Nowadays, any person without an IT background, any coding or designing skills can create a website. No wonder so many people decide to start personal sites, create online portfolios and CVs, launch wedding websites, web stores, and implement their business ideas online. The great share of web resources is devoted to infotainment. If you’ve been dreaming about starting your own media, you’ve got pretty good chances to do it successfully.
Why is it a good idea?
If you think about starting a magazine, keep in mind that launching a digital version has more benefits compared to a printed one. Unlike the printed press, it will be available for millions of readers all over the globe. The accessibility influences a number of readers, which in its turn defines your income. Even if you are going to cover local news and realities, a web version will get you more followers.
Many successful magazines support original web versions that differ much from paper copies. There are no delivery delays so even a paid subscription will help to increase the loyalty level. The launch also requires lower investment. It is easier to promote for reaching the top position in search results, thanks to smart advertising, in particular. Here is how to start an online magazine as told by Weblium.
What do I need to do?
Step 1: Define your budget
You need to decide how much you can afford to spend on the promotion of your idea, so creating a budget is a must. Keep in mind that a web magazine differs from a blog. You need to invest in proper website promotion, partnership, and salaries for the team of writers. Also saving some money for unexpected circumstances.
Step 2: Create a business plan
Come up with the strategy of publication that is likely to bring your income. Start by answering some questions, which will help you create a business plan.
- What is the purpose of your magazine?
- What is its mission?
- Who is it for?
- Who are your rivals?
- Why did you choose this format and theme?
- What writers are you going to hire?
- How often are you going to publish?
- What is the method of attracting and keeping readers?
Step 3: Choose a name
Some brainstorming will help to pick a business name that reflects the mood of your magazine and sounds interesting to a target audience. The name should be attractive. It should encourage readers to open the new resource and check it out. Check whether it is free and register a domain to reserve it.
Step 4: Create a content strategy
Create a portrait of a potential reader. Besides defining your target audience, you’ll need to find out what exactly people are looking for on the web. Professionals advise creating a profile of an average reader: what life they lead, what they like, how do they spend working days and leisure, what are their values, etc.
Think about the format of the material (or rather different formats you will use). Choose the relevant topics. Use both SEO and marketing tools, it will help users to find your articles and work well for brand reputation. Prepare the scope of articles to start with.
Step 5: Look for quality content
Whether you decide to gather an in-house team, hire freelance writers, find volunteers, or look for ready articles on writing platforms, remember that readers are very demanding. They seek for useful, interesting, engaging, visually attractive, and mistake-free texts. Suggest to your readers to contribute content and publish any good material they send.
Step 6: Take care of web and graphic design
Now, it is time to pay attention to how it all will be arranged and look – from a logo and the UI/UX design to the technical requirements. In most cases, you’ll need to work on these aspects simultaneously. You can start by deciding on the colour palette, fonts, and styles of images.
Step 7: Attract readers
Now, you’ll have to deal with subscription, promotion, and similar stuff. Start with placing a form for loyal readers to sign up and send them a selection of the best articles on a weekly basis: readers will receive updates and remember about your magazine. Use social media to spread the materials, and think about cooperation with bloggers, brands, and celebrities.
Step 8: Launch it all
You may consider using a website builder to launch a web magazine as this can be an easy way to do it. On one of these, you can check out magazine templates and find options that meet your expectations in terms of design and content strategy. The chosen website builder then takes care of all the rest — hosting, technical details, SEO, further support, etc.
Website builders provide you with an experienced team with impressive portfolios and experience in web development. All templates appear in the library after investigation and analysis of UX and graphic design trends.
Is there anything else I should know?
Here are just a few more things to think about when starting an online magazine business.
- If you don’t have any relevant experience in the field, learn how the others do it. Analyse competitors and similar sites to understand how they function
- Remember that the price of a web magazine is lower compared to a printed one. This should help you when setting your prices, forecasts and expenses
- Find partners. They will help you get your name out there and give your brand exposure to their audiences
- Don’t try to do everything on your own, commit some duties and tasks to authorised service providers
- Believe in yourself and your project