When Swans Attack! (A Parable for Publishers)



Sorry, Poobah, we really are. But we just have to tell them. We know that Ted Bahr, most excellent past speaker at the Niche Conference will be able to sympathize. (Even if his story involves demonic turkeys instead.)

Here’s a true, little story for your Freaky Friday:  

One beautiful spring day, Grand Poobah decided to walk to the office. His mind was swirling with great ways to create networks for Nichers.  He walked along briskly with furrowed brow, thinking and thinking about niche magazine publishing. (He actually ponders like this.)

Poobah had many cool ideas to write out so he wanted to get to Niche Media HQ more quickly.  Aha! I will take a shortcut through the park.

He was so engrossed in his thoughts that Poobah did not notice the new blooming blooms nor budding blossoming trees nor morning mist rising from the water in the duck pond.  He plowed on.  All of a sudden, out of NOwhere, two vicious, blood-thirsty, super-pecking swans attacked him!  They really did. [Read more…]

2013 Nichee Magazine Award Winners Announced!



We love niche magazines and their publishers so much that seven years ago we made an award just for them: The Nichee Award!

Nichee Awards capture the spirit of niche magazines and recognize the creative talents of the very best niche publishers. Judges take into account the size of each magazine’s market and the needs of the specific niche it serves to create a level playing field. These magazines all do what they do well, find innovative ways of serving readers, and find creative ways to generate revenue.

We had an outstanding group of magazines this year and gave a record seven awards this year!  Here are this year’s winners and what makes them great:

Nichee Award winners

2013 Nichee Magazine Award Winners!

Business-to-Business Category

We had a tie between Process and Multi-Unit Franchisee for Best Niche B2B Magazine.

Process is beautifully designed and printed, but it is more than just a pretty face –  it combines innovative design with solid content for its readers.

Process magazine

Process Magazine

Multi-Unit Franchisee does a great job of talking to the day-to-day needs of its audience. It delivers solid business information, profiles, and case studies with concrete, real-world examples.

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

Business-to-Consumer Category

We recognized three Consumer magazines – each with a different focus.

Best Niche Consumer Lifestyle Magazine: VegNews. Our judges’ comment after reviewing this vegan lifestyle magazine: “they do everything right.”

VegNews

VegNews Magazine

Best Niche Consumer City/Regional Magazine: CHARLIE: Celebrating Progressive Culture in Charleston. This magazine has a great interplay between digital and print. It started as an online-only magazine and then made the jump to print with art-house quality, long shelf life special issues without duplicating content. Both the print and digital versions are solid resources for anyone living in Charleston, SC.

CHARLIE - ReadCharlie.com

CHARLIE magazine

Best Niche Consumer Hobbyist Magazine: Bird Watcher’s Digest. This magazine combines great content, compelling photography, and a pocket-sized form factor that’s just right for its audience.

Bird Watcher's Digest

Bird Watcher’s Digest

Wildcard Categories

Sometimes we want to recognize a magazine for a particular outstanding feature. This year we had to give a shout out to both Marions-Nous and Lawn & Garden Tractor.

Best ROI Strategy: Marions-Nous – Let’s Get Married. From packaging to production values to sheer, overwhelming volume of ad pages, this regional wedding publication makes a statement to advertisers and readers.

Marions-Nous / Let's Get Married

Marions-Nous / Let’s Get Married

Extreme Niche: Lawn & Garden Tractor. Just when you think you’ve addressed the smallest audience possible, you find a finer slice. We encourage target interest publishers to “niche their niche”, and L&GT is a perfect example – Ertel Publishing also publishes Antique Power and Vintage Truck.

Lawn & Garden Tractor

Lawn & Garden Tractor magazine

The Nichee Awards party was held at Gordon Biersch in Tempe, AZ on February 13, 2013 – the final day of the Niche Magazine Conference. Many thanks to Quad Graphics for sponsoring the great awards party!

