Business MeetingThe rise of digital media has seen a decline in print-based magazines. Industry leaders do not envisage an end to this transformation, especially now readers can access material online using mobile devices.

The reason for the decline in print sales is simply because readers can now access their favourite magazines online. However, print companies still have to make revenue from subscriptions to pay writers and staff.

And with so many competitors online, magazines are in danger of losing readers to other sources. Some of the leading magazines and newspapers – The Times for example – are tying customers in with registration fees.

This may work for the bigger, established magazines, but what about publications with a modest following?

Changes in content

The philosophy of successful magazines is to build a community that share a passion. Search engines insist webmasters upload quality content to their site that reflects the nature of your business.

Your website is therefore an industry magazine. You already have a community who is passionate – or at least have a professional interest – about your industry. All you need to do is provide quality content that engages your audience and pins you above competitors.

Analyzing professional magazines should give you some ideas. Loading your website with 500-word articles every week is about to die a death. For websites to engage readers, you need variety.

The role of varied content

In a recent interview with Brand Republic, managing director of Shortlist Media, Karl Marsden believes media sites have a major role to play on the internet landscape.

In the last few years, we have seen the emergence of online content that offers variety and strategy for online marketers and webmasters. Infographics, videos, interactive ads, and mobile marketing all offer advertisers and audiences something different.

As the saying goes, variety is the spice.

The type of content you publish, not only hinges on your audience, but the type of device they are likely to be using. Reading an article on a desktop PC or laptop is a lot easier than on a 5” mobile screen.

Therefore is a 2000-word instruction manual with diagrams suitable content for a mobile user. No. By all means post your instruction manual for when the mobile user is ready to use it, but in the meantime post an easy-to-read article for them to enjoy.

You may want to post content alongside the manual – snippets, an introduction, sales material, additional advice, diagram extracts, a practical video. The possibilities to produce varied content are endless.

Show not tell

Fiction writers have a specialise technique called show not tell. Effectively, this means to show the reader what happens by describing a scene rather than tell them what happened in a sentence or paragraph.

Your content should also do the same. Be editorial, not advertorial. Explain the benefits of products and your company by giving practical advice rather than trying to sell a product based solely on its features and benefits.

Creating an online magazine from your website with quality content gives you more creditability with readers. One thing consumers are still uncertain about when shopping online is trust. Position yourself as an expert in your field and build a strong gathering and consumer trust comes automatically.