What to consider for starting your own magazine. If you want to distribute a message, or stimulate the development of a new community, starting a magazine is one of the best ways to do it. But if you’re not familiar with the process for developing a magazine, or the potential benefits of following it, you may feel a bit lost at the beginning stages of this path.

In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of starting your own magazine – and the reasons why you should seriously consider doing it.

The Process

The process of starting a magazine usually looks something like this:

·       Get the idea. First, you need some sort of idea to service the foundation of your efforts. What is your magazine going to be about? How is it going to be different from other magazines in this area? What types of content are you going to provide to your readers? And how are you going to make money so you can continue the project?

·       Find the printer. If your magazine will be printed, you need to find a printer. Ideally, you’ll choose one with relatively low prices, so you can save money on printing, but this shouldn’t come at the expense of quality. Content is the main reason people want to read magazines, but investing in quality can make your content immediately more appealing to more people.

·       Develop the content. With that settled, you’ll be ready to start developing the content. Depending on the nature of your magazine, this could mean writing and producing much of the content yourself, collecting it from a team of other content creators, or even hiring internal staff members to write, curate, and edit content. It all depends on your vision and your goals.

·       Polish a distribution strategy. How do you get your magazine in front of people who will want to buy and read it? You’ll need some kind of distribution strategy in place. For printed magazines, you can consider hitting up local businesses and seeing if they would be willing to advertise or sell your content on your behalf. You can also sell subscriptions and mail out new copies as they become available. For digital magazines, there are countless distribution options, and many of them are inexpensive.

Why Start Your Own Magazine?

Why should you start your own magazine?

These are some of the most common motivations.

1.       Profit. It’s tempting to think of magazine publication as a dying industry, but it still represents $165.80 billion of annual revenue. If you can establish a reliable base of consistent subscribers, this can turn into a kind of passive revenue stream for you. You can also make money from your magazine in other ways, such as selling advertising space, selling specific products and services, and earning revenue from affiliate sales. Since the cost of producing the content will remain about the same, there’s significant room for scaling up profitability.

2.       Raising awareness. Some people are interested in starting a magazine so they can raise awareness of a specific topic or concern. For example, you might start a magazine to circulate to people who are interested in starting a new political party or to people who are passionate about solving a specific problem in the world.

3.       Building a community. Printing and distributing a magazine could also be a reliable way to build up a community, especially if that magazine is distributed in only one specific geographic location. These smaller scale operations may not be as profitable, but they can be a great way to keep people in touch with what’s going on at the ground level.

4.       Motivating action. Do you want people to take a specific action? You might be able to convince them to do that if your magazine is sufficiently persuasive. For example, you might print a magazine that’s all about vegetarianism, prompting people to live a vegetarian or vegetarian-adjacent lifestyle.

5.       Developing a portfolio. Your magazine can serve as an excellent addition to your writing portfolio. If you’re interested in building your career as a writer, starting your own magazine and making it a success can improve your capabilities. Of course, if your magazine is successful enough, you might abandon your original career aspirations and focus on improving profitability.

6.       Earning recognition. Some people like the idea of starting a magazine because it gives them an opportunity during recognition. If you’ve always been passionate about a specific cause, this is your chance to make a name of yourself and champion that cause. If you’ve always wanted more admiration for your writing skills, this could be your path to doing it.

7.       Engaging with your audience in a new way. There are many good reasons to want to engage with an audience, whether you’re trying to inform, entertain, or persuade them. These days, there is no shortage of channels or options for reaching people, but magazines allow you to engage with people in a fundamentally different way. It could be a novel addition to your suite of communication channels.

As you can see, there are many good reasons why you should start a magazine, and it’s perfectly fine to start a magazine for no identifiable reason at all. What matters is that you have some kind of philosophy or plan to anchor your strategy and help you make more effective decisions as your magazine initiative develops.