How to Get the Most Out of All That Conference Face Time



We really want everyone attending next week’s Niche Magazine Conference to have a great experience. We really do, we’re just like that.  So, because we want YOU to get the most bang for your buck when you are attending the conference in Tempe next week, we have some tips for you. Even if you are not able to attend the conference this year, these tips will help you when attending any conference. Except maybe Comic Con. Scratch that–have you seen the Superheroes who plan on attending the Niche Magazine Conference?

Anyway, after exhaustively researching online about “How to Make the Most out of Attending a Conference,” here are the best of the best, with a few of our own thrown in:

Before the Conference: Get Ready!

  • Check out speakers and other attendees online beforehand to find out who you want to meet and learn from while you’re there.
  • Tweet about sessions you want to see before you go, speakers you are excited about, what sessions you plan to attend.  Tap into the preconference buzz.
  • Prepare thoughtful and thought-provoking questions to ask during the sessions that you plan to attend–and try to make your questions not about your own personal issues but ones that can benefit others in the session too.
  • Craft a quick bio for when you meet people there –simply who you are, what you do, why you are attending, what you want to learn

During the Conference: Stay present!

  • Ignore all the work emails on your cell phone. Look away. Don’t start answering work emails or you will slide into the abyss and you will end up wasting an hour, gritting your teeth and that dull headache will come back.
  • Network as in “Helllooo!”  Introduce yourself, smile, and don’t look at that phone.
  • Participate fully in sessions and events. Ask questions, sit in front, show up on time, shake hands and be a schmoozing, albeit very charming, fool. It’s good for you.
  • Tweet a bunch–what sessions you attended and liked and why.
  • Snap photos during events and post them to your social media of choice, even your magazine’s website. Be kind.
  • Remember it’s quality vs quantity. Try to make some meaningful connections instead of blanketing the room with a biz card (with the photo from 5 years ago.)
  • Hydrate and wear comfortable shoes. And if you go outside, yes–wear sunscreen! It’s the AZ desert.
  • Listen, Learn and Laugh. Repeat.
  • Don’t just hang with your co-workers or even your niche colleagues you already know. Get out of your comfort zone and meet Supercreatives outside your niche too. Try this: Split up your cozy little group, learn some new things about people, come back to your group later and share. Think of it as a networking scavenger hunt.

After the conference, keep expanding your network and don’t forget to follow up with all the cool people you just met.  Now go pack your suitcase and get ready for some Niche Magazine FUN.  See you on  Facebook or Twitter!

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Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events – blog.NicheEventNation.com  Check it out!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magazine of the Month: CHARLIE – Moving from Digital-Only to Digital and Specialty Print In Style



Each month Niche Media recognizes a niche magazine that really stands out. This month’s pick: CHARLIE – a regional magazine and website for Charleston, SC. Cover_lowRes

How do you recognize a really great regional magazine? When members of Team Niche have been in Charleston, locals mentioned and referenced it all the time. All. The. Time. It was obvious that its target audience reads it cover-to-cover – either in print or online – and finds it valuable enough to share. We’re in California and we fought over a promotional copy when it came though the office. What makes it more amazing is that it started as a digital-only publication and later added print.

Caroline Nuttall, CHARLIE’s Publisher, tells us in her own words what makes CHARLIE special and how it made the jump from pixels to print:

“I started CHARLIE as an online-only magazine four years ago in the height of the recession. The focus was on building a strong brand through fiercely unique content and high engagement with a quality, hyper-local audience. Since then, we’ve launched several extension platforms including emails, a social calendar, a CLUB, a social buying model, and events. Our biggest extension platform came last year when we launched two special issue print editions.”

“I wanted to evolve the print model. I have tons of unread magazines stacked up around my house and I’m in the magazine business, for heaven’s sake! How do you create intense demand and consumption around a traditional model in an overly-crowded market? The answer: high-end, long shelf-life, collectible special issues. No re-purposed content between web and print. Limited runs to drive urgency.”

“The result? CHARLIE’s first-ever magazine, 50 Most Progressive, was profitable. Three hundred issues flew off shelves in 24 hour periods, 10,000 were gone in 2 weeks, hundreds of locals ordered them online for $10 a copy (they were free locally) just to ensure they got theirs. Our second magazine, The 2012 Book, was up 56% in advertising and saw a 208% profit increase. Wider brand recognition of CHARLIE, 700% increase in web traffic, happy readers and happy advertisers. We are launching four books this year.”

