First things first, kudos on finding the perfect business idea, and deciding on taking it to the next level. Moving on, you must be surrounded by a pool of questions about how to start, where to start, what to use, and so on. Well, the good news is: you have landed at the right place. We have put together a guide for digital magazine publishing that will touch base as well as highlight everything needed to start your online magazine.
Excited? Let’s get started.
But First, What is an Online Magazine?
Yes, we know the web is loaded with definitions and articles that revolve around online magazines, but, believe it or not, the confusion regarding what constitutes an online magazine still prevails.
Known by different names such as ezine, cyberzine, and/or webzine, an online magazine is a digital version of a print magazine that can be read on your web browser, smartphone, or tablet. According to Wikipedia, “an online magazine is a digital version of a print magazine that you can read in your web browser, on a tablet, or on your smartphone. It shares some features with a blog and also with online newspapers, but can usually be distinguished by its approach to editorial control.”
Online magazines or digital magazines, as you would like to call it as virtually all digital magazines are now online, do best to replicate the print experience – without having to cut down trees or pay high printing costs. With attractive front/back covers, engaging images, informative articles/interviews, these magazines offer a pool of functionalities that promote a seamless reading experience.
Types of Digital Magazines
Thanks to the ever-emerging digital publishing technology, online magazines, today, can be found in numerous formats. From standalone publications on the web to native apps to subscription services, they can be accessed anywhere, anytime – whether you are relaxing on your couch or traveling to work.
How To Start Your Online Magazine?
Before we get down to the tips for digital magazine publishing or perhaps the steps, it is important to know whether creating your own magazine is worth the effort.
- According to Statista, U.S. e-publishing revenue peaked at 7.19 billion dollars in 2016 and is expected to reach 8.88 billion by 2022.
- Another report by Statista projects that the revenue in the digital newspapers & magazines segment will reach US$32,537m in 2021.
Well, we do have an answer, don’t we?
It’s time to get your online magazine published. Let’s go through the three-stage guide.
1. Develop your business plan
Before you start writing for your magazine, it’s important to craft a business plan. What we mean is, you must know your mission, objective, and the way to achieve them.
Further, ask yourself some questions, including:
- What is my magazine based on or what is my magazine’s concept?
- Which topics should I cover and focus on?
- Who is my target audience? What type of content are they looking for?
- Whether you will paywall?
- How much will the magazine cost?
2. Analyse your competitors
Regardless of the business niche, competition is inevitable. You will find numerous magazines, both online and offline, with a topic similar to yours. Your job is to analyze those, see what your competitors have already covered, and come up with ideas that will help you stand apart. Further, this will considerably help you in bridging the gaps and grabbing new opportunities while meeting the market’s needs.
3. Build a team
Starting an online magazine is easier said than done. It isn’t a one-man job but requires teamwork. Once you are clear with the concept and competitors, focus on building a team to divide the workload and make way for faster, efficient delivery. We have mentioned a few roles that you might want to consider.
- Writer: A good magazine is all about engaging and informative content, and you need proficient writers for the same. You could either hire trusted authors or reach out to freelancers with your requirements. Either way, be clear of your expectations, requirements, and offerings.
- Editor: No matter how good your content is, you always need a pair of eyes to scrutinize for the final yay or nay, and this is what an editor does. They reinforce certain editorial content standards to ensure consistency, quality, and ultimately a cohesive content piece.
- Designer: along with being informative, a digital magazine must be visually appealing. This is one of the factors that draw the attention of readers and promotes an interactive reading experience. Make sure you have an experienced designer by your side who can provide creative, appealing graphics as per your content.
- Sales: In case your magazine is featuring advertisements, you must hire a sales manager who can communicate with the advertisers (who are paying for space in your magazine) and solve their queries. This will, in turn, enhance relationships and maximize profits.
- Marketing: Having a marketing manager by your side is critical to the success of your magazine. You must advertise your magazine through the right channels so that it can reach the right audience at the right time.
During Production: Creation & Collaboration
Once you are done with the planning and conceptualization, it’s time to move to content creation and collaboration.
4. Content creation
It’s finally time to create the content for your magazine – whether in the form of short stories or articles – as per your preference and plan. At this stage, you have got to move from conceptualization to pitching, and from researching to drafting.
5. Editing and Proofreading
Once you have drafted your content, it’s time for it to undergo quality checks. Far more than the tone and style, a rigorous check must be done to eliminate any kind of factual errors, typos, or grammatical mistakes. This must be done to enhance the quality of the write-up and its effectiveness.
No wonder, an online magazine must be visually appealing and engaging – a factor that contributes to newspapers, blogs vs interactive digital magazines. Although newspapers or blogs also provide information, magazines, in particular, are known for their visually appealing nature. Make sure your designer creates graphics that fall in line with your content, engages readers, and keeps them hooked.
7. Make a blueprint and digitize
Before you publish and digitize your magazine using any digital publishing technology it’s important to have a final version where everything is locked into place without any scope for errors. Take a final look, and start sharing it with your audience. Keep in mind that different publishers/reading apps have certain standards when it comes to the file size or type; make sure you are well-aware of those and adhere accordingly.
8. Build your online presence
Your work doesn’t end with the launch; it must keep going. You must create your online presence and go over and beyond social media channels. Build a community of people who are looking for your content – ones who share the same interests or values as of your magazine – and reach them.
This is completely your call. You need to strike the right balance between free and paid content. You could start by sharing free content or excerpts on your blog and set up a subscription (price) for people who want to issue the magazine.
10. You are finally there
After all the hard work, you have finally created and started your online magazine and taken the route to sustainable growth and success.
Over To You
Thanks to the ever-growing demand for interactive, high-quality content, digital publishing is more popular than ever – and it is only going to grow. It’s your turn to grab the opportunity and serve your audience what they want. After all, your business’s ultimate goal is to reach your customers, and online magazines do no less.
If you need a partner to walk you through, SunTec Digital is right here. Our team works in close coordination with you, understands your business requirements, and delivers solutions that work in your favour. The team, further, combines advanced digital publishing technology, skills, and experience to create a single publishing workflow that allows your content to be distributed and monetized across multiple platforms, delivering a unified brand experience to your readers.
1. Are online magazines profitable?
Yes. Online magazines can generate a significant amount of revenue via ads or subscription fees.
2. Does Word offer a magazine template?
Yes. Word offers a magazine template with a masthead, table of contents, and multiple slides for articles as well as images.
3. Can I make an online magazine for free? How?
Yes, you can use any online magazine creator tool and create your magazine for free. However, you still have to pay the domain fee to host it.
Should I hire experts for my magazine?
Experts make your job easy and effective at the same time. When you hire experts, they ensure your magazine reaches the maximum number of people and delivers a smooth reading experience. Get in touch with magazine publishing experts at SunTec Digital for more details.