As news today surfaces that Gourmet, one of the most revered foodie magazines, will be ceasing publication after nearly 69 years in print, we ask – is nothing sacred?
Apparently not. *Sob*
As webizens, we can’t help but feel just a little bit guilty for perhaps playing a part in the demise of this mag and others (how many times have you picked up a magazine only to think – “Hey, I can just Google this recipe!”). Is it ironic that we’ll probably turn to comfort eating to get us through it?
(It should be said that the Gourmet brand is not entirely dunzo – Conde Nast will continue to use the publication’s name on Epicurious and in books.)
The magazine industry has had a hell of a time weathering both the competition for eyeballs from the Internet and the tightening of marketing budgets during the economic meltdown. Starting early in the decade, circulation numbers have been faltering at many magazines as reader bases have been shifting toward on-demand, freely available information, opinions and news via web content (especially in areas of music and recipe blogs). Meanwhile, companies have pulled back ad sales in response to both the smaller audience and in reaction to the recession (as you can imagine, niche magazines that deal with autos and homes have been particularly hard hit).
So how can you, someone interested in web content and content marketing, make use of this situation?
- If your website displays advertising, check out the back-issues of folded magazines in your industry and take an inventory of who stayed with these publications until the last breath. Consider contacting them to advertise on your website.
- Hire the writers and editors. Undoubtedly, talented individuals have lost their jobs. Try hunting them down and seeing if their freelance writing or editing rates are affordable (WriterAccess.com and LifeTips.com just might already host a few of them!). Remember, to be a good website or blog writer, they should have a decent sense of SEO – however, a good SEO editor may be able to help.
- Beef up your ROI capture. More than ever, money talks. Prove to clients and advertisers that working with you gets real results. Invest in a few tools – like WordVision – that allow you to see the metrics of your website. Brag about what you find or adapt your strategy to get on a better course.
- Know your Customer Acquisition Costs. It’s not just about having great content – you need to know your numbers. How much is your online business costing you? What are you spending to attract clients and readers? And what return are YOU getting from those readers and clients. Make sure your business model is working for you.