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.”
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