30. Roc Chaliand, Editor of Ever Magazine

Owner and Editor-in-Chief of Ever Magazine, Roc Chaliand has +5 years experience publishing high-quality exclusive videos, music, text, photography, and articles from a world-wide network of photographers, writers, journalists, and graphic designers.

How does your job fit into the advertising process? As the Editor-in-Chief of Ever Magazine (EM), I organize all of the content and provide direction for the magazine.

EM is an online magazine that provides high-quality exclusive editorial content – video, music, text, and photography, and articles – from a world-wide network of photographers, writers, journalists, and graphic designers. We are currently working on an ipad application which would offer premium information ahead of the online magazine and provide other content and services not available in EM.

What is Ever Magazine’s Unique Selling Point? When I first conceived EM in 2003, it was originally meant to be a paper edition. But at the time it was unfeasible and would have lasted no more than 1 or 2 publications before going bankrupt. So I reluctantly put EM on the backburner until 2008 while I was living in Tokyo. By 2008 so much more was now possible: Rather than paper, it was now possible to make websites that were faster, cheaper, and richer than a print version without compromising quality.

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In fact, I don’t brand EM as a website, but more as a piece of art because everything we publish has been either created by us or uniquely for us, so you cannot find it anywhere else on the web.

EM officially launched in September 2009, and since then EM’s website has been upgraded 5 times. The current version of EM may last another few years before we move onward and upward. We rely heavily on emerging software that allows our readers to watch any kind of content format. EM is a heavy website but it allows us to host the high-quality premium content we’ve become known for. There are zero bugs on our website, and any bugs we do detect are fixed within the hour.

This approach is as agressive as it is expensive, but I don’t want a light website that sacrifices quality of content for quantity of visiters. If a person cannot view our website because they have an outdated device or too slow of a connection, then so be it. I don’t want to publish poor content, small pictures, and highly pixelated material on our website.

It was obvious for me that digital and internet was something that if you don’t do now, then you’re already too late. If you don’t prepare for the next step: 4g, 5g, and new platforms, you’re a business that cannot last.

…and Ever Magazine’s analytics? EM currently gets 60k-85k unique readers per month based on the popularity of the articles we publish. Roughly 55% female 45% male between 25-45 years old with 30-40 year olds constitute our core readership.

We attract a younger readership because of the quality of images we provide. Also, we’ve found that our younger readers more readily ‘Like’ and share our material than our older visiters. Plus fashion is the kind of universe that everyone wants to follow.

Where did you come up with the idea for EM? Passion and experience. I wasn’t cut out for university, so after high school I packed my bags and travelled the world. This was back in the days where there were no cell phones, no internet, no mp3 players. I had tapes and pencils. I drew.

They remain among the best years of my life. Afterwards I returned to France and became a DJ and eventually a music producer. This was during the beginnings of electronic music in France.  Then I moved into cinema as set decorator and coordinator in the film making industry. Next I set up in-house studios for movie and tv production companies to do their own sound engineering. Finally, I moved into real estate, which has allowed me to fund EM.

How do you monetize Ever Magazine? I wanted EM to be a one of a kind artistic magazine providing readers a unique emersion in graphic design and superior content without all the flashing advertisements and visual distractions. EM doesn’t sell any products either.

Therefore I’ve been paying out of pocket for EM since it’s launch in 2009.  This was both to prove to myself that I could do it and to bring up the value of EM in the long term.

I also have an office with 5 people as a core to help me run EM and we have web developers working full time as well.

Now that we have 3 years experience and content that could now fit alongside some kind of advertisement, I’m looking into opening up to advertising in the form of product placement – promoting products within the content we create.

Half-A-Million Screenshots, Ever Magazine, Beauty Is You

It could be sections of the magazine such as our ‘Beauty Is You’, featuring up-and-comers from models to trashy rockstars to super fancy shoemakers in the cultural and artistic underground movement in France and abroad about their beauty secrets – their diets, habits, the books they read – how they preserve themselves inside and outside.

There are 20-30 photos in each article, and everyone of those photos are open to product placement, shoes, jewelry, watches, etc. Discrete and coherent advertising where you don’t see it, but you can’t miss it. This form of advertising is more useful because there’s a real reason for the product to be there, and those up-and-coming stars are exactly the crowd the brands want to touch.

Do you have an issue with other websites stealing your photos? We live in an era where people are used to not paying for anything on the web: music, movies, news, information, it’s all free. Further, many people are willing to settle for low quality content that is free than high-quality content that they have to pay for.

Therefore I believe you cannot stop it, so rather than fight it you should absorb it into your business model. We place our logo on all our content, and I consider people’s using our content on their website as free advertising for EM. It’s easier to absorb it than to fight it.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Mashable published an interesting article explaining how the best companies are profitable because they know where to lose money]

How has your content and website changed over time in reponse to your demographic and analytics? I’ve found through experience that it is the consistent publishing of quality videos, music, and photography that bring people to your website again and again and again. HOWEVER, it is text that brings reputation that photos and videos cannot. Your website, therefore, should contain a healthy balance of both.

EM uses social networks primarily for it’s communications. Our followers on Facebook, for example, usually ‘Like’ what they want to share with their friends. So if one type of article gets more ‘Likes’ then we publish more of that content.

Do you have an advertising budget for EM? No, however I have a community manager who manages our word-of-mouth for our content on the social media platforms, which is a budget in itself. Every buzz is good buzz. I’d rather have a budget for production than for advertising. I’ve found controlling our social media with good information to be a more useful form of advertising than paying for advertising space.

Which social media is the most responsive to EM? Facebook. It creates the network I need to scout talented photographers, models, and journalists. Second is Twitter. Third is Linkedin.

If you could start all over again, what would you change? EM is what it is today because of my experiences, good and bad. In that respect I wouldn’t change a thing.

Moving forward, I would be more picky with who I did business with; choosing people not because they can help me, but because they’re qualified in what they do.

A website you often go to for ideas/inspiration? I meet people through my network and the events and expositions I’m invited to. It’s a virtual circle. The more events you go to the more events you’re invited to. You get good and bad invitations.

I search Facebook to detect new and emerging talents to work with and use them, and push them to become more famous. Then in the next years those emerging talents have emerged, and we caught them before, worked with them and even helped them in their rise up, and they usually continue working with us. We make them, they make us. I think that is why most of our contributors choose to work with us over the long term.

That being said, writers, musicians, and photographers are also welcome to contact me if you are interested in collaborating with EM.

Advice for someone who wants to do your job: It’s a huge sacrifice. 3 times that of a full time job. It’s a business you start alone and takes lot of time to initiate. For EM it took me seven days a week for three years. Remember, EM didn’t earn income during this time. Now it’s finally just starting to become a more human way to work.

Lastly, you cannot expect to have your family and social life separated from your work life. It’s all related.

I have a small advertising budget, any advice? Form partnerships and exchange your qualifications.

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