Inman seems to be everywhere these days. Tell us about how your company has grown to where it is today.
Amber: The company started in 1996 as the brainchild of publisher Brad Inman. Having a publisher with vision and the motivation to actualize that vision has been huge for the company. He sees where we need to go and helps us get there.
What is your editorial strategy? Where do you find inspiration for your content?
Amber: The first place we look is what's happening in the news -- what changes are taking place in real estate that our readers will need to know about in order to be successful in their day-to-day lives?
What is the basis of your revenue? Is it mostly subscription? Advertising? Events?
Amber: This would be a better question for our publisher or COO! We generate revenue through all three of those options -- we implemented a subscription model in late 2014, and advertising and events revenue are also important to our bottom line.
Tell us about your analytics. Do you monitor which stories perform better than others? How do you use your analytics to shape your overall content strategy?
Amber: We do monitor which stories perform best. We use analytics in several ways: We look at stories that we expected to perform well but didn't and try to identify patterns; we look at stories that we didn't expect to perform well that did and try to understand what resonated with readers there; and we look at older stories that are suddenly trending to see if there's something we can update and resubmit for readers.
How do you use social media to build your readership?
Amber: Facebook is so important for publishers today -- we make sure we're posting regularly on there; we have a Twitter strategy that involves regularly tweeting all of our content; and we also have several groups on different social media platforms where readers can ask questions, network and more.
What's next for Inman? Do you see yourself expanding into other aspects of the real estate industry?
Amber: Right now, we're really focused on our Local pages. We have seven -- we cover Chicago, Houston, Miami, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. -- and we are aiming to give readers in those cities the same national coverage that Inman is known for, but at their local level. We have a lot of plans surrounding Inman Local in 2016!
Amber Taufen has been working as a writer and editor for more than a decade for consumer publications and trade associations; she’s edited books and ghostwritten articles, and she’s worked as a receptionist, copy editor, contributing writer, assistant editor, editorial operations manager and project manager for her employers and clients. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in magazine writing, both from the University of Missouri - Columbia.