How to Start a Magazine Company

Producing any type of magazine entails some basic groundwork. For starters, you have to decide whether you would want an ink and paper magazine, an e-zine or a combination of both. How often do you want to produce your magazine? You also have to learn the distinction of magazine staff and their assigned roles. Who is your target audience, and how much is your allotted budget?

It has been said that producing a magazine is a thankless job, and that adage has been proven true on so many levels or reality.

starting a magazine business

Magazine publishing has evolved steadily over the years, more so in this era of desktop publishing. What may have been an acceptable practice 10, 20, 30 years ago is hardly practiced now. What may have been a taboo subject back then is fair game now. As you may know, there are many kinds of magazines in the market these days. What you want to write about, or publish is a matter of personal and professional interest.

In this time and age, perhaps the first thing you should consider is what kind of publication are you aiming for? Is it an ink and paper publication? Is it an e-zine type? Or would you want both? An ink and paper publication will definitely cost more than the e-zine magazine, especially if you consider other variables like ink, paper, printing costs, mode of distribution, etc. However, a functional e-zine magazine also has costs regarding website building, domain hosting, updating pages and directories, etc. You also have to decide on how often would you want to produce your magazines in a given amount of time: would you want it weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, etc.?

If you want to have a go at magazine publication, you have to remember the assigned roles for your staff. You should know the differences in assignments and tasks regarding your publisher, your editor, your art director, your circulation manager, your PR manager, your website developer, etc. Although many small scale magazine companies have extremely limited staff, the distinction between roles should still be evident professionally. An editor cannot function effectively as editor if he or she has to do all the lay-outing, advertising, magazine delivering, bottle washing, window washing, baby sitting – you get the picture?

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You also have to have a clear idea as to who your target audience is. Knowing the demographic of your potential market is one the most essential keys to a magazine’s success. If you are aiming to publish a wedding-related magazine, you cannot hope to capture the interest of everyone. Most likely, your target market would be a reading audience of professional women between the ages of 20 and above.

By knowing who your intended audience is, you can now start on how to present your magazine in its final form. What is the lay-out you would want for your wedding magazine, for example? Certainly not cartoon-ish, certainly not outright literary, certainly not too flashy in garish colors in a spunk and punk type; most likely, your intended audience would prefer something feminine and not too loud.

Of course, like all businesses with the intention of making money, you need to shell out money first. The allotted budget dictates a lot of things for your magazine, and may even change your prior plans for publication. If you have a large budget, an office space may be in the works; if not, a room with two or three computers for your e-zine may work fine. The number of magazine outputs per issue is also based on your budget, as with the number of people you can actually hire.

