Last week was my one year anniversary as the Managing Editor and I learned so much, but I have rounded up my top 5 lessons that might also offer some guidance to anyone else in the world of print media:
- Know Your Reader: This is a lesson I learned while doing my PR diploma actually, but applying this lesson as an editor showed me how important it is and the level of impact you can have, in terms of delivering the right content. At the top of our game, we were receiving 3k monthly visitors all by paying attention to what was out there and responding accordingly.
- You Are Not Your Own: This is actually from the Bible, but as it applies to being an editor, once you enter that world, you suddenly become a representative of our reader and all your concern is now about giving them what they want. I may have a preference for a tropical wedding theme, but if my reader prefers neutral tone, then that’s what I have to report on.
- Not Everyone Is Your “Friend”: After we got social media going for the magazine, I started getting emails from writers and businesses that wanted to work with us. They were all super nice people and I definitely look forward to working with most of them again, but it’s important to remember that you are building business relationships and not necessarily “friendships”. At the end of the day, you have to stay mindful of the fact that you are there to ‘sell’ the magazine and don’t get too caught up in giving and receiving freebies.
- Perks Come With A Price: At one point, we were receiving at least one or two packages/gifts a day from businesses who wanted to be featured in the magazine, and we got to test a lot of cool products, but don’t just take the gifts and run. In the name of maintaining a true business relationship, products should be used as instructed and a proper review/feedback should be given. There is a cost for these products to be made and sent and it’s only fair to acknowledge them publicly in some way. If there are products that don’t quite work for you, throw them in a giveaway box and use it as a prize in your next online contest.
- Contributors Are A Valuable Asset: Because we get tons of emails with editorial content from writers and PR & marketing professionals, we always have a stock of articles and photos to share. We are so grateful for those who decide to share with us, even though they are also looking for exposure, we appreciate them for taking the time to include us and our readers to share their tips, trends and advice.
Overall, editing is only part of the job, there is a lot of research, relationship and team building, organizing and scheduling editorial, developing policies, working closely with advertisers to fine tune their products for readers and so much more and so far, I’m loving every minute.