Thanks to the advent of the digital era, publishing is now in the hands of everyone, not just large media companies.
Many people have their own blogs, detailing their lives, travels and interests; others publish their musings and opinions – often forcefully – using the micro-blogging site Twitter, which limits posts to just 140 characters.
Even the once-vaunted business of publishing books is no longer the realm of best-selling authors. Now, everyone’s an author, and publishing an ebook is just a few clicks away. Paper, for the most part, is dying, thanks to the rise of stylish and powerful tablet computers, ereaders and smartphones.
Digital is also much more environmentally friendly: there’s no need to chop down trees and blast pollutants into the air transporting printed products around towns, countries and the entire world. Digital is not 100 percent clean, but at least all it requires is a power source.
Have no doubt: the digital content revolution is under way. Indeed, some traditional, print-based publishers are barely able to keep up with this new wave of content generation. Newspapers all over the world are struggling to adapt, with great stacks of papers remaining unsold as people get their news digitally and advertisers shift their focus to where most people are: in the digital arena.
Advertising in digital media is rising exponentially with usage, as after all, advertisers go to where the eyeballs are. Digital advertising in the United States alone – the largest digital ad market – grew almost 20 percent in 2013 compared to the previous year, to a sizeable $109.7 billion. That huge sum was almost 22 percent of global ad spend during the year, which came in around $503 billion.
To keep up, newspapers are having to put out digital editions, and such is the scale of the upheaval that in some cases newspapers are halting their print operations entirely. Others are going belly-up. The notion of a “free press” is now truer than ever, with digital news operations springing up all the time, removing some of the filter or control of information that once lay with lofty editors.
With digital publishing, the options are more varied than ever. There’s an array of websites that allow people to easily and quickly publish newspapers and magazines, at no cost at all. Just create an account, upload your files, and away you go in the exciting new world of digital content that’s accessible anywhere in the world and at any time. It all makes print look decidedly past it.
If you’re in business, digital publishing should be part of your essential marketing strategy, in a complete package encompassing your own website, social media, video-sharing sites and more, including digital publishing solutions you can use to put out newsletters or compile brochures.
It certainly pays to keep an eye on developments in this fast-moving environment, as today’s hot social media site might be yesterday’s news as newcomers take over, and you don’t want your postings going unread as the crowds move elsewhere. Follow the trends, and reap the rewards.