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133 Comments

  • Mwansa chileshe said on March 16, 2009
    hi, i am thinking of setting up a mobile phone service provider business in zambia then later expand to central and southern africa. what set of equipment do i need to acquire and from where? how do i start? its like MTN or Zain such business.
  • lakshay said on April 10, 2009
    Hey, thanks for the info. Can you please help me and what software should i use to create a magazine. Do you need to pay to start up a business?
  • eke said on May 25, 2009
    i ll like to start up this biz.
  • suleiman A S said on May 26, 2009
    hi, please i want to set up a veterinary related magazine. how do i go about it.
  • Sandie said on May 27, 2009
    my question is the same as the person in number 2!
  • Melinda said on June 10, 2009
    I want to know what staff do I need to start a magazine company the basics of it. How do I do the advertising and get subscribers globally.
  • Franklin Appiah said on June 28, 2009
    What Advice can u give me in the choice of papers to use for a magazine?
  • Benito Alisah said on July 10, 2009
    What advice can you give me on how to start a magazine business targeted at basic school people?
  • Brandon Sinnott said on July 20, 2009
    What advice can you give me on how to start a magazine business targeted at Teens and Young Adults and what software i would need and where to buy it?
  • Korupt said on July 22, 2009
    Hi, Am thinking of setting up a small office(magazine project). But I would love if you let me know of Equipments and other materials used for start. Thank you
  • Eyah said on August 19, 2009
    Hi, how can i put up my business plan on how to run my magazine. i am about setting up on fashion, music, lifestyle and other tips on entertainment
  • mihli said on August 21, 2009
    there are any funds available for people who want to run a magazine company?
  • mihli said on August 21, 2009
    is it possible to start a magazine that will specialize in political issues and what are the procedures you need to follow when you are starting that company?
  • NS said on September 18, 2009
    Firstly you can start your magazine via issuu.com and sell advertising on there too. When you have enough money then you could start the printed version. Although it takes quite a lot of work to get a high quality magazine get going. I'm only a 1 person team but have managed to get 5 magazines going but that's because I have a wide area of skills in design and journalism. Good luck everyone. Search GOOGLE for all your questions, i can tell you 100% of your questions will be answered.
  • sam said on September 23, 2009
    If anyone needs a designer for there magazine I can do it and set up the whole design of the magazine. Contact me regards it.
  • joy said on September 28, 2009
    hello Sam, my name is Joy, I am interested in your service. Contact me at joynessafjones@yahoo.com
  • justin batiste said on October 14, 2009
    please send me info. about how to start a magazine my e mail is jbatiste27@yahoo.com thanx
  • keji said on October 30, 2009
    Hello sam i am interested in your service. email me on morek306@yahoo.co.uk
  • andre said on November 19, 2009
    Black history Magazine on people, inventions, speeches, pictures and many more things that deals with history of our ancestors that a lot of young and so older dont work and many more survive experience that were pass down from generations to generations that have been over looked or just forgot. Sumter sc
  • k.c said on November 20, 2009
    trying to get started. what do i need to get it going? As far as equipment. email.. castkenneth@gmail.com
  • OKA said on December 5, 2009
    Joy can you send me ur cv to okizinglobalservices@gmail.com we are starting a new magazine soon and we need great graphics designers will you be one of them then send ur cv and samples of ur work fast.
  • Alyssa said on December 9, 2009
    Hi, I'm Starting an online SpanGlish music magazine. We Should all start out something together and from there start our own project if you like my idea please send me an email oyetodomusik@live.com
  • Penny said on December 10, 2009
    Covington, Georgia, U.S.A. I would like to start a magazine business, any tips for me?
  • Jane said on December 11, 2009
    How do I do it?
  • Sharon Smith said on December 29, 2009
    Ontario, Canada. Wanting to start a different magazine. ???
  • John Kayode-Abusi said on January 5, 2010
    Sam, magazine designer you ought to have drop ur email. i need ur service contact me on john@kahfitconsulting.com
  • ncumisa said on January 16, 2010
    Hi, i just wanna know which form of company or type of business would best suit a magazine, eg cc, cooperation, partnership, etc
