Magazines are a fun way to write about things you find important. Starting your own magazine, however, requires substantial work and effort. From start to finish, you should be considering what your magazine is about, how you will create content, where to publish your magazine, and how to circulate it. Whether you dream of big-time success or small print glory, you can start your very own magazine with some time and dedication
Choose a topic. Magazines usually have a theme or topic for all of their content. A good theme is general enough for you to write plenty on but specific enough that it caters to a specific audience. Some themes have more magazines than others, and you may want to break out into your own niche. As you come up with your theme, ask yourself:
- Is this an art or literary journal? A lifestyle journal? Is it about a certain hobby or fashion? Will I be reporting news or trends?
- Do other magazines cover this topic? How could I uniquely present this topic? What makes my idea different?
- What kinds of articles could I write for this magazine?
Identify your target audience. You should determine what kind of person will be reading your magazine. By focusing on your audience, you will refine your magazine towards a specific niche. Try to determine the following:
- Who would be interested in this topic?
- Am I marketing to a specific gender, age, religion, cultural background, or sexual orientation?
- Would people in certain industries or careers be more attracted to this type of magazine?
- What kinds of concerns does this audience have?
- How would this audience relate to my magazine?
- How often would I publish this magazine? Monthly? Weekly? Every two weeks?
Research your topic. Once you know what your theme is, it is good to do some research on it. You may already know the basics, but you should know what people expect of a magazine like yours. Research can help you generate ideas, and it will help you understand what to avoid in your niche.
- What are the most recent trends, fads, gadgets, apps, and fashions that relate to my topic?
- What kinds of articles do people need or want?
- What kind of tone do I need to set for this topic? Is it a highly technical subject? Can I use humor? Does it require high academic language or casual writing
Study similar magazines. The best kind of research you can do is to look at magazines that are similar to what you to do. While you should not steal their content, you can look for inspiration. This magazine can show you what does and does not work in a print medium. You can also find out if your idea has been done before or if the market is already saturated with that type of magazine.
- You can also contact the editors of these magazines to find out what printers they use, what their costs are, and how they sell advertisements.
Define your mission statement. Write out a sentence or two that outlines what you want the purpose of your magazine to be. This statement should include who the targeted audience is and why they should read your magazine.
- For example, if you wanted to make a lifestyle magazine for young women interested in knitting, your mission statement could be: “This magazine seeks to explore the world of knitting for women 20-30 years old by fostering networks of creativity and offering the latest product reviews, fun and unique patterns, and monthly knitting contests.”
Think of a title. The title should relate to your theme. It should be fun, catchy, and memorable. Good titles tend to be one to three words. It should clearly express what your magazine is about.