Living in Interesting Times: Resources for Handling COVID-19

“May you live in interesting times.” – Chinese proverb

Yep, we are living the proverb. And we hope all of our Niche peeps out there are hanging on!

Many of you are spinning the current COVID-19 situation as an opportunity. We’re hearing about new magazine launches, sales and purchases of brands, pivots to 100% digital editions, and rethinking of everything from work flows to advertiser partnerships.

And we know there are even more of you struggling to support your staff, get an issue out, and keep advertisers on the hook for a return to “normal.” We are behind you – and have some ideas.

Media Biz Financial Resources

First things first, here’s a list of sources for financial support:

  • CARES Act – includes three levels of financial support and loans for small business, including Paycheck Protection, Emergency Economic Grant, and Debt Relief Program.
  • IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief – includes paid leave and employee tax credit programs.
  • Individual State Small Business Assistance – each state’s Governor’s Website has details on assistance loans and programs for small business.

Next: Rethink Your Opportunities

1. Digital Editions
If a big chunk of your magazine revenue is from the newsstand or free rack placement, now is the perfect time to push digital edition sign up. Your social media audiences are a perfect match for a digital edition offer, and adding digital edition access to subscribers (if you’re not already) is a smart move too. You could increase your audience exponentially — and trackable eyes on advertiser placements.

Takeaway: With 54% of surveyed adults saying they’re more likely to switch to digital content as a result of the pandemic, now is the time to go all in on your digital edition.

2. Go Hyper-Local
This one’s for city & regionals. You can survive (see digital edition tip above) but you may even grow your online and subscription audience by going even more hyper-local. Partner with advertisers on digital features: featured author podcasts with your local bookshop, recipe demonstrations from both beloved and new restaurants, Friday Facebook Live with a featured “cocktail of the week”, museums sharing downloadable coloring pages or video lectures for kids.

The list is endless, and many local businesses will be happy to participate if you are sharing your sign up list and offering follow up emails to sell their goods or services (especially if deliverable right now). Build this up as a package series for the next 2-4 months.

Takeaway: New revenue, more audience, solid advertiser relationships for now and later.

3. Launch (or Expand) Podcasts and Videos
Your audience is stuck at home, and using their flexible hours for personal and career growth (or just fun escapist stuff too). Now is the time to launch or expand your podcast and video offerings to meet those audience needs. If you’re just getting started, the set up is minimal time and cost — and advertisers love to sponsor interactive, trackable content. Not ready to dive in? Sponsors may have video content ready to share with your audience.

Takeaway: Focus on quality content to ensure audience engagement, then tie in sponsorships.

4. Sponsored Promotions
Who doesn’t love taking a quiz or entering a giveaway? Interactive content like quizzes, photo contests, ballots, and other promotions has spiked during the COVID-19 lockdown. Sponsored promotions drive audience engagement, grow your list, and give sponsors a ton of leads and brand exposure. It’s pretty much a full circle win.

Takeaway:Promotions deliver measurable results and ROI for advertisers. Plus they grow your list, engage your readers, and drive big revenue (yes, please!)

Tell Us More!

We want to hear what you are doing to work through business challenges now, plus any community support partnerships or initiatives you’ve launched. Email us and we’ll share your story in upcoming Niched Out News issues!

And be sure to sign up for our FREE Super Niche (Almost) Live! virtual event on April 14-15! Tons of ideas for managing business now, and setting strategies for long-term revenue and growth.

One Day at a Time

We’re all in this together. Please stay safe. And thanks for being in the Niche community!



More about Kristi: Kristi Dougherty is the Content Queen (VP, Marketing & Programs) for Niche Media’s unique and dynamic conferences and resources for niche publishers. She has worked in media since the heady days of dot com magazines in the 90s and managed B-to-B, consumer, and association publications and events. Kristi has spoken at many media conferences, including Niche. When she isn’t obsessing over email design and building the perfect event agenda, she is hiking, snowshoeing, cooking, reading and napping. Sometimes all in one day.


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.