Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mequoda Summit Offers Key Tips and Trends for Digital Publishing

Last week, I was thrilled attend as Press the Mequoda Publishing Summit in Napa. Over the course of 4 days, about 60 attendees participated in a variety of sessions focused on systems for monetizing their businesses and web sites, and topics covered everything from social media, to newsletters, SEO, copywriting, and web design.

I put together a Flickr slide show that features some of the neat people I met and other conference highlights.

The greatest takeaway message I got from the conference was the importance not only of Content in the online world, but the architecture of content, in terms of the way it is presented, the way it is received, key steps you need to take in order to make yours standout, and what the future holds in online publishing. The conference certainly highlighted the fact that no one content stream is going to work, but rather a multilevel approach will bring your business to life as well as bring you more clients.

Following are 5 Key Takeaway Tips most important for my business, and maybe for yours as well:

1.  Future Trends: Digital Content is king, and traditional publishing such as print books, newspapers and magazines, is fading fast. In order to be a player, we must be digital and multimedia oriented, and we must offer multiple options for communicating: video, podcasts, e-zines, etc.
2. E-Newsletters: Be creative in offering your subscriber option. Offer a "value added" free download,  course, or e-book in return, and make sure your offer is clearly visible on top of the fold of your web page. So many web sites hide their sign up forms so no one can find them.
3. Web Design: Offer clear calls to action and test-run your site or site redesign with a user to make sure they can navigate your site easily. Make sure the design agrees with the content, and that the site loads within 3 seconds. Anything longer then that will lose people.
4. Copywriting: Whenever you can, describe the user experience with the product, rather then the product itself. This brings it to life. When describing your services or products, imagine what problem your customers needs solved, and then show how you solve it. Put yourself in their shoes: what keeps them up at night?
5. SEO: SEO is one of the single most crucial aspects of a successful web site. In addition to using Google keyword tools, make sure that you have a page of copy devoted to every service you offer, and that you include key words in all your copy, such as reports, articles, and blog posts.

For highlights, visit my slide show here, and please feel free to comment and share.

Stay tuned for Friday's blog post, where I will go into detail on more tips from the conference regarding good web design and e-zine best practices.

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