What is Required to Start an Online Magazine?
There are many wonderful online magazines. Most of them started with a passion and a dream. Add a good plan to that mix and you have the makings for a successful magazine. Here’s what you need to get started:
A topic or niche that you’re interested in. What will your magazine be about? It can be about anything from mobile technology to women’s rock climbing. The key is to choose a specialized topic that is currently not being covered by other magazines. It’s also important to be interested in your topic. Your enthusiasm will help bring others to the project. It’ll also transfer into your articles. Your readers will enjoy your magazine more if you enjoy the topic you’re writing on.
A plan. This is important. There are several questions you want the answers to before you move too far into the project. Who is your audience? What is your magazine about? How will you tell people about your magazine? Who will write the content? Who will lay out your magazine? Who will design the cover? Who will sell advertising space? How much will you charge for subscriptions?
A website. In addition to delivering your magazine via email it’s a good idea to have a website. (You can also print your magazine but it will cost more. This means you’ll want to make sure you sell enough advertising space to cover the print cost.) Provide different content on your website than you do in your magazine. Also use the website to promote the magazine.
Sales, promotion and profits. Many online magazines are completely free. The publisher, you, makes money by selling advertising space. You may also make money with a few affiliate endorsements. For example, if you have a magazine about mobile technology you might become an affiliate for Verizon. Each new customer you send to Verizon earns a commission for you. Tread carefully here. Readers want to feel like they’re getting an unbiased content, not a marketing piece.
You can also charge a subscription for your magazine. If you do this, consider giving the first one away for free. Once readers see how great your magazine is, they’ll be happy to pay the subscription.
A team. If you plan on doing all the work for your first few issues that’s fine. However, it is recommended that you find a few people to write some of the articles. It helps with the credibility of the magazine if you’re not the only writer. Your first issue may go out without any paid advertising.
Consider becoming an affiliate for a few companies in your industry. Use their banner advertisements to work as place holders until you have paid advertisers. The transition for your readers will be seamless. And you might earn a little extra affiliate income in the process.