“It’s not digital that’s the future. It’s an evolved model of the new and the old.”

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Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events – blog.NicheEventNation.com  Check it out!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

The Sky is the Limit with UP!, the In-Flight Magazine of WestJet Airlines, and the Magazine Manager



U-02-13-cover-low-resThe Sky is the Limit with up!, The In-Flight Magazine of WestJet Airlines. What makes a publisher successful? According to Stacy Haakonson, Sales Resource Manager at Redpoint Media and Marketing Solutions, “success is measured by the people that we have and the caliber of products we create”. The leading independent print and digital publishing and communications company based in Calgary, Canada, RedPoint also publishes Avenue and Wine Access and provides digital and print marketing expertise across a wide range of various sectors.

Their strategy is to remain focused, stay driven, be passionate about what they do, know their audience, be nimble, and create a culture that makes employees want to be there. It’s a winning strategy that has placed them in “Canada’s Top 50 Employers” for years.

Stacy keeps her sales staff on task with The Magazine Manager®. Within the first six months of implementation, management noticed a huge difference in reporting capabilities when compared with their prior system and with the tools their sales people use to organize contact lists and manage clients in a more organized, detailed fashion. “This provides great customer service to our advertiser base which ultimately establishes trust and a relationship which is so important to have in today’s sales market.”

To learn more about The Magazine Manager®, contact Susan Beattie at (877) 256-0362 or sbeattie@MirabelTechnologies.com, or visit our website: www.MirabelTechnologies.com

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This is sponsored content from Niche Media’s Niched Out News e-newsletter.

Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events – blog.NicheEventNation.com  Check it out!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

Introducing Niche Event Nation!



cropped-NENheaderv2.jpg

Like most people in the event business—I got here by accident. I was a niche magazine publisher for many years. I started out with magazines in the microcomputer programming industry and then went on to hobby magazines about homebrewing beer, winemaking, and craft brewing. Naturally it made sense to start events that integrated with our magazines as we already had a built-in audience.

To give you an idea of how long I’ve been at it: Bill Gates was the keynote of our first computer conference. It took a 5 minute call to him (yes, this is before the Internet when people actually communicated in person) and he said “Fine.” No big deal. Although I’ve sold all 5 of the magazines I’d started and have been exclusively in the event business the past 12 years, I still absolutely love it! We now exclusively put on events for niche magazine publishers.

I’m starting a new blog, Niche Event Nation, to help others in the event business. Maybe you can learn from my successes, challenges, and mistakes? Stay tuned for my upcoming posts about crazy event marketing ideas, pricing strategies, media partnerships, video promotions, and a ton more! You can always ask me questions on  Facebook or Twitter.  Or you can ask me in person at the upcoming Niche Magazine Conference and Niche Event Workshop in Tempe, AZ on Feb 11-13.
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Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

El Clasificado’s Journey from Startup Magazine to Multi-Platform Media Company



Each month we highlight a great niche magazine that is super-creative, goes the extra mile for readers, or just really does what it does so well that we have to share it. This month’s Niched Out Magazine of the Month is El Clasificado. Over 25 years this magazine (started with the founder’s personal savings!) has grown to over half a million copies per month through innovative distribution and by transforming into a multi-platform media company with $20 million annual revenues!! Here’s the El Clasificado team’s story in their own words:

El Clasificado

Innovative distribution and media integration have driven huge growth for El Clasificado

Much has emerged from the business plan that Martha de la Torre (CEO/Founder) first drafted in 1988 for a small Spanish language publication called El Clasificado, which Joe Badame (COO/Co-founder), now her husband, financed with his personal savings and capital raised mostly from family and friends. During that time Martha saw a need for a free classified publication in Spanish through which the Latino community could buy and sell their products and services. With that need in mind a niche was discovered and Martha began a great adventure.

