Right here’s a Peek Behind the Curtain at Journey Journal

Pricey AJ household,

Over the previous couple of months, I’ve been pulling again the curtain a bit so individuals can higher perceive the web site and journal that they (appear) to like. In the present day, I wish to fill you in how our workers is structured.

Effectively, um, really, in relation to full-time workers, it’s…simply me. That’s to not say there aren’t a complete bunch of rad people who make AJ what it’s. There are, and you’ll take a look at all of the bylines to see a few of them. It’s simply that we don’t have a conventional or formal infrastructure, nor a crew of workers.

Joni Casimiro, who does our unimaginable design, additionally fulfills orders, wrapping magazines and delivery them. As I write this, she’s dropping orders on the put up workplace after which she’s going to our storage unit to choose up extra copies of AJ11. Throughout deadlines, she’s undoubtedly at her desk full time, however in down durations she has different initiatives and shoppers. Justin Housman, who is totally doing a bang-up job working the web site editorial, is an unbiased contractor who additionally doesn’t log full-time hours. Chris Muldrow oversees our dev ops and customer support below contract, and we’re extremely blessed to have him however most days (if it’s a great day) he in all probability doesn’t even spend an hour on AJ. Steve Hawk and Emily White make each concern of AJ higher with their enhancing, however they each have full-time gigs and assist us of their spare time simply because they consider a lot in AJ.

Joni and I every have small places of work in our home in Monarch Seashore, California, however AJ itself doesn’t have an workplace, simply the aforementioned storage unit. In San Francisco, Justin often posts as much as work in a espresso store. Chris, Mr. Swanky, does have an actual workplace, but it surely’s in Virginia and so we are able to’t go poach his house.

That’s Justin. He actually drives a Subaru, however will always remember that point in Iceland when he received to drive a Defender.

All of that is by design. The explanation we’re so streamlined is as a result of I’m protecting of our enterprise values and don’t wish to should make choices about what goes within the journal or on the location based mostly on cash—solely on what I believe you wish to learn. The draw back of this bootstrapping is that producing 4 points a yr and 5 on-line tales a day, plus dealing with gross sales and social media and all that different stuff, with this small of a crew isn’t sustainable long-term.

We now have one positive path to success and longevity and that’s by means of rising our subscribers to AJ in print. Most magazines are bloated with overhead and determined to cowl these prices they usually give away subscriptions, mainly, to justify astronomical advert charges. I constructed AJ to be lean, moral, clear, and to place the readers first, which suggests restricted promoting and a reliance on reader help.

Peek Behind the Curtain

Joni, Joshua Tree. She likes to run incognito…

We want a circulation of simply 15,000 subscribers to allow us to construct the AJ of our desires. By comparability, Outdoors has a circ of 675,000. If each one who follows AJ on Instagram subscribed, we’d be there. If simply 5 p.c of the individuals who learn AJ on-line totally free each month subscribed, we’d be there.

We’re a great distance from that stage, nonetheless. A really great distance. And so I’ve to ask—you, very particularly you—and I’ve to maintain asking. These of you who’ve already subscribed, I believe you know the way I really feel—hugs and excessive fives of gratitude abound. These of you who haven’t, yeah, I do know…you’ve been that means to…you suppose “content material” needs to be free…AJ is simply too costly. I hear ya. However our journal value displays what it actually prices to pay individuals pretty and make what we predict is the very best out of doors publication ever. It’s a quarterly guide, not a magazine, and the overwhelming majority of subscribers gather them. I’d argue that we pack extra substance in a single concern than most titles in a yr (although I’m, admittedly, biased).

C’mon, y’all. Be a part of us. Subscribe now and get the winter concern, with the spring concern to reach in a couple of month.



Okay, so 15,000 is our mark for long-term sustainability. What is going to we do after we get there? Right here’s a begin:

• Add editorial assist for the web site—we want not less than yet another part-time editor and extra contract writers like Shawnté Salabert and Jeff Moag

• Add editorial workers for the print quarterly—a managing editor at minimal

• Make extra photograph assignments in print and have a journey finances to ship writers and photographers into the sphere

• Rent a part-time customer support/order achievement particular person. Not that I don’t like wrapping magazines myself, I do, however, properly, you realize, I ought to in all probability be enhancing or writing tales

• Lease a modest workplace the place we are able to retailer the magazines and ship orders, as an alternative of from our spare bed room and a Public Storage 10×10

• Launch a guide sequence. So many guide concepts, so little time

• Develop extra AJ merch. We now have some very cool issues within the works

• Rejoin One % for the Planet. After we launched in print, our revenues went up and our web went down, so we needed to pull out. I need again in

• Create an environmental reporting mentorship program to pair senior writers with up-and-coming journalists

• Create an Journey Journal reader micro-grant program, the place we fund altruism-based adventures. My aim could be to present $50,000 in grants a yr, max grant measurement or $1,000. How rad would that be?

• What else? We adapt, construct, and alter AJ on a regular basis based mostly on reader enter—how else ought to AJ be a voice or presence for good?

Please subscribe. And also you who already do, perhaps you’ll be able to add your voice beneath and let individuals know what to anticipate from their points.

Journey Journal in print is like Journey Journal on-line x 100—and print tales can solely be discovered there. Subscribe to get it now—we assure you’ll adore it.

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