  • ALIVE Mag said on January 23, 2010
    I have established a publication and have clients that I assist in the development and implementation of their publications. If you need assistance starting your publication, contact me via email - editor@alivemagonline.com.
  • faith akunne said on March 26, 2010
    my location is lagos nigeria, please i want to start a classified magazine, please help me, send me an email faithakunne@yahoo.com
  • Mzwa said on March 29, 2010
    Hi, my friend and i have that wild idea of owning magazine company, the catch is we don't have a clue how to start.
  • Shaya Johnson said on April 14, 2010
    Hiyah! I'm starting up my career about Magazines. It actually runs in the family, Everyone has got a company. while I want to start my own. Thank you very much for the information.
  • Kayleigh said on April 17, 2010
    Hi, If there is anyone who is able to give me some advise on how they went about starting their magazine or publication I would greatly appreciate it. I am studying for a diploma in subediting at the moment and would like to put this into my own business. Thanks in advance for any help.
  • natasha said on April 22, 2010
    i want to start a magazine company, should i start to open a media company or what?
  • David said on April 30, 2010
    Hi, my friend and i want to start our own magazine company but we do not have a clue of how to start in Lagos nigeria. i would greatly appreciate your help.
  • Damion Cuyler said on May 18, 2010
    I have ventured into the magazine field and it is a journey like no other. The status and the invites to all the spots. Everyone wants to be noticed!!! I have very affordable printing if you are interested please email me and get your issues estimated with the top quality in the industry
  • Irondina said on May 26, 2010
    Hello, I would like to start a magazine in Luanda, Angola, but do not know how to start? Would appreciate if you could give me some help
  • lola said on June 3, 2010
    lagos, nigeria, we are starting a magazine for young women/girls in nigeria, we got funds and a lot of ideas which we would love to implement with the help of professionals, if u re interested contact me @ lola_ruth@yahoo.com
  • RichMedia said on June 27, 2010
    If u need to design ur magazine feel very free to contact me @ rkeyzee@yahoo.com
  • onochie said on July 3, 2010
    I just got started, I have a pilot edition out already but I need to know more about designs.
  • marlena austin said on July 19, 2010
    Hey Sam my name is marlena and I am interested in your services please contact (586) 222-4526 or email
  • James Pulliam said on August 14, 2010
    What software will I need 2 start a Magazine company at home
  • ali haule said on August 24, 2010
    what software will i need to start a magazine company at home. any one can help me please
  • Victor Tsyamba said on September 7, 2010
    Contact me if you are interested in investing in magazines business that would make you as little as $12,000 monthly and upwards. I assist from setup to implementation stages until you are profitable. Do not gamble, talk to someone who has been there and done it. My phone number is +250788605750 and email is couponsrwanda@gmail.com or couponsrwanda@yahoo.com.
  • Su FashionEditor Larcinese said on September 24, 2010
    Howell, Michigan. Looking to start an online Fashion Magazine, how do I become successful on such a low budget starting out? Until the dough comes rolling in I am limited on money I can spend, I plan on hiring interns, but quality people will only last so long on such a small budget help!
  • James Pulliam said on September 26, 2010
    Will you please tell me what kind of software I need to start a magazine company. Could you also give me advice on what type of paper to use
  • NISHANK said on September 28, 2010
    i want start the magazine, selling it free of cost and earning through advertisement. can anyone advise me is it a good business plan or not? Waiting for prompt reply.
  • silas d. gyar said on September 28, 2010
    i like to start a magazine but have limited or no idea so far. pls assist with any useful tips on this.thanks
  • ukahi tiana said on October 11, 2010
    hi,please i need tips on how to start up my own women's magazine. thanks
  • marissa broderick said on October 12, 2010
    hi....i am a graduate fashion student, that is teaming up with some graphic graduate students...we want to start a magazine..but need some guidance..please could you email me..marissa_brodo@hotmail.com
  • Victor Tsyamba said on October 28, 2010
