The Daily Mail – a secret internet success

 

Love it or loathe it, there’s no other newspaper quite like the Daily Mail.

Often derided as middle-market right wing rag, it’s easy to take a pop at the Mail and play it for laughs. But what most people wont admit to is actually buying a copy – which nearly two million people do every day. What’s more, it’s now the leading online newspaper in the world – with the Mail Online reaching 45.3 million people last December compared to the New York TImes’s 44.8m. Despite what people say in public, the Daily Mail has an army of secret online fans who feverishly log in every day to catch up on the latest developments.

Lessons…

There is a lot to learn from the Mail. It sets a great example of how content can be adapted for both print and the web, it knows how to use web furniture to its advantage and, crucially, it knows its online readership. It’s not politics, sport or even cutting edge news which drives the Mail online traffic – it’s celebs, gossip and people like Samantha Brick. Say what you like about her views, the Daily Mail have taken one controversial feature and surfed happily on the worldwide exposure. Three weeks in, while Brick is publicly ridiculed, the Mail Online’s secret followers are still logging on to read all they can on the latest scandal or controversy.

Poles Apart…

When you compare the print version of the Daily Mail with the online one, it’s easy to think they are actually two different newspapers. In print, its stories which focus on things like the royal family, pensions and crime which make the splash. Online, its celebrity tan disasters, shocking wardrobe mishaps and paparazzi style photos of bikini clad girls. There’s a host of other media companies out there who refuse, or simply don’t see that print and online content can’t always be one in the same thing. The Web demands a whole new set of rules for a time poor, info guzzling readership who want the facts but also the frivolity only the Internet provides. Any company can take the Mail’s example and make it work for them. You don’t have to adopt the politics, just be sure you can deliver what your readership craves.  

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