A New Approach at Working Mother Sparks Record Digital Growth
Editor Meredith Bodgas on why her content strategy is resonating, and approaching print and digital differently.
Working Mother’s new digital strategy appears to resonating with its audience; according to data from Omniture, its website saw an 84 percent increase page views in August compared to the same month a year ago, and a 155 percent increase in unique visitors.
The magazine’s success falls under the leadership of newly appointed editor-in-chief Meredith Bodgas (pictured), who started her position late last year.
Since Bodgas took over, May 2017 was the site’s most successful month ever in terms of both page views and uniques, June and July 2017 were its most successful June and July on record, and the brand followed up with an August that saw its third-highest monthly traffic ever.
Bodgas, a working mother and women’s service magazine veteran, tells Folio: that the brand’s content strategy centers on focusing on what readers, comprised mainly of working moms, want to read and share on social platforms.
“We look at the data,” she says. “We’re looking at what they’re engaging with—not just what they clicked, but what they share and like.”
Despite overlap, she emphasized that the magazine’s audience differs in print and online, which significantly impacts her approach on each platform.
Digitally, the brand attracts a younger audience. As a result of the limited time many working moms have available, much of the online content is brief and concise, often including humor pieces, stories of validation, and photo gallery round-ups. In contrast, the print magazine, published four times a year, mainly features service-focused content.
“Online, we don’t feature deep dive stories because we know working moms have limited time,” says Bodgas. “In the magazine, we’re giving readers advice on how to make the most of their job, and we share relatable essays that make moms feel less alone in their choices.”
As for the print magazine (Working Mother claims a circulation of 200,000), the upcoming October/November cover features CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota, formerly of Fox News.
Bodgas says spotlighting Camerota felt like a logical choice because of her openness as a working mother, and that despite her celebrity status, her experiences are relatable.
Since leaving Fox News, Camerota has been public about being sexually and emotionally harassed by Roger Ailes, the late Fox News executive.
“Alisyn as our cover star is so right for working mom because she has three children and a ton of fresh advice,” Bodgas says. “She was very candid about being sexually harassed by Roger Ailes, and had this genius way of explaining it to her kids so that they are able understand and learn from it.”
Bodgas notes the potential for children to find out about issues like sexual harassment from social media, and that Camerota had valuable insight on handling that kind of tricky situation.
“She’s really an expert and had such amazing advice to give, as well as being so nice and easy to talk to,” Bodgas adds. “She gave such good tips on how to explain difficult and modern topics to kids.”
Looking ahead, Bodgas says she will continue to be “glued to the data” when it comes to the future of Working Mother.
“The readers dictate our coverage, if they’re not liking something, we’ll constantly need to evolve,” she says. “We need to understand that it can change at any moment, and I’m hoping we find out and tweak the strategy appropriately.”
Additionally, she says that the site will be updated by the end of the year, complete with newer colors, making it easier to navigate.
“We’re unique in that we’re the only magazine and website, really, for career committed mothers,” says Bodgas. “We’re always going to speak to the working mom as both an employee and a parent.”