    I really appreciate all who have send in their inquiries to do with the magazine business. I have helped 3 people who are now in their 3rd issues and they are doing well believing that by the sixth month they should be breaking even. I would like to state that I do charge a minimum of $30 per hour for consulting depending on mode of interaction. Thank you
  • samuel hamilton said on November 9, 2010
    I want to start a fashion magazine in Tampa FL
  • rasaq taiwo said on November 9, 2010
    what advice can you give me on how to start a public relation magazine targeted at sport, politics, but mostly focus on publiciting individuals that has contrribute to community development. from lagos
  • themba said on November 27, 2010
    Public Magazine, focuses mainly on christians. i have relevant background but I'm very ambitious that it would be a success.
  • Adryana said on December 1, 2010
    If someone needs a layout designer DTP for their magazine/newspaper I can do it. Contact me regards it.
  • Elizabeth Hooper said on January 20, 2011
    Hello to everyone I'm interested in starting a magazine for christians and nonbeliever to one day inspire them to believe.. Can anybody help me out so i can start. Please email me at ehooper2714@yahoo.com
  • danyielle whitten said on January 26, 2011
    columbia,sc US. My sister and I are trying to get a solid foundation on how to start a magazine...whats the first thing to do? We are into music and local artists and are magazine want to be based on the career building and the success of musicians, artists, etc in the southern area if anyone can help us please contact me danyiellewhitten@yahoo.com, your advise is greatly appreciated.
  • EKEM E. GODFREY said on February 1, 2011
    want to run a free distribution magzine company, but donot know how to go about it, pls advice me. apart from getting a local content i still need international content to make distribution outside Nigeria.
  • christinarh said on February 14, 2011
    hi i want to set up a funeral magazine company in the whole of Africa and i want some one to help me in financial and material sponsorship. tank u
  • oyetayo bola said on February 25, 2011
    I WANT TO START A YOUTH MAGAZINE COMPANY IN OGUN STATE NIGERIA WHICH ALREADY EXIST IN LAGOS NIGERIA. I REALLY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PUBLICITY AND MARKETING STRATEGY IN OGUN STATE.
  • Privilege said on March 12, 2011
    Hi m in harare zimbabwe and would like to set up a magazine co . However I am inexperienced and never been in any related field . Can you help me with a plan .
  • Ayanleke Olayemi said on March 21, 2011
    I want to start publishing five different types of magazine across Nigeria. I intend to be distributing the magazine to my targeted audience for free, hoping to make money through advert. Please contact me on how to go about this. OLAYEMI, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Atubi Obatarhe said on April 17, 2011
    Please very very urgent. Am from Delta State, Warri, Nigeria. How many staff do i need in my start up magazine company? How do i have a rapid sales?How do i form good partnership? How do i purchase a vehicle for distribution and a good office? How do I form an effective sales team? How many staffs do i need in start up magazine company? How much can i pay as salary in Nigeria currency? My magazine is been publish once in every two months time.email: obatarheatubi@yahoo.com. 08066586780. Thanks a million times.
  • Cav said on April 27, 2011
    I run a magazine presently, the name is Connect Africa Magazine. It's very difficult to create and run a magazine especially at the early stage, but if you are strong enough to stand the test, it can be profitable and will take you to places. Contact me if you need advise- contact@theconnectonline.net
  • jeremiah yange said on June 1, 2011
    i want to set up a magazine company, what are the job description for members of staff and the machines i will need?
  • Masterartist said on June 14, 2011
    If anyone needs help with there online presentation rather it be a magazine, blogsite, website, business, books, ect., I am willing to extend my hand to helping you market and/or advertise. You can contact me at design@mycompanymatters.com. Please mention that you learned of this offer from here. I am willing to do small services for free. I am a passionate designer/graphic artist/animator. Goodluck to everyone and their success.
  • Aza Nedhari beginner adviser said on June 21, 2011
    Takoma Park, MD US. I have experience as an editor of a social justice newspaper in which I served as the editor, did lay-out which I built from scratch, graphic designer and photojournalist. I am currently editing and proofreading a book for a raw food chef. If anyone needs assistance in these areas let me know. ms.nedhari@gmail.com

