Should a newspaper or magazine publish its contents online? If it does, who would be buying the physical papers anymore?
You would be surprised that even with online content, many people still prefer to fork out about RM1.50 everyday to buy the real thing. And that is recently proven with my favourite newspaper The Star (which I was reading ever since I was a child) with its readership growing by 8.06% despite having almost all its articles published online. No doubt, we can go online and read articles by sorting out- but that would be time consuming, isn’t it?
When I started blogging, I constantly referenced articles published in The Star paper that I’ve read. I appreciate the fact that it becomes so easy for me to search and find these articles online. That means I no longer need to store newspaper clippings like what I used to do and have them gather dust, grow yellow and having bugs and aggreviating my sinus when I need to go through the pile to search for something. It becomes easy for us to send good articles to friends who we think would benefit from it (that means the article goes straight to targeted audience because friends would tend to read what we send to them).
Yesterday’s paper would be used today to wrap fish, vegetables and nasi lemak. But what is published online gets referenced, linked, talked about via forwarded emails, blogs, forums, other websites and in social media- the long tail effect.
That is why I like the approach used by The Star- with its online portal, The Star Online, the site can well sustain itself through online advertising. What’s more, with well targeted and better positioned advertment (example a online flower delivery advertising on an article about giving flowers on Valentine’s Day), it’s how each article writen can continously generate income to no end.
Many who look at short term gains and do not want to share for fear that it will reduce business should learn from The Star. Another example is IKEA– they provide free thick catalogues for free with lots of ideas on decorating, storage solutions and interior design. Of course, there would be many copycats out there as there would always be in any business or site (blog contents often gets copied word for word and posted in another site)- but in the end, the one most steady and dedicated wins the race. That’s why the founder of IKEA Ingvar Kamprad is one of the richest man in the world.
Recently, while searching through the articles online, I came to realise that The Star Online has also created new sites targeting at specific topics. For instance, allmalaysia.info provides articles posted in the paper on Malaysian life- culture, business and places. A lot of articles in the paper that are writen about Malaysian life are archived in the site.
If you are interested in travel and love to write, you may want to contribute an article to the site.
And finally, Adsense seemed to be one of the most popular advertising options even for well known and established websites.