Inside Lucky Mag’s New Blogger Community

Lucky, a Condé Nast shopping-focused magazine, is launching a new component to their website that will be entirely generated by online content produced by fashion bloggers. Dubbed the Lucky Community, the new section will be an effort by the print publication to keep up with the rise of the powerful digital voice in fashion.

Magazines Tapping Into The Blogs For Content

“Top-down only takes you so far,” said Brandon Holley, editor in chief of Lucky, to AdWeek. As an editor, she said, “You can only do so much. This allows for much bigger growth.”

To set up the new feature Lucky has tapped Appinions, a platform that has helped the likes of The Economist and Forbes to identify opinions relevant to their businesses. In Lucky's case, the platform is finding the most influential fashion bloggers based on a criteria that is based on comments, Twitter interaction, and so on. Those findings will directly correlate with who they find to participate in the Lucky Community.

On luckymag.com, the newest section will be featured under a “Top Contributors” tab. The set up is somewhat similar to Teen Vogue's “Fashion Click” (both are powered by host company Tidal), with certain sections that will appear in a vertical, typical blog-like format, while other more photo-based aggregation will appear in a format similar to Pinterest.

The Lucky Community Will Be Different Than The Lucky Style Collective

For bloggers who were already a Lucky Style Collective member, (remember the 140 blogger contributor network that Lucky launched about a year ago?), and have the LSC member badge, their blog content will automatically be published to the community section of the site when a post is tagged with “luckymag.”

Non-members can also contribute their posts, but must have their content approved by a Lucky web editor before it's published to the Community. However it should be noted LSC member posts will be highlighted more often than non-member posts.

If you're not a LSC member you can “earn” a badge, according to their “How it Works” section: “You can't submit content before you earn a badge. Usually, you'll need to make sure your blog is attached to your account so that a Lucky Community editor can review your writing before giving you a badge.”

It goes on to say, “Continuing to submit great content can help you earn more badges and give you special status on Lucky Community. The top badges sometimes come with perks specific to Lucky Community.”

The Perks?

And what are these “perks”? Under the “Contribute to Lucky Community” section it lists “exclusive access to interviews with Lucky editors” as a reason why to contribute.

However, unlike the Style Collective members, who share in the revenue from ads sold against that content, Community contributors will be unpaid, the article posted on AdWeek article noted.

Furthermore, John Jannuzzi, the editor who oversees the Style Collective, will also be overseeing the Community.

What Will Be Posted?

 Lucky also told AdWeek that contributors will be encouraged to post about topics that can't be addressed in the magazine (apparently due to space reasons), like plus-size fashions and ethnic hair (as of the time this article was written, there were zero posts under both “ethnic beauty” and “plus size” sections).

By contributing content to the community, bloggers are helping Lucky become more digitally friendly, and eventually more advertiser friendly, which essentially means bigger dollar signs in digital ad sales for Lucky — but will the bloggers in the community not see a share of  that income?

Lucky Community and SEO

Lucky reasons that the syndication of links will be good for the fashion blogger's SEO — but if these bloggers are “big enough” (by Lucky's standards) to have sustainable blogs, will these few extra clicks really be a benefit to them?

If you take a look at the current contributions, whole posts are up on Lucky's site — so what would make the reader want to click to the bloggers original website?

See example here:

Instead it seems that Lucky becomes a culmination of a slew of “good” posts, serving as a host and gaining the traffic for luckymag.com, but doesn't actually push reader to check out the blogger's website. If you do see a particular post you like, you can click on the blogger's “check out my posts” link, but it brings you to more posts by that author within the Lucky site, not their personal blog.

Rumors have swirled that Condé Nast may overturn the print version of Lucky to strictly an online version. “Its ad tumbled 17 percent to 405 in the first half of 2012 versus the year-ago period. That was in sharp contrast with most of the other major fashion monthlies, which showed gains in the same period,” noted the AdWeek article, “Holley said the goal for Lucky Community was to grow traffic—her goal is to double traffic in the next six to nine months—but was not being done with an eye to a possible online-only future.”

According to the Mashable article, Lucky's web traffic, “currently hovers between 1 million and 1.5 million uniques per month, a Lucky spokesperson said. Including Style Collective, monthly traffic is around 2.3 million,”  which for a blogger could mean substantial name/face exposure for an up-and-coming blogger, on the other hand. (On the other hand, according to these numbers almost half of Lucky's overall unique traffic is because of the blogger generated content.)

We will have to wait and see exactly how beneficial the Community will be once it begins in full force.

Considering Lucky's attempts to be more digital friendly (as well as other publications — Vogue recently launched a second attempt at beginning another blogger network), are print magazines no longer an authority? Are magazines surrendering? And, if you are a big enough blogger, do you really need a publication like Lucky aggregating your content at no profit to you? Or is their outreach beneficial to bloggers in a different way?

