To build out Brit + Co, founder Brit Morin is focusing on video and educational classes while avoiding clickbait.
The goal is to find new ways to connect with the Brit + Co audience, which has 125 million users across platforms and mostly made up of 18- to 34-year-old women, according to the company. While Brit + Co started in 2011 as a DIY destination for crafting, cooking and learning other new skills, it’s spread into a broader lifestyle site. Most recently, the team hired a new fashion reporter to expand coverage there. Still, it’s avoiding constant celebrity gossip.
“My first pitch deck had a plan to diversify revenue beyond advertising and not be just a media company, even though that would be the core of who we are,” said Morin. “So I’ve always thought about the implications that clickbait would have on the integrity of the brand.”
Morin joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss where Brit + Co is headed next, how the company participates in politics, and the evolution of content and commerce. Edited highlights below.
Brit + Co is determined to stay on brand.
While women’s media has come under pressure to be all things to its readers, Morin said that Brit + Co has resisted temptation to go broad and shallow for the clicks. The company has expanded its coverage to include fashion, career and beauty, but she said that a DIY-approach remains at its core.
“We’re known for do-it-yourself, and that’s evolved to be in all categories. How you put on makeup, cook meals — it’s not just a craft project.”
Political coverage isn’t off limits.
Morin said that during the recent election season and its aftermath, Brit + Co spent some time covering the issues and discussing the latest news. She said the company got some negative feedback as a result, with readers questioning why the site was dabbling in politics. So she wrote and published a letter herself, explaining that the site would be taking a stance and speaking up when political discourse directly affected women’s rights. In an attempt to demonstrate a lack of bias, Morin has welcomed reader op-eds on the site to share a wider variety of voice.
“I want Brit + Co to be a place where women can get informed about what’s happening, but not feel like we’re biased in any direction. Unless it comes to the stake of women’s rights and life quality. We advocate for women.”
Video is king.
With a 20-person video team, Morin is bullish on video. She said that the company works across all platforms to tell different stories, including the 10-second format found on Snapchat Discover. When there’s talent needed in front of the camera, the team will grab Brit + Co team members from the office to star, like a previous Snapchat Discover video that demonstrated four different ways to turn a black dress into a Halloween costume. “That gives it a sense of authenticity, I think.”
The latest evolution of content and commerce.
Brit + Co has been at the forefront of tying an e-commerce strategy to editorial coverage. Right now, the biggest revenue driver on its commerce side are the online classes teaching skills like calligraphy and coding that are offered on the site to members as both individual skill classes and bundle subscriptions. The site has dabbled in an online shop in the past, but it found that the format doesn’t resonate as well with readers. On the product side, Brit + Co has begun partnering with outside brands to design items, like a recent collection of party favors and tableware designed with Cheeky and sold at Target. “To us, what we want to do is have a real-life relationship with readers,” she said.