At the third annual Niche Magazine Conference in Denver, Ted Bahr, president and publisher of BZ Media, gave a keynote address focusing on the problems plaguing the niche magazine biz. Really, the same problems (hint: the internet) are plaguing all magazines, but small magazines can deal with the problems in different ways. Small pubs are nimbler (good!) but have fewer resources (bad!), so what’s the best way to keep your little mag afloat?
The first six tips from Bahr follow:
- Keep infrastructure costs low—spend only on products and people, and no excesses.
- Check facts and contentions versus “trust.”
- Drive sales. If you are not a former salesperson you may feel you have no right. You have the right. Do it.
- Go on sales calls. There is a tendency among publishers to sit and preach from the tower. It’s the only way to really know what is happening.
- Use drill-down research as an excuse to meet with potential advertisers—become a market resource.
- Always know that initiatives start at the top.