Morning Session: The Path to Media Company with Path Leaders Danielle Smith and Riese Bernard

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Morning Session: The Path to Media Company with Path Leaders Danielle Smith and Riese Bernard

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Morning Session: The Path to Media Company with Path Leaders Danielle Smith and Riese Bernard

  1. 1. PATHFINDER DAYThe Path to Media Company
  2. 2. The Path to Media Company Danielle Smith // Extraordinary Mommy.com // DanielleSmithMedia.com@DanielleSmithTV Riese Bernard // Autostraddle.com // @autowin PATHFINDER DAY
  3. 3. Riese’s Story // Autostraddle Riese Bernard // Autostraddle.com // @autowin
  4. 4. 2009 2009 - 2010 2011-2013
  5. 5. 2014 www.autostraddle.com
  6. 6. Danielle’s Story Danielle Smith // Extraordinary Mommy // @DanielleSmithTV
  7. 7. Small Business vs. Media Company • You have a product • Not monetizing content • Consulting • Freelancing • Etsy • You ARE your product • Content Creation • Move beyond your properties • Multiple Streams of Revenue
  8. 8. Keep your eyes open • What resonates with your audience • Pay attention to new media channels • Consider partnerships o Be careful o Mutually beneficial • Negotiate • Know your worth
  9. 9. Money Makes The World (Wide Web) Go Round
  10. 10. Diversifying Revenue Streams: How Autostraddle Makes Money • It’s Complicated • The business of making content involves selling a lot of stuff that isn’t content • Double Bottom Line
  11. 11. Merchandise • T-shirts, hoodies, boyshorts, boxer- briefs, flasks, journals, pins, tote bags, calendars • We design, print and ship ourselves
  12. 12. A-Camp & Events • “Rodeo Disco” Pride Parties in 2009 & 2010 • A-Camp: a-camp.org in April 2012, Sep 2012, May 2013, Oct 2013 & May 2014.
  13. 13. Advertising / Affiliate Marketing • Network ads • Direct sale display ads • Sponsored content (the actual worst) • Affiliate Links, e.g., Amazon, Babeland, ModCloth
  14. 14. Reader “Donations” • Mostly random for most of the time • Indiegogo Campaign in 2012 • Launched Autostraddle Plus/ A+ “Membership Program” in July 2012 • Works because of the community focus of the site
  15. 15. Diversifying Revenue - Making Money with Media
  16. 16. • Be a Spokesperson o Featured Magazine Advertisement o Commercial campaigns o Satellite Media Tours • Commercials o (Non-spokesperson roles) Spokesperson
  17. 17. Television and Correspondent Work • Television Segments • Live Stream/Hosted Events • Red Carpet • Interviews
  18. 18. Yes - Content Creation is a part of it…. • Topic based Video Content (SheKnows) • Partnerships - content lives elsewhere, on your properties or both • Yes, Sponsored content
  19. 19. Books, Webinars, Speaking
  20. 20. And the extras…. • YouTube Partner • Sell current content o Ask! • Tracking Widgets • Affiliate Sales
  21. 21. How We Work
  22. 22. Working with a team • In the beginning: seven people • Now: o Five full-time paid staff members o Four part-time paid staff members o 18 paid-per-post Contributing Editors o 75+ contributors, interns, illustrators, etc o Two paid A-Camp co-directors o 40-person A-Camp team • That’s why I’m insane • Virtual office software: It’s A Thing (but we prefer skype & e-mail)
  23. 23. Working Solo • All by myself o Hours o Setting limits • The Tipping Point o Knowing when to ask • Starting with a VA • The next steps o Hiring Writers
  24. 24. The Balance Myth
  25. 25. MISTAKES WERE MADE.
  26. 26. ALSO… SOMETIMES WE WANT TO QUIT. AND SOMETIMES WE CRY SOFTLY AT OUR DESKS OR I WRAP MYSELF IN THE FLEECE BLANKET ON THE COUCH AND CRY LOUDLY INSIDE THE BLANKET WHILE G-CHATS GO UNANSWERED AND I WONDER IF MAYBE I COULD RUN AWAY FROM THE INTERNET FOREVER OR MAYBE GO BACK TO SCHOOL AND GET A DEGREE IN SOMETHING PRACTICAL LIKE MAYBE INVOLVING THE OUTDOORS SO THAT I’LL NEVER HAVE TO SEE A WORDPRESS DASHBOARD EVER AGAIN OR MAYBE I COULD JUST DISAPPEAR INTO THE ETHER AND EVERYBODY WOULD BE LIKE ‘OMG WHERE DID SHE GO, IS ANYONE COVERING PROPOSITION 76860 OR RECAPPING GLEE’ AND I’D JUST BE LIKE ‘HAHAHAHA WOULDN’T YOU LIKE TO KNOW’ BECAUSE I’LL BE SITTING ON AN ISLAND DRINKING HEAVILY AND READING BOOKS PRINTED ON ACTUAL PAPER OR MAYBE SOMEBODY COULD BUY THIS WEBSITE SO THAT I DON’T HAVE TO STAY UP ALL NIGHT WORRYING ABOUT HOW TO PAY EVERYBODY OR IF I NEED TO RESPOND TO THE HATERS IN THE COMMENTS AND THEY’LL PROBABLY RUIN THE WEBSITE BUT THAT’S OKAY BECAUSE I WILL BE LIVING UNDER A DIFFERENT NAME IN THE ALASKAN WILDERNESS WITH A LARGE DOG AND HARD DRUGS
  27. 27. So, What Keeps Us Going?
  28. 28. Community
  29. 29. Having a Voice • Participating in and driving forward the larger cultural conversation around LGBTQ & Feminist Issues • Getting recognized: Webblog Awards, GLAAD Awards, being quoted and linked to • Promoting good work • Earning the money we need to publish more underrepresented voices • Creative outlet
  30. 30. FUN FUN FUN
  31. 31. Connection
  32. 32. The People
  33. 33. My Small People
  34. 34. How Do You Maintain Your Sanity?
  35. 35. Riese’s Tips: • Start drinking at 6pm • Days off and vacations • “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” • Maintain an active life outside of your business so that Google Analytics won’t determine your entire self-worth • Sometimes your writing is better if you take two hours to go outside and interact with other human beings and then one hour writing it than it is if you take three hours writing it.
  36. 36. Danielle’s Tips • Participate in your own life • Work Hard, but Unplug • Find a tribe • Take a Break • Look for the good
  37. 37. Time to Breathe
  38. 38. Your Turn • Do you have a media company or a small business? Are you looking to switch? • What scares you about this process? This work?
  39. 39. • What are you most passionate about? • You can’t be everywhere/do everything: what is the first new source of revenue you’d like to add? o What will be your first step? • Do you have the support system you need? If not, how will you get it?
  40. 40. • Where do you see your Media Company in 5 years? • Have you made an mistakes so far? Would you change them or did you learn from them? • How do you maintain your sanity?
  41. 41. Do you have a media company or a small business? Are you looking to switch?
  42. 42. What scares you about this process? This work?
  43. 43. What are you most passionate about?
  44. 44. You can’t be everywhere/do everything: what is the first new source of revenue you’d like to add? o What will be your first step?
  45. 45. Do you have the support system you need? If not, how will you get it?
  46. 46. Where do you see your Media Company in 5 years?
  47. 47. Have you made an mistakes so far? Would you change them or did you learn from them?
  48. 48. How do you maintain your sanity?

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