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Tips for Creating Your Own Magazine

Posted on: July 5th, 2012 by No Comments

Anyone can make a magazine. You don’t need a license or any special degree. You just need a little bit of money for printing and probably a bit more to pay your writers. Here are some tips for creating your own magazine, from brainstorming to distribution.

1. Choose a Topic

This may seem like a no-brainer to some, but it’s still worth mentioning. Why? Because a magazine that lacks focus is sure to be tossed to the side quicker than you can say “table of contents.” Choose your magazine’s theme and stick to it. For example, if you decide to publish a magazine about golf, don’t plan to include anything about water skiing in your mag. Snacks for golfers, exercises to improve a golf game, fashion for golfers, and high-end golf carts, on the other hand, would all fit in well.

2. Plan Your Magazine

Figure out the number of pages you plan to print and how many can be allocated for articles and photos, and how many for advertising. For example, if you are printing a 32-page magazine, think about how much of that you are willing to dedicate to ad space. If you plan on parting with 10 pages for ads, the remaining 22 pages must also include a cover page, table of contents, and maybe some index pages as well.

3. Plan Your Content

If you have 18 pages of actual content to work with, think about how many stories you can conceivably fit in there. If your magazine focuses on short fictional stories, you may only be able to include about 6 such works or even fewer. If it’s about interior design, you may be able to feature a few one-page stories and several longer pieces as well. Try to get a sense of how many pieces you’ll need and then brainstorm potential topics. Things may change along the way, but it’s great to have a pretty firm idea before you start talking to writers.

4. Commission Some WritingCommissioning a writer

Freelance writers are always looking for work, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a few who will write some quality work for you. Be prepared to pay them a fair price for their work; most decent writers have no need to work for free or for a pittance. If quality is important to you, don’t skimp on paying your content writers. If you pay well, they will go above and beyond with their work so that you’re sure to keep them in mind when you’re putting together the next issue.

In addition, poorly written magazines are not popular. Magazines that are not popular do not attract advertisers’ attention. And since you will be relying heavily on advertising to make your magazine profitable… you get the picture. and are both examples of sites that have a huge database of freelance writers of all levels and areas of experience.

5. Approach Potential Advertisers

If you have a strong business plan for your publication, this step might be placed toward the beginning of the magazine creation process. That might actually serve you better, because you will end up with a better idea of what your budget will be for developing content.

Whenever you put your pitch together, you’ll want to find businesses that cater to your audience and then approach them about advertising with you. If you are producing a golf magazine, you don’t have to stop at golf resorts and golf equipment manufacturers; luxury car makers, airlines, spas, and other businesses that might appeal to the generally well-off golf market are all fair game. Make sure you are equipped with info on how and where you will distribute your magazine, how many copies will be printed, and what exciting content will be featured. Oh yeah, and figure out your rate. You may look at the ad rates offered by similar publications and base your rate on those. If you make the magazine sound like it will have a lot of readers in the client’s target market, advertisers will want to sign on.

lay out your magazine and print6. Lay Out Your Mag and Print

If you’re not a graphic designer, you’ll want to work with one in order to make sure everything looks perfect before you go to the presses. Be careful not to make any pages too busy or too sparse. Make your magazine easy on the eyes by keeping font size reasonable and pictures bold but not too busy. Request a proof if possible to be sure everything looks right before printing the whole lot of magazines. And of course, choose a trusted printer (like Elite Flyers) who uses quality inks and materials or all your efforts will have been for naught.

It won’t happen overnight, but being the publisher of your own magazine is definitely within your reach. Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and business contacts for help if you find you’re hitting snags along the way – every entrepreneur needs a leg up every now and again.

Contact Elite Flyers today for your magazine layout.