Starting a magazine is not as hard as you would think. I have started several myself and successfully published them for years. Make no mistake, it is hard work, but if you can meet a few key requirements you can get your magazine off the ground.
What are those few key requirements?
1) You need some money to do this – Every business start up needs some capital and magazines are no different. How much do you need? As little as a few hundred dollars will work (not including your printing costs) to get your first issue on the streets and/or news stands. For a projected higher end book, you will need thousands of dollars dependent on what market you are entering and how big you are going right off the bat. The key will be to learn the skills you need to publish and do the tasks yourself rather than hire an office full of workers and payroll (I will hit on those skills in a minute and talk more about cash in a minute).
2) Equipment – At least one good computer capable of operating the various software you will need (Adobe InDesign and at least Adobe Photoshop), a good digital SLR camera like the Nikon D50 which runs about $750, a phone and a dependable vehicle.
3) The ability to sell – Magazines big and small run off of advertisements and yours will be no different. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a solid sales strategy in place before you take on this project. I will talk more about selling further along.
4) Creativity – You can’t survive without offering something new to your readers in an attractive package and for this being creative is a necessity.
Step #1 – Develop the Framework
You probably have an idea of what type of magazine you want to publish but from here you need to construct some basic framework. Pick a name for your magazine carefully, make sure you are not stepping on anyone’s trademark by searching the US trademark database.
Your website’s domain name is also something to consider when choosing your name. Search for open domains that match your magazine’s name as closely as possible. It is okay to use a few sudo-odd takes on domains for magazines like magazinenameonline.com or magazine-name.com. Register your domain and contact a web development company that you like to start work on your magazine’s new website. I personally like 22 Creative as they specialize in websites for magazines. Your website does not need to be awesome right out of the gate, just something professional that is clear about who you are and what your book is about – expect to spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands here. A website is an essential part of this process though, do not skip out on this one.
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