It can be challenging to capture your audience’s attention when there are so many businesses and individuals publishing blogs on virtually every subject under the sun. But if you consider yourself an authority on a specific topic, whether it be MarTech or real estate, you might be in a good position to start an online magazine business.
A digital publication on a particular topic or interest called an online magazine can make money and offer substantial archival content. Even if there are other periodicals on the topic, you might be able to provide your niche with something really important that positions you as a thought leader in your industry.
It may be the best time to think about expanding to start an online magazine, if you already produce a lot of content for blogs, whether you do it independently or for your business. What distinguishes a blog from an online magazine? A few examples are:
It takes more than just a leisure pursuit to plan, collect, edit, and publish content for a magazine with several contributors. It might even develop into a full-time job later. If you’re launching a magazine for your company, it probably needs a manager. Even if you start small, you should think about monetization alternatives if you are establishing the magazine as a business on your own so that you may concentrate on expanding the journal.
Back then, only printed magazines in hard copies were available.
The variety of textual content available today is much greater, and includes online and digital journals, blogs, news websites, applications, and more.
Although it’s easy to lump things together, there are some significant differences that are crucial to comprehend.
Any magazine that can be read on a computer, an iPad, or even a mobile device is included in this.
You can subscribe to a platform provided by native apps like Issuu, Amazon Kindle, Readly, and Zinio for a monthly or annual fee, providing you access to hundreds of digital magazines.
Distributing your magazine through a reputable app is a great way to reach a vast and diverse user base and avoid the effort of establishing your own app.
Online magazines are publications that are shared, read, and published online, publications have never had, don’t have, and never will have a print component.
Flipbook publications, which are integrated on websites, mimic the page-flipping experience of a magazine. With a little of that tactile, real-world sensation, it becomes more engaged.
Speaking of engaging your audience, creating digital magazines with the help of programs like Flipsnack is a great way to achieve it. If you include interactive elements to your publications, they will appear more enticing and keep readers interested for longer.
Include movies, virtual tours, links, commentary, GIFs, and anything else you think would interest your audience.
As the name pretty much says, they are the digital equivalents of your typical print publications.
Online and digital magazines are significantly more interactive than digital edition magazines, which are just the digital versions of their print equivalents and don’t have any bells and whistles. They do this by utilizing technology like videos and connections.
These have a responsive layout design that adapts to the screen of the device it is being viewed on instead of the more fixed appearance of a PDF or flipbook.
You must choose the type of digital magazine that is best for you now that you are aware of the various categories. This mostly relies on your objective, your financial scenario, the amount of time you have, and whether you already have a printed copy version of your magazine business.
The least expensive option is to create a PDF if cost is your primary concern. All you need is quality content and an InDesign proficient graphic designer who knows their stuff.
A flipbook (or digital duplicate) can be the ideal option for you if you already have a printed edition and want to upgrade to something slightly finer without spending a lot of money. Even free tools are available to help you with a lot of the job.
Choosing a magazine subscription app at the right time
Consider using a magazine subscription app like Kindle Newsstand or Zinio if you currently have a printed version, want to closely resemble its look and format, and want to make money from subscriptions.
If you take this option into consideration, you will have to pay a membership fee, submit your magazine to a review process before it is listed, and probably employ a developer to provide XML exports of your publication. Even then, there is no assurance that you will attract readers because you will be up against thousands of other magazines that are already published on those sites. Additionally, you should prepare to pay a portion of the subscriptions you sell.
You might think about making a native app if money isn’t an issue and you’re willing to put substantial development effort into it. This allows you a great deal of control over the user experience and offers several ways to make money, including app sales, in-app purchases, and advertising. Just keep in mind that you won’t be able to reach readers on desktop computers.
To be present on each mobile platform, you’ll need to produce a unique version. Additionally, you’ll be subject to the terms and conditions, quality control, and profit-sharing policies of Google and/or Apple. Again, there is no assurance that readers will ever find you if you don’t already have a well-established brand in the congested app store.
An HTML5 magazine is definitely the best option if you want to make the biggest possible impression but are strapped for cash. You can reach computer and mobile readers with them and provide an equally engaging reading experience without being bound by anyone else’s terms and conditions.
