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From print to digital: save money and sell more

Luca Filigheddu


The publishing industry has been in a crossroads for quite some time now. The exponential growth of internet access has disrupted many industries and publishing isn’t immune.


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Ask anyone in the industry, and they will tell you about the disruption that’s been going on firsthand. Newspapers and magazines struggle to maintain their revenues or even just to survive. We’ve even heard of newspapers being sold per piece not even at cost but at a loss! Clearly, something needs to change.

In the past few years, the publishing industry has shifted and started to move online. Many invested more on their websites and even offered their publications in digital formats. Flippable digital magazines and newspapers started to come out and was one of the first steps publishers took to take their publications online.

But that was about five to eight years ago, and that has long since passed. Today, the industry is no longer being given a choice. It is plain fact that publishing needs to move, or at the very least, incorporate digital into their strategies.

Cutting costs and finding new ways to generate revenue cannot be done by purely providing a printed product. It’s time to move from print to digital. Check out some of the advantages:

Opportunities to Reduce Costs

Printing is becoming more and more expensive. There are lots of costs involved from the logistics of delivering your printed publication to the choice of the quality of your paper or ink. Printed magazines also give you limited opportunities to monetize your magazine aside from advertisements or advertorials that fight for space.

Moving to digital from print gives you new avenues to generate revenue. Aside from reducing your investments into your delivery system, you can worry less about printing costs that come along with a printed magazine.

You can also save yourself from costly mistakes. Magazines are printed on a schedule, and once they are published, they’re out there in the world. What if a client’s paid ad was mistakenly omitted or an unapproved draft advertorial was published instead? You can’t possibly recall all the magazines and have another corrected batch printed. But if you had a digital issue, you can easily correct the mistake.

New ways to generate revenue

Sticking to a printed version of your magazine limits the amount ways you can monetize your magazine. Printed magazines can usually just rely on ads and advertorials. But having a digital issue widens your options.

In addition to advertising using static images, text articles or directory listings, you can now incorporate more engaging content that your audience will welcome. Maybe a related video from one of your clients, or a pop-up image ad.

Even thoughtfully-placed links can turn an article into a cash cow. You can offer smaller companies that can’t afford big ad placements to rent a set of links to their website or landing page, for example.

You can even venture further into Affiliate Marketing. You just need to get a link with a tracking code from an online seller and every time someone that came from your link purchases product, you get a cut. You’ll just have to look for a reliable affiliate program and choose which offers are great for you and which products are related to your article’s topic. There are many online and even Amazon has its own affiliate program. Cuts can range from 20%-60% of the total price of the product and can be quite lucrative especially if you are a trusted voice in your niche.


We’ve heard a lot about how newspapers and magazines are dying. At first glance, it might be attributed to people not wanting to read anymore and because of that, publishers are struggling to save money and sell more issues.

But what the publishing industry is experiencing today is not death. In fact, it’s a renaissance. People are consuming more content than ever before. From an average of 25 hours per week of total content consumption in 1960, it has now grown to more than 70 hours. The only change that happened is how people are consuming content – that is all.

The truth is, the so-called “decline” of the industry, brought about by tough competition, falling readership, ballooning costs and evaporating profits, is merely a wake-up call for publishers to adapt and meet their readers where they are. Why refuse to adapt what transforming from print to digital can open up so many opportunities?