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Long Beach Jewish Life: A digital magazine

Long Beach Jewish Life is a free monthly digital magazine covering the people, places and events of interest to the Greater Long Beach (California) Jewish community.

We have a two-sided business model.  Our publication is available to the public at no charge.  Initially, our revenue is dependent upon selling advertising.  Once we have penetrated our market, we look to diversify revenue streams through offering live conferences, concerts, speakers, screenings, special events and more. 

Our initial asset is our magazine itself.  It must fulfill its mission of providing compelling content while building a community of readers and followers.  We are also looking to build strategic relationships with the right partners.  Initially, this means the local temples, the local Jewish Federation and the local Jewish Community Center, as these organizations all have meaningful relationships with our prospective readers.  We believe that these strategic relationships can prove to be a valuable asset in achieving our distribution goals.

In terms of human resources, I bring both editorial skills and relationship-building skills to this project.  Ideally, I would like to bring on a commission-based ad sales rep.  I would also look to bring on writers (freelance to begin with) and an editor some time within the first 90 days (Feb-April 2014).

On the reader side, our primary "customer" is any member of the Greater Long Beach Jewish community, which is about 20,000 people in size.  Our secondary "customer" would be anyone, Jewish or not, with an interest in the goings-on throughout the Greater Long Beach community.  By choosing to read Long Beach Jewish Life, our readers get interesting articles, compelling multimedia content and a sense of identifying with a community that they place a value upon.

On the advertiser side, our "customer" is any business or professional service provider with an interest in talking to our audience of readers.  By advertising in Long Beach Jewish Life, our advertisers will gain access to a highly desirable demographic niche (see demographics on Tablet adoption, etc. as well as demographic profile of Long Beach, CA residents).

Because of our two-sided business model, there is more than one hard part to this project.  Our biggest challenge is successfully growing our reader base.  That's why the strategic relationships referenced above are so important.  We need our prospective readers to know that we exist...and there are just a few ways of reaching the Jewish community in and around Long Beach.

The second hard part of this project will be selling prospective advertisers on the value of advertising in a digital publication.  This will require a combination of collateral marketing materals that serve to educate the prospective advertiser on why our readership population is so valuable to them and why advertising in a digital magazine is not the same as running a banner ad on a website, along with a highly favorable advertising rate that acknowledges that our readership base is just now being developed.

So -- in a nutshell, the hard part will be getting customers.  Which, I think, is generally true for every new business on earth.

There is little unique about this venture, other than it doesn't yet exist.  For many years, the Long Beach Jewish community has heard that we're a little to far south of Los Angeles to receive media coverage in the highly successful Los Angeles Jewish Journal, and we're a little too far north to receive coverage from Orange County Jewish Life.  Each of these ink-on-paper publications are distributed throughout Long Beach, but much of the content is geographically removed from the local audience.  And while each has a "digital edition," they are actually easy to compete with.  So this becomes the perfect definition of a niche...which magazines, by definition, are supremely suited to fill. 

Future growth opportunities for this project lie in the further development of the digital magazine itself...adding "special editions," special advertorial sections, etc.  Additional revenue streams will be created by offering special cultural and educational events to the community.  But the real growth opportunity will be going to other "B" list communities with a reasonably-sized Jewish population, and doing the same thing all over again.

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