$120k, Hustle, and a Hugely Successful Digital Magazine with Margaret Brown or Podster

Margaret Brown The Top Podcast 195

In Episode #195, Nathan speaks with Margaret Brown, the owner and publisher of Shelf Media a company that holds and manages a variety of free digital publications. Listen as Nathan and Margaret talk about the art of driving revenue from publishing, what it takes to turn a profit, and how digital publishing works.

Famous 5

  • Favorite Book? – The Four Hour Work Week
  • What CEO do you follow?— Alex Blumberg
  • What is your favorite online tool?— BlinkPlan
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?—Embrace who you are and what you were meant to do.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:10 – Nathan’s introduction to today’s show
  • 01:45 – Margaret breaks down Shelf Media
  • 02:40 – Invested less than 10K to get started
  • 03:45 – Acquiring the 1st 1,000 readers
  • 04:24 – The primary thing that got them on the map was media coverage
  • 04:54 – Throw a lot of spaghetti at the wall and something will stick
  • 05:38 – Press Rush
  • 07:09 – Subscriptions to all Shelf content is FREE
  • 07:39 – You have to believe in your product
  • 08:38 – The revenue model of Shelf Media
  • 09:43 – $4k a month in to be profitable
  • 10:17 – It takes a lot of failure to lead to success
  • 12:55 – The rates for advertising with Shelf Unbound
  • 13:50 — $20K per issue of Shelf Unbound (125K readership) in top-line revenue
  • 15:19 – ShelfMediaGroup.com Margaret@ShelfMediaGroup.com


3 Key Points:

  1. Learn how to fail. Then learn how to fail faster.
  2. You don’t always need a ton of money per month to be profitable…just keep your overhead low.
  3. Embrace who you are—don’t fight it.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Edgar – Nathan uses Edgar instead of other scheduling tools for Twitter because Edgar cycles through content over and over (buffer/others you have to re-input content over and over – time consuming). In the last several months, Edgar has driven Nathan over 3728 clicks that he didn’t have to work or pay for.
  • Host Gator – Powerful web hosting made easy and affordable.
  • Press Rush – A media tool Margaret loves
  • Alex Blumberg – CEO of Gimlet Media
  • BlinkPlan – Margaret’s favorite online tool
  • The Four Hour Work Week – Time Ferris’ book



Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives