10 keys to making your magazine website great

December 12, 2008

1. Create excellent content
As in print, this is number one by far. Create editorial that you believe in, you would click on and you would read. Without this step, the rest is unimportant.

2. Make it accessible
How will your potential readers find your content? Is it easy for readers to share with friends, whether through email or social media? Think about how to make content accessible for site visitors, Google and the rest of the web.

3. Make it web-friendly
Make your content easy to read on-screen by keeping it tight and focused, breaking it up, bolding key phrases and using bullets or numbered points when appropriate. Ensure titles are clickable and make sense.

4. Make it timeless
This isn’t always possible – dated content is dated content – but every article that can be evergreen should be evergreen. Make its lifespan as long as possible.

5. Think
It’s easy to slip into auto-pilot, but your work will suffer. Always think critically about the decisions you make and reassess what you’ve done in the past so you can make your work better. The web is constantly changing and you should be too.

6. Link
Don’t exist in a bubble – link to others and they will link back to you, plus you’ll be making your site more useful for readers. Believe in linking karma.

7. Be creative
Think beyond articles and explore other formats: slideshows, video, audio, blogs, tools. Explore how you can best serve your reader.

8. Communicate and engage
The best thing the web has to offer is its interactivity. Make use of this to create a conversation with your readers, whether it’s through site forums, newsletters, social media tools like Twitter or Facebook or simply email. Offer readers a chance to participate in your site.

9. Analyze
Make sure you have good analytics software, and keep track of your site stats. Know what people are reading and how they’re getting to your site. Know where they’re leaving from. Then use this information to develop and change.

10. Experiment
Know what’s common practice, but don’t rely on it. Stay informed about the latest and greatest in online publishing. Constantly experiment to see what works for your reader and your site. Try new things and always be willing to evolve.

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2 Responses to “10 keys to making your magazine website great”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    This is a great list. Too bad most mag websites fail at succeeding at most of these.

  2. ragdoll Says:

    Let me also say that this is a great list. Am forwarding it around as we speak.


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