing that the calendar could be overwhelming, Layton City has introduced filtering tools that visitors can use to browse certain types of events, like concerts, classes, or farmers markets.

Where do these event listings come from? Layton City, like many digital publishers, encourages website visitors to add their own events to its community calendar. That’s a great way to learn about events that haven’t been publicized elsewhere, adding significant value to your community calendar. But user submissions alone are unlikely to be enough. That’s why we put together a list of 10 more places you can look to find events to include on your community calendar.

1. School Districts
School district websites are chock full of local event information. In addition to listing the pertinent information about junior high and high school sporting events, you can also find the dates for upcoming school plays, art shows, and other events that community members might be interested in attending.

2. Concert Venues
Venues that host concerts and other performing arts productions have a vested interest in getting the word out about upcoming shows. If you connect with these venues and let them know about your online community calendar, there’s a good chance they will email you directly whenever new shows are added to their roster.

3. Facebook Groups
Most cities have at least one, if not multiple, Facebook groups dedicated to local events. For example, in Northern California’s Shasta County, a Facebook group called “Get Out! Nor Cal” aggregates information about outdoor activities in the region. The group also has a hashtag that local publishers can follow to stay updated on events that they should add to their own community calendars.

4. Recreation Departments
If you think your readers might be interested in classes, programs, and other outdoor-focused events, check out the recreation department in your area for information about events that can be added to your community calendar. Most of these departments send regular emails with the latest event information, which can be automatically funneled into your own community calendar.

5. Local Museums
Local museums are an excellent source of recurring events. In addition to hosting special events and exhibit openings, most museums have monthly discount nights or children’s nights.

6. Nonprofit Organizations
Like concert venues, nonprofit organizations have an interest in spreading the word about their upcoming events. Many groups have outreach coordinators who would be happy to email you directly or submit information to your self-serve portal to have listings added to your online calendar.

7. Tourism Bureaus
Although most tourism bureaus don’t host their own events—at least not on a regular basis—their websites are a fantastic resource for information about festivals, exhibitions, shows, and other upcoming activities that might be of interest to your own readers.

8. Public Libraries
Public libraries host daily events and activities for all generations. Bookmark the websites for any public libraries in your area for details on weekly story times, game nights, and adult education events.

9. Chambers of Commerce
The Chamber of Commerce is a collection of businesses aiming to improve the business climate in their communities. It’s not uncommon for the Chamber of Commerce to host its own fundraising events—like golf tournaments—along with educational events that local entrepreneurs can attend.

10. Gardening Clubs
Gardening clubs are growing in popularity. Although club meetings are typically private, many of these organizations host semi-regular plant sales that are open to the public. Larger gardening clubs may host educational events, as well.

community calendar

Get More Visitors to Your Community Calendar

Meet people where they’re at.

In order to get people into the habit of visiting any digital property on a regular basis — whether that’s a community calendar, an online magazine, or even a business directory — you need to meet them at a place where they already have an existing habit.

That concept, the idea that you should connect with people in a place where they already have a habit, is one of the reasons why digital publishers have flocked to popular mediums like Facebook and Twitter. It’s also the reason why here at Web Publisher PRO, we strongly recommend that publishers make their community calendars mobile-friendly, so readers can visit on their smartphones and tablets.

We’ve found that email is a highly effective channel when it comes to generating traffic for a community calendar, as well. Periodically reminding subscribers about the top local events will bring them back to the calendar, because you’re reaching them on a channel they’re already in the habit of using.

Beyond the strategy of connecting with visitors in a place where they already have a habit, there’s another important step in your mission to getting more visitors to your community calendar. You’ve got to prime visitors to associate certain topics — in this case, community events — with your publication.

When you think about sports, you probably think about ESPN, and when you think about the weather, you probably think about The Weather Channel or the weather app on your smartphone. When people think about the events going on in their local communities, you want them to be thinking about your community calendar.

How do you get people to think about your community calendar? The most obvious way is by being the best at what you do. Another strategy is to closely align that calendar with a previously existing resource, like a digital magazine or a local newspaper. If a news website is known for its local coverage, then people are going to visit that news website first when they have questions about local events. Associating your community calendar with an existing website in your sector or vertical, through links or advertising, will help get more visitors to your community calendar.

Aligning a community calendar with a newsroom goes both ways. News websites and digital magazines may also be interested in linking information about the events they are covering or hosting on your community calendar. This sort of relationship-building content can foster greater partnerships and lead to an increase in visitors for both online properties.

