Over the years the publishing industry has changed. Over the last 10 years, with new technology like Amazon, WordPress, email lists, PayPal, shopping carts, and membership software, anyone can now be a publisher.
What is amazing is the same products that are being created today have been staples in the direct marketing world since the 1920s. And even before, the book the Little Leather Library was published in 1916 and sold 40,000,000 copies in 5 years via mail order, magazines were already becoming popular and lucrative.
The first two magazines started in January 1741, were The Great American Magazine and Ben Franklin’s The Generalist Magazine. You can see the first editions of both magazines via the previous links. Magazines really became prominent, and viable business in the United States prior to the turn of the 19th century and exploded with more than 200 magazines launching in 1946 alone. Here is the entire time line for magazines.
Today new magazines are started every day and delivered via email called ezines and can be highly profitable.
According to the Direct Marketing Association for every dollar invested in email marketing yields a 4,300% return on investment for businesses in the United States.
Twenty years ago, for an author to publish a book they had to submit their book to various publishing companies and pray that it would be accepted and then published.
Today, an author writes a book, uploads it to Kindle to publish it with worldwide distribution.
With WordPress websites and social media, anyone can publish content and have their voice heard.
Even more importantly people can publish premium content and earn money from their knowledge.
You may ask “Why would someone pay for content when there is so much content available today for free?
People pay for content for two reasons.
- It saves them the time of searching through all the free content.
- It helps them satisfy a need, want or desire quickly.
Here are 4 specific types of publishing products that you can publish to earn money.
- Books – publishing a book leads to instant authority status on the topic, and there are so many ways to monetize a book other than just selling the book.
- Magazines and Ezines – are quite frankly one of the most lucrative business models.
- Paid Newsletters & Membership Sites– are topic-specific, and are highly scalable. They build a loyal following of customers that are interested in a particular subject, and who will most likely purchase similar products that are related. Another benefit to paid newsletters and membership sites is recurring revenue. Often people pay for access to the content on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis.
- Information products– can be everything from pdfs, to online courses, home study courses, paid webinars, or any other type of media, where people are paying to consume the content. Topics can be about business, hobbies, or challenges that you have overcome in your life.
Info products can be related to specific niches, like raising a family, gardening, training your dog, or even how to play the harmonica. Almost everything you know can be leveraged into an information product to help people.
Here Are 5 Reasons Why Publishing Is The Best Business Mode
- Scalable– to scale a publishing business, you increase your list of subscribers, and with digital publishing, it is growing the number of email subscribers.
- Few Barriers to Entry– one thing I always look for with any business that I work with are what are the barriers to entry to get the business started? Are there special licenses, certifications, or training involved? How much regulation is there?
With publishing, there are very few barriers to entry.
What do you need to start a publishing business?
- A sales letter selling your magazine, paid newsletter, or book? And with publishing an ezine it is even easier, all you need is an opt-in page, where people can enter their name and email address. The size of your list and the relationship with your list directly influence your revenue.
- An audience that you can reach either online or offline that is interested in your topic.
That’s all you need to get started, and maybe a website to host the sales letter or opt-in page if you are going to build your email list.
- Low Startup Costs– startup costs can be a category within barriers to entry. The costs to start a business are so important to the success and growth of the business that I include the startup costs as a separate category.
With digital publishing, there are practically 0 startup costs. You need software that allows you to build your email list, maybe money to run Facebook ads, a shopping cart that can track affiliate commissions, and a website. So, for $1,000 you can launch your digital publishing business, and you can even bootstrap that $1,000.
- Leverages Your Time– the fourth criteria is how much time is involved in getting the business started and how much time is involved in managing, maintaining, and growing the business.
With publishing no matter what product that you create, if it’s a magazine, a newsletter, or a book, etc. it doesn’t matter how many people consume the content. If it’s 100 people or 10,000 people it doesn’t take any more time, effort, or energy to create the product.
Once you create the product, there is no additional work involved. It doesn’t matter how many people consume the content of the product.
There is still time involved in marketing, fulfillment, and distribution of the product, but there is no more time involved in creating the product.
So, publishing leverages your time like few other products can.
- Long-Term Assets – And finally, the biggest reason that you want to start publishing your knowledge is that you are building long-term assets that will be beneficial to you for years to come. One article can be syndicated to other websites. One book can open the door to more opportunities to serve a larger audience. Content can be reused, repurposed, and redistributed for years. All then can be leveraged into reaching more people, serving more customers, and generating short and long-term revenue.
Finally, what are the 4 components of any publishing entity?
- Products– Are what you are going to deliver to the customer such as a newsletter, a magazine, a book, an info product, etc.
- Building Your List – represents the total number of email subscribers. The larger the list size you have and the better the relationship that you have with your list, then the more money you will make.
- Distribution – is how you are going to deliver the product once people purchase it. With digital publishing, it can be a digital download, a pdf, a course behind a membership wall, an email with a link to the download, etc. Using these digital methods to distribute your product brings your distribution costs almost to zero also.
- Revenue – This is my favorite part of publishing. Publishing allows you to create multiple streams of revenue.
One digital magazine can yield sources of revenue such as advertising like banner ads and dedicated emails, selling your digital information products, coaching, speaking, mastermind groups, online and offline events, affiliate offers that resonate with your audience, etc. The list goes on and on and is only limited by your creativity.
Plus, publishing is excellent for continuity revenue, where customers are paying you month after month. Continuity pricing is one of the most transformative strategies a business can implement.
These are just a few reasons why publishing what you know, can create long-term assets that can benefit you for years to come.
The fastest way to start a publishing business is to start building your email list.