You don’t need to be concerned about browser compatibility because an HTML5 magazine has its own domain (like yourmagazine.com) and can be read by anyone using a current browser. Additionally, you have a great deal of design freedom, exactly like with native apps. As viewers turn pages, you may build a fluid animation and incorporate rich media, such as background videos.
Forms, overlays, frames, and embeds are all permitted in HTML5 magazines because they employ the same technology as websites, along with third-party tracking scripts and remarketing pixels.
Be careful though, as many platforms that advertise producing HTML5 magazines really produce flippable PDFs that have the same subpar mobile experiences as we previously highlighted. These are quite obvious because they frequently offer to “transform” your PDFs.
It’s time to get to the exciting part of creating an online magazine now that the administrative and behind-the-scenes tasks are under control.
Since this is the essential component of your product, it must be of the highest caliber possible to succeed.
Then again, a lot of this will depend on the kind of online magazine business you’re starting, the size of your staff, your budget, and the demographics of your target market.
Your magazine business plan will be the driving force behind keeping the content on course.
The tone of writing utilized in your articles and the kinds of writers you collaborate with will depend on the magazine’s focus, the content plan, and the intended audience.
When you have a range of contributors, style standards help keep the content consistent. They also help you connect with the audience by using a tone of voice that they can get used to.
Look at the tone, style, and length of your competitors’ articles on the topic you’ve picked for your magazine. Discover what motivates you, what’s useful, and how you’ll set yourself apart stylistically.
Give a brief description of the kind of writer you are searching for when you advertise for authors.
For instance, if your publication is a formal tech journal, you will see that you need authors who have experience with both technology and formal writing.
Once you receive the articles back, you’ll be able to identify the kind of writers you need and start compiling a database of potential contributors.
You can also find authors through freelance websites. An effective editorial staff is essential to an online magazine’s success. You must also choose the tools that you and your writers will use for producing and creating content.
Numerous SEO and grammar improvement solutions are accessible to help your magazine’s content.
When we discuss the organizational structure of a magazine, we generally refer to the parts you should include and the order in which you should arrange them – your editorial formula. Naturally, the choice you make here is heavily influenced by the kind of magazine you want to start, its purpose, and its intended readership. The good part is, there is more freedom and flexibility with a digital magazine than with a printed one.
Let’s start with the most typical sections that classic magazines almost always have.
The front and back covers, as well as the inside of the covers, which are typically used for the most expensive advertisements, make up the four “cover” pages of a traditional print magazine.
The “internal” covers, however, are identical to every other page because we’re working with digital forms. The back cover isn’t really important either because you can’t exactly grasp a digital magazine and turn it over.
The front cover is all that is left. Everyone will see this portion, and it has a significant impact on whether or not potential readers decide to open your magazine. You should consider carefully how to create it and what features it should have.
What ought to be on the front cover?
As a general guideline, your cover should be eye-catching if you want to stand out from the crowd of competitors.
You should use carefully considered and persuading fonts, images, and colors. Apart from this, the following are other very typical elements to have on a magazine cover:
Some highlights of what’s inside (Since not everyone will read every page of your publication, placing your most significant pieces on the cover may encourage more people to do so.)
Depending on the technology you’re employing, one benefit of a digital magazine is that you can utilize a full screen backdrop video for the cover rather than a still image. This is an excellent method to stand out and draw interest. Even a button to prompt readers to “keep reading” or “open the magazine” is an option.
The table of contents, the Impressum, the editor’s letter, and any reader comments or letters are all included on the pages commonly referred to as the “front of the book” in magazines.
Of course, you can decide which of them are applicable for your magazine based on your objectives and target market. Let’s quickly review each of these and provide a brief explanation.
Despite the fact that several publications in digital publishing combine this page with their cover page, this is nearly always the opening page of a magazine.
The ability to make the items in your table of contents into hyperlinks so that readers can quickly access the section that interests them is a major benefit of digital magazines.
The masthead is a page or section that lists all of the people involved in producing the magazine, including the editorial staff, marketers and content producers, designers, and other important individuals. It is typically located at the beginning of the magazine but may occasionally be placed at the back.
This section could or might not be required, depending on the kind of magazine you’re making. You might completely exclude it if you’re making a magazine that will function as a product catalogue, for instance.
