Starting Your Own Magazine

You have a great idea, with unique and quality content.  You feel like your idea could be big but you don’t know how to get going.  Magazine publishing is a tough industry to break into, but a professional-grade first issue will give you an edge in the market if you follow a few guidelines.

Follow Your Bliss

Publishing your passions will make everything you write more attractive to readers who can sense your enthusiasm. This will grip your first wave of readers and increase your odds of repeat customers.

Straight and Narrow

>Once you’ve figured out your topic, it’s time to narrow down your target audience. Balancing your preferred type of reader and the one that will likely bring in revenue is vital. Keep in mind the relationship between your magazine’s subject and your readers’ age, level of education, income and lifestyle. This will help you decide on the level and style of writing, layout designs and advertising choices.  For page layout, always use page layout software in order to make it look the best possible.

THE A-TEAM

Even with the streamlining help of publishing software, it’s simply not possible to put issues together on your own. You’ll need a talented group to handle the things you won’t have time to.

The Scribes

Obviously, you’ll need writers. Find writers that can adapt their style to readers of different ages and backgrounds. You may not want writers who specialize only in intellectual, high-minded styles of writing.

The Artist

A graphic designer for your layouts and typesetting who knows what appeals to your audience is essential. The use of white space, color, plain or stylized fonts and visual or verbal humor are just a few of the things a talented artist should be able to decide once you tell them about your target group.

The Pitch Man

A sales and marketing manager is someone who keeps your magazine’s revenue stream flowing. Find someone charismatic and confident to pitch your magazine to advertisers and vendors. Competition for space on displays and racks can be fierce for new publications, but a good manager will be able to get you in as many places as possible.

GETTING ATTENTION

Your first issue can’t just be articles by your staff. Include interviews and discussions with people relevant to your field so your readers know you’re connected to the world you’re writing about.

I’m Listening

Contact and connect with people relevant to your magazine’s topic. If your publication is about film, you definitely won’t get to interview an A-lister like Spielberg for your first issue. But reaching out to less known or independent figures in your field will help establish your magazine’s genuine passion and credibility. It will also help spread word of mouth in your industry and help you gradually gain more prestige.

Printing Along

Always try to plan several issues ahead. Many first-time magazine publishers wait to see how the first issue does before planning the next, but this can cause your audience to fade quickly. If your first issue has even moderate success, a second one on schedule is essential to keeping that first audience. The more issues that get released on time, the more likely your work is to stay afloat and potentially grab more regular readers.

TWEAKING

You’ll definitely get feedback from readers and advertisers on your first issue.

Listen Up

Listen carefully and take criticism constructively from your audience. At the same time, weigh the negative comments carefully before you make any drastic changes. Remember that you’re trying to reach a large group of people, not a handful of individuals who comment on what you did.

Chopping

As difficult as it may be, some features you feel proud of may not score well with audiences and they’ll have to be dropped, while others you used for space filler may be huge hits and need to be promoted. Swallowing your pride is tough, but to have lasting success, it’s necessary to give your readers what they want.

Publishing

Desktop publishing has made it so much easier for anyone publish their works online and later, if one desires, through other mediums. With modern software you can easily create qualtiy works of writing and graphics and do so from the comfort of you home.  Take advantage of ease of modern tools to make your dream of making a magazine a reality.

Jared Jaureguy is a technology enthusiast and independent technology consultant. Follow him on Twitter @JaredJaureguy

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