The fact that ‘lifestyle’ magazines and websites are thriving businesses is a little bizarre. We are all individuals and the fact that a website can identify how we should live life is quite the challenge. But upon thinking twice about it, it makes sense that many Americans try to fit into some cultural lifestyle and simply conform. But when this CEO had enough of the current narrative being pushed on what to read and how to live he created Headlines and Heroes. The men’s lifestyle magazine on being a modern gentleman features stories on contemporary issues, role models and how to style up your life. For the modern man out there just trying to live and stay classy, this is your guide to living simply.
Today we chat with cofounder and nightlife impressario Bobby Rossi and about what’s the motivation behind the startup and its future.
Tell us about the service.
Headlines & Heroes is a media platform that curates intriguing lifestyle content for the “modern gentleman.” The site offers readers everything from exclusive interviews and remarkable travel destinations to the latest style trends, cool tech gadgets, and luxury products.
How is it different?
Headlines & Heroes brings a stimulating experience online that I see in the offline world. It’s a website that’s been built the same way I’ve built successful brands within the hospitality and nightlife worlds. Being able to have a website that mirrors everything I see in my real-world life has helped me develop something truly unique. We pair our original features with selected content to keep an eclectic assortment available online. Another thing that’s special about Headlines & Heroes is that we offer readers the opportunity to actually experience our online content via curated travel experiences and product giveaways.
What markets are you attacking and how big is it?
Our platform is joining an endless amount of men’s lifestyle websites – something new comes onto the scene every day. Headlines & Heroes’ curated content targets the young, modern gentleman (ages 25-34) looking to refine his lifestyle. Our core readers care about style, professionalism, adventure, and getting the most out of every day.
What is the business model?
We are growing the platform by working with on-brand advertising partners and also through our sweepstakes partnerships. Our online sweepstakes, which include curated travel experiences and product giveaways, have been very successful because all of the brands participating advertise the sweepstakes through their databases. This has really helped us attract and secure new readers. We are always on the lookout for new brands to work with that align with our demographics and reach a sizable audience.
What inspired the business?
When I found myself unable to relate to a lot of the lifestyle material I was finding online, I knew I had found my next project in Headlines & Heroes. I was looking to create my idea of inspirational living – online. My experience in the nightlife world allowed me to develop an expertise in pinpointing precisely what appeals to a wide male demographic, and it’s through this perspective lens that I curate the content readers see on the site.
How did you get to 1M monthly readers so quickly?
Through a combination of interesting content and enticing contests in which we partner with like minded sites with the same demo and combine forces. Once we get the people coming to the site, they keep coming back for more content.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
Some of our immediate goals in the next 6 months are to double our subscriber base. Additionally, we will be signing on some long-term advertisers to profile for the remainder of the year.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
There is no end to the work day. It’s constantly in motion, and can be worked on at all times on any given day of the week. Sundays have become the most productive day of my work week. They allow me to catch up on the week before and organize the week ahead.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
Lately, I’ve been a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuk. His work ethic and outlook on things is very contagious. It would be great to have a lunch with him and discuss the industry as he sees it today, and where he sees it going.
Why did you launch in New York?
New York is the biggest and most relevant market in the world. If you can capture the attention of the New York based demographic, then you have a tangible product that you can expand upon.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
Depending on what I’m looking to eat, it’s a tie between American Cut & Scarpetta.