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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Letter from Publisher: Thankful for Turning the Corner

This is the third November letter I have had the opportunity to write, and in reviewing the first two, I note that I have yet to do a traditional “what I’m thankful for” column. So here it is!

Within the context of Natural Awakenings, the biggest thing I’m thankful for in 2019 is the feeling of turning the corner. That feeling has manifested in several ways.

When I took over this publication in 2017, all aspects of the business needed turning around. The first and easiest thing to address was editorial. Indeed, we turned it around with the very first issue. The national editor at Natural Awakenings corporate said this about our first issue: “I believe this is the strongest local editorial I’ve seen in terms of quality and quantity in a single issue outside of our flagship, and definitely in a first issue!”

We’ve only gotten better since, but silly me, I was quite wrong in thinking that all we had to do was make a big investment and everything would change immediately. Exactly as I advise advertisers and would-be advertisers, it takes consistent presence over time in order to build awareness, and it wasn’t until this year that we started seeing the payoff; the number of people who have approached us interested in contributing articles has practically exploded. We see this as recognition of Natural Awakenings being a quality platform with which professionals wish to be associated.

So I’m particularly grateful for the contributions of third parties. In particular, I’d like to thank, once again, Adele Wang, guest editor of our April special section on energy healing, and Gedalia Genin, who is finishing up a three-part series on Ayurveda this month. Both efforts were significant, and both women were a joy to work with.

The increased attention we received from potential contributors was followed by increased attention in the digital world, for which I am most grateful. It started with an interview that we are thankful for—a 90-minute conversation with renowned cellular biologist and author Dr. Bruce Lipton. His July and August appearance in our pages prompted a surge in website visits in both months; July’s numbers more than doubled our previous best, and August’s visits exceeded July’s.

Then came the August issue on Black & Vegan in Atlanta. While we assumed this package of articles would be well received, we had no idea to what degree. Black & Vegan was fully embraced by Atlanta’s African American natural health community in a way that we could not have predicted or hoped for, and for this, we are supremely grateful... and humbled. The issue—most often represented by the cover shot of four powerful queens—received thousands of Instagram likes and hundreds of Facebook likes. This is nothing for many organizations, but for us, it was way, way, way beyond anything we had previously experienced.

Finally, in the way that matters most to most businesses, revenue is turning around as well. June was our best month, by far, and then July edged out June. August was set to exceed July, but a placement was pulled at the last minute. Then October blew away July. Needless to say, I’m beyond grateful.

Practicing gratitude every day is one of the most prescribed spiritual practices—and for good reason. I’m not sure if the vibration of gratitude is the same as the vibration of love, or hope, or joy, but it certainly is in the same neighborhood. I admire those whom I know who do it daily, diligently, and it is a practice I’d like to strengthen.

The bonus of having a platform like this is that I get to thank some folks from my personal life in a public manner. Now, the nature of this work often blurs the line between personal and professional, but to those who have enhanced my life in 2019, my heart-felt love and appreciation: Beth Coghlin, Emily Jewell, Fred Stevens, Graham Fowler, Martin Van Lear, Pam Willoughby, Priya Lakhi, Pepka, Theresa Bogart and Toni Galardi.

Last but certainly not least, thank you to my partner in crime, managing editor Diane Eaton, without whom Natural Awakenings Atlanta might exist, but nothing like it is today.

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