Million Dollar Idea: Affinity Directory!

The Niche CEO Summit, held in Phoenix last month, was packed with growth strategies from niche publishing CEOs nationwide and in all markets. We’re sharing the best ideas with you in our new Million Dollar Idea feature. (Past installments: event revenue and sales appointments)

The third revenue idea comes from Two Eagles Marcus, President of Women’s Lifestyle magazine. He’s always looking for new revenue streams that can be accomplished with a small staff. Read on to learn more about his great idea:

  • Publisher: Two Eagles Marcus from Grand Rapids, MI
  • Magazine: Women’s Lifestyle
  • Big Revenue Idea: Create an Affinity Directory

Affinity directories are a win-win-win for you, your advertisers and the community.

Creating affinity directories within your current line-up can increase monthly revenue (who doesn’t want that?!) without taxing your team or stretching the budget. It’s not about creating the same old directory. Instead, look for possible natural partnerships that would be an excellent fit with your magazine and brand.

The Formula

Women’s Lifestyle magazine, for example, found a trusted partnership in a local organization, “Local First” that supports locally owned businesses. Each listing costs $150 per month. The low-cost makes it easy for new advertisers to start and their brand now gets a lift by being associated with the magazine. It’s also designed to be low-friction, as their one ad runs for one year.

Why It Works

Setting up the program to automate annual recurring directory placements will increase your bottom line. Be clear about expectations and deadlines, and treat your affiliates as you would any of your ad clients. You can also duplicate this revenue formula by forming partnerships with other affinity groups.

The Results

Two Eagles tells us that, in the first year, he signed on 125 businesses at $150 per month. That’s an increase in monthly revenue of $1,575 per month with minimum effort. The result is $18,900 more coming in every year. Affinity directories are as much about increasing the bottom line as they are about forming those long-term, mutually beneficial business connections.



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.



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