Interview: Vahe Arabian @ State of Digital Publishing & Seek An Audience

Happy Monday, readers!

It’s been a while since I’ve interviewed someone in the business (publishing), and Vahe Arabian actually reached out to me first to be featured as a digital publishing expert in an interview on his site. You can read my interview by clicking HERE. And since I felt so honored, I wanted to respond in kind and feature him and his work on my blog.

It’s an exciting time, as ever, in digital publishing, and Vahe is taking advantage of the ever-changing landscape by building a network for those in the industry and interested in joining it. So, check out my interview with him below, and then go check out his site and join the growing network!

 

Tell us about your startup–State of Digital Publishing & Seek An Audience. Why did you start it and how did you start it?

 

When I was in university, I had the opportunity to intern at a startup comparison site (now Australia’s leading one that has also expanded overseas) and it excited me to see how they were building their audiences and brands.

Deep down, I knew I wasn’t as passionate in the topic(s) they were publishing, and so I continued my career in SEO & Content strategy consultancy within startup agencies. After 8 years, I’ve decided to pursue my digital media/publishing career and business through the inception of the State of Digital Publishing Network.

The State of Digital Publishing Network consists of State of Digital Publishing, an online publication which aims to provide professionals perspectives and actionable news/insights within the digital media and publishing industry, whilst Seek An Audience is the community supporting discussion, collaboration and discovery of new media and technology.

State of Digital Publishing originally started out as a blog, and I decided to start it for self-development purposes, but since switching to it full-time, I am genuinely trying to build it as a dedicated digital media/publishing editorial brand. Other brands also focus on media and advertising or just digital publishing (book publishing and design), but there are enough developments within this space worth covering it alone.

Within the first few months of State of Digital Publishing, I was surveying people for feedback and came to the conclusion that people were going to dozens of sites in order to find practical information for their day-to-day issues or skill gaps. In addition, the respondents were keen to having a network of contributors where they could ask advice 24/7. And from this, Seek An Audience was born.

 

Why do you feel it’s important to share the State of Digital Publishing and Seek An Audience?

I know how editors and digital media/publishing professionals are under-resourced and “time poor” (Going through the ropes myself currently!), so now, more than ever, it’s important to slow down and really focus on being practical in your audience development efforts.

The skill gap is widening between leading and smaller-sized digital media/publishing brands and startups, due to historically relying on paid media for growth. There are many things each side is doing that the other isn’t across, so it’s important to have an intersection where both sides can meet.

It’s not there yet, but I strive for the State of Digital Publishing Network to be this intersection.

 

You interview many people who are involved in digital publishing in some way. What are some takeaways or even common threads you’ve found so far?

 

It’s really interesting to learn about the interviewees’ background stories and how they got to where they are today.

What I found some of the common threads and takeaways to be are:

 

  • How people can similarly shape their careers based on lifestyle factors or prioritising on family first. This was especially apparent with female editors who have families.

  • The creativity and flair of responses from professionals working in larger media publishing companies and how their networks charged up engagement on State of Digital Publishing.

  • There are so many niches that people specialise in that I didn’t reaslise i.e. Gay Travel. So awesome!

  • The majority of respondents work remotely with basic tools and workflows (particularly Slack). So anyone can do it–it’s all about mastery and persistence!

  • In terms of the passionate problems professionals are trying to address, professionals who work in media publishing companies tend to focus on audience growth or team management problems, whilst remote/self-employed based editors focus on self-promotion or a passionate product or writing project they are working on.

  • The majority of respondents advised professionals starting out in the industry to get their work out there and practice writing ASAP!

 

These people are genuinely passionate in what they do and I’m fortunate to have profiled them (and you as well, Tamar!), especially considering that I have no prior history in working with any of them.

 

What would you say the state of digital publishing currently is?

 

It’s a mix of publishers trying to genuinely find the right content subscription model, with a focus on properly executing media distribution strategies (catering and publishing unique content on platforms instead of pushing it out) whilst automating basic roles and site features that can strengthen the overall content/product quality. All of this is aiming to to develop more sustainable businesses that rely less on advertising.

Last year gave publishers a shock in the system as advertisers experienced further decreasing revenue from advertising with the rise of ad blockers and fake news, but more platforms are providing publisher centric features to help build subscribers within their environments and encourage premium publishing. Snap, AMP and Facebook Instant Articles distributed media strategies have seen mixed results. There are also innovators like the Washington Post who already have AI written 800 general news stories and The New York Times creating an editorial bot to moderate user comments, removing once-required roles.

It’s an exciting time to be a publisher, and I anticipate to see proper segmentation of media brands based on their revenue models within the next few years.

 

How can readers support The State of Digital Publishing & Seek An Audience? Where can we find you?

 

Providing feedback in the type of answers and case studies you are looking at will be absolutely key, as this will allow The State of Digital Publishing network to build a long-term solution for our existing and new readers.

