how to start an online magazine

The Ultimate Guide on How to Start an Online Magazine


Thinking about starting an online magazine? That’s a great idea! The digital magazine industry is growing more and more every year. In fact, from 2013 to 2018, digital magazine revenue grew by more than 19%.

But if you’re just starting, it can be hard to know where to begin.

For that reason, we created this ultimate guide all about how to start an online magazine. It has all the tips and tricks you’ll need to be successful.

Check it out below.

Pick Your Niche

The first thing you need to do when creating an online magazine is to pick your niche. Start by deciding the overall topic or theme you want to write about. Then dive deeper into it and pick a specific segment of that topic.

This will be your niche that you go after. For example, if you want to write about cars, that is your overall topic.

And a niche could be Asian import cars or European luxury models. You could even go further into depth if you want.

Since your publication will be only available online, you should also make sure it’s something people want to read. To do this, use a tool like Google Trends to see the monthly search volume for your keywords.

This will let you know if your choice is feasible or not.

Think about Your Audience

Now that you’ve decided on your niche, it’s time to think about your audience. More specifically, you should think about who is going to read your magazine and where they are going to read it.

How will your target market access your publication? Will it be through the Apple Store or Kindle? Or will you try to generate traffic to your website to get more readers?

No matter what, you should find applicable ways to market your magazine. This could be through other blogs, social media groups, or even forums. In these niche groups, you’ll be able to find people who are interested in your publication.

And if you’re going to release your magazine through the Apple App store or on Kindle through Amazon, you should learn how to optimize your rankings in those searches. That way, when people look for magazines about your topic, you will come up first.

How Will You Make Money?

Right now you might not be thinking a lot about how to monetize your magazine. But in order for it to be sustainable, it has to make money.

If you just want to write and create content without trying to earn revenue, then blogging is your best option. But if you want to create a digital magazine, then be prepared to be in business.

For most online magazines, this means selling advertising space throughout your publication. You should come up with a plan of the different sizes of ads you’ll accept and the various pricing models you’ll use for them.

Add This to Your List of Questions about How to Start an Online Magazine: Will You Have a Team?

Another thing to consider is your company structure. Will you work on your own? As you’re starting out, will you do everything yourself?

This option totally works. Obviously, it means having to wear a lot of different hats. But it also means you don’t have to pay anybody else.

The other option here is to have a team. They can be in-house or you can outsource them.

This often makes sense when you need some extra help running your magazine. You might not have the design or coding skills you need. This is a great reason to hire a team member.

Also, consider using a software like MagLoft. This will turn your PDF into a clickable interactive magazine. Learn more about them here.

Think about Your Content

The core of any magazine is the content. So prioritize this as you’re planning your publication.

If writing is one of your strengths, you could be fine writing everything for your magazine. But if you don’t want to do all of it yourself, consider utilizing guest content.

This is when other people will write content for you. Often they’re writers looking for exposure, so they’ll provide you with content in exchange for linking to their website.

Either way, make sure you make a content plan right from the beginning.

Next, Consider Design

A magazine without design isn’t a magazine at all. Graphic design is also a crucial element of your magazine.

Books and newspapers also provide information, but magazines are more of a visual medium. So think about your brand and the type of image you want to portray.

Do you want to be flashy and bold? Or conservative and elegant? Maybe clean and minimalistic?

No matter what, always prioritize the design of your magazine.

Don’t Forget about Photography

The last core element of a digital magazine is the photography. Historically, one of the things that made magazines different than other information sources was high-quality photography. And the same is true today!

For many new magazines, it’s hard to produce beautiful original photography for every single article. In these cases, it’s okay to use stock photography. But really try to limit it.

Including original photos will make your publication feel higher end and more substantial. You’ll also be able to create photos that perfectly align with your content and design to make the perfect visual masterpiece.

Put Everything Together

Now that you’ve thought through your target audience, how you’ll reach them, and the actual content of your magazine, it’s time to put everything together.

Start by sketching it out on paper. Then move to a digital version and design it on the computer. Try out different layouts and see how your copy and images work together.

Then, review everything and look for grammatical errors. Also, check for spacing issues or font inconsistencies.

At this point, you’re ready to distribute your magazine.

In need of more technical help? We can assist you.

Closing Thoughts

Well, there it is! The ultimate guide on how to start an online magazine. Take what you’ve learned here and put it to use.

Have questions? Get in touch with us today.