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.
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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