“Are you here for the exclusive, online-only content? Right this way. Hey, by the way, how did you find out about us? Oh, the magazine directed you here? Wow, that’s great! It worked!”
30 minutes later: “Wow, you’re still here! You’re right, there is so much information on this site. Well, thanks for coming. Don’t be a stranger. Come back, we’ll have new content tomorrow!”
At least, that’s how I envision a conversation I’d have with a MyBusiness reader who I bumped into online.
With MyBusiness, the magazine we publish for the National Federation of Independent Business, the way we drive readers online is to offer them additional information about a topic that appeared in the magazine.

Many of the articles end with a note prompting them to go online to either mybusinessmag.com or NFIB.com for more information about increasing sales in a down economy or navigating the complex tax code. In some cases, when we’ve collected way too much information for a 400-word article, for example, we’ll direct readers to our Web site to read an interview with an expert.
I know some of the magazines I read drive readers online with giveaways. Women’s Health readers probably visit the Web site every day now after the magazine started offering a giveaway a day—all you have to do is visit the Web site and click to enter. Magazines like Real Simple drive readers online by asking their advice. That advice, in turn, is printed in the next issue of the magazine.
However you get readers to the Web, the important thing is to make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for—and make the visit worth their while. In addition to what you’re enticing them with in the magazine, throw in a couple extras they weren’t even expecting. Maybe an infograph to go with that story on the economy. Or a quiz to help your readers find out what kind of manager they are.
It may seem like extra work, but if you get in the habit of considering your Web site’s needs at the same time you’re planning the next issue of your magazine, you’ll see that you can offer rich content in both places with little effort.
Which reminds me, I need to go post some Web-exclusive stories. The next issue of MyBusiness is dropping next week.