Find your niche magazine

Think the magazine industry is dead? These five editors beg to differ.

Niche
Find your niche. Photo by patpitchaya/Shutterstock

Laura Moss, co-founder and editor-in-chief, Adventure Cats

Two years ago, Laura Moss and Cody Wellons found their special niche – an online magazine featuring people who love to explore mountains and rivers and oceans with their cats. They co-founded Adventure Cats, a website that shares stories of cat owners who walk their cats on leash and travel with them.

Articles for the site run the gamut from domestic concerns about how to keep felines safe and why readers should consider adopting shelter cats to profiles of people who hike and paddleboard and sail with their cats.

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Moss often recommends Kristen Bobst’s “Maine Coon Acts as Deaf Sailor’s Ears at Sea” and shares it on the publication’s social media accounts. “Kristen always brings me incredible stories about sailing kitties, but this one is particularly special because of the bond that the cat and his owner share,” she explains. “It’s a story that has an element of surprise because not only is the cat out there sailing, but he’s also actually assisting his owner by serving as his ears on the ocean. It’s a sweet story and therefore very shareable.”

She also appreciates Richard China’s practical and information-packed “How to Create a Cat-Friendly Garden” (6/19/16). “It’s a wonderful piece about how you can design your backyard to be a safe and enriching environment for your kitty,” she says. “As you’d expect, it has a lot of information on cat-friendly plants, but it also delves into a lot of important details that I think wouldn’t occur to most pet owners.” One of these details suggests the installation of a fishpond with a net just under the surface of the water so that the cat isn’t able to snag a snack.

Adventure Cats built up a large following on Instagram, and that audience gravitated toward the publication’s website. “There’s a lot of competition and a variety of ways to consume content, so I think it’s a matter of finding your audience and engaging with them,” Moss says. She points to Anna Norris’s pitch on “catios” – outdoor enclosures for cats. “Anna explained that it would explain different types of catios and how they’re easier – and less expensive – to build than you think.” The article “Catio Hacks that Every Cat Owner Should Know” includes downloadable catio blueprints. “She really went the extra mile to create original, useful content,” Moss says. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive responses to it.”

She believes people are always going to be interested in stories, and magazines have an important role in storytelling. “We’re still writing great stories, but the landscape has changed in how we can get those stories in front of the people who are going to read them and love them,” she explains. “As editors and writers, we may simply have to experiment with new ways to find our readers and engage with them, especially online.”