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How to Start a Magazine in 6 Steps
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How to Start a Magazine in 6 Steps
The process of starting a magazine isn't much more difficult than you believe. I've started several magazines myself and successfully published them for a number of years. Don't be fooled, it's not easy, but if you can comply with a few important requirements you will be able to get your magazine off of the starting point. What are the key needs? 1) You'll need money to make this happen. Each business that starts needs funds and magazines are no different. How much will you require? It's as little as a few hundred dollars will work (not including your printing costs) to put your first issue to the streets and/or news stands. For a planned higher-end book, you will need thousands of dollars depending on the market you're going into and how large you will be at the start. The trick is to acquire the knowledge you need to publish and then do the job yourself rather than hire staff in an office in addition to payroll (I will discuss the skills needed in a minute and will go over cash in a moment). 2) Tools - at a minimum, one high-end computer capable of running the software you will need (Adobe InDesign, and at a minimum Adobe Photoshop), a top digital SLR camera such as that of the Nikon D50 which runs about $700, a mobile and a dependable vehicle. 3) The ability to market - Magazines large and small run off of advertisements , and yours will be no different. I cannot stress enough how important it is to The complete seo have a sound sales plan in place prior to when you embark on this venture. I will discuss more aspects of selling in the coming weeks. 4.) Creativity - You can't exist without offering something fresh to your readers in a stylish package and, for that, being creative is vital. Step 1 - Design the Framework You may think you know the type of magazine you'd like to make, but you'll need to build a fundamental framework. Choose the name of your magazine carefullyand make sure you're not violating anyone's trademark by searching for trademarks in the US trademark database. Your website's domain name is another thing to think about when selecting your name. Look for domains with open names that correspond to your magazine's name as closely as you can. It is okay to use a few sudo-odd takes on domains for magazines like magazinenameonline.com or magazine-name.com. Register your domain and then contact the web development company you prefer to work with to begin working to create your magazine's brand new website. I personally prefer 22 Creative as they specialize in websites for magazines. Your website does not need to be spectacular right out of the gate it just needs to be professional and clearly outlines who you are and the subject matter your book's subject matter is - you can expect to invest anywhere between a few hundred dollars up to thousands of dollars here. A website is an important element of this process, however you shouldn't skip over this step. Now that you have an identity and a website What's next? Find out what you're planning to feature in your first issue by writing out an editorial outline. It's a fancy title, but in reality simply write down what you want to feature what you want to include, the amount of pages you'd like to dedicate to each item , as well as how many pages for ads you want to stash away (this will be dependent on the number of ads you sell for your inaugural issue). What should the pages of your magazine contain? Two factors are in play here. One is the cost of printing the magazine since it is more expensive to print a larger magazine evidently, the other is the editorial size. or do you want to create? There is no need for 100 pages in the first time around, so it is dependent on what competitors are up to you should aim for 50 pages for a lifestyle or local magazine, and 90+ pages for magazines you plan to distribute on national news stands. Step #2 - It's Time to Produce Content Contrary to popular belief, you do not need an army of 'journalists' to publish the first edition. I've created content for numerous magazines by myself or with the assistance only a handful of people. It's really not that difficult. Start with the first item in your editorial outline. Create your first draft be sure to adhere to basic guidelines for writing editorial (Google search for it to find tons of help). Ask your friends to read the text and give their honest opinions. Did you lose the reader's interest at any time? Are your facts correct? Do you have any typos? A photograph can be more than a thousand words. People enjoy pictures, large colourful pictures, and lots of them. Choose how many photos you need for the piece and whether or not you're able to capture the images yourself , or if you'll need to purchase them or license images from a stock image service. If you can take them yourself, head out and begin snapping. Photograph clear, well-lit images and take lots of them. You don't want to have to go back and shoot something again because you missed the image you wanted. Also, use a camera that can take 300dpi pictures, smaller resolution images won't be effective and may appear pixilated when you are putting them together - there is nothing less professional than photos with low resolution in magazines. Remember if you have any people featured in your photos ask them to sign a "model release" which allows you to use their photo within your magazine. If you need to buy an image from a stock photography website, ensure you purchase a 300dpi photo suitable for printing. You can expect to pay anywhere between $3 to $10 per photo, if you encounter websites that charge more, you would be overpaying. After you've got your editorial , rest on it, and read it again. Is it good? How many magazines have read that all recite the same boring 'electronics functions of iPhones and some silly whatever which not many people are concerned about? Lots. You must have fresh ideas for you to be able to read issues 2, 3, 54, etc. Step 3 - Begin Selling Ads Yesterday New publishers are often caught in the trap of focusing only on the artistic aspect of the magazine and not on the sales. As an independent publisher, you need to wear both hats. Begin by creating a media kit for the new magazine. Media kits are two pages printed that act as the magazine's resume including all the specifics about who your publication is for, the number of copies you print, the methods you use to distribute it, what ads you offer and how much in addition to other information. In the beginning , most of your sales won't be due to your media kit. This is simply a crucial thing to present to potential advertisers. I could go on and on about ways to sell ads for new magazines but if you read it, you would have to send me a pretty big check as that is very much a secret to everyone working in the field. What I can tell you is to start with a strategy; call on advertisers that fit with your magazine. It's a waste of time to try to make an advertisement for Budweiser in the case of a new magazine that is about quilting . It's not happening. Consider yourself in the owner's position, would you ever think about it? Now is not the time to become rich fast. It is important to sell your ads to pay for the expenses and perhaps recoup your investment . Live. It is important to price your offering in real terms. To get an idea of the real-world costs, determine what other magazines in your area are charging. Do not be too low on your prices, however, trust in the value of your magazine - giving it away for free almost guarantees its future failure. I have heard of a magazine that kept throwing cash at itself, and then began to launch in new markets and not becoming profitable in one, and to appear successful they offered up their ads. A couple years later and it is common knowledge in the media buying industry that nobody will ever pay for advertising in this magazine ever. If a potential advertiser claims they'd like to purchase the magazine for less than what you'd like to offer it for then you should decline them and come back to them in a few months time you can prove a stronger value to justify your rate card.  

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