How the Publisher Guide team is helping publishers succeed

Learn how the team creates a seamless experience for network publishers.
Woman in Pink Long Sleeve Shirt Sticking Post Its on the Wall. Publisher Guide Impact.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.

Earlier this year, Indiegraf introduced the Publisher Guide Team developed specifically to assist our network publishers with everything from project management to consulting. At the start of this third quarter, the small-but-mighty team hosted 47 meetings with publishers over two weeks. We asked the team to share their plans for this quarter and what they’ve accomplished in just five months.

How does the Publisher Guide role work? 

A Publisher Guide has four main roles:

  • 💬 Serves as the main point of contact for our publishers. We act as a liaison between publishers and their assigned project team of Indiegraf specialists. That includes regular check-ins, fielding questions and always being around to support.
  • 📈 Oversight of the success of the quarterly strategy. Every three months, the publication’s internal team and Indiegraf strategists meet to create a quarterly growth plan. This acts as our guiding document for the remainder of the quarter!
  • 📂 All project and account management. We manage the workflow of all the agreed-upon growth tactics for every publisher in the network, both internally and externally.
  • 📣 Publisher advocates and champions. We’re around for any additional support a publisher may need and are always seeking ways to experiment and continue to grow the publication. Think of it like having an extra consultant or project manager on your team.

What are the goals for Q3?

  • 📰 Going all-in on newsletter ad placements. Sponsorship opportunities have a high ROI, and it’s showing. Our network publishers made $101,645.50 in gross sales in Q2 — about $6,353 per publisher per quarter. We’re seeing tons of interest in our Indie Ads program.
  • 📈 Exploring new lead generation tactics (both IRL and online). There’s an appetite to go beyond industry-standard lead generation tactics, like social media ads. How can we get creative while still retaining that tight cost per lead?
  • 💸 Make more regular donation asks from readership. It’s hard to ask your audience for money. This quarter, we’re practicing smaller, more frequent asks.

What’s the biggest win the Pub Guides have helped score?

  • 🎯 Finding efficiencies in our onboarding process! We onboarded publishers coming from different website and ESP providers. Having Pub Guides coordinate directly with the publishers every step of the way made it easier for the teams to move the work along because it ensured they had what they needed in order to do their best work. —Elena Coll
  • 🧠 Project management and troubleshooting. Indiegraf team members work with several different publishers at a time, so having one person to keep track of where projects are can be of great help in finding bottlenecks and brainstorming potential solutions. Pub Guides can help zoom in and out of project work because we are in charge of the larger picture for each quarter! —Elena Coll
  • 🏋️‍♀️ Making headway on ESP migrations. Indiegraf recently announced a new addition to Indie Tech: Indie Email! The whole team is excited about having a completely integrated email service provider that will better serve our publishers. However, a new tech platform naturally comes with the challenge of moving over publisher’s subscribers and data without interrupting their regular newsletter or campaigns. It’s a tall order! But our team of tech and audience experts have absolutely crushed it, developing seamless workflows with the help of the Pub Guide team so that our publishers don’t have to sweat it. It may be behind-the-scenes work, but it’s critical because it allows our publishers to focus on what they do best: delivering their journalism! —Elizabeth Hambuchen
  • 🔥 We’ve had two publishers grow their teams this past quarter! The Kansas City Defender hired its very first full-time employee and Right Down Euclid recently onboarded its first round of part-time writers. Both come as a result of the significant increase of income both these publishers have seen thanks to their most recent revenue campaigns. Our strategic partnership with publishers is making a lasting impact on their overall growth and success! —Caroline Dinnall

What’s been the most insightful learnings so far when it comes to working with publishers?

  • 🗓️ The power of the Pub Guide is getting everyone in the same place at the same time with the same objective. This means assembling a growth plan that serves all teams, and working toward a standard set of goals. It sounds simple — how hard can it really be to create a cross-department strategy? Mix in the time and resource constraints that so many publishers have, especially ones who are one or two person teams, and it can get pretty tricky. It’s been inspiring to watch ideas take shape in the full team meetings after bouncing off of folks across the publication. Pro tip: Make time for your audience and sponsorship people to get together.They’re connecting the publication to the community, so you’d be amazed just how much they can help each other out! —Elizabeth Hambuchen 
  • 🧢 One of the key benefits is having that one go-to source of support and project management. The purpose of Indiegraf is to act as an extension to our partner publishers’ teams, to the benefit of their capacity. We know how to take things off publishers’ plates, but we needed someone to also take off some of the hats that publishers wear: the project manager, the problem-solver, the strategic thinker. Pub Guides have the publisher’s goals top of mind and can make sure all areas of Indiegraf work are geared toward those goals. —Elena Coll
  • 🤝 The Pub Guide role is all about building bridges. When it comes to journalist-entrepreneurs, there’s a lot happening at all times — the work never stops! And neither does it stop for the Indiegraf team members that are working closely with publishers. With so much going on, it can sometimes be difficult to make connections between what is needed and the people and resources that are necessary to fulfill a project. Pub Guides are there to bridge those gaps and identify creative solutions, both for our project teams and our partner publishers. —Elena Coll
  • ❤️ What was difficult for publishers to tackle on their own became much more achievable with dedicated assistance from the Pub Guide team. Publishers have expressed that they are more confident in the work and overall vision for their publications because of our support every step of the way. It helps for them to know that we believe in the work they do and genuinely care about what they care about. —Caroline Dinnall

Are you a publisher in need of guidance? We have a Publisher Guide waiting to help! Connect with us today to find out how you can become part of the Indiegraf network and grow your publication.

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