The best community calendar is one that’s easily accessible and always has relevant information. With so many events going on in most cities, publishers do have some leeway in determining which events get top billing on their community calendars. But for the most part, if someone wants to know about a local event, they should be able to get the pertinent information from your community calendar. If they can’t, or if they visit the calendar and don’t find the details they need, they’re unlikely to return in the future.

We’ll dig deeper into how to get content onto your community calendar in a later blog post. For now, what you should know is that it’s important to look at a wide variety of sources. Pull in event details from government websites, like the city library or the community recreation department, as well as small businesses and even local school districts. As a publisher, you want your community calendar to be the most comprehensive in the area. That way, people will check it regularly, regardless of the type of events they’re looking for.

Create spreadsheets with event data, making sure to include references and outbound links to the original sources of information. This makes your community calendar even more valuable, because it helps visitors find additional details about the events they’re interested in attending without having to go back to Google.

Getting more visitors to your community calendar requires making your calendar accessible, keeping it top of mind, and filling it with all the relevant event information readers are likely to want. A community calendar should offer a utility for readers, and as corny as this may sound, the calendar should ideally provide a meaningful experience, as well.

For more information on creating a digital community calendar, you can connect with our team here at Web Publisher PRO.

online directories

How to Turn a Free Business Directory Into a Profit Center

The most successful business directories aren’t the most exclusive. They usually aren’t the most expensive for advertisers, either. What the most successful business directories have in common is that they’re free — up to a point, at least. The free business directory has a way of luring in both readers and advertisers with the promise of something for nothing. And who doesn’t like that?

Just remember, creating a free business directory doesn’t mean you have to give everything away for — free. Savvy digital publishers are discovering that it’s possible to launch a free business directory that generates substantial revenue. Here’s a few of the ways those publishers are making it happen.

Basic listings

In order to run a free business directory, publishers usually need to give away something at no cost. In most cases, that means letting businesses add their listings to the business directory for free. What’s the catch? Well, those free listings are usually very small and minimal in scope. Most include just a business name, telephone number, and physical address. In order for business owners to include images, highlighted text, or outbound website links, they need to pay for upgraded or premium listings.
Basic listings are a great way to bring new businesses, which could eventually turn into paying advertisers, to an online directory. Just make sure to give business owners plenty of opportunities to upgrade their basic listings, even once those listings have gone live on the directory. For example, you could send business owners weekly emails showing how much web traffic and engagement their listings are generating, as well as invitations to upgrade to premium listings — for a fee. These periodic emails serve as good reminders, in case business owners have forgotten about their listings, and relevant page view statistics justify the value of upgrading to paid promotions.

In some cases, a simple weekly or monthly email isn’t enough to encourage a business owner to upgrade from a basic free listing to a premium listing. In those cases you may want to try…

Free trial offers

If you’re confident in your product, then a 30-day free trial is an excellent way to expose business owners to the effect that premium listings on your directory could have on their companies. For maximum impact, upgrade businesses to the highest level of service — for example, a premium listing with an image gallery and outbound website links — and then carefully track the number of page views, click-throughs, and other engagement metrics during the trial period. These metrics will be valuable when the 30-day free trial has expired and it’s time to sell the business on a regularly-priced upgraded listing.

When you sell digital products, like listings on a free business directory, it doesn’t cost you anything to temporarily give away the product for free. It’s also easy to revoke access, which makes the 30-day free trial an effective strategy for encouraging business advertisers to upgrade to premium listings on your business directory.

Digital incentives

Basic listings are the foundation of a free business directory. Most businesses — particularly small and mid-size businesses — will create accounts on a free business directory just for the opportunity to have their business information included on the public page. But even a free business directory that’s centered around listings can have some valuable add-ons, for a price.

The sky is the limit when it comes to the value-added services you can offer with a digital business directory. Outbound links, location maps, and image galleries are a few of the self-service options that businesses can add to listings on their own, but the addition of more customized marketing services, like individual business landing pages, ecommerce capabilities, and online reputation management, can turn your free business directory into a hub for local digital marketing.

Imagine if a business owner arrived at your free business directory planning to post a basic listing for his business, and after doing so, he sees the option to sell products or accept client bookings directly through the listing he just created. Imagine the extra value you would be providing for the business, and the profit that these digital marketing add-ons would generate on a larger scale.

