AN INTERVIEW WITH EMMA HILL FROM HIS AND HERS MAGAZINE
To introduce our ‘culture’ category, we’ve decided to launch a series of interviews with inspiring female entrepreneurs from a range of creative fields. We at A Little Bit Of Goodness believe that pursuing your passions and creativity is so important to overall well-being. That’s why we’re inspired by women everywhere that are creating success for themselves through launching their own businesses and brands, however big or small!
For the first in our females in focus series, we spoke to Emma Hill from Liverpool’s His & Hers Magazine.
Ever since launching in 2011, His & Hers magazine has gained the title of one of the North West’s best fashion and lifestyle magazines. Each issue of the magazine’s glossy print edition is filled with editorial features and articles on fashion, travel, beauty and entertainment aimed at professional women and men. We spoke to the founder and editor of His & Hers, Emma Hill, about her experience of running a successful publication, her thoughts on the digitization of the magazine industry, and her advice to those hoping to do it for themselves.
Tell us a bit about yourself, the history behind His & Hers, and why you decided to launch the magazine!
I started out as a local news reporter, working for the Chester Standard, then moved into features, eventually editing Concept For Living Magazine (which was the North West’s best-selling homes and gardens mag at the time) and an international design magazine called Spaces. I loved working for other publishers, but after almost 15 years spent writing and editing for other people, I finally felt ready to take the plunge and publish my own title.
How long did it take until you noticed His & Hers was getting recognised in Liverpool?
I was very excited when I spotted someone reading a copy of His & Hers Magazine at a Liverpool train station just after the magazine first came out. Also, when a potential client told me they’d decided to advertise after they’d been worn down by seeing the magazine everywhere they went – from their local coffee shop to Facebook to their office. That made me chuckle and also made me feel that I must be doing something right in terms of promoting the magazine.
What does a typical day in His & Hers HQ look like?
The working week’s pretty varied, but there are some constants: for example, Yorkshire Tea is always involved, and no matter what else I have scheduled, I’ll almost always end up working on the website at some point in the day. Most days involve checking in with existing clients, contacting potential new clients, working on promoting His & Hers and a spot of writing. For bigger editorial projects, such as an exciting photo-shoot we have coming up with Next, I’ll start planning weeks in advance. I love planning for the big stuff, but also love how swiftly we can turn things round for the website. There’s something very satisfying about having some tasks you can get boxed off in a day!
What were the biggest challenges you’ve faced over the years?
The fact that publishing’s evolved so rapidly over the past decade. This has made my career very exciting and I’m incredibly grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to see things change from the days of sending magazine proofs to the printers in a taxi to being able to do so much from my ‘phone. But the rapid pace of change means that I’ve had to work hard to keep up. I’ve also had to ‘un-learn’ some of the stuff I learnt in the early days of my career, mainly in terms of being a little less obsessed with print these days!
A number of print magazines are beginning to go exclusively digital, do you think you’ll ever take this route with His & Hers?
I’d definitely say that digital’s enormously important for His & Hers. In the early years, I’d save all the best content for the printed magazine, but these days I’d say that the website’s where you’ll find all the freshest content and just as much time goes into the writing for the site as goes into print features. I’m planning some big fashion photoshoots that’ll be exclusive to the website and am a tad obsessed by all of the opportunities available to publishers online these days. The advantage of print is that it allows me to collaborate with amazing brands like Burt’s Bees and Aveda to offer brilliant cover gifts, and I love posting out copies. I think the really exciting opportunities for growth will come primarily from digital in the coming years, but I haven’t quite gotten over my love of printed magazines just yet!
Do you have any advice for those hoping to launch their own magazine or blog?
I personally think there’s never been a better time to do it! These days, you can launch your own magazine or blog without having to pour all of your savings into it, and I see so many bloggers building up a brand and creating great content while studying or having a day job that they work around. The fact that you can get started just by investing as much time as you have available in the evenings and at weekends is one of the most exciting aspects of publishing in 2018, I think.