    ms.nedhari@gmail.com

  • Destinnie Pace said on June 27, 2011
    Houston,TX US. I am in the beginning stages of starting up my magazine. It will be a little bit of both online and print. I am a little curious on how I should set up the business side of it. I know about DBAs, but should I be setting this up as a publishing company that's putting out a magazine?
  • claire said on July 13, 2011
    hi my husband is a sales person and he is very good works for a top company we are looking to start up a new magazine in sports how do we go about this?? who do we contact??
  • chizy said on July 22, 2011
    Hi i own an online blog, do people make money from blogs? and how? I want to start a quarterly Nigerian fashion, entertainment and gossip magazine but i need to hire someone most preferably based in Nigeria (as i am in UK), who know about the industry eg start up cost in Nigeria, marketing, getting sponsors, printing, editing etc - CONTACT: chizy_k@yahoo.com
  • ISAAC said on August 22, 2011
    how do i start a newspaper company in zambia that can offer balanced news for pur society, who can help coz am a qualified journalist
  • Lou said on September 11, 2011
    I'm in Ohio in the US. I first started to write and photograph events, then it led to newsletters for churches then, newspapers and Magazines. I've been the solitary owner because I outsourced my work. I am also working on my latest publication on North Coast Entrepreneur magazine - It's on how to start your own newspaper or magazine. I can be reached at NorthCoastMagazines@gmail.com
  • Ash the Art Girl said on September 29, 2011
    James Pulliam to produce a magazines the best software is adobe in design however you could use Adobe photoshop for layout as well and if your tight on cash this could help because you will need photoshop to edit the photos in the magazine so this can work but in design is the best, and id you want to put it online thats a whole another thing. Claire you first need the means of printing then contact the the department of revenue, the department of personnel, and the department of better business; then you'll need to just get some contacts in the sports world and a good photographer. I can help a lot of you I am a graphic designer and I know a lot about this stuff, so give me a email at abeamer91@yahoo.com
  • Adebayo Francis said on October 19, 2011
    CITY PULSE Magazine, Lagos - Nigeria. +234 703 9091674. Writing, planning and publishing of magazine is no big deal. All you need is focus, ample cash to sustain your first 4-5 editions before you can start talking about competing with existing newspapers or magazines in circulation. Magazine production is not something you rush into. You have to be convinced it is something you are cut out for, other wise don't stress yourself. Depending on what you want to report - ENTERTAINMENT, SPORTS, CRIME, FASHION OR LIFESTYLE - you need good sources of news. These may include the internet, social media but local contents, if you are into entertainment, start visiting every nite clubs or entertainment centres you know to get updates on showbiz and events. Also, see if one or two people can link you up with celebrities in your locality. For sports, visit local sports arena, national stadia, various sports association and of course, the internet and you re on. For crime, go to your Police Headquarters, there are centres meant for press, just register with them and submit your media profile to show you re not fake. Same thing applies to Judiciary. In the area of page planning, Adobe pagemakers or Corel Draw are the most flexible of all programmes to use. If you don't know how to use them, get enrolled somewhere and learn. Alternative, you can visit a good graphics or business centre where your pages will planned for you at a fee. After then, take it to any news press or printing shops to print your magazines - sometimes the papers used could be artpaper (the glossy type), bond paper or news print (which conventional newspapers employ), you decide what you want. I guess that kind of answer most of the questions raised on this page. In terms of capital base, you can start small with about N250,000 (In Nigeria), $1,000 elsewhere. However, if you have further questions, link me up on folfrad@yahoo.com or facebook.com/Adebayo CityPulse Francis. Ciao!
  • lasaki ismail abodunrin said on November 16, 2011
    hello i need some one who can design a magazine this magazine it's a campus magazine we want to publish this magazine by December 30 lagos island; lagos state ; nigeria 08020950448
  • martin prijatna said on December 14, 2011
    Hi, My question about writing a magazine article, how do you get a permission for copying other people's writing? Is there a law regarding this? Am I getting sued if I were to put someone's article in my magazine? Please share your knowledge. Thank you.
  • francis Arinze said on January 2, 2012
    Hi everyone I'm francis and new to this site. I find this ideas interesting. All I wanna know is for someone to help me with a partnership link or sponsorship link to get my magazine published by the first quarter of this year 2012 any one with a useful link should contact me on cosfranco2000@yahoo.com or 07037368100 SMS only God bless us all
  • aelsa said on January 3, 2012
    which is better for forming a magazine company ? llc or a corporation
  • Lateef Salvador Oshinowo said on January 9, 2012
