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5/25/2003 12:00:00 AM



WomenOf.com survived the dot-com crash

By Kausalya Saptharishi, For the Camera May 25, 2003
http://www.dailycamera.com

Help is just a mouse click away for women looking for career advice or for tips on how to finance home businesses or for the coolest summer recipes.

WomenOf.com, a 6-year-old Arvada-based online weekly magazine for women, addresses issues such as career, travel, health, technology, legal issues, family matters, food and entertainment, among others.

"We're committed to serving as a role model for younger women and for those already launched in their personal and professional lives," said Susan Klann, editor. "Our mission from the outset has been to serve as an online resource for women featuring editorial that enhances the quality of their personal and professional lives."

WomenOf.com was founded in 1997 by CounterTrade Inc., a woman-owned, high-tech company, and is presently operational under the Prosolutions Inc. umbrella, which lends the Web site technical support. A privately held company, WomenOf.com was launched for less than $25,000 and has no outside investors.

The Web site generates revenue mostly through advertising, online coupons, directory listings and corporate sponsorships, she said. Advertisements on WomenOf.com generally cost $600 per quarter, directory listings are $75 per annum, and an annual sponsorship of a category on the site, such as health, is $25,000. Corporate sponsorships on the Web site range from $10,000 to $100,000 depending on whether they are local or national.

The e-zine's conservative approach to operations has seen it through the dot-com crash, Klann said. "We've had to make no cutbacks; in fact we're growing in terms of readership and advertising," she said. WomenOf.com's visitor-base has doubled in the last one year and averaged 100,000 sessions in March, Klann said.

Nearly 64 percent of women in the United States spend time online, according to a white paper prepared for MSN by comScore Networks last year. Younger women are almost twice as likely to be online than women over age 55, though the elder group's use of the Net also is increasing, the study said.

Fifty percent of women online have college degrees and nearly a quarter of them have a graduate school degree, according to comScore.

WomenOf.com's national reader demographics comprise college-educated, working women who are 30 and older, with families and the majority of whom fall in the $50,000 plus income bracket, Klann said.

"But our target audience is in fact fairly broad, and I think that's because women of all ages and types care about health, for example; and work-life balance affects nearly everyone," Klann said. "And women of all ages need to be wise about their finances - whether they are in their twenties and just starting saving for their children or retirement, or whether they are in mid-life and facing a divorce, for example."

Reader demographics is built using information gathered about visitors through weekly e-newsletters, Klann said.

"We're unique, we think, in that we offer a local and national concept," Klann said. "We have our WomenOf.com nationally focused site, and our WomenOfColorado.com state-focused site where we provide local coverage of women's happenings, businesses, and the like."

Since its inception, WomenOf.com has expanded into 18 other states, including California, Hawaii, Florida and Maryland. Efforts are underway to develop editorial content for these sister sites by relying on both local talent in each state as well as on WomenOf.com to generate the content, Klann said.

She said that career, business, profiles, recipes and health are some of the most popular features on WomenOf.com. Klann added that the content for the site is either generated in-house or comes from guest contributors.

The Web site's "WomenOf the Month" section profiles women who are leaders in their fields, Klann said. "For example, I'm interviewing some of the women who are in Denver with the Women In the Fire Services national meeting," said Klann. "These women are incredible. They may not be household names, but they should be."

Networking with women's groups, critical placement of the Web site on search engines and targeted mail efforts are some of the main channels through which WomenOf.com generates publicity, Klann said.

"We're increasingly building partnerships with women's groups to increase one another's strengths, said Klann. "It's sort of women's way - networking and relationships."


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