In this article, I’m not speaking to the majority of you. The majority of our regular readers already know the value of the engaging, interactive magazines we know and love.
Instead, I’m talking to those who might be tempted to think that content is content, and posting online, whether on an optimized website, an article-based blog, or digital edition.
Take a blog, for example. It might seem like a cost-effective measure to start posting articles in a blog format in place of creating a digital magazine for your readers. After all, it’s the same information, it can be accessed anywhere there’s Internet, and with some updates to the blogging software, there are some article templates available which can look similar to magazine page layout.
However, there the vague similarities end. Consider this:
Marketing: Like a website, you are dependent upon people coming to your site looking for articles. Even if you market with eblasts or promote your blog, it’s a very different experience for readers to come to a web page versus having an entire digital edition in a page-friendly format getting delivered directly to their device.
As an aside, we use weekly enewsletters to distribute our blog articles. We do not expect nearly the same amount of engagement, time spent per article, or search for more articles with our blog as we do in our (or our clients’) digital editions.
Offline Reading: Digital magazines can be downloaded to your readers’ digital devices, giving them access to your content all the time. Blogs inherently require access to the internet.
Publishing Technology: Blogging software wasn’t made for publishers. It was created to meet the needs of bloggers. This means two things: there isn’t a lot of variety in the templates for publishers hoping to make their blogs look more like magazines to fit the needs of their readers, and none of them have the full-service support geared for publishers which a digital vendor can offer.
Saturation: Anyone can have a blog. They are specifically designed to be easy to use and set up, which accounts for why they are so popular with individual bloggers. If you’re relying on articles posted to a blog or website alone, you are making it harder for yourself to rise above the noise.
Blogs offer a lot of value, and how they can be used in conjunction with a digital magazine will be explored in Part 2. However, blogs cannot act as a replacement for a digital magazine for any publisher looking to retain readers moving online.
March 14th, 2012 by Joy Beachy