Running an eCommerce business is fun, but it’s also tough. One of the toughest parts, I find, is the advertising of my company. With everything being website-based, I depend on things like SEO and pay per click to grow my sales. Other businesses working in the online-only retail space have higher advertising budgets, so they can buy better keywords and invite high-profile celebrities to promote products to their customers. My business simply couldn’t compete on their terms, so I had to be smarter.
This is why I started to look at how to create online magazine. I’d seen the benefit of using webpage-based publications for other eCommerce businesses and I wanted a piece of the action. What I discovered about create online magazine is going to blow you away.
Not only could I create online magazine that looked super-professional, I could tailor the magazine’s content to promote my products too. But that’s not the best part. By selling advertising space in my publications, I could make a secondary income for my business too.
I’ve had such a successful experience with this, I want to help you create online magazine too. You’re going to be seriously impressed with how easy it is.
Before you can create online magazine…
I must stress that there are a few distinct parts to cover before we can get into how to create online magazine. It’s not enough to simply require your business to be advertised better; you need to know that your niche or area can support a magazine from your business.
First off, check to see if there are already successful online magazines in your niche. You can do this by browsing your competitors website, or by looking at any of the online bookshelf space to see if there is something similar. Perhaps there is, but you can do it better? Or maybe there’s nobody trying to create online magazine for your niche yet?
Next, you need to decide on a money model. You can look to sell advertising space, which will cover some of the costs incurred when you create online magazine. You could also sell access to the magazine, but it may be an idea to offer it for free, at least initially.
Think about where your content will come from in order to create online magazine. Will you take submissions from guest writers, or will you generate your own content yourself? If you’re expecting to get subscriptions from your online magazine to create income, the content needs to be amazing!
Of course, to create online magazine doesn’t always have to be for financial gain. Some magazine publishers are simply advertising their businesses, but in a subtle, non-aggressive manner. By building a following of loyal fans, you can begin to become a local expert in your niche, offering articles which deal with your customers’ specific needs and questions.
Why do you want to create online magazine?
Now that you have some idea of how your magazine will work, it’s time to set some goals for your online publication. Magazines serve a variety of purposes, which can include things like:
· Marketing: One of the most powerful ways to promote your company and network in your industry is by running a good magazine. Your customers can get to know your company and you can add value to the customer experience with your insightful articles.
· Relationship building: By sharing a magazine, you can begin to build trust with your audience. Getting social shares from your readers will help expand your readership and get your magazine in front of more people too.
· Thought leadership: Nothing will blow the competition out of the water better than research heavy, unique articles published in your very own magazine. If you want your audience to know you’re an expert, this is the way to go.
· Additional revenue: If your target is to generate more income, then an online magazine can be a valuable strategy to adopt. As well as helping with your marketing, you can begin developing paying subscribers when you plan and offer really valuable content.
I found it helpful to brainstorm why we wanted to create online magazine with the rest of my team, as they all had their own type of input to add. We developed a mission statement based on the outcome of this, which meant our magazine’s purpose was much clearer.
I’ll offer our mission statement as a working example:
“To build our brand and develop trust with our customers, to place us as a leading influencer in our niche”
Of course, your mission statement will look nothing like this. You can include anything you like in your goals for your magazine, whether financial, brand building or otherwise. Make sure you include your statement in your overall plan for your magazine, so that wherever your business takes it, you’ve still got your eye on the prize.
Interestingly, you’ll noting that there was no mention of income or of how we would generate revenue from our magazine. Actually, that was never a goal for us. But, eventually we realized it was so easy to sell advertising in our magazine, it made sense to publish it with an advertising strategy in place too.
Building your magazine
Hopefully you’ve already started to formulate a plan for your business magazine, but you’re not quite ready for launch just yet. You’ll need some good support around you to create online magazine on a regular basis, so ensure you’ve filled all your requirements with great people too.
If you can’t afford to hire more staff, or you can’t spare anyone who already works for you, you can offer positions to volunteers or interns to work as writers for the magazines. Freelance writers can be a good source of expertise to consider too and can be more manageable from a budgetary point of view.