Again, this will differ based on the publication’s style. The letter from the editor is typically a kind welcome that briefly summarizes the magazine’s contents, provides some crucial information, or touches on recent news.
This is frequently replaced by a letter from the CEO or human resources director in a staff magazine. In either case, it helps to humanize your publication and prevent it from coming across as a faceless corporation.
Naturally, whether or not you receive such communications will determine whether you include this section. Magazines with a sizable readership may have the luxury of selecting the most intriguing letters from among hundreds submitted.
Your featured articles are placed in this section, which is the bulk of your magazine. This should be the largest section of the document.
Variety is generally a plus in this situation. Use both lengthier and shorter articles in your writing. Combine it with articles that are pertinent to your topic, such as reviews, interviews, opinion pieces, etc. For instance, staff magazines might publish an interview with an employee of the month followed by a brief article about the goals for the following month.
It’s crucial to maintain visual distinction between your features so that readers can tell when they’ve gone from one item to the next. This distinction should be made evident by your layout and color choices, which should also make reading enjoyable.
You may incorporate more than simply text and graphics in a digital magazine. Adding more interesting content is a breeze with videos. Animated, interactive graphs and charts are common. It’s also enjoyable to experiment with overlays and popups that readers can open to view additional content. Even better, forms can be added to HTML5 magazines so you can get reader input directly on the page.
Everything else goes in the back of the book. However, that does not imply that it cannot be intriguing. Classified advertising, horoscopes, and smaller articles are common in magazines. However, a lot depends on the kind of publication.
Advertising in this section of the magazine typically costs less than in the front of the book or in the feature because it typically receives less attention.
Some publications choose to place the impresario towards the back of the book as opposed to the front. For a digital magazine, there’s an additional reason to do this: you want new readers to get access to your greatest content as soon as possible.
If you want to add contact forms or even calls-to-action (CTAs) to your magazine, the final pages can be a fantastic location to do so. If you publish a typical subscription-based magazine, don’t forget to include a contact method for prospective sponsors.
You’re probably starting an online magazine because it can generate income. A high-quality digital magazine might serve as the foundation of your content marketing plan if you are the marketing manager of a small firm. You can increase the size of your consumer base by attracting an audience. You have a number of options for monetizing your content if writing articles is your main source of income:
You can charge your audience a monthly or yearly subscription price in exchange for access, much like with print magazines. The best publishers provide a selection of subscription packages and possibilities. The top-tier all-access package can give users access to digital publications, unreleased movies, and additional stuff.
Advertising is another option to profit from your content. Because there is no barrier to reading free magazines, they frequently have a larger circulation. Some people may not be willing to pay a subscription fee for something they typically receive for free since they view the internet as a source of free knowledge. Publishing companies that don’t require subscriptions rely on advertising as their main revenue stream.
To reach the right audience, the right brands will be willing to pay well. Publishers create an environment that is conducive to marketers by building a specialized, devoted audience. They can write sponsored posts with high-quality content and references of brands or products, or they can directly include advertisements.
When a reader tries to access your content for the first time and you require a subscription to view it, they’ll probably run into a paywall. A paywall is a barrier that prevents readers from viewing your publications before paying, allowing them to rank in search engines. They can pay for a single article’s access or purchase a subscription for unlimited access.
Additionally, you can choose to have your paywall appear halfway through your magazine. Before asking them to pay to read more, this gives readers a taste of your content. Additionally, you can set the barrier to go into effect only after a specific number of issues or articles have been viewed.
It’s possible that content marketers aren’t interested in making money off of their publications. Instead, they persuade customers to purchase their goods or services by writing informative articles. Within that philosophy, a digital magazine could be considered premium content. Prospects still have free access to it, but in exchange they provide their email or other contact details. This tactic pursues a long-term goal. The marketing team now has their contact information, which they can use to send them other marketing materials, and the content itself can assist in moving them ahead in the buyer’s journey.
It takes a lot of work to launch an online magazine from the beginning.
Publishing an online magazine is labor-intensive and requires significantly more marketing strategy and work than a standard blog post or social media update on a corporate profile.
The good news is that the journey can be extremely rewarding on a personal and financial level.
The road ahead of you has the potential to be very rewarding provided you’re prepared to put in the necessary effort and adhere to a business strategy. Strap in!