On the surface, it may look like business directories are generating their revenue from paid listings, but the vast majority of successful directory publishers are utilizing digital incentives and other value add-ons to make their directories profitable. If you’d like more information about how to increase the profitability of your own business directory, feel free to reach out to our team here at Web Publisher PRO.

Obituary website

How to Launch an Obituary Website

Have you heard? The digital obituary business is booming. Legacy.com gets more than 40 million unique visitors each month, with multiple streams of revenue coming in from news publications, business advertisers, and the bereaved.

If it’s been a while since you visited an obituary website, you’re in for a surprise. The days when obituaries were just a few short paragraphs of text have largely passed. In their place are elaborate landing pages, where mourners can post lengthy obituaries, along with videos, audio, and other interactive elements.

The modern obituary website often includes templates that families of the deceased can use to write meaningful obituaries, as well as integrated guest books where friends can post their condolences. Some websites, like Legacy.com, also help families publish obituaries in their local newspapers.

Let’s take a closer look at what publishers should know if they want to launch an obituary website.

Today’s obituaries are largely digital.

Obituaries are no longer exclusive to local print newspapers. Niche digital publishers often have obituary sections on their websites where they write about the passing of leaders in their industries. For example, Editor & Publisher, a journal covering all aspects of the newspaper industry, publishes obituaries of reporters, editors, and other respected members of its community. Underneath each obituary on Editor & Publisher’s website is a comments section, where friends and acquaintances of the deceased can leave their condolences.

The most successful obituary websites have multiple streams of revenue.

Most obituaries these days are written by family members, and mourners expect to pay to publish those obituaries on the web and in print. According to Adpay, which places obituaries in newspapers around the country, Americans spend around $500 million each year on newspaper obituaries. At The New York Times, a death notice costs $236 for the first four lines. Most print newspapers pay obituary websites, like Legacy.com, to post their death notices on the web. That’s one of the ways an obituary website can generate revenue.

Funeral homes are also purchasing packages in order to integrate relevant content from an obituary website onto their own websites and social media pages. For a closer look at what this means, check out Disrupt Media and FuneralOne, which have both launched multimedia websites for funeral homes.

A growing number of obituary publishers are adding e-commerce elements to their websites. For example, asking website visitors if they would like to send flowers or donate to the loved one’s favorite charity. The publisher then takes a small cut of each transaction.

Depending on the business model, a publisher with an obituary website might charge for publishing a longer obituary than what family members could fit into a print newspaper, or the publisher might offer an automated way to create landing pages for the deceased. Unlike in print newspapers, an obituary website offers mourners the chance to comment on obituaries and post their own pictures or videos. Some publishers make these services available for free at first, but then charge a nominal amount to keep the obituary open to the public once the first few months have passed.

Another option for the publisher of an obituary website is to charge readers to access archived content. This is turning into a more lucrative option as more people start researching family genealogy online.

One of the trickiest revenue streams to manage for an obituary website is display advertising. Yes, some obituary websites run display advertising alongside obituaries, but there’s a lot that can go wrong with this strategy. For that reason, display advertising is less common on obituary websites than on other forms of digital media.

Moderators take a heavy hand on obituary websites.

Although obituary websites like Legacy.com encourage reader contributions through online guest books, the company has a team of screeners who monitor comments to ensure nothing impolite gets through. Legacy.com, like most other obituary website publishers, has to be very careful about which comments get published, given the fragile state that many readers are in. Publishers should consider this requirement when they put together a plan for launching an obituary website.

If you’d like more information about how to cater to your readers and launch your own obituary website, reach out to our team here at Web Publisher PRO.

Promoting a Business Directory

6 Strategies for Promoting a Business Directory

Launching an online business directory isn’t like opening a coffee shop on Main Street. Nobody passes by a website and randomly decides to pop in. That’s why marketing and promotion are so important for digital businesses. It’s also why publishers need to work so hard when they’re promoting a business directory, if they want to generate traffic and cultivate a loyal audience.

You might be wondering what it means to promote a business directory, and which tactics are most effective for building an engaged audience. While there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for promoting a business directory, there are certain approaches that work better than others.

When it comes time to promote a business directory, you have more options than you may realize. Some of the marketing strategies highlighted below may seem obvious, but all of them have proven to be highly effective for digital publishers.

1. House Ads on Your Website
Why promote other people’s businesses when you can promote your own? Running house ads for your new business directory on the homepage of your publication’s existing website allows you to capitalize on your audience. Consider placing a banner ad for your new business directory directly above the header on your website, or along the sidebar on any article pages. Static ads will work just fine here, but slideshows and galleries are also useful ad formats when you’re promoting a business directory.

