Ladies’ Home Journal Turns to Crowdsourcing
Jan. 17, 2012
Crowdsourcing is an important piece in many marketing plan puzzles but a recent article in Advertising Age details how one publication with a very long history is turning itself over almost completely to a new content base.
“Ladies’ Home Journal lets readers write the magazine“, a story by Nat Ives in the Jan. 9 issue of AdAge, discusses how LHJ will be turning over many of its pages to readers, beginning with the March issue. Their goal is to bring down the median age of their readership, thus increasing their value to advertisers. Even their logo has gotten a makeover to go along with the changes, placing the emphasis on “journal.” (Images belong to LHJ & Meredith Corporation.)
As I began reading the article, I thought to myself rather cynically that this was a great way for the magazine to save money. By not paying professional writers and instead publishing the works of unknowns, likely in exchange for your name in lights and a few free copies, they could decrease their spend on content. I was pleasantly surprised to see that LHJ will pay these reader-contributors the same professional rates that they have been paying all along to the experts who have traditionally filled their pages.
I’m not a reader of Ladies’ Home Journal, unless you count the occasional waiting room perusal, but I’m very interested in seeing how this works out for them. Especially if this works well, I have to wonder how many other publications may follow their lead and to what extent. During a time when so many publications are folding or at the very least struggling, I give a lot of credit to LHJ for trying such a fresh approach. It’s an exciting concept to me as a writer and a marketer so I’ll be following this story closely.