Man of Many, an independent Australian digital lifestyle publication, founded in 2012 grew to become Australia’s largest men’s website within just a few years, but that wasn’t without its challenges. In a rapidly evolving media landscape threatened by the changes from COVID and the News Media Bargaining Code in Australia, the need for innovation had to always take high precedence at Man of Many. Despite those challenges, the business demonstrated a willingness to be flexible and dynamic with both its editorial content and operations, taking on board proactive measures to address the threats that help the website to thrive amidst what was a bleak outlook. 

Man of Many was initially founded by Scott Purcell and Frank Arthur as a side-hustle in 2012 which eventually turned into a full-time flourishing business and one of the fastest growing digital publications in Australia. It now remains a trusted voice for Australian men and one of the most loved male-centric digital magazines, covering a vast range of topics from style, grooming, watches, luxury, cars, politics, fitness, to cultural content. 

The outbreak of COVID-19 was a shattering experience for the entire world. Hundreds and thousands of businesses were affected drastically, leading to them to shutting down completely or resulting in many employees losing their jobs, with publishing being no different. The impact on deal flow and advertising revenue for Man of Many was sudden and direct. Advertising agencies advised all spend was on hold until the new financial year, digital display advertising rates (CPMs) fell 30-40% and Amazon reduced its commission rates by 33-78%. 

Despite this, Man of Many tailored its content to focus on helping its audience survive COVID. For Australian-centred content, SEO research allowed them to identify the key search terms that resonated with Australian males. During the lockdown period, they tailored this content to be relevant, thought-provoking and informative which delivered a record organic traffic result. Throughout the pandemic, where sector advertising spending was dwindling but online shopping was up, the publication pivoted to focus on affiliate opportunities. Forced isolation also led people to spend more time online browsing, all resulting in a whopping hike of over 300% in its readership. 

“As a publication, we utilise our platform as a resource for positive change. This past year we’ve focused on increasing coverage of mental health initiatives, tackling the disproportionately high rates of male suicide, whilst also addressing Australia’s burgeoning climate change concerns and supporting causes that champion justice and equality” said Purcell.

Having witnessed such a meteoric rise, it is certain that in the future, Man of Many will reach new heights. The site aims at introducing newer and modified concepts delving into podcasting, expanding its video content and even launching an integrated e-commerce store.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 29, 2021 02:02 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website