Print Versus Online Publications

Posted on September 29, 2016


Print publications and online publications have their pros and cons like anything else. Each serves a specific purpose and reaches a target audience. Understanding the major differences between the two can help decipher why each is important to a publishing company and which is best suited for a company’s purposes.

Pros: A tangible copy. Whether you wrote, published or simply bought it, that print publication is yours to keep. It might be old-fashioned, but some people still love the crisp sound of turning a freshly printed page. If you’re selling your publication, many people still find themselves impulsively purchasing magazines. Depending on what industry you’re marketing your publication to, people who find themselves waiting in line at the grocery store may pick up a publication on the stand and begin reading. If intrigued or enjoy an article, they might even end up purchasing to continue reading.

Cons: It can become expensive. Print publications oftentimes create overhead expenses, along with production and material costs to factor in. Scaling can also be difficult, which can mean a limited availability for the interested readers. It can also be difficult to receive feedback from your readers, such as how much time they spent on a specific article and which articles they skipped. This is crucial to the budget as you wouldn’t want to continue wasting resources producing a publication with articles that your readers don’t enjoy.

Pros: Opens reader communications and increases interactions. With the help of social media and boards or threads for discussion on articles allows your readers to interact with you and with each other to discuss the topic at hand. It also allows them to provide constructive feedback on how to make their readership experience more enjoyable. Social media allows readers to share and engage within other outside communities.

Cons: The finer print. When it comes to online publications, there are a lot of seemingly smaller issues at hand. One of the top concerns in online publication is plagiarism. Digital publishers need to take extra caution in protecting the content (including any video, photos and other miscellaneous work) of their publication. Another smaller issue is factoring in the optimization costs. For example, building a marketing strategy and developing a budget for Facebook ads is a way to optimize your publication, but can be costly if not monitored or a lack of knowledge on Facebook marketing.