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Digital text is the future of Internet media. We are ushering in a new era with technological advancements. Today’s physical magazines may disappear in the next 5 to 10 years. Magazines are moving online in rapid succession.
It’s hard to imagine a world where all of our information is stored digitally, yet as we get closer the smaller pieces start to snap into place. The idea of recycling and saving green is getting stronger every day, which is why an online magazine makes perfect sense.
In this two-part series, we’ll go over some of the best things you can do to launch your own online magazine. In this first section, we will discuss the fundamentals of manifesting a creative idea and how to tackle the basic building blocks for digital content. Part II will focus on some of the more important responsibilities of magazine startup. This includes writing consistent articles, marketing, and expanding your skill set into broader management.
It’s going to take some time and a lot of sweat and blood. The end result after months of mental work will pay off in inconceivable ways to describe.
Align your cardinal goals
Before you even consider launching a magazine, you need to set your goals in order. What do you hope to achieve with the launch? The end result is generally a profit large enough to live peacefully, but there has to be more. What are your true passions? In which activities do you get the most interest and curiosity?
It can be difficult, but sit down for 10 minutes and create a list of what you would like to see happen as a result of your magazine launch. Maybe you just want to quit your job and work on your own. Another possibility is to add a short description of your journal’s work in your summary or Curriculum Vitae.
You may not be interested in money at all. Popularity and experience can go a long way in today’s world. Most of the popular entrepreneurs who run digital magazines didn’t start because they wanted to make big profits. They started blogging with an idea to get their name out there and generate a well-known interest among the public.
You may have similar goals for writing just because you have a general interest in your site’s topic of choice, also called a “niche.”
Define your magazine niche
Determining a niche to write in is not always straightforward, although it may be easier for some. A niche is simply the topic that your magazine will focus on. You can decide to write about fashion, digital trends, business, games, or literally any other topic.
If you have a deep enough interest in a topic to launch a magazine and write articles on it, chances are there are other people interested in reading. Never worry if your market size is too small or too large. Your main concern is the content.
Keep a lot to write about
The quintessential killer of most digital magazines is a lack of content. Many will aspire to launch their site and run it for 3-4 months before they finally tire of the process and give up entirely.
The amount of knowledge you already have on the subject is irrelevant. With so much information available at the click of a button, even an hour is enough to research and increase your knowledge. The true defining factor is your passion for researching these topics and writing about them.
If you lack passion, you will light up through your writing. When you pick a niche, you’re in it for the long haul, so make sure it’s a topic you can’t really lose interest in. A good way to start is by limiting a list to your 2 or 3 main topics.
Follow this by creating a sub-list of 20 to 40 article headlines that you can write about for each topic. If you’re confident that you can’t find even 20 potential starters, then you know that’s not your best option. This activity is twofold, not only does it help you define your niche, but it also gives you a great starting point for writing 20+ articles.
Plan your growth strategy
An imperative part of launching a digital magazine is understanding how you will gain readers. The old adage of “build it and they will come” doesn’t really work in this sense. A little marketing strategy can go a long way in just a few months.
Google is the best place to start. Research similar communities related to your niche and check out their user base. You may consider registering an account on forums or networks and meeting new contacts with similar interests.
Not only are these communities great places to start networking and building a small following, but you can also find people who are willing to write for your magazine. It can be tiring to keep up with new posts day after day. Knowing that you have others of similar interest to complete for a few days will create a relaxing peace of mind.
Using social media
Websites like Digg and StumbleUpon have made it easier for little ones to market and grow a small following. Create an account for yourself on all popular social news and sharing websites. Give them a try, see if any draw your attention to the marketing potential.
It would not be reasonable to run accounts on more than 30 networks and trade between all of them. Find out which web applications have the most suitable structure and audience for your magazine and stick to them. Social media is a vast and deep ocean to fully explore.
Building a powerful presence in these communities also helps with branding. Creating a magazine brand is part of the marketing process and it is critical that your name and avatar are recognized by your visitors on all of their online profiles.
Imagine your perfect design
You don’t have to be a professional web designer to visualize a powerful blog theme (but it doesn’t hurt). A fun way to get started with a design is to browse the web for blogs or similar websites related to your niche. Pick and choose the items you like and make a collective list with backlinks to each individual site for future reference.
If you know Photoshop or have the money to hire a professional designer, I always recommend creating a custom design. However, in the early days of a magazine launch, it is not essential to have a brand. Keep your ideas written on what your ideal design would look like, and if you can’t launch it, plan to get creative in a few months after knowing all this blogging is for you.
Borrowing items from physical design magazines. Inspiration doesn’t need to come directly from the internet just because that’s your medium of choice. In fact, physical magazine trends can easily carry over into the digital world.
Another simple exercise you can consider is checking your local bookstore or newsstand. Most places like Borders or Barnes & Noble have open chairs. You can sit and flick through magazines without buying them. You may want to bring a small notebook to jot down ideas, as you will not bring the physical copy home.
Part II: Stay tuned.
These are just a few items to consider before launching an online magazine. In Part 2 of this series, we’ll take an in-depth look at the writing and editing process that comes with magazine-style blogging. We’ll also go over some tips to stay motivated and on track toward your goals.
It’s a tough battle, but with a deeper focus on writing and marketing techniques, it’s a shrewd business plan.
Final words: Creating and Running a Profitable Online Magazine, Part I
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