In my journey from magazine editor to content creator, I have edited a large range of magazines. As a magazine editor with many years' experience, I bring a high level of publishing expertise. I was managing editor at Hardie Grant Publishing (Melbourne) and John Brown Publishing (London). Here are some of the magazines I have edited. Scroll down for an article on my transition from magazine editor to content creator.
Australian Medical Association (SA Branch) – Best State AMA Magazine 2012 and 2013
The Age wine magazine
Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia
Spice Girls and 19 Management (UK)
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
My journey from magazine editor to content creator
When I started working in publishing in the 1990s, custom magazine publishing was booming. While custom magazines are still around today, they are like the godfather of content marketing. While much of what the two marketing tools have to offer remains the same, much is different as well. Here’s how I got started on the journey from custom magazine editor to content creator.
Editor in the making
I fell in love with magazines as a child. I obsessed over Dolly, then Tiger Beat and Seventeen – and I’d even pore over my mum’s Women’s Weekly. I applied for a job as assistant editor with Dolly magazine when I was 18. I thought my passion might win Lisa Wilkinson, who was editor at the time, over – despite my lack of experience. It wasn’t to be. So instead, I went to university to study English. Then I went to RMIT in Melbourne to study Professional Writing and Editing.
Custom magazines in London
When I moved to London, I went for a job interview with a small magazine publisher in a boathouse by the Thames River. There was a leather racing car seat to sit on in reception. And the receptionist wore ripped tights, big black boots, a mini skirt and heavy eye makeup. This was my job, for sure.
Not so. The job was assistant editor on the Virgin inflight magazine, Hot Air. They gave it to some London local, who'd worked on Time Out. I couldn't believe it. I actually howled when I heard the news. Then I took a job editing crosswords for Bauer Publishing.
It WAS meant to be
Three months later I got a call – it was John Brown Publishing. The person they had chosen for the job had not worked out. Did I want to start straightaway?
That was the start of my career as a magazine editor. I went on to become the editor of Livewire for InterCity Trains, SPICE for the Spice Girls (yes, I got to meet them – and David Beckham), Classic Cigar, Budweiser magazine – and many more.
By the time I left to come back to Australia five years later, I was managing editor across a range of titles. I’d worked with some top graphic designers, been a part of an award-winning team, and worked under the launch editor of Esquire UK. I’d also worked for one of the most maverick publishers in the world, John ‘Jazzy B’ Brown. And I'd learnt a whole bunch about magazine publishing.
The return to Australia
When I returned to Australia, I took that knowledge to Hardie Grant Publishing, who were just setting up in Australia. Custom magazine publishing, though huge in London, had yet to take off in a major way in Australia.
Hardie Grant were setting up a book division as well as a custom magazine division. I had met Fiona Hardie in London, before we both returned to Australia. It was the perfect scenario. I became managing editor of the brand new custom magazine division.
The art of the pitch
We had no titles in the early days, hence I only worked part-time till things took off. It was all about pitching for business at that time.
Working closely with Fiona Hardie, I learnt the art of the pitch. I’d also learnt about pitching in London, but with no magazines on our books at Hardie Grant, we had to work hard. And just like that, Hardie Grant took off. Clients in those first few years included Ansett, Mercedes-Benz, the Art Gallery of NSW, Coles, CPA Australia, and more.
I was pleased when, out of the blue, we were contacted by Clemenger’s Adelaide office. Clemenger was one of the original investors in Hardie Grant, having seen the opportunity to diversify into a new area. It seemed National Pharmacies was wanting a new magazine. We flew to Adelaide and pitched Vital Health, which we developed the concept for. They loved it. I went on to edit that magazine for six years, and when I went freelance, I continued to edit it.
The transition to from magazine editor to content creator
I still edit magazines today – medicSA for the Australian Medical Association (SA Branch). I also edit and ghostwrite books. And I have adapted my skills from magazine editor to content creator. While the skills are somewhat different – much about them also remains the same. You can see some of my content writing and some of the websites I have worked on here.
In the end, it’s about loving what you do, knowing your customer, and making sure your message reaches the right people.