Amanda Steinberg started DailyWorth.com as a way to give women key insights into building real net worth. Today, DailyWorth stands out as the go-to source about personal finance for women. Since its inception in January 2009, DailyWorth has garnered 200,000+ subscribers and a stream of media appearances, including the New York Times, Forbes, USA Today, and Cosmopolitan magazine. Amanda lives in Philadelphia with her two children and her iPhone. I caught up with this financial and business rock star as she was traveling from New York City to Philadelphia with her kids:
Steele: You have two young children. What do they think Mommy does?
Steinberg: My kids are 5 and 3. They think my job is to go to New York City.
Steele: Where did the idea for DailyWorth incubate?
Steinberg: I was raised by a single mom who instilled in me that I should never depend on anyone, that I would always have to create my own wealth. In my 20’s, I became really good at making money as a computer engineer but I also became very good at spending money. When I went in search of good money media to read, I didn’t find anything. I thought: why isn’t there any financial content out there that women want to read? DailyWorth was designed as the first financial publication for women.
Steele: DailyWorth’s growth has been substantial since inception. How did you envision your plan at the beginning and now, going forward?
Steinberg: It’s always been the same – I fell in love with the business model for DailyCandy. Comcast bought that company in 2008 for $120 million. I knew that this is what my business would be – send an email that’s really pretty and fun to read and sell advertising by building a subscriber base, this was a no brainer. When I wrote the business plan, I created a financial model by reading all of these articles on DailyCandy and figuring out how much money they were making and how many subscribers they had and extrapolating the revenue tied to subscriber growth. Our plan has stayed the same. We now serve 250,000 women and will serve 500,000 by the end of the year.
Steele: What lessons did you bring from your previous business experiences?
Steinberg: Design products that you can sell to markets that have money. For ten years, I sold web services to non-profit organizations. It’s very hard to sell to organizations that are cash-strapped. In this business, I’m selling advertising to banks. Banks have money. That was a really important business lesson. Make sure you pick a target audience that can actually afford what you are selling them. The other thing I learned is to make sure you have a clear way to make money, that the way you make money is clear from the get-go.
Steele: How do you overcome the challenges of raising venture capital in our current economy?
Steinberg: I simply focus on the economic opportunity of helping women with finances—a completely underserved population. There are 50 million women who identify themselves as the CFO of their households—they make the financial decisions. They pick the products. They sign the checks. And there is not a single publication specifically geared to women and what they want to read on these topics. I think I ignored the fact we are in a recession and simply used this to my advantage. These investors don’t want to put their money into mutual funds and the like right now. There isn’t a real return there right now and there is with DailyWorth with our explosive growth in an underserved market.
Steele: As your company grows, how do you find mentors and employees who support your vision and contribute to the company’s success?
Steinberg: I’m just a really confident talker. I’m always reading about people who are doing what I am doing at a much higher level. For example, I cold called Jen Bolden who sold her daily email to Disney for $20 million. She wouldn’t talk to me at first. I then strategically stalked her and finally convinced her to advise me for a fee. I was at her wedding just a few weeks ago, so as you can see, our relationship has matured and we are now friends. As far as employees, I talk to my mentors about their best employees and the people they recommend. I spend a substantial amount of time recruiting the best. DailyWorth now has 14 employees.
Steele: DailyWorth is targeted to women. How is the advice and information you give women different from the advice and information you would give men?