Did you think print media is on the verge of decline and digital is the new medium? Think again!
According to the latest data from market research, 44% of consumers (11 out of 25 people) read at least one printed magazine each month.
This number is in sharp contrast when compared to 27% – the percentage of people who usually read 1-2 digital magazines each month. This not only means there is still major demand for printed media, but also that the gap between print and digital is still quite big. Recent stats prove that many businesses are now taking the old school path by publishing their own magazine to showcase their products and services.
If you own a small business, owning a magazine and distributing it to subscribers will not only give you a wide exposure but also increase your sales. It is a fantastic way to get some more business from your target clients/customers. Also, sending your magazine to your existing clients may lead to getting more business from them.
To help get you started, this article will provide you an overview of ten actionable steps that you will need for self-publishing your own magazine and making it a success. Let’s dig right in!
Start with market research
Before you take any step in the direction of self-publishing, you should try and perform enough research in order to assess what’s the value you will generate as a business.
This step includes:
Doing competitor research
Find your main competitors in the niche you are planning to target. Be it online or in stores, you will find them. In case, you can’t find competitors, chances are there’s no market for the kind of content you want to publish.
Finding your audience
It’s important to know who will be reading your magazine. The content needs to not just appeal but to mimic their interests closely. For doing this, you will need to know much more than just their age and gender – their likes, dislikes, hobbies, and basically what really makes them tick.
Identifying your USP (unique selling point)
What demands from the audience do you think other magazines are unable to fulfill? How your magazine will achieve what they have been unable to do?
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Decide on your budget
You will need to put together a tight budget in place in order to ensure sustained growth. Once you have a clear idea of how much money you are willing to spend on this business idea, you can then plan about magazine printing and distribution, plus any additional investment that the business operations may require initially.
Run promotional marketing campaigns
A lot depends on how you promote and sell your magazine, especially in the early stages of its readership growth. You can complement the magazine with a website, where people can go and buy a subscription online.
Next, leverage social media and search engines to promote the magazine (and the website). You can target people who are in your target demographics and follow magazines (or publications) similar to yours and take it from there if you like.
Create high-quality content
Needless to say, the lifeblood of any publication is its content. Get in touch with good writers who can regularly contribute to your magazine and get a bunch of them to create some awesome content for you every single month, consistently.
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Do the ‘required’ editing
If you have executed the previous steps nicely, you will by now have a bunch of good quality articles ready to go. Start editing them but make sure you don’t completely change what the writer might have tried to present in the content. Writers are generally happy to work with a publication that doesn’t try to completely alter their articles.
Get creative with the layout
If you are new to this step, take inspiration from other magazines and notice the basic common structures they generally use in order to make the content appealing to the readers. You may need desktop publishing software and stock photos, to begin with. Or simply hire a designer and let them take care of all this for you, if your budget allows.
Get proofreading done
When it comes to printed magazines, there is no room for errors. Once you have ordered custom magazine printing and the print has gone to the press, there’s no coming back. This is why it’s recommended you do the proofreading yourself to start with, but you can always have someone (or multiple people) proofread for you.
Zero in on the right printing partner for your business
Before you look up things like “online magazine printers” or “how much to print a magazine”, it’s good to keep in mind that not all printing companies deliver the kind of service you expect when you are paying them with your hard earned money. This is why this step becomes very crucial.
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Do thorough quality checks
Keep in mind that what you see on a computer screen doesn’t always reflect the final product exactly. Of course, it will have the same layout, but the output may be different when it comes to the colors and the quality of images. So it’s recommended to use images with a 300 DPI resolution and also make sure none of the images are running off or close to the edge of a page.
Share the final draft with the printing company slightly ahead of time
It’s essential to have a schedule in mind, so you are not late for sending it to print and then running around the day before the magazine is supposed to go out for distribution. Save yourself those headaches! Also, make sure to ask for a preview before actual printing. This may eliminate any unwanted blunder.
Once your business magazine is printed, start distributing it to your target clients and existing clients. Take feedbacks from them and implement the feedbacks in your second batch of prints.