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What we’re reading: lessons from Mumbrella on ceasing a brand, zombies, mutants and content audits

As the year comes to a close, it’s a time for reflection. And planning for next year. The articles that I’ve been reading this week have been inspired by looking back on the year that was, and considering strategies to ensure that 2020 is a success. 

Mumbrella: Why we’re closing Mumbrella Asia 

I’m a big fan of Mumbrella and its founder Tim Burrowes. Burrowes has built (and sold) an extremely successful business with multiple revenue streams on the back of creating a website for media and marketing professionals 11 years ago. But the best thing about Burrowes is his transparency, and the detail he provides when Mumbrella takes a misstep. This week, the Mumbrella team made the decision to close its regional arm, Mumbrella Asia. In a post on the website, Burrowes details why, reflects on the dynamics of the decision, the difficulty of ceasing a brand that has good subscriber/delegate engagement but poor sponsor support, and why they should have made the call earlier – all while graciously respecting and thanking the staff who had worked hard to make it a success. It’s worth a read for all publishers. 

Key takeaways: I like that Mumbrella gives its readers a peek ‘into the boardroom’ with its big decisions. It breeds engagement and trust, and it’s a technique that all publishers could look to bring to their own businesses on some level. If we’ve learnt something in 2019, it’s that media trust is a driver of revenue. There are so many more takeaways from this article, but I’ll leave you to read it and consider in the context of your business. 

Publishing Executive: Zombies, mutants and resurrection: magazine publishing in 2019

This short article reflects on how the magazine industry in the US has changed over 2019. It takes a look at the number of magazines that are currently in publication, those that have closed, big brands that are looking to produce magazines as part of their content marketing strategy (think Netflix, Uniqlo, etc.), and how the business models of some magazines have adapted to drive growth. 

Key takeaways: I’m part of the glass-half-full crowd when it comes to the future of magazines, and believe that the move of large brands into producing magazines will be beneficial in re-building marketers’ confidence in the value of print advertising. The example of how US magazine Coastal Living has changed its business model is also food for thought. 

Hardie Grant: Why you should do a content audit before 2019 is over

Just in case you didn’t have enough on your plate in the lead up to Christmas, custom publisher Hardie Grant has outlined why and how you should do a content audit before the year is out. It’s a step-by-step strategy aimed at making sure that you hit the ground running with content marketing and SEO in 2020. 

Key takeaways: As a publisher, you should be all over this. But it’s a task that often gets pushed to the bottom of your list in favour of more time-sensitive priorities. If you make one business resolution in 2020, I’d make it a content audit – not just of your brands’ websites, but of your company website too. 

Written by Lyndsie Clark

Niche Publishing Network Founder and Editor Lyndsie Clark has over 10 years of niche publishing experience, working in a variety of roles spanning B2B editorial, sales, operations, events, BD, and management.


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