WineIndustryInsight is the largest & most widely read digital wine publication in North America. It is also the only wine trade publication with a profitable premium-by-subscription paywall offering.
Founded in late 2008, WineIndustryInsight faced the challenge of an already well established print publication covering news in the wine trade. WineIndustryInsight would also need to be easy enough to use on the backend for one person working part time to write and edit content for the site. The entire website would also need to be built on a fairly tight budget. The website would need to generate revenue and profit, while also maintaining a leadership in the wine trade, once established.
- All of the needs for content creation would need to be accomplished by one person, working part time.
- Cost efficiency and effectiveness for design and the website were essential in all design and programming.
- Build an effective, profitable premium content pay-wall site.
- Build a profitable free side of the site giving access to free content, but also staying profitable.
- Create ways for other large players and PR writers to input and submit news releases.
We began by creating a Content Management System for content creation, using Word Press. Within WordPress, WineIndustryInsight could easily create and write new content for the website, in a rich-text editor. This advancement meant that they would no longer need to spend large amounts of time building pages for the content, just writing it and publishing it.
We took an existing WordPress theme that WineIndustryInsight had selected and modified it to fit the needs of their website.
One of these modifications was the creation of OtherVoices, a system that allows third-parties to subscribe to WineIndustryInsight’s content creation system and submit press releases and other press information through a content management portal. This allowed press releases and other information to permeate WineIndustryInsight’s website more quickly, ensuring that content creation was fast, and efficient.
In order to allow the free side of WineIndustryInsight to be profitable, we created an advertising system and an administration panel for the main-pages of the WineIndustryInsight website. This panel allowed WineIndustryInsight to easily update the ads they had on their website, allowing for fast, easy rotation of advertisements for different advertising customers.
In order to push information beyond the website, we implemented a mailing-list system, and created a custom template. This newsletter, called NewsFetch, allowed WineIndustryInsight to curate wine trade news into an email pushed to hundreds of thousands of customers, containing both free, curated content from WineIndustryInsight and other third-party news sources, but also content from the paid portions of WineIndustryInsight.
In implementing WineIndustryInsight’s newsletter system, we wanted to ensure that all of their clients could easily open and read their email newsletters. Because of this, we ensured that the code and formatting we were using would look great on new email systems, including mobile devices, but also ensured that older legacy computers and mobile platforms would be able to receive and read the information from WineIndustryInsight as well.
In implementing the newsletter system, OtherVoices and other user-generated submission systems, the WordPress implementation, and the dynamic advertising systems, we needed to incorporate our front-end design and coding skills with out backend. Utilizing powerful database software such as MySQL, or mail-processing systems like PHPList, we ensured that WineIndustryInsight worked end to end, by seamlessly integrating our front-end code with our powerful back-end systems.
The open site, free newsletter, and premium site, all helped fuel traffic and profits for one another. Through advertising on the free web, and newsletter, WineIndustryInsight was able to build profit from the free content and systems that they provided to their clients. Through their newsletter, they were able to push much of their premium content to subscribers, bringing in traffic to their premium website, and allowing their premium paywall to create subscription traffic and profit for premium in-depth stories.
In order to make sure these stories were quickly findable outside of their newsletter, YourTechWorx implemented heavy Search Engine Optimization (SEO) systems into WineIndustryInsight’s core CMS system, allowing it to be quickly and efficiently indexed and submitted to major search systems like Google, Yahoo or Bing, allowing for WineIndustryInsight’s breaking-news stories to permeate the searches of their clients and potential clients.
YourTechWorx also created a full Social Media presence, on both Facebook and Twitter, allowing for news to reach out through social media and be “re-tweeted” and posted to social media walls, creating a much higher visibility and traffic for the site from all sources. These social media systems acted automatically, and without a user needing to manually post stories to Facebook or Twitter. This ensured that Wine Industry Insight could focus on their content and curating their next newsletter, instead of having to worry about posting their stories to social media systems in order to create visibility.