In a world of email newsletters, blogs, and TikTok videos, a magazine might seem like a slightly archaic idea. However, they’re making a major comeback. As people attempt to untether themselves from screens, magazines serve as an optimum medium for learning and entertainment.
Why Start a Print Magazine?
Starting your own print magazine can be a rewarding and exciting venture. And here’s the neatest part: No two people have the same motives.
Here are some of the various reasons why people start magazines in 2023:
- Creativity. Starting a print magazine allows you to unleash your creativity and share your ideas and passions with a broader audience.
- Personal branding: A print magazine is a powerful platform for building personal branding and establishing yourself as an expert in your field. It’s the perfect offline compliment to personal branding on social media.
- Networking: Starting a magazine can help you connect with like-minded individuals and build a community of readers and contributors. It’s easy to ignore an email newsletter that clogs up your inbox. It’s much harder to ignore a crisp magazine in your mailbox.
- Business opportunity: A print magazine can be a lucrative business venture, especially if you are able to establish a dedicated readership and generate advertising revenue. With the right readership, it’s possible to earn a healthy six-figure income from a single magazine.
- Sense of accomplishment: The process of starting and running a magazine is challenging but rewarding. The sense of accomplishment you feel when your magazine is published and in the hands of your readers is unparalleled. It’s an excellent way to feel fulfilled outside of your normal day job.
- Legacy: A print magazine can leave a lasting legacy and serve as a tangible representation of your ideas and passions. It’s something people will be able to read for years (and possibly even decades) to come.
7 Tips for Bringing Your Magazine Idea to Life
Whether you want to showcase your creative work, share your passion with like-minded individuals, or build a business, a print magazine can be a powerful platform. However, starting a magazine is not without its challenges. It requires careful planning, a clear vision, and a lot of hard work.
Here are some tips on how to start your own print magazine:
1. Define your target audience
Before you start planning your magazine, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your magazine? What are their interests and needs?
Understanding your target audience will help you define the content and design of your magazine and ensure that it resonates with your readers.
2. Develop a clear concept
What is the focus of your magazine? What makes it unique? Developing a clear concept for your magazine will help you define your editorial direction and attract a dedicated audience.
Unless you have massive financial backing and the ability to go toe-to-toe with established magazines with large readerships, you’ll probably want to narrow your topic down to a niche subject matter. This will allow you to have more success.
For example, you’ll find it easier to generate some buzz and find some initial subscribers (and even advertisers) if you target a topic like “log cabin kitchen remodeling” instead of “home remodeling.” Not only does this give you a topic that stands out, but it allows you to further define your target audience.
3. Create a content plan
Once you have defined your target audience and concept, it’s time to start planning your content. Determine the frequency of your magazine (monthly, bi-monthly, etc.), the length of your articles, and the types of content you will include (features, interviews, reviews, etc.). Creating a content plan will help you stay focused and organized, while also ensuring there’s a consistent flow of ideas and content to use for each issue.
It’s smart to plan at least six months in advance so that you’re able to look ahead and know what you’re publishing. (This becomes especially important when you begin to attract forward-thinking advertising partners who want to know what’s coming down the pipeline.)
4. Design a layout
The layout and design of your magazine are critical to its success. Consider hiring a professional designer to help create a visually appealing and cohesive layout. (You can do this relatively inexpensively on a platform like Upwork.) Your layout should be easy to read and navigate, and it should reflect the overall aesthetic and tone of your magazine.
5. Print and distribute your magazine
Once your magazine is designed and printed, it’s time to start bringing your idea to life. And this is where a printing partner comes into play.
In the past, you had to partner with a massive publisher “clearing house” to get your magazine printed. This was expensive and challenging (as they only wanted to work with people who were printing larger quantities). Today, you can find reliable printing companies online.
Check out PrintingCenterUSA, for example. They allow you to order virtually any quantity and optimize everything from paper quality and binding to layout and shipping specs. They’re also reliable and easy to get in touch with.
6. Promote your magazine
Marketing your magazine is crucial to its success. Use social media, email newsletters, and other marketing channels to get the word out about your magazine. Consider offering special deals or promotions to encourage new readers to try your magazine. You can also partner with influencers and/or pay affiliate commissions to people who share your magazine via their email lists.
7. Engage with your readers
Building a community of loyal readers is key to the success of your magazine. Engage with your readers through social media, email, and other channels to build a connection and encourage feedback and interaction.
Email is a great tool for staying in touch in between issues. It allows you to slowly drip on people and begin teasing the next issue in advance so that people don’t drop off. The magazine subscription model has extremely high “churn” and you need to do everything you can to keep people engaged and interested.
Adding it All Up
The versatility of print magazines makes them an attractive option for any entrepreneur, marketer, or creative individual who is looking for a way to get away from screens and engage people in an offline world.
Hopefully, this article has given you some good food for thought as you prepare to take your first steps.