Making a magazine is exciting and a lot of fun. It helps in exploring your creativity and at the same time brings in a lifetime achievement. The reason to embark on this priceless journey might be any, you might want to express your ideas, make connections, feed your soul or maybe grow your business. Otherwise, it can altogether be a different one, entirely personal to you. Well, whatever the reason may be, the aim is one, to publish a winning magazine that makes way to the readers’ brain and heart in a compelling way. All that you need to do in such a case is to have a flair for artistic imagination and blazing curiosity.
To get your magazine up and running, we’ve put together a few steps. Working through them demand some time and perseverance, but all these efforts will be worth it when you succeed in your magazine publishing mission and receive the audience’s overwhelming response.
STEP 1: Get Started and Organize
Gather all the inspiration you need to make your own magazine. To begin, you need to strategize, produce content around the chosen theme, meet the expectations of a target audience, and meet deadlines.
- Focus on a theme: Gone are those days when there was a single monthly magazine having a monopoly in the market. These days, consumers are flooded with choices and they want to consume quality content that makes their read worthwhile. Thus, indulge in a detailed research on the taste and liking of your audience and serve them with the content type they want to read and appreciate. Your theme should be the right amalgamation of what your ideal readers’ choices are and what your own interests are. During this process, get inspired by the market leaders, Ask yourself all the possible questions like what makes them stand out from the crowd? What are the things they emphasize on? What differentiates their business strategies? Based upon the theme, choose a title for your magazine which is catchy and at the same time reflects the theme of your magazine.
- Generate ideas for topics: Determine your publishing goals, whether you’re going to publish a single magazine or a series of magazines. If you’re moving ahead with publishing a series of magazines, you must assure that the chosen theme is sustainable and not limited to a few topics. Once decided, strategize accordingly and constantly search for inspiration to write upon. An idea can strike anytime, it can be while traveling or eating, or as I said anytime. Make a practice to jot down these ideas as soon as they click so as to never run out of ideas. Nurture the habit of interrogating yourself and finding answers to all whys, hows, whats, ifs, and when that crosses your mind. Based on all these idea generation and brainstorming sessions, determine what information you want to put forward and structure it into interactive stories or articles that convert readers into fans.
- Decide magazine layout: Once you’re clear about the theme, start thinking about a layout which may vary according to the type of magazine published. For example, if you’re making a science magazine, you may follow a hierarchy or a sequential pattern of putting forward the facts and figures along with supporting images, graphs, etc. Similarly, the format of a consumer magazine based on fashion tips and opinions may look different, with more liberal choices, say pictures of models spanning over a couple of pages and following a more informal way of writing. You may take inspiration from those who rule the market while choosing the right format for your magazine.
- Invite contributors: Publishing the content prepared by contributors is rewarding for both the publisher as well as the contributor. This gives contributors the opportunity to get their articles or images or other content featured in a published magazine and expand reach to a broader audience. At the same time, publishing a content written by a niche contributor adds to the brand value of a magazine and enhances credibility.
- Estimate timeline: Creating a time estimation is important for streamlining your task while creating a magazine. This may include setting up a calendar with highlighted deadlines or a flowchart mentioning major milestones, right from the day one till the final outcome. This will help you in visualizing the amount of work done and present status. It will further help you stay motivated all the while. It is also advised to keep buffer days between the major milestones so that you need not revise the timeline every now and then. Another way to keep yourself stimulated may be rewarding yourself where you may offer yourself a reward if accomplished a task in time or before the set deadline.
STEP 2: Create and Assemble Content
This step grabs a major chunk of your magazine creation process. Content creation requires other small steps like creating magazine cover content, writing great articles or stories, gathering catchy images, and more.
- Create magazine cover: A striking magazine cover attracts readers and compels them to buy the magazine. Emphasize on the look and feel of your magazine cover by choosing the write design techniques. To create an outstanding magazine cover, you can choose to design yourself or take help of detailed templates available with various online design software like Adobe InDesign which specializes in creating professional magazine cover designs. Pay attention to adding images to the magazine cover and writing supportive cover content that mentions the articles of prime importance and appealing information.
- Write columns or articles: Writing becomes easy if it delights you and propels you to write further rather than when it’s observed as a task. Maintain your own writing style and follow it all along the magazine, yet maintaining the uniqueness and interest. Select any topic to write out of the topic ideas generated in the first step.Get involved in a detailed research on that topic and consider every aspect that your readers might be interested in and want to know more about. Post-research, start creating the first draft which is unique, informative, and engaging. At this time, it is suggested to only write and remain carefree about the editing stage. After you end up writing the first draft, start revising and editing the written content. You may even take help of a professional editor if desired.
- Gather images: Images play a pivotal role in attracting magazine readers. Boost your article value by adding attractive images. Place your content wrapped around the images, span these images over two pages, or devise a new way of adding images. The source of these images can be any, you can capture them yourselves, purchase, or get licensed images from a third party. It is advised not to use any unlicensed images that may cost you in future. If you’re creating a digital magazine, you may add other interactive features like videos, popups, 360-degree view, audio, and many more.
After creation, It becomes essential to put together your magazine content or other sources at one place and assemble them together in a pre-decided format. This requires to align your cover page or articles with relevant images and result into an attractive copy.
STEP 3: Publish and Distribute
You can freely choose the preferred platform to publish and distribute your magazine. On completing this step, you gain the freedom to reach users and entice them to buy all the upcoming issues or subscribe to your magazine.
- Publish: With the availability of many options in the market, you can choose to print at home if you’re publishing on a small scale. Or you may take help of professional publishers to print thousands of copies of your magazine. If desired you can set up your own printing machine, but that’ll require more efforts and resources. In addition, you can quickly publish your magazine on the web or in the form of an app, it’s your choice to supplement your print copy with a digital magazine or only go digital. For publishing a digital magazine, numerous capable platforms are available that help you reach out to the target audience and create a positive impact.
- Distribute: If published in print, you can distribute your magazine to various local stores and deliver them to distant places as well with the help of other publishers providing service assistance for the same. If published through digital mediums like a browser or an app, it gives you an instant advantage to reach the target audience irrespective of where they stay. If having a digital device and an internet connection, they can simply download and go through your magazine’s issue. With increasing online readers, many publishers have augmented their print issues with simultaneous digital publications, some have adopted the practice to publish only digital magazines, while some have switched from the print to digital.
Having published your magazine successfully, you may even choose to take up marketing activities from the comfort of your home. For this, you may send out free copies to your subscribers, display digital ads, or integrate the traditional marketing and digital marketing techniques to grab the benefits of both practices.
With all the steps discussed above, it becomes a way easier to get started. What’s your take on this? Are you ready to publish your own magazine and that too by staying at your own home?