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interview

What It’s Like To Start A Digital Mag On Global Women’s Issues

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Magazines are going through quite a transition these days. While print newspapers are in a downward spiral, digital magazines are thriving.

And that’s exactly why now is an opportune moment to create a digital pub. At least that’s what Daria Solovieva and Ivy Ng are hoping. The Columbia Journalism School grads recently created Valerie, a “space to feature female writers, bloggers, photographers, bring you stories of inspiring women and feature economic, social and political issues impacting lives of women across the globe.”

10,000 Words recently spoke to Solovieva (via email) about the ups and downs of creating an online-only pub. She says that she and her partner never considered that Valerie would be a print mag.

“The idea was always for an online, global platform that reflects how young professional women are increasingly consuming news and also the topics they’re actually interested in,” Solovieva explained. “None of my own peers subscribe to print women’s magazines anymore because the bulk of their content is limited to fashion and entertainment, which is also available for free online.” Read more

NY Post Reporter on How to Create a Successful Blog: ‘Consistency’

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Jozen Cummings likes to call himself a professional ‘date-maker’ and that’s an accurate description for his career as of late. Cummings is the dating reporter for the New York Post‘s Meet Market column, and he runs the blog ‘Until I Get Married,’ where he shares the ups and downs of bachelorhood.

Cummings, whose writing has appeared everywhere from Essence to The New York Times Magazine, had no dating-related clips to show for himself when he initially went in for the interview at the Post. But he did have his personal blog on the topic, which helped him land the gig.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Cummings talks about setting up blind dates, his writing process and how to cultivate a following on your blog:

Now that you’ve been kind of accidentally intentional with your blog’s success, what advice would you give up-and-coming bloggers to optimize their blog’s popularity? 

I think the most important thing is to find a schedule and be as consistent as possible with it because that’s the thing that people need in order to engage — consistency. It’s more important that you publish your post on the same day every week than it is for you to write five different times five days a week. Do it once a week for four weeks at the same time and then the fifth week, have a post ready, but don’t post. Give it a day. And I guarantee there will be somebody who you didn’t know was reading who will hit you up and say, “Yo, where’s my post?”

For more advice and what it’s like to be a dating reporter, read: So What Do You Do, Jozen Cummings, Blogger And Dating Columnist For The New York Post?

– Aneya Fernando

How Radio Can Adapt To The Digital Age

What’s a radio show to do when its caller base dries up and revenue models go south? In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do? Phil Hendrie, host of the eponymous radio show, discusses how the digital age has upended the radio industry and what he’s doing to keep his venture profitable. Among them, instituting a $9.99 per month paywall for his website. Here’s an excerpt:

What kind of person is signing up to your website at $9.99 per month?

People who totally get the show and love it and want to be a part of it, regardless of the generation… Those are stone-cold fans and that is stone-cold money. That’s about as direct as it gets in my business in terms of making revenue.

If you want to be real honest, the radio show is a billboard for the digital business. My subscription business makes really good money. The radio show right now, and for the last six years, has not. Radio just in general is in the sh*tter. So, what can I use my radio show for? Well, I can use it as a billboard for digital, which is exactly what we do. Now there may be a day when radio revenue comes up to digital. But for now, it’s the digital money that’s wagging the dog.

For more, read So What Do You Do Phil Hendrie, Syndicated Radio Show Host?

How to Get The Most Out of Your Expert Interview

Whether you’re new to the journalism trade or just introverted, interviewing can be a daunting task – especially when you’re on deadline. In the latest Mediabistro feature, veteran writers give tips on how you can get the most out of your interviews, and what tools to use in the process. Though we have all sorts of technology to help us nowadays with recording and transcribing, there are some skills that will always be necessary in the art of interviewing:

Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. If your expert uses an unfamiliar term or draws an analogy that doesn’t make sense, ask her to expound. If you don’t understand something your expert says, your readership may not, either — and your job as a writer is often to boil down complicated or abstract ideas into practical information.

Freelance writer Rachel Heston-Davis admits she learned this after trial and error. She emphasizes the importance of asking an expert to reiterate because “you will not be able to figure something out from context later.” She adds that having misinformation in your article, or a lack of information, reflects poorly on both you as a writer and your interviewed expert. Getting clarification in an interview “really is better than the [expert] looking at your article and feeling like you didn’t understand what you’re writing about.”

For more on interviewing skills and tools, read Get the Most Out of Your Interview With an Expert.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Vox Media’s Jim Bankoff: Longform Journalism Can’t Exist ‘In a Vacuum’

Jim BankoffWe’ve written here on 10,000 Words about the great things Vox Media is doing with longform journalism. In Mediabistro’s latest So What Do You Do interview, the company’s CEO, Jim Bankoff, talked more about his strategy for longform and how publishers can make bonafide, meaty content enjoyable for consumers — and advertisers.

“Looking at longform in a vacuum as a standalone is the wrong thing to do. I would imagine that if you had a media brand that is solely focused on publishing 5,000-word stories with beautiful proprietary photographs and highly-produced videos, it would be a tough thing to make that economically sustainable,” he said. “ We have serious investors and we run a serious business, but we believe the key to growing those margins is making sure that we have quality, engaging products. We can allocate investment across a variety of different endeavors, whether it’s longform, shortform or video. It’s the mix that consumers appreciate.”

Read the full interview in So What Do You Do, Jim Bankoff, CEO of Vox Media?

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

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