2. Promotion in Email Newsletters
Most digital publishers already have lists of email subscribers who’ve indicated they’re interested in the publication. These subscribers are the perfect audience for a new business directory. Take advantage of the audience you have already built by inviting your existing email subscribers to check out your new business directory before its “official” launch. This lends the air of exclusivity and it will get people talking. A well-placed link in the header or footer of an email newsletter can work wonders at getting people to click over, as can an embedded logo or a static ad.

3. Search Engine Optimization
When people search for businesses in your city on Google, which websites do they see first? Review websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor get top billing in the Google search results for many small and mid-size businesses. With proper search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, you can ensure that your business directory appears on the first page of results, as well.

We’ll dig into which SEO tactics work best for business directories in a later article, but the most important thing for you to know right now is that Google heavily favors listings with complete business information, which means it’s important that you have an accurate phone number, business hours, address, and website links for as many listings as possible.

4. Pay-Per-Click Ads on Google
Let’s face it, reaching the first page of Google results can be tough for a business directory that’s just getting off the ground. Why not start with a pay-per-click campaign to ensure people are finding your business directory online? You can create ads using keywords that people might use when searching for your directory—for example, local bookstores in Sacramento, California—and target those ads to people in specific zip codes or other demographic traits.

5. Exit Intent Popups
Display ads aren’t the only type of digital advertising that publishers can rely on when they’re promoting a business directory. Exit intent popups are ads that appear as an overlay in the middle of a webpage when a user moves his or her cursor towards the address bar. Although publishers usually charge a premium to run exit intent popups on their websites, these ads are free when you run them on your own publication’s website.

6. Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Word-of-mouth marketing never goes out of style. Get out into the community and start telling friends, acquaintances, and potential advertisers about your new business directory. While you won’t reach as many people through word-of-mouth marketing as you might with the other strategies on this list, there’s a higher chance that the people you do tell about your business directory will actually visit the website—and that they will share the directory’s link with their friends in the real world and on social media.

"best of" lists popularity

Why “Best Of” Lists Are The Next Big Thing in Digital Publishing

City and regional magazines have been printing “best of” lists for decades, but fundamental changes in the way publishers generate revenue now are creating renewed demand for this type of advertiser-heavy content.

The latest generation of “best of” lists—think, Top Doctors, Best Restaurants, and the like—are creating an additional stream of revenue for digital publishers already facing increasing production costs and diminishing display advertising rates.

Capitalizing on Authority

Anyone can make a website today, but city and regional magazine publishers have a level of authority that can’t easily be replicated. Years of quality reporting on the issues facing local residents make up the foundation of a respected publication.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that city and regional magazines have a reputation for quality. These publishers have to maintain an elite esthetic if they want visitors bureaus, hotels, and other hospitality and tourism organizations to hand out their print editions and advertise within their pages.

That quality leads to authority, and authority then becomes the foundation that digital publishers need to successfully develop and sell advertising against editorial features like “best of” lists.

Authority, quality, trustworthiness are three factors that separate a city or regional magazine publisher’s “best of” lists from consumer review sites, like Yelp or Healthgrades. Readers have no idea whether the reviewers on Yelp are being honest, or whether they have the same taste in restaurants or bars. When city and regional magazines publish their “best of” lists, there’s an automatic trust in the quality of the list.

City and regional magazines have another thing going for them. Over the last decade, these publications have emerged as some of the last remaining authorities on lifestyle subjects like local shopping, dining, and entertainment. Budget cuts have caused many print newspapers to scale back their lifestyles and dining sections, since lengthy reviews take more time and money than daily newspaper reporters have available. City magazines have largely reached in to fill that void, making them especially well positioned to supplement their lifestyle coverage with annual “best of” lists.

Searching for Alternative Revenue

Having already tapped the market with display advertising and subscription programs, digital publishers have gone out in search of new opportunities.

In some ways, running a city or regional magazine has never been more challenging. Advertising rates are stagnant or dropping, and online upstarts are syphoning off readers. But looked at from a different perspective, the opportunities for generating alternative revenue as a digital publisher have never been greater.

City and regional magazine publishers are primarily looking at “best of” lists as revenue generators. Readers will subscribe in order to access these lists, and advertisers will pay a premium to sponsor popular “best of” sections. Publishers can also charge a higher rate to advertise alongside their “Best Restaurants” or “Top Doctors” lists, since having a banner ad at the top of one of these lists gives the advertiser a certain level of cache.

