This could still be a good option for those wanting to become an independent journalist/publisher
I’ve been on this path for several decades; staying in the finest destination resorts, retreats, while I consult on wellness programs, produce storytelling features for my magazines and provide BaGua Flow Fan martial arts classes for guests.
It’s been mostly VIP all the way.
How did I do this?
I started a magazine in the mid nineties within the beauty and hospitality industry thinking that the way this industry presented themselves was not very appealing.
I thought that if companies “told their story” in a more humanizing and fun way, readers would take a bigger interest. This was long before “storytelling” was a buzzword.
It was especially so for the plastic surgeons and beauty companies. To me they all said the same thing and looked a like.
So, my first magazine became a storytelling magazine. I had doctors and other professionals running on the beach with their dog – white water river rafting and all kinds of adventures that they did in their private life. What I was doing was “humanizing” them to their readers.
The magazine became a big hit. I then started going to destination resorts and spas for stories. My stays were always complimentary – everything! It was and still is so nice to have beautiful rooms, food, spa treatments and more.
I wrote amazing stories on these locations that were not the usual fluff article you see in magazines.
I then got the idea to turn this into a TV show. I had no idea what I was doing. But, I got started.
It was not easy.
After I had a series almost finished (about 8 shows), I presented it to a distributor that booked shows on airline in-flight programming.
I was picked up!
Then the big deal came in. China Airlines bought the show. Then I was brought into China through a media program and was the first TV show to air in China from America on CCTV.
You can imagine the traveling I was doing. And the pitches I was going after with the locations I wanted to write about or do a TV shoot at.
I learned what worked and what did not. It was not an easy road back then, as all production took much longer as we did not have all the new technology of cell phone cameras and Go Pro’s etc.
But, here’s what I can tell you for sure - - Today, you can get started just like I did.
I have never had funding or “start-up” money. It all came about from “creating” ideas and following through with them - before I was ready.
Here’s the short list of how to think this through - -
1. What is your passionate niche that you could see turning into a production – magazine – video – photos?
2. Where do you want to travel in the world? Do you want it to be full-time or part-time. Plan your thinking around what your desire for long-term is.
3. Write down your creative ideas which would make your Brand different. How could you differentiate yourself and not be like anyone else. (Even if you think all the ideas have been done, believe me, they have not).
4. Write down the types of sponsors you think may be interested in your idea. Think about what is in it for them? This is the KEY POINT. Companies need different ideas – they want to be out-of-the-box. They are waiting for the next cool person who has it together to bring new ideas.
5. Think about what you want to take in trade and what you need sponsored for money. For example, retreats – resorts and destinations will usually only a trade a stay for the media.
6. I think advertising is not that great for a company. Ads are so yesterday! So, that route is always at the bottom of my list, although I do make ads available if a company wants them.
7. Think how you can make your sponsors look amazing! Like WOW! When – you can do this, there is no reason why the company, location, person etc. would not want to take part. Think it through – then you will not fail.
What you don’t have to do:
1. You do not have to produce a digital magazine on a schedule. So yesterday!
2. You do not have to have 100 – 200 page magazines. So yesterday!
3. You do not have to have 2000 word articles – no one wants to read them!
4. You do not have to print your magazine. Your magazine is always digital only! Print is expensive and so yesterday!
What you have to do:
1. Whatever the idea, make sure you deliver beyond what your sponsor expected.
2. You HAVE to have great photography - videos and graphics. This is what drives storytelling. Your creatives are everything!
3. You need to have a marketing and monetization plan in place when you launch.
Interested to start your own magazine? I coach others on how to do this. The fee is $500 and I'll work with you for a month to get your publication off the ground. Email me at: email@example.com