It's a women's Web, after all


Although staff cuts have delayed, if not killed, "In Her Shoes," the ProJo's women's initiative, women-centric Web cites are increasing in number and prominence, reports Women's Wear Daily (h/t Romo).

Though most of the media is retrenching under economic pressures, the Internet still remains a potential growth area, thanks to its relatively low start-up costs and immediate delivery to consumers. Among the new offerings, Web sites targeted to women are growing in numbers, serving up content across a wide swath of subjects and age groups. will expand its popular blog, The XX Factor, into its own site in the spring. Elizabeth Spiers, founder of Dead Horse Media and a contributor to Fortune magazine, is developing an online women’s magazine she pegged as “Maxim for women.” The sites will join, a Web site for 18- to 34-year-olds covering love and relationships; Yahoo’s women’s lifestyle portal, and, a site targeting women over 40.

That growth comes as more women than men are online these days: According to eMarketer, there are a projected 100 million female Internet users in the U.S., or 52 percent of the general population, compared with 94 million males online (48 percent of Americans). But, unlike women’s sites of yore that functioned more as broad information portals, newer sites are more content specific, with unique voices and personalities to draw readers by their passion points. Fragmentation, albeit while maintaining a large enough audience to drive scale, helps advertisers focus on their core consumer. “The thing that makes the Internet so attractive to advertisers is you can slice the target segmentations a lot of different ways and do it in a precise manner,” said Christopher Actis, who, as digital director for media agency Mediavest, manages media strategy for Wal-Mart. While some have attracted a substantial ad base, given that a banner ad is cheaper point of entry than an ad page in a magazine, few Web sites are operating with substantial profits.

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