1. Hiring an inexperienced web design company
Many publishers make the mistake of unwittingly hiring a web design company that has never executed a publishing site. Well-meaning web developers will do some googling for a template and cobble together a string of plug-ins and solutions. The result might seem OK on the surface but the infrastructure is often clunky, and in 12 months it will likely be worse when key features require upgrades or, worse, are no longer supported.
When things inevitably go south with a rapidly ageing site, the publisher is at the mercy of the availability (and hourly rate) of an IT agency. Many such websites end up in the too-hard basket, with publishers left lamenting the wasted resources and lost opportunity to get a foothold online.
Pagemasters Publish is more than just a CMS. Not only does our platform boast carefully selected and well-supported integrations, our team will help build your website for you and still be around to assist long after you launch.
2. Failing to capture reader email addresses (and not having a newsletter)
When Facebook temporarily shut down all Australian news sites in 2021, publishers across the country faced a stark reality: they had little idea who their readers were or how to reach them outside social media. It was a wake-up call that led many to realise the value of a simple mailing list.
Yet some who had this epiphany still aren’t building their databases as effectively as they could. For many free publications, a common approach to gathering contact information is using a landing page or pop-up ad to spruik the benefits of entering an email address – but in isolation, this method is half-hearted. Selected free content should be gated, requiring readers to sign up before they can continue. It’s a free and low-friction transaction for the subscriber, particularly if it’s content they value. Paid publications should likewise consider offering a selection of freemium articles to help capture email addresses.
Once a publisher has established a contact list, launching a regular newsletter is a must. Not only do newsletters help drive traffic to websites, they offer an opportunity to sell ads that will be delivered directly to individual inboxes.
The multipurpose Publish paywall helps clients grow their mailing lists through premium and freemium plans, and the platform automatically syncs sign-ups to a MailChimp audience.