By: Chelsea Burcz

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18 Responses

  1. Rebecca Rubin

    I definitely think that this type of free publicity could be helpful to smaller bloggers just starting out (I would include myself in this category). At this stage, getting high quality content noticed and circulated is the main goal, as is gaining credibility by having your content published in a prominent and recognized place like Lucky. Just my two cents.
    Rebecca

    Reply
  2. HauteFrugalista

    I think that for many bloggers been part kf a community is benefitial because it allows them to reach a broader audience, gain insight about trends and such, and share their views with fellow bloggers.
    Im a huge fan of communities (big or small) because it allows me to grow as a blogger and also reach people I otherwise wouldnt.
    Best,
    Hautefrugalista.Com

    Reply
  3. Laura S

    Maybe Lucky would get their sales back if they had posts such as plus-size fashion or ethnic beauty products, hehe?
    I DO always like the idea of communities, though – maybe it’ll be a good platform to meet new people/bloggers and reach a new audience? You never know!
    – Laura

    Reply
  4. Danielle

    Such a smart approach. Bloggers value the pwer of strong SEO links. This is a smart way for Lucky to test niche topics that they should perhaps find real estate for in print too, so it’s a win for everyone. Social at it’s best use… crowdsourcing and focus groups! The cheapest R & D a company can get. BRAVO!

    Reply
  5. Missy Duran

    I agree with Rebecca, this sort of networking would be beneficial to smaller bloggers hoping to gain exposure and make new connections, but I don’t see how it will benefit “big enough” bloggers. It’s oddly aligned with the country’s economy; You must be big to get bigger.

    Reply
  6. Renee Jacobe

    I agree to those that said it’s beneficial to small bloggers that would want to get their presence out there for brands and magazines to notice. I think free publicity is still good publicity. There’s no harm in contributing for no pay if it meant that you’ll be able to hone your craft and be able to reach a bigger audience, if you’re selected as a contributor.

    Reply
  7. Stevie Wilson

    For the newbie blogger to contribute, it might make sense and they can post the same thing on their blog– no one has addressed the ability for the blogger to repurpose content onto Lucky’s blogger network. The question about exclusivity is also a question– because I almost joined a big blogger network to contribute fashion & beauty content but they failed to tell me initially that they wanted a 6 month exclusive– which makes my contribution useless. Others want first run and will limit how many places it can be repurposed (including your own blog)

    If there are no limitations on publication on other locations, then it’s a great idea for the newbie..and even if you have some things that you want to feature– particularly if you are an established blogger– that might be a major coup editorial piec.

    Reply
  8. nicholedunst

    I think this is an excellent way for amateur bloggers to gain notoriety and report as fashion authorities. It will force bloggers to come up with high-quality, unique content in order to stand out among the thousands of others trying to do the same thing. I commend Lucky for giving us little guys the opportunity to exercise our fashion voices. This could serve as a major stepping stone to bigger and better things.

    http://the-refined-hippie.blogspot.com

    Reply
  9. Emily Jenny

    I think this is a great idea! It will be another avenue for bloggers to get their stuff out their and build a substantial follow base. I am definitely going to look into this and try to see if I can get out there! Thanks IFB I probably would have never even known about this.

    xo
    Emily Jenny

    http://www.stilettobeats.com

    Reply
  10. kimmie

    This would be a great opportunity for amateur bloggers if amateur bloggers are actually able to be seen. From the looks of their requirements, this is just another way for them to create a hub for high profile bloggers-they’re basing acceptance on site traffic, SM followers, influence, etc. It’s the same as all of he other networks.

    While I do believe there should be a screening process, I also believe that there are MANY wonderful bloggers out there who just haven’t been seen yet and I feel like networks like this keep recycling the same group instead of letting fresh faces/perspectives in.

    I’m not a personal style blogger so I wouldn’t necessarily be eligible for this, but I hope that up and comers are actually able to get some exposure. I’m seriously tired of seeing the same tried and true faces.

    As for Lucky, it used to be one of my favorite magazines but something with their content changed about a year, year and a half ago that I can’t quite put my hand on but it DID cause it to lose its luster. I still prefer the mag over the digital site so I hope it stays in print but they need to look at some of their top selling issues and figure out what it is about them that caused them to do so well.

    Reply
  11. Amy Parker

    Rebecca and Missy really hit the nail on the head here – I think the goal of a lot of up-and-coming bloggers is just to get their name out there and getting exposure via an established magazine is a great way to promote their content.

    That said, maybe if this isn’t an effective marketing strategy for more established bloggers, they won’t be as inclined to contribute, leaving some space open for newer bloggers to get more exposure to their content.

    Reply
  12. WTFab

    Great post! One thing, this article says that the posts on Lucky don’t really push readers to your blog, but there are actually links on the right side bar and at the bottom of the post that say “visit Elise’s blog.” That being said, I didn’t experience a huge jump in traffic today. Maybe 50 more views than average.

    I saw this post and decided to check out Lucky’s blogger community and set up a profile. I was messaged the next day and asked if they could publish one of my latest posts from my blog (www.w-t-fab.com). I of course said yes, and you can see the post here: http://contributors.luckymag.com/post/olympic-nail-art?from=nail-art

    Reply
  13. Kaitlin

    I can see why smaller bloggers (such as myself) want to jump in on this opportunity. However, I am 50/50 on the subject. I like it because it gets my name out to readers on other platforms who MIGHT check out my actual site. BUT, since starting a few weeks ago I’ve had little to no interaction with those who saw my site from LuckyMag.com – over 400 people who have not clicked to actually visit MY site. There should be some way of implementing this!

    Reply
  14. Krystal

    While I do think it could be beneficial to smaller bloggers just starting out, networks like this can sometimes take advantage of some. I think that anyone who is a talented writer, and contributes to a network should be compensated in some way. I have had a few friends in Lucky, Elle, and other networks say that the promotion and slight increase of visitors is just not worth the time it takes to write for and contribute to these networks. I will have a lot of weighing of pros and cons to do before I decided to apply to one.

    Reply