During their recent high-energy visit to SPI, Founder Carly Roney and Executive Editor Rebecca Dolgin of The Knot inspired students with advice for compiling content and encouraging interactive communities–and how this molded a loyal following of “Knotties.” It was helpful information for young, aspiring publishers looking to create a marketable brand.
For Carly, the wedding-made-easy magazine all started with a need to fill a missing space on the newsstand.“You have to pick a product people are obsessed with,” said Roney, who also champions life events as subjects for magazine brands. She followed The Knot with Nest (all about a couple’s first home ) and Bump (having a child.)
Roney and Dolgin urged students to rethink their roles when creating a magazine brand: We’re content creators,” she said. “You have to consider yourself a producer, not a writer.” And you have to be willing to break rules. The Knot has organized more than 300 pages of designer advertisements at the back of the magazine (rather than scatter them throughout), creating an alphabetical buying guide for readers.
Both online and in print, readers can comment on and critique articles; readers are encouraged to post stories about their own weddings as well as their own helpful tips. In other instances, The Knot staff has stepped aside almost completely, encouraging members of the community to create their own content through discussion boards; the editors merely curate the information. “It’s a different way to think about what your job is,” Roney said.
Now Knotties taking their talks outside the Internet and into real life. On any given night, Dolgin says, Knot readers may be meeting at restaurants and bars across the country, discussing their weddings and frequently feeding their conversation and tips back to the magazine’s message board–creating kind of a two-way aisle.
by Phil Scillaci Kropoth