411 Publishing Green [Articles]
“Every great journey begins with the first step.”
So said Jennifer Boulden, co-founder and senior vice president of Ideal Bite. In 2005, Boulden, along with co-founder Heather Stephenson, sent their first green tip to a list of roughly 300 friends and family. Today, with hundreds of thousands of viewers, Ideal Bite not only provides general information that pertains to any every day life. There are also sections of their website devoted to green activities, products, businesses and organizations in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, and Seattle, as well as a special section dedicated exclusively to mothers.
“It all began in 2004, when I met Heather while attending an event in the
Boulden was working as a green consultant after receiving a Green MBA at
“We worked really well together,” said Boulden. “So we decided to tackle the need for online green content. We wanted to develop a place were consumers could go and find information that pertains to their daily needs and lifestyles.”
What they developed was Ideal Bite. Based on the concept of “light green,” a term Boulden coined to define people looking for ways to make a change without radically altering their lifestyles, Ideal Bite provides daily tips relating to everything from pet care products, to waterless car washes, to organic alcohols.
“The ‘Ideal Bite’ concept came from the apple,” said Boulden. “You take one bite of the apple at a time; you don’t eat the whole thing. The tips we are offering give people the motivation to make changes in their lives one step at a time. It’s incremental environmentalism.”
After launching Ideal Bite with simple green tips, the website began to grow and develop through a consistent and expanding reader base. A year after starting their website, Vanity Fair featured Boulden and Stephenson in their Green issue.
“The press begot press,” said Boulden. “We’ve also been featured on the ‘Today Show’ and ‘Oprah’ along with many other news outlets and magazines.” As their readership grew, so did the business plan for Ideal Bite.
“We have local editions of Ideal Bite in several major cities across the country, and we’re looking to expand that base,” said Boulden. “We also established the ‘Mama’ edition that focuses on issue related to child-care and families in 2007. That section was completed in 2008.”
To come up for the content presented in the Ideal Bite pages and daily tips, Boulden and Stephenson hired an editorial staff to research information and present the content with humorous witty puns.
“We have a large editorial team,” said Boulden. “It’s a huge operation. Each tip takes about twelve hours of work to put together, from start to finish. We begin working on the tips four to five months prior to their publication. We have brainstorming sessions where we come up with different topics: things that are hot, seasonal, or offer a new approach. Every tip that is written goes through five different editorial passes to ensure all facts are checked and the style is consistent with our brand.”
In addition to writing the daily tips, the editorial team also contributes to a blog that resides on the site’s homepage. A book club has also been added to the Ideal Bite homepage. “We wanted to make the home page more social,” said Boulden.
With over half a million registered “biters,” video has become a focus of expansion for Boulden and Stephenson.
“We’ve branched into video,” said Boulden. “We’ve built video into our site with the idea this space may be attractive to major businesses.”
For more information on Ideal Bite, please visit: