Grade 6 web magazine publishers using puppy pix to lure readers in

Grade 6 students Ava Peters and Ella Hyman thought kids needed more web magazine options, so they created their own.

Come for the cute pet photos, stay for the engaging, regularly updated stories

Ella Hyman and Ava Peters, right, are now web publishers of a kids magazine called KIDMAG Online Magazine for Kids at kidmag.ca — and they are not against using adorable pet pictures to draw readers in. (Ellis Choe/CBC)

Puppy photos are being used to lure young eyes to a new web magazine, but the aspiring media moguls behind the Calgary publication say it's about more than just clickbait.

"We have stories, contests, quizzes, facts and ongoing stories," Ella Hyman told The Homestretch this week.

Ella and her fellow Grade 6 student Ava Peters now publish an online web magazine aimed at their peers, ages seven to 13.

It's called KIDMAG Online Magazine for Kids and it's in digital format only.

"We tried to do paper magazines but they didn't work as well, since in the new world with all the computer technology and stuff, it works better online," Ava confided.

In addition to all the puppy photos, which the pair sources ethically using creative commons searches that produce copyright-free results, there's some serious stuff on there, too.

Come for the puppies, stay for the fresh, regularly posted content. That seems to be the approach used by a pair of aspiring media moguls who have published an online mag for kids. (kidmag.ca/2018/09/09/puppies)

Ava recently wrote about a girl with mental illness.

"It's about how she overcomes it and her journey to do that," Ava said.

"I read a book that was kind of like that and I thought it was interesting."

But those puppies, though.

"We figured that, well, to get people to view our website, kids like puppies, so we should put some puppy photos on our website and maybe that will drag some readers in," Ella revealed.

Clicks coming along nicely

While Ava's favourite writing is in A Series of Unfortunate Events and Ella likes Harry Potter and The Diary of Anne Frank, they say they're committed to producing fresh, regular content.

"We plan to post at least three to seven new articles every week," Ella said.

And the clicks, they say, are coming along nicely.

"On the first day, we got about 200 views, and in total we have about 700," Ava shared.

Escaping a dinosaur, living with a mental illness, evil hot dogs... These are just some of the stories you'll find in a new online magazine called KIDMAG. It's a website created for kids, by kids right here in Calgary. Ava Peters and Ella Hyman are the two sixth graders behind this new site. They joined host Doug Dirks in studio. You can find KIDMAG online at: https://kidmag.ca/ 5:59

With files from The Homestretch