Since 1988, El Clasificado has been connecting buyers and sellers in the grassroots Latino market with a unique business model blend of classified and display advertising. Although mostly a shopper, El Clasificado always includes editorials on health, education, family advice, consumer literacy and stories about local heroes and role models.

The key that sets the publication apart from its competitors is its well-organized distribution system. For instance, El Clasificado was the only Spanish-language publication distributed through catering trucks, it was the first free publication in Spanish to contract with major supermarkets for distribution, and the first to place street racks throughout Los Angeles. Now, El Clasificado distributes 500,000 magazines in 22,500 locations and can be found in 290 cities spanning from Central to Southern California. Also, El Clasificado has its zone publication model, which divides the magazine into groups by zip codes. This model gives clients more pricing options and flexibility for a more strategic advertising experience by targeting geographic service areas.

In addition, Martha de la Torre’s initial idea for a Spanish language publication has emerged from a weekly magazine of classifieds into a flourishing multi-platform media company with print, online, mobile and event marketplaces for Latino communities. Beginning in 2006, the company developed a more robust product portfolio. It includes Quinceanera.com, which targets young Latina teens via print supplements, expos and web; Su Socio de Negocios, a niche brand that focuses on US Hispanic entrepreneurs through its website and expos; AlBorde.com, which targets the trendy bilingual Latin rockers via web and special events; and Pacoslist, a Hispanic business directory.

Today, El Clasificado is not only the nation’s largest free weekly Spanish-language classified, but also a successful multiplatform media company that serves Latino communities emerging throughout the U.S. The company has been rebranded as EC Hispanic Media and generates revenues close to $20 million per year, has a weekly print readership of 1.5 million and close to 9 million page views to its web, elclasificado.com.

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Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

Success Story: Cygnus Show Publications Take Flight with Publishers Press



Timing is everything. For Aircraft Maintenance Technology, Ground Support Worldwide and Airport Business, published by Cygnus Business Media, this couldn’t have rung more true as they prepared for a large aviation convention.

AMT Magazine Cover

Aircraft Maintenance Technology is flying high with Publishers Press

With minimal time to print the three publications, Publisher Press’ customer service team came in to work on Saturday to personally ensure the publication’s show copies were shipped on time. Publishers Press was also able to print their show sticker inserts on the flexo press within the same workflow.

“I want to pass on a sincere thank you for the extra effort in seeing that our aviation books were completed and delivered to Orlando for last week’s NBAA show,” Ron Donner, Editorial Director of Cygnus Aviation, said. “It goes without saying we struggled to get October to you in a timely manner. Everyone’s efforts at your company were over and above and we had a great show.”

Publishers Press

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Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

Your Guide to Fun in Tempe!



Niche Magazine ConferenceThe 2013 Niche Magazine Conference will be in Tempe, AZ February 11-13, and we couldn’t be more excited to head back to Tempe! It is a fun place with a great little downtown. The best part? The Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, conference HQ, is right in the middle of it all! Here’s a quick guide to some of our favorite places to eat and play in Tempe, AZ. (All directions are from the hotel.)

South Mill Area (Left at S. Mill)

La Bocca Urban Pizza & Wine Bar   501 S. Mill Ave. #301 A chic Mediterranean bistro with a nice vibe & good food. Known for their seasonal bruschetta and tasty sangria. Need I say more?

Handlebar and Grill 680 S. Mill Ave.  This modern American beer garden is right across the street from La Bocca so you can check out both. Just don’t jaywalk.

Z-Tejas Southwestern Grill  20 W. 6th St. Southwestern dining with great  margaritas and a nice patio for people watching.

P.F. Chang China Bistro 740 S. Mill Ave.  The place to go if you simply must have the spicy orange chicken.

House of Tricks – French fusion 114 E. & 7th St. French/southwestern-inspired cuisine and worth the extra $. Dine on the patio under the trees if you can.

South Mill Area (Right at S. Mill)

Gordon Biersch Restaurant & Brewery 420 S. Mill Ave. #201 Lots of handcrafted beers & seasonal ales to try!

Rula Bula Irish Pub 401 S. Mill Ave. The patio bar is a fun place to bluster with full-on blarney. Try it.

