Way back in 2005 when I first decided to be a petpreneur, I did the only obvious thing any self-respecting college-age newly self-employed girl would do… I bee-lined to the first Barnes & Noble I could find and went straight to the magazine rack. Surely this is where I would find my guide book to navigating the launch and growth of my pet business, right!?
I remember surveying all the pet magazines, but only three jumped out at me: the Bark, Modern Dog, and a local one I’d never seen before called ‘CityDog‘ (I am sure I spent a fortune that day on magazines and also snapped up some of my other guilty pleasure pubs – Real Simple, Sunset, Fast Company, Inc, and Entrepreneur).
Since it was new to me, I dove into CityDog Magazine first. It was love at first sight.
The colorful pages were full of neighborhoods, shops and dog parks near me. This was not a generic national mag, it was based in Seattle, it was LOCAL. I immediately looked to the masthead to find the publisher, “Brandie Ahlgren”, then jumped straight to the website.
‘I have to work with this magazine’ I thought to myself – ‘I have to shoot a cover for this magazine!’ I emailed Brandie, complimented the magazine, included some samples of my work and pitched a few ideas.
Brandie did answer my email, but it was like 6 months later – I had almost given up hope! (this is the reality of being a magazine publisher – you get these kinds of emails from eager photographers / petpreneurs ALL the time). She got in touch because she was ready to take me up on one of the ideas I had pitched her.
Long story short, that winter in 2005 was the beginning of an incredible journey with CityDog. My first cover was in summer 2006, and I shot 10 more after that, over the following 5 years. Brandie and I became dear friends, and I still have a copy of almost every issued published between 2005 and 2010 (including that first one I bought from Barnes & Noble which happened to be her first issue ever!)
In 2005, it was clear where the big dog magazines each fit in the market:
Bark is the New Yorker of Dog Magazines… Smart, sophisticated, political and lofty. Gorgeous and academic-inclined
Modern Dog is the Redbook of Dog magazines… Trendy, Bright and shiny – fashion and pop-culture inclined.
CityDog is the Sunset of Dog magazines… (if you’re not familiar with Sunset – check it out – it’s sooooo yummy) CityDog is all about local life #withdog – where to visit, eat, shop, hike, vacation and just ‘be’ with your dog. The celebrities in CityDog are Chefs, Authors and Politicians – the ‘cool products’ have been hand-selected and are often from indie artists and etsy (not advertisers). The pages reek with integrity – the content is exactly what you would WANT your city lifestyle magazine to be, not what a whole bunch of businesses want to sell you.
CityDog is the epitome of a local lifestyle magazine… it just happens to be for people who also happen to be pet parents.
Who is CityDog Magazine
Launched in 2005, CityDog Magazine is the definitive dog lover’s magazine about life and living with dogs in the Pacific Northwest. Each issue overflows with informative, insightful and often humorous articles on topics from cool canine products and the latest doggie trends, to regional activities for dogs and their people. With 10 years under its belt, it’s the go-to place for Seattle area dog lovers to find all they need to know about living in the city they love with the four-legged love of their life.
To get a taste of what it’s like, watch KING 5 Evening Magazine featuring founder and editor of Seattle’s CityDog Magazine, Brandie Ahlgren.
Why Start a Dog Magazine?
Imagine producing your own gorgeous, glossy lifestyle magazine featuring all of the things you love most about living with dogs in your city — from traveling to dog-friendly destinations to attending swanky, dog-centric events to enjoying the awesome people, places and things your city has to offer dogs and dog lovers.
Sound like a business you could sink your teeth into? With your own CityDog Magazine, you can be up, running and profitable in no time (and they do all the heavy lifting!)
But Isn’t Starting a Magazine Tough?
Yes. It is. Don’t be fooled that this is some get rich quick scheme! Just like any new business, a magazine requires constant attention, tons of network and relationship building, and a solid set of business sense. But name anything worth having that you don’t have to work for? The good news, is that starting a magazine with a proven brand like CityDog Magazine, with over 10 years of experience, makes it a whole lot easier.
More importantly, it significantly increases your chances for success and profitability. You will be joining an already established network, getting the marketing support and business tools you need to launch a magazine in your region. This includes sales collateral, website development, design services, access to our archive of articles and photography as well as access to national and regional advertisers.
Are You a Good Fit?
Do you have what it takes? Well, you should have either savage business or marketing savvy or strong creative background (photography & journalism especially) – or both! Then you can hire or partner with the skills you’re missing. CityDog Magazine is a perfect opportunity as a second career, or for a person or partnership who is looking to build a little dog-friendly empire in their city.
Budget: The licensing fee to start your own CityDog Magazine in your city is $35,000
What to Know More?
Email us with the following information:
Your name, address, phone number or skype ID, region/geographic area you wish to publish in and a brief note about your background.*
*The information above is to provide us with an initial evaluation — it will not be shared with anyone outside of Working with Dog & CityDog Magazine.
After we receive your information, we will follow-up with an email to set up a phone call or email exchange to answer any questions you may have about launching CityDog Magazine in your region. At that time, if we mutually agree to move forward, our staff will lay out the next steps.
Please keep in mind that becoming a CityDog Magazine publisher is like buying any other business. It includes fees, contracts, legal documents and agreements, as well as a commitment of time, energy and skill to be successful. If you believe you have what it takes (including an implicit love for dogs), please email us at hello [at] dane-dane.com
Cities currently available to start your own CityDog Magazine: London, Toronto, San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Vancouver B.C., San Diego and Austin.
If you don’t see your city here, please just ask! Woof!