What’s more controversial is the practice of charging businesses to be included in a “best of” list. Rather than break the trust they have earned from readers, most city magazines are avoiding charging businesses to be included in their “best of” lists. Instead, they may offer premium listing placements within their lists, for a fee. What that means is that a reader would see a list of the best restaurants in her city, but there might be a box around one listing with the word “sponsored” at the top. That listing is most likely being paid for by the restaurant. This is a way for city magazines to keep their integrity intact while still generating alternative revenue.

Another option for publishers looking to generate more revenue is to embrace brand licensing, or the leasing of media assets to third-party organizations. According to a survey by Folio: and Wright’s Media, nearly 27% of publishers feel that editorial lists have the potential for logo and content licensing for their brands. That might involve letting a third-party group lease the publisher’s name and logo for a “best of” list or allowing another publisher to reprint an existing list.

As editorial lists grow in popularity among city magazine publishers, the opportunities for monetization are increasing. Here at Web Publisher PRO, we are excited to see this evolution. If you’ve got questions or other ideas for how publishers can be generating revenue through their “best of” lists, we’d love to connect.

Niche Job Board

How to Attract Companies to a Niche Job Board

Want to know the secret to building a successful niche job board? All of the elements that publishers spend time and money on while building their jobs boards — web design, search engine optimization, and monetization strategies, to name just a few — are far less important than the quality of the job listings on the site.

That’s right. Before publishers can expect to attract an audience to their niche job boards, they’ve got to bring in companies with quality listings.

Attracting employers to a niche job board is a task that’s easier said than done. Hiring managers have an overwhelming number of options to choose from when they post job openings online. Most start with posting job listings on their own company websites. But close relationships between hiring managers and publishers can lead to certain job boards getting exclusive postings or early information about positions that are opening up in the near future.

Building a successful niche job board relies on a publisher’s ability to publish postings that job candidates can’t find anywhere else. Publishers need their job boards to become the go-to sources for the latest job information in whichever niches they cover.

Here are the best strategies for attracting companies to your niche job board and ultimately building a profitable website.

1. Find out which companies in your niche are hiring, and where they post their listings.
The specifics here will vary depending on which niche your job board aims to fill. For example, city magazine’s job board will have listings from different companies than a healthcare publisher’s job board. Regardless, the basic strategy remains the same. In order to attract top employers to a niche job board, you need to start by figuring out how those employers are currently advertising their employment opportunities.

Browse other job boards in your same niche to get a feel for which companies have listings, and take a look to see whether those listings are free or paid. Figuring out which companies are paying for premium listings is a smart first step to take before reaching out to potential advertisers.

Pay attention to how much competing niche job board websites are charging for premium listings, as well. In order to compete, your job board will need to have competitive rates and loyal following of readers.

2. Build connections with hiring managers at top companies in your niche.
Once you have a sense of which companies or recruiting firms are placing the most premium listings on niche job board websites, you are ready to start making personal connections. Reach out via email or telephone to the hiring managers at those organizations and let them know about your job board. They will be interested in how much traffic your job board generates and your audience demographics. For example, a law office would only want to post paid listings on a job board that’s read by professionals in the legal profession. (We’ll dig deeper into how you can attract readers in targeted demographics later in this article.)

Have a spec sheet with current advertising rates ready to send to interested hiring managers. You may also want to put together some data on the effectiveness of niche job board websites in helping companies reach passive job seekers and the return-on-investment (ROI) that companies see when they advertise on niche job board websites compared to more general online job boards.

3. Make your readers a selling feature.
It’s virtually impossible for a niche job board to generate more website traffic than a general job board, like Monster.com or Indeed.com. That’s why we never recommend that publishers with niche job boards promote their website traffic without plenty of information about their audience demographics and the quality of candidates they can deliver.

When reaching out to hiring managers and recruiting firms, always emphasize the targeted nature of your niche website and focus on the credibility you have established with professionals in the industry you cover.

If your website is new, it might be a smart idea to focus on growing your audience before reaching out to companies with information about premium job listings. Connect with the creators of online communities relevant to your niche.

For even more ideas, check out these articles about building a successful niche job board:

What to Look For in a Job Board System
Why Digital Publishers Need Local Job Boards
5 Ways to Generate Revenue from Online Directories