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WordPress News | 26 March 2024

State of Digital Publishing announces new offering

SODP Media logo

SODP Media offers consultancy and audience growth solutions to digital publishers and news media properties.

Their portfolio of services covers both strategy and execution, including:

  • Audience development strategy
  • Publisher SEO
  • Martech consulting
  • Content strategy
  • Website migration and digital transformation

The new brand is a natural extension of State of Digital Publishing (SODP), a “market research publisher that produces a publication and community for digital media publishing professionals, content creators, and media owners.” It was founded by Vahe Arabian in 2016 and is based in Australia.

Screenshot of SODP Media's homepage
SODP Media’s homepage

It’s not a new service – SODP have been offering consultancy services many years and have some good results to show for themselves. Where I asked them about a success story to share on this piece they pointed me to their We Are Explorers case study.

We helped We Are Explorers not only recover their 50% dip in traffic but using the content cluster strategy, optimized information architecture, and increasing content production capacity, we’ve helped them increase their traffic from Google Discover by 163%, increase organic traffic by 42% and increase traffic to product pages by 37%.

We Are Explorers, like many of their customers, use WordPress, which is a platform SODP Media work with extensively but not exclusively. When I asked Vahe about this he reiterated what their focus is:

“WordPress is one of the most popular CMS solutions among publishers. And for good reasons. It offers the flexibility and user-friendliness that makes it appealing to publishers of all sizes. As such, it is often a foundational element in our work. However, our work is centered around optimizing processes, diagnosing problems, identifying opportunities, and capacity building. Therefore, the focus is not so much on WordPress itself but rather how to calibrate this CMS to help us achieve very specific goals for clients.”

This and other topics were covered in their recent WP Publisher Success Week event in February, which was sponsored by Multidots, a leading WordPress development agency and the team behind the Multicollab plugin.

SODP Media: well positioned for a growing market

A report by Technavio forecasts the global publishing market size to increase by USD 19.37 billion at a CAGR of 1.2% between 2023 and 2028. Other reports tell a similar story, including one distributed by Report Linker that attributes growth to increased literacy, higher disposable incomes and easier access to technology. Particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

As the market grows so does the demand for services like the ones offered by SODP Media, which cater for publications of all sizes. While there are any number of agencies offering similar services, SODP Media have a big advantage over them: they are publishers too, and practice what they preach.

Here’s what their organic growth looks like over the years, going from 0 to close to 10,000 keywords and a significant volume of quality traffic. They rank in the Top 10 for ‘content creator’, ‘digital publishing’,’paywall solutions’ and a number of other popular keywords. Impressive work.

Graph showing the organic growth of SODP's website over the years, from zero to close to 10,000 visits
Source: SpyFu

The lesson here is that selling growth services becomes easier when you can show how successful you have been with your own efforts.

There other takeaway is that becoming a subject matter expert in a niche, even before developing an offering, is a solid strategy. Making sure that what you publish is unique, good quality and of value to the reader.

I’ll conclude by looping back to the point about publishing being a growing market. The numbers show this, but it’s also noticeable within the WordPress ecosystem and the creator economy more broadly. Automattic know this too, and while I don’t have any figure to report, I suspect that their Newspack offering is doing well. They had a couple of roles going recently, which is often an indication that a business is growing. The good news is that WordPress is a great platform for publishers. SODP Media know this and are well positioned to capitalize from it.

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