Caffe Boa 398 S. Mill Ave. Euro-style bistro & wine bar. Upscale, but not stuffy.

Monti’s La Casa Vieja-Steakhouse 1 W. Rio Salado Parkway  From another time – an adobe restaurant-museum full of wild west memorabilia!

Sweetness

Paletas Betty 422 S. Mill Ave.  Voted best Mexican Paletas in the region. Handmade Mexican fruit and cream pops crafted in small batches using fresh fruit, cream, freshly ground spices—bite after bite of icy bliss.  Their Mexican hot chocolate will take you to a dream state.

Slickables 699 S. Mill Ave. Home of the $2 ice cream sandwich. I am not a big dessert person and I gobbled up my personally-designed confection and did not share at all with the Grand Poobah. You get to pick the cookie, different kinds if you want, plus the ice cream. My creation is called the Niche Nirvana. What will you call yours?

Sparky’s Old Town Creamery 510 S. Mill Ave. Try Raspberry Chocolate Chile, Maple Brown Sugar Bacon, or one of their other 14 flavors of fabulous ice cream.

Shopping

Mill Avenue District has 100+ shops, restaurants, and bars. On one block you can buy hemp, drink craft beer, and try on cool sunglasses and ASU Sun Devil shirt.

Serious mega-shopping can be found at Tempe Marketplace, less than 2 miles from the hotel on the Rio Salado Parkway.

Outdoors & Recreation

“A” Mountain has easy trail access right behind the hotel. A 2.2 mile hike will give you a panoramic view of Tempe and ASU.

The Mormon Loop Trail is 6 miles. Nature-walkers can expect to see some unique geology, Indian petroglyphs, and plant life.

Tempe Beach Park—yes, that’s right, a beach in the desert. Don’t miss the historic Hayden Flour Mill right before you get to the park. Rent a paddleboat on Town Lake.

Links Love! Golf devotees will be in heaven. Dozens of great golf courses and links are nearby – ask the hotel or check out www.worldgolf.com

Niche Golf Tournament Don’t forget to register for our super-fun tournament at the ASU Karsten Golf Course! This classic Pete Dye, links-style championship course is set in the shadows of the Arizona State U. Sun Devil Stadium. Just $120 covers tournament fees, lunch, and cart rental. Register here.

Miscellaneous

CVS Pharmacy 802 S. Mill Ave.  Forget to pack something? Turn left on Mill Ave. for an easy walk to the store.

Worth a Quick Cab Ride

Tempe Marketplace  2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy.  Best shopping in the Area (about 10 min drive)

Casey Moore’s Oyster House, 850 S. Ash Ave. Guinness flows, seafood menu, large patio.

Four Peaks Brewing Co., 1340 E. 8th St. #104 Great beer selection, big patios, great burgers.

Dos Gringos Trailer Park 1001 E. 8th St. Downscale, intentionally cheesy and crazy!

 

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Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Inc & Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

 

LIVE Networking Really Works!



Networking really works! I mean real networking, as in LIVE!

Nicheman

I know that you’re so bogged down in your media operation that you probably don’t think about networking within the segment of the media industry you’re in. I’m sure you’re well connected within your particular niche. But how many fellow niche publishers, ad directors, and ad reps do you know outside of your company?

I was a magazine publisher for 20+ years and didn’t know too many fellow publishers because there was no good source for networking. I’m now in the event business and have recently joined groups and gone to live events and met dozens of other event producers. I’ve learned a ton about my business in a really short amount of time.

Live events are growing like crazy now. People are starved for real conversation with fellow professionals who are willing and want to share their experiences. We’ve created the Niche Magazine Conference specifically to make it super easy to meet and learn from you fellow magazine publishers. This opportunity to connect with professionals is something you just can’t get behind a computer screen. We’ve designed our new “Niche Networking Hour” for you to connect with similar publishers like yourselves. You learn and have fun—what more could you ask for?

I’m looking forward to seeing you LIVE in 2013 at a Niche event!

Cheers,

Carl
Niche Grand Poobah

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Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