Starting an Online Magazine
Interview with Jeremy Berman, Chief Creative Officer of MyDailyThread
It's a magazine, it's a blog, it's a deal website. It's MyDailyThread, the brainchild of Jeremy Berman. If you're interested in starting your own online magazine or deals blog, Jeremy has some advice to give.
Interview with Jeremy Berman, Chief Creative Officer of MyDailyThread.
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
MyDailyThread was founded in 2008 and is a creative lifestyle blog, web-magazine and photo showcase providing dynamic content about fashion, music, art, nightlife, and cuisine. Under the MyDailyThread brand is DailyTracks, featuring daily music reviews and interviews; an art and photography focused platform, DailyGalleries; and, DailyDeals, a city-specific daily email providing content driven promotions and opportunities.
We set out to create a content driven, interactive experience between our subscribers and the partners we feature. The DailyDeal is the next step in this interaction; encouraging visitors to not only learn about new and exciting brands online, but also enabling them to experience them first hand through discounted offerings. MyDailyThread works with our partners to create DailyDeals that range from 50-85% off, which are delivered direct to our subscriber's inbox. These handpicked promotions feature the best boutiques, restaurants, bars, events, spas and venues in the market.
When we launched the DailyDeal in 2009 we set out to improve upon existing platforms, which require a set amount of subscribers to buy in for a particular deal to become valid. Instead MyDailyThread's DailyDeal goes into effect from the first purchaser. As additional subscribers buy into the deal, bonuses are achieved beyond the advertised DailyDeal.
Currently our focus is Atlanta, but we'll be opening soon in other cities, like NYC, Philadelphia, Nashville, Chicago and Los Angeles.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
I was sweating it out in the Big Apple, scratching and clawing to become an upper echelon music producer. I worked with a range of music companies helping them conceptualize and incubate new creative business platforms or tighten current core competencies. Prior to that, I was the creative director of two music production companies and Executive Music Producer of the music department for the JWT New York. I oversaw all creative from the design and integration of company branding and print assets to all music production needs.
While I've run successful businesses for other people in the past, MyDailyThread is my first official business with a partner. Starting and owning a business is better than working for an unappreciative, less-than-visionary boss, but we all start somewhere. Most entrepreneurs experience the 'learning experience' on the road to success. It sets you up for the motivation to succeed.
Did you operate your business from your home? What were the challenges and benefits to this strategy?
We had many 'coffee shop offices' for a number of months, as well as operating from home. This is definitely challenging at times, but it also pushes you to work towards attaining enough cash flow so you can actually secure true office space. We are finally at that point and the contrast feels great!
With the current economy in a slump, what cost saving tips would you have for a new entrepreneur?
Learn how to do more things on your own. I finally learned photoshop and instead of hiring designers, I took care of our graphic needs as we got the business going. My partner and I also learned some basic coding and chose a platform that we could code ourselves. We didn't become hard-core flash or PHP programmers, but we definitely got the site up and running.
This may sound simple, but just watch your budget and keep it basic at first. If you really don't need office space, work from home or out of coffee shops- wait until you have raised the funds to support bigger initiatives.
Social marketing is consistently being written about in the small business space. Has it worked generating business for you?
Social marketing is an integral part of our business space. MyDailyThread is an online venture -- we use tools like Facebook, Twitter and other mediums to spread the word about our deals and content.
We are also firm believers that a balance of social marketing, both online and offline is key. When MyDailyThread holds events, we go directly to organizations and meet face to face with as many influencers as we can. Our extensive backgrounds in event production, marketing and promotions make this in-person, grassroots marketing natural for us.
Temporary labor can be a great asset to an entrepreneur. Have you ever hired temps or contractors?
Would you suggest this as a strategy for new business owners? We have found it very helpful to hire contractors. MyDailyThread has been lucky to engage folks we've known for years. There is an inherent trust found with previous collaborative experiences, where these contractors understand our vision and are able to seamlessly adopt our mission.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
Since MyDailyThread is so reliant upon a high level of aesthetic and creative value, I have spearheaded our initiatives to elevate the creative strategy and backbone of our website, branding and company as a whole. When most of our competition was working on a particular model, I chose to create a more compelling platform that was true to the spirit of our mission and the interests of our demographic. While I have started, incubated and grown our multiple content areas, we have also been very lucky to find amazing talent that can truly see MyDailyThread's vision and help us attain our creative goals.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Do your due diligence, choose the right platform for you and write a business plan to flesh the idea out. Also, try to get as much feedback on that plan as you can from a range of business people and those that you trust. Be patient and choose the right partners. You have to be willing to go through the ups and downs to persevere... it's worth the effort.
That's a good note to close on. Thanks for speaking with us today, Jeremy.
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