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.
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.”
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!