You can find us on the State of Digital Publishing and Seek An Audience sites, respective social media profiles and speaking with other editors and publishers all the time!

 

Is there anything else you have to share with us?  

We’re excited to be building new features and resources within the Seek An Audience community that will help existing users gain better opportunities with finding vendor solutions and network with other professionals within the space.

State of Digital Publishing will also be going down the path of covering unique stories whilst continuing our featured interviews.

So, watch this space 🙂

Vahe Arabian is the Founder and Editor in Chief of State of Digital Publishing and Seek An Audience. His vision is to provide digital publishing and media professionals a platform to collaborate and promote their efforts, and his passion is to uncover talent and the latest trends for all to benefit.

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Getting Legal When You Work With Words For A Living

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In the modern world, many of us are opting to make our living through words. At one time, the only way to do this was through traditional publishing or journalism. Now, the ways in which we can use words to make a living seem unlimited. Traditional publishing and journalism are, of course, still options. On top of that, we have blogging, self-publishing, content creation, and more.

In short, the world of freelance writing has reached epic proportions, which is fantastic news. But it doesn’t come without its issues.

Us writers are a creative bunch. We like to surround ourselves with stories. But, when we’re going it alone, we have to step into the real world occasionally. In the past, publishers took care of a significant amount of legal stuff. Now, we have to do it ourselves. And let’s be honest: writing and legality don’t exactly go hand in hand, which is why we’re going to look at a few of the legal issues you need to consider to protect your work.

 

Copyright



Copyright is high on any writer’s priorities. This is essential for protecting our work, and also ensuring we don’t get sued.

The good news is that literature is protected by copyright for at least 25 years. So, if you do fear someone’s stealing your work, you’re within your rights to take legal action. In this instance, document all evidence. It’s also worth dating and keeping accurate copies of your work so you can prove you came first.

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It’s also important to know what can’t be copyrighted, the main offenders being names and ideas. There’s nothing to stop other authors stealing titles. And, you can’t do much if they take your ideas. In this instance, it’d be better for your reputation to simply walk away.



You, As a Company?



Another legal matter every author needs to consider is how they plan to operate. This can be a confusing issue if you’ve never thought about it before, but it’s one you need to tackle. You could, of course, operate as yourself. You’d be regarded as a sole proprietor and would pay tax accordingly.

But, if you start making a decent sum, it may be worth expanding. By becoming a limited liability company, or incorporating, you can protect yourself and lower your tax. You can find out how to start an llc or incorporate online. It’s well worth doing if you plan to make writing your primary source of income.

 

Libel Liability


Libel, or slander, is also a big issue for many authors. The danger here is that a reader will recognize themselves in your work. If that happens, they could take you to court for libel which may end up costing you.

To avoid the issue, it’s best not to write characters which could be seen as the people you know. And, if you are writing about people in your life, make sure to let them read copies before publishing. It may even be worth getting them to sign an agreement, just in case.

Climbing The Ladder: Is Your Search Ranking Holding Your Business Back?

Think about how often you use a search engine when you’re online. As a single consumer in a giant marketplace, the role of a search engine can be incredibly important, so consider how valuable a high ranking could be for your business.

Did you know that today, Google alone will carry out around 3.5 billion searches? When presented with pages of links, 75 percent of people won’t even get to the bottom of page 1, let alone check out pages 10, 15 or 20. If you have a low search ranking, and your products aren’t flying off the shelves, this could be why. Here are some tips to help you climb the ladder and garner more interest online.

Image taken from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SEO_IMAGEN.jpg

 

Producing the Right Content

Content marketing is an incredibly effective technique for many modern businesses. When it comes to producing content for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes, it’s important to understand what works and what doesn’t. Writing an article for a magazine is completely different to putting something together for a blog post that you want to reach the top of the first page of search results. If you run a company and you’re not an expert writer, it’s worth getting in touch with freelancers or specialist agencies to draw up an effective content marketing strategy and start getting your posts noticed.

SEO success isn’t about producing paragraphs that are stuffed full of keywords. It’s about learning how to use popular search terms and keywords in a natural, believable way and using techniques like backlinks to draw more attention to your content.

 

Getting Expert Advice

If you manage a company, it’s highly likely that you have an impressive skill set, but online marketing may not be your forte. If you haven’t got an in-house team dedicated to SEO and you want to drive online sales, it’s wise to consider working with a firm like Ignite Digital. Experts can analyze your performance, identify existing issues that are hampering your strategy, and help to find solutions.

Perhaps your campaign is out of touch, or you’re failing to reach the right audience, or maybe the content is lacking originality, or you would benefit from a more commanding presence on social media.

 

Updating Your Website

Your website is incredibly important if you’re trying to increase online sales or put your business on the map. If the speed is low, the content is dated, or the aesthetics don’t fit the bill, this is likely to affect your business performance. It’s really important to update your website on a regular basis if you’re keen to attract visitors via search engines.

