Clique Media Group is launching a new wellness vertical today called The Thirty, which will live on its beauty website, Byrdie. Following in the footsteps of other publishers like Bon Appetit (Healthyish) and The New York Times (Well), the company saw an opportunity to capitalize on a surge in wellness interest across its sites (which also include WhoWhatWear and MyDomaine), as well as the changing definition of wellness itself.

“Our strategy has always been to create verticalized content channels for our community,” said the company’s president of digital, Alex Taylor. “We create products for what our consumers want and need, based on their lifestyle, [which] is exactly how we approached The Thirty.”

Indeed, the company refers to data gleaned from analytics platforms like Parse.ly and DashHudson — as well as findings from its social accounts — on a daily basis, in an effort to stay on top of readership trends as they happen.

In the last six months, wellness-themed articles on the lifestyle site MyDomaine saw a 235 percent increase in traffic, while those centered on fitness on the beauty-centric Byrdie were up 81 percent, said the company. Searches for leggings, an athleisure staple, also rose by 130 percent on WhoWhatWear. (Collectively, the three sites attracted 6.1 million unique visitors in the U.S. in February, according to ComScore.)

The Thirty Launch HeroOriginal imagery for The Thirty

These findings are in sync with the latest data from a Women’s Marketing study, which reports that the global wellness economy reached $3.7 trillion in 2016 and is expected to accelerate by 17 percent in the next five years. Euromonitor has also listed wellness — specifically its role as a status symbol — as one of the top ten consumer trends for 2017, writing that more and more consumers are opting to “flaunt their passion for wellness [by] paying for boutique fitness sessions, athleisure clothing, food with health-giving properties and upscale health and wellness holidays.”

None of which is news, per se — wellness has been on this upward trend for years. How people define it, however, is changing.

The Clique team realized this quickly after consulting with their consumer insights team and hosting a 12-person focus group of LA-based wellness business owners, coaches and social media influencers.

“We learned that the old-school magazine approach of ‘do this, not that’ has lost its luster,” said Taylor. “Women no longer want to be told what to do. They want support, unbiased information and community.”

As such, The Thirty — a name inspired by Byrdie’s popular 30-day wellness challenge, #TheByrdie30 — will take a more holistic, accessible approach to wellness, one less bent on crash diets or unbearable exercise routines. “It’s not about the ‘perfect body’ or even diets, it’s about sweat equity, strength and feeling good about yourself, however you might define ‘good,’” said Taylor. “The Thirty understands that wellness isn’t a finite goal or competitive hobby; it’s a journey and a pursuit of self-fulfillment.”

The Thirty Launch_4Original imagery for The Thirty

These sentiments were shared by the women in their focus group, who were loath to focus on superficial topics like weight loss. Instead, they emphasized self-care and the desire to feel good about themselves on their own terms, not someone else’s. “I’m bored of talking about food and fitness. Just move your body and eat,” said one respondent. “It’s an intuitive thing, [and] there is no right way to eat.”

The hub will source most of its content from similar women in the wellness space, including plus-size model Chelsea Miller, Trill Yoga founder Claire Fountain and celebrity nutritionist Kelly LeVeque.

Though Taylor is running the project, Byrdie’s editorial director, Faith Xue, will manage section editors and content development, while the company’s creative strategy director, Michelle Plantan, will direct the social strategy. Select editorial staff from Byrdie and MyDomaine will also contribute, and there are no plans to increase headcount for now.

The Thirty’s coverage will focus on everything from food and athletic wear to fitness and emotional wellbeing. Unlike with Clique’s other properties, however, it will deemphasize celebrity. “Instead, [it] will focus on community-driven topics, sharing expert intel and human interest stories,” she said, a move reminiscent of the peer-to-peer content model used for its social-only platform, Obsessee.

The Thirty Launch_3Original imagery for The Thirty

According to Taylor, Byrdie will eventually fold the majority of its wellness content into The Thirty, but MyDomaine, which has seen the biggest traffic boost surrounding the topic, will continue to publish its own — some of which will be syndicated into The Thirty.

The vertical will also have its own dedicated Instagram, as well as a private community–driven Facebook group, inspired by the success of a similarly exclusive group they have for the most-active readers of its beauty site.

Although the 10-year-old WhoWhatWear has long been the company’s most lucrative property — garnering 2.7 million uniques last month on their U.S. site, compared to Byrdie’s 1.8 million and MyDomaine’s 1.5 million, per ComScore — it will be interesting to see if consolidating and honing in on its most popular wellness content gives its younger brands more fighting weight.

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