    Please can I be sent some tips to think about in relation to this article. How to build a magazine
  • kb said on February 25, 2012
    abuja. Please i am in need of an editor now. please call 08094544224.
  • cammy said on March 17, 2012
    please advise me what would be a nice idea to start up a magazine business in south africa, durban amongst the indian community. we dont have anything like this so i thought it would be a good idea.. please advise how to go about it
  • Raphael said on March 25, 2012
    I am Raphael from Ghana. I am designing a community magazine which i know will sell very much. I Have designed a hard copy sample and soft copy sample online. I need funding for production or partnership. The idea this magazine is big. email: raphaddo@gmail.com. mobile: +233 547475969. Any interested person should contact me for more discussion. Thanks
  • Athat El-haj said on April 4, 2012
    hey this is Athar 24 years old jerusalem city isreal am PHOTOGRAPHIC and am thinking to start a magazine company in jerusalem and it will be the farm one cuz we dont have a arabic magazine until now all of them in hebrue. so the only problem for us is the cash i dont know how much we need to start it until now ? hope it work thank you
  • norwood hurst said on May 5, 2012
    I wanna start a political magazine at home. I don't have the necessary funds to start. How do I get corporate sponsorship?
  • Joel Melekwe said on June 7, 2012
    hello please i do need advice on how to start my own magazine i do need help and advice on how to go about it...
  • KC said on August 16, 2012
    I just commenced a city magazine publishing in the southern Nigeria and would need a vibrant Editor and a graphic designer. Any interest Should call me on +2348138654261.
  • colz said on August 20, 2012
    hi, i would want to start a 20 page bridal mag for monthly publication. The problem is i am an accountant and dont know anything about publication but the size should be half of A4 paper, what basic machines do i need, thanx
  • Taiwo Olagunju said on August 31, 2012
    I am a business entrepreneur; located in Johannesburg, South Africa. I want to know how to set up a sports Magazine and what do I need to put in place? Thanks. Yours, Success +2774 707 5793
  • Elnaz said on September 7, 2012
    Hello, anybody living in Malaysia who be interested start up magazine in Health & Beauty? I registered the company and looking for a partner, send me email pls: elnazjazaiery@yahoo.com
  • Sharon said on September 14, 2012
    I would like to start a magazine aimed at empowering girls. how do i go about it? i'm located in Bulawayo Zimbabwe
  • Ben said on October 1, 2012
    I'm base in lagos Nigeria, i want to start a magazine company. What do i need to do and what is it going to cost me as a starter plz i need your help
  • Egeh Patrick said on October 6, 2012
    I am in need of magazine distributors in Nigeria who will distribute my magazine nation-wide call me on +2347035491656
  • prasanth said on October 12, 2012
    am frm india, planning to launch a magazine by feb 2013, seeking cover page editors, contact me at gangulaprasanth99@gmail.com or 919092497752
  • suzen said on October 22, 2012
    hi , i am starting my own magazine, kindly like to find out what type of equipment i am going to need
  • steve said on October 27, 2012
    am from nigeria and wish to start of a magazine, i need help on the basic requirements and procedures. u can mail me on ejekesteve@gmail.com
  • Albert Theo Sidumo Butana Williams said on November 12, 2012
    Hi I'm based in Cape Town South Africa and would like to get a brief overview of how distribution to retail works especially when it its a magazine, I do have a few ideas from a sales perspective but limited experience. I'm still doing research since I'm planning a Hip Hop Magazine in a ethnic Language. Send me an email on williamsalbert6@gmail.com or contact me on +27726952278
  • J.E Joshua said on November 21, 2012
    Please we want to know how many staff we need to start up a magazine firm and the basic of it. We will like to know more about publicity and marketing strategy?
    Which kind of camera do we need for perfect coverage and for inter view?
    Are the magazine distributors in Nigeria?
    Is there any association we’ll need to join to enable us be recognized?
    How many copies do we need to start up with?
    How can we get investors?
    Is there any association our journalists need to join to enable them flow with news?
    Please we need a fast responds because we are almost out,
  • Solomon said on November 21, 2012
    hi everyone. i would also like to start my own local magazine, i need advise on how South African formalities.
  • Audu moses Igoche said on December 5, 2012
    Hi! Thank you for this site. My location is Nigeria, i want to establish a magazine company that will cover the whole of Africa. My question is how do i start and what is the minimum capital to start with. And i intend to use life history of people to motivate my audience is there any implication on this?
  • dr charles dossou said on January 15, 2013
    I am a business entrepreneur, located in Cotonou, Republic of Benin. I want to know how to set up a small scale magazine with biased in crime. What do I need to put in place?
  • abhay said on January 19, 2013
    hi @suzen, please mail me at abhay.offers01@gmail.com, I am planning the same as you. Abhay

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