Advice from a Young Magazine Editor

This past December, I had the opportunity to visit with the very friendly and extremely talented writers and editors for Meredith Corporation, a media company based out of Des Moines.

A group of University students and myself went to network and learn more about what it takes to break into the magazine industry.  We set up a round-table discussion and threw every question we had at the unsuspecting speakers. But hey, at least they broke away from their computers and got to relive their glory days for the next 45 minutes.

Last but not least, Julianne Hilmes Bartlett took the mic to talk about her journey into magazine and digital media, as well as share her work at Traditional Home.

Immediately, it became clear how important internships are to getting a much needed foot in the door to the industry.  Her summer internship between her sophomore and junior year at Meredith Corporation eventually led to her full time role as a Web Editor after graduating from Missouri-Columbia in ’13.

Maintaining strong relationships with people in your desired field is paramount.  In fact, Julianne recommends sending an email every couple of months to let past connections know what you’ve been up to and to keep your name fresh in their mind.

The greatest part of landing the job? Julianne didn’t know a thing about homes, much less traditional ones. In fact, she believes that not knowing anything about the subject has given her a unique way to appeal to millennials.

One of her best strategies when writing about a foreign topic is to connect it to something else that’s familiar and relatable to her audience.  For instance, she noticed the Netflix series, The Crown, was gaining a following and she helped work on a piece riffing off of that.

What else is essential? “Keep your brand uniform across all platforms,” Julianne says. “I love thinking of themes to keep my audience engaged. Just recently, I did a 30 days of holiday dogs series and it was awesome.”

Between hopping on a jet to Southern Florida to write about an eclectic bungalow homes and , Julianne is in a career heaven of her own making.  She reminds us to use our personal flair and to make meaningful connections.

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