How the Old Farmer's Almanac Has Found Digital Success
Last week was a big week for the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
The 2016 edition has shipped, is being received in wholesale agencies, and is beginning to appear in retail outlets throughout the country. The AP wire story has been released and picked up by ABC News, HuffPO, Yahoo! News, and Fox. The New York Times, CBS News, PBS Newshour, CNN.com, and GQ Magazine have covered OFA’s grim 2016 winter weather forecast.
The Almanac’s editors have started doing regional and national phone interviews. The media tour has begun and OFA editors will be seen on local and national TV. And, icing on the cake, OFA has been trending on Facebook for the past several days.
In fact, last week the OFA hit a social media milestone, with one million fans liking the page and six million viewing the posts. To celebrate, they posted a video thanking their online fans.
The nation’s oldest periodical has come into the modern world with bells ringing and banners waving. Led by Sherin Pierce, the first woman publisher in its 225-year history, and Janice Stillman, its first female editor, the quirky family favorite blends old and new in its editorial content, its combination of science and folklore, and its leadership in print and digital.
Its 2015 edition, recently off-sale, was anomalous in today’s newsstand environment in that, for the second year in a row, it featured a higher cover price, higher draw, and higher efficiency than in previous years, proving that print could, not only survive, but thrive under the right circumstances. Its 2016 edition sails back onto those newsstand seas with another draw increase and media fanfare. And its 2017 edition, already in the works, will celebrate 225 years of publishing.
“We just keep moving forward, doing what we have to do,” Pierce said in reference to her print and digital editions and her robust online presence. “We get 11 to 15 million page views per month on our website, and we use that presence to support our print edition. We launched a monthly digital magazine which leads back to the site and keeps us in touch with our readers.”
All this from an independent New England publisher. “You don’t need to spend a fortune to encourage growth through all of today’s channels,” Pierce said. “You just need to be creative.”
Linda Ruth, as president of PSCS Consulting (www.PSCSConsulting.com), offers communication companies worldwide the keys to magazine launches, search engine optimization and audience development online and at retail. She is a pioneer in the fields of Online Audience Optimization (OAO) and gamification for content publishers. Her books, "Internet Marketing for Magazine Publishers" ; "How to Market your Newsstand Magazine"; and "Secrets of SEO for Publishers" can be found on Amazon. Find her online at Google Plus, Magazine Dojo, LinkedIn, and Twitter @Linda_Ruth.