Team Takeaways from the Niche Digital Summit

Everyone wants to learn more about new ways to drive online revenue. So we recently brought together the best digital media minds and 150 niche publishers for the Niche Digital Summit in Chicago. The event was jam-packed with hands-on strategy, tactics and insights to help media businesses publish their niched-out content better, stronger and more profitably in the digital space.

We asked the Niche Media HQ team to share some of their takeaways from the conference:

Rebekah, President/Fearless Leader

“Discussions around native advertising were particularly lively — there’s a huge amount for publishers to consider in putting together a compelling native program that “plays nice” with their own editorial. Andrew Hanelly (RevMade) did a fantastic job of synthesizing the key issues that niche publishers grapple with in developing these programs, queuing up a super lively discussion with the publisher audience. Some great case study examples presented from the American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News were also a big hit.

The genius-level presentation by Andy Crestodina around developing a revenue-centric website resonated as well. I was particularly struck by his discussion about the balance of content on your website — how much “marketing” copy (you, talking about your business) versus “proof” (others talking about your business). Cheers to the power of the testimonial, people! (And, the power of video!)”

Carl, Founder/Grand Poobah: 

“Several of the speakers, including Joe Pulizzi (Founder of Content Marketing Institute) and Eric Shanfelt, (Founder of Emedia Strategist), mentioned the easiest way to generate revenue: Identify 6 or 8 or 10 sponsors/advertisers and then just exclusively highlight them. Show their logo on every web page and email. The key is charging a premium to be in this exclusive group. This gives them maximum exposure at a premium price. It’s the old 80/20 rule–80% of your revenue comes from 20% of the sponsors. From a sales perspective, that means you only have to make 8 (big) sales a year!

Believe it or not, the parties were also a stand-out this year. My best advice is make your parties fun! Get out of the conference space and find creative party venues. For example, we held a VIP party at Safehouse Chicago. It’s a spy-themed restaurant, and for you “Get Smart” fans, there’s an actual Cone of Silence! We also had a great party at HQ Beercade, with Chicago-style food and lots of fun vintage games. If you engage your attendees with unique parties, keep them active and serve them great food, they will come back again and again!”

Kristi, VP of Marketing & Programs/Content Queen:

“I got a lot out of this event – which is sometimes hard when you’re running stuff behind the scenes!

Digital revenue is not simple. There are so many platform options, multiple “best practices”, and approaches. I’m completely amazed at how many niche publishers are doing this well with limited staff and budgets! My #1 takeaway was from Trish Witkowski’s keynote directly, and was heard in other presentations as well—Don’t do it all.

Instead, select the channels and projects that are going to hit two check boxes:

  1. Serves your audience’s needs. (By driving loyalty, sharing, and growth, etc.)
  2. Drives the most revenue. Pick a handful of things that you can understand, manage, and execute well, with immediate and significant revenue payoff, and you’ll succeed.

Haphazardly launching multiple projects because you think you are supposed to be in a digital space or market only leads to failure and can even damage your brand!”

In our digital world, attending live events is even more meaningful.

Finally, our biggest takeaway is that live events are where you can learn new ideas and revenue strategies, stay (or get) current and build relationships that matter. Join us at Super Niche 2018 in Louisville, March 5th-7th!


About this blogger: Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Niche Media. A former sales director and corporate marketing hack, she has now found nirvana in writing and wrangling quality content. Diana is a food, wine, art and SF Giants enthusiast…who sometimes gets carried away.


Niche Media has the best events, education, and training in media! Our super niched-out events & content give target-audience publishers in the B2C, hobbyist, B2B, city & regional, and association markets the tools they need to build revenue, audience, and more.