Running a blog is a great way to do this. Think carefully about subjects you want to cover, encourage interaction with clients and followers on social media and keep everything fresh. Readers don’t want to be faced with the same post with a slightly different title every time.

Millions of people use search engines on a daily basis. If you want more people to find your business and learn more about it, getting your SEO strategy right is key. If you’re not getting enough attention online, it may be time to try and identify weaknesses and revamp your approach. Ask for expert help, focus on producing quality content, and be present online.

 

Running an Effective Marketing Campaign in the Current Marketplace

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In a marketplace that is currently saturated with emerging brands vying for attention, it can be extremely difficult to make a name for yourself. After all, customers can find it difficult to differentiate between promising new brands and the endless business ventures that generally call things quits a few months in. They want a reliable name that will be able to continue providing them with goods and services well into the future.

So, how do you make your business stand out as a reliable option? The answer: an effective and well thought out marketing campaign. Here’s how to best go about it.

 

Setting a Budget

 

First, you need to set a budget for your campaign. Having a roundabout figure in mind can help you to distribute your finances and understand what you can do with the given sum.

If you don’t have any savings put aside, don’t worry. This is a business investment so you can take out a business cash advance that will allow you to conduct the campaign and pay the lender back in smaller increments over time. SwiftFinancial.com is a good place to start out. These professional lenders will be able to offer you between $5000 and $500,000 with repayment terms ranging from three months to one year.

 

Employ a Marketing Specialist

Unless you are trained in marketing yourself, you’re going to want to call in the help of someone who is qualified and trained in the area. They will have a good working knowledge of what works and what doesn’t for all sorts of brands.

This information will prove invaluable when it comes to orchestrating your campaign. They will also be up to date with market trends and will know the best approaches to take in order to make your business stand out from the crowd.

Keep An Eye Out For Special Offers

 

The costs of marketing materials can mount up quickly. So look for bulk buy discounts or promotional offers on things like leaflet or poster printing. You will want to advertise your product as thoroughly as possible, so the more material, the better. Seemingly small discounts can save you a lot in the long run of things.

 

Outsource Promotional Staff

If you are going to have promotional staff working on a campaign, it’s usually best to outsource and bring them into work for you through an agency. This will allow you access to some of the most experienced and reliable staff out there, as not only are they working to impress you, but they will be putting extra effort in to receive good feedback to their agency who will then be more likely to book them on future jobs. And what’s more, as they are self-employed, you can bring them in as and when you please without having to offer in-house trained.

Following these simple steps will ensure that your products and services are noticed by potential customers without necessarily having to break the bank in the process. You will be rewarded with increased sales and wider interest in your brand. 

 

B2B Trends You Need 2 Follow 2Day

Image From Pixabay

 

When it comes to trends in business, they are always changing. New ones are constantly appearing within the corporate world, and what was once thought of the traditional way to do something can very quickly be forgotten. This is especially the case with B2B (business to business) trends. In fact, here are some of the newest ones that you may not even be aware of yet.

 

Digital Marketing Is King

 

You will have no doubt heard the phrase “content is king” numerous times. This used to just apply to B2C (business to customer). However, we now see that digital marketing is finally taking over the B2B world as well. Sales, marketing, and online customer service all fall under the digital marketing umbrella term, so it is crucial that your business’s are all performing exceptionally well. Otherwise, you might end up falling by the wayside as all your competitors forge on ahead.

 

Services Are Key In Manufacturing

Even though most B2B manufacturing firms have been slowly moving away from the traditional “production company” set up over the past few years, services are still key in the manufacturing industry. For instance, commercial waste disposal and effective staff training are still required by most production companies.

So, companies who offer these various B2B niches – in this instance, waste disposal and training courses for workers – are going through a very lucrative period at the minute. As long as businesses find their niche within the B2B service sector, then they won’t have to worry about work and projects drying up anytime soon.

 

Wholesalers Are Going Digital

 

Production chains and the flow of goods are now both going digital. And wholesalers know that they need to follow suit if they are going to keep up with their competitors. They can still work with the traditional logistics and processes, but they need to use some digitalization in these whole processes. That way, they can keep up with current demand and can also keep up with their competitors.

Lots of B2B wholesalers have tried to resist the digitalization of their industry, and this has not ended well for them. Make sure you aren’t one of them!

 

E-Commerce Is Fuelling Digitalization

Where has all this need for digitization come from? It seems to be that e-commerce platforms are fueling all of this digitalization. Almost every small or medium business has its very own e-commerce platform these days, and this is what is now at the center of most companies.

As a result, all of their other strategies, campaigns, and processes have to be planned around the platform and developed with it in mind. This then means that a company’s digitalization is completely seamless and intrinsically linked back to the e-commerce platform, which can bring many different benefits and advantages.

Hopefully, you should be able to pick up some very useful tips for your B2B company or clients from all of the above trends. How do you think the B2B industry is changing at the minute? I’d love to hear your thoughts!