Now you’ve got your staff, you’ve finished determining your aims and you’re raring to go. Barring any surprise events or unforeseeable issues, I think we can dive in and start developing a plan to How to create online magazine.
How to create online magazine that your readers will love?
Taking into account the digital nature of your publication, you’re already going to be enjoying huge savings compared with printed media. By producing a magazine-dedicated to the online world, you can establish your place on the bookshelves without the huge overheads of traditional print publications.
Eventually you’ll find advertising brings in money, which you can allocate back into the magazine. This sort of rolling economy will make the magazine self-sustaining, so as long as your forecasting stays in line with your budget, you can afford to spend a little cash on making it really good.
Even if you’re starting small, getting to grips with what readers want is going to be crucial. And perhaps it’s not what you think! We missed the point at first, but subsequently managed to get to grips with the differences between printed and online magazines.
Here’s what I learned people want from your magazine:
· Responsiveness: Initially we started making magazines online by producing a PDF, but that was a mistake. If you’re serious about making an income in financial terms, you need to understand that readers want to see your magazine on all types of screen sizes. Having a responsive design which displays well on everything from smartphones to PCs is the only way to generate real love for your magazine.
· Interactivity: Digital magazine publications might start simple, due to money constraints, but in the long run they can be as exciting as your imagination lets them. Including interactive elements can determine a deeper level of engagement from your audience, so it’s worth freeing up some budget to establish videos, audio and hyperlinks in your magazine.
· Accuracy: When you put content online, even if you’re just starting out, mistakes must be eliminated. When it comes to your magazine, your readers/subscribers will immediately become semi-professional proofreaders. Every typo in your magazine will be picked up by the market, so make sure you employ actual members of staff who can get rid of these before publication.
· Shareability: If you’re answering questions and dealing with specific issues for your readers, they’re going to want the ability to contact their friends and share your magazines with them. Make sure you build in an app or similar to let them find and connect to social networks such as Facebook, as this is the fastest way for you to grow your audience.
Of course, Google need to be considered with any online publication such as a magazine too. Make sure you establish good SEO practices, as this will help new people to find you in the search results. If you’re not sure how to do this, having a conversation with an SEO guru could be very informative
Putting all this into practice is sure to bring about an excellent result for your magazine-could you manage to do it all? I offer you this information to learn from my mistakes, because as much as I planned and prepared, similar information just wasn’t available before I made my first magazine-especially the part about small mistakes.
Thankfully, now I have invested in an amazing editor who checks my copy via email before I publish. She picks out my typos and politely critiques my work; I value her advice immensely. If there’s one key thing for you to take away before you make your magazines, it’s to make sure you have established some amazing work colleagues around you… it will save you so much time and stress!
Top tools to help you create online magazine
Before you get your work submitted for review by your editor, you’ll need to make sure your magazine’s well presented to serve to your readers. Thankfully I (and my lovely team of volunteer writers, freelance editors and in-house copywriters) have found lots of magazine apps online which can help you do this, often for free.
Here are our top picks of magazine publishing tools for you and your staff to enjoy:
· Issuu: If you’re looking for a large, well established provider with a focus on digital magazine publishing, Issuu is one to try. You can add content directly to the software, and they will host any type of magazine in their online ‘bookshelf’. Organized by topics, their 80 million users can search for magazine content and discover yours there.
· Canva: If you need to plan a specific page, or you simply want to nail an awesome cover for your content, this online tool lets you create gorgeous, modern designs easily. With in built graphics, fonts, layouts and templates, this is one of my favorite tools for making new artwork.
· FlipHTML5: I’d never heard of this, but the reviews were good, so I thought I’d try it out for my literary publication, and actually it’s amazing. Used by small and large publishers of magazines, this software lets you create interactive flipping page news publications or magazines and is a firm favorite with the international publishers community. With online templates for published magazines built in, it’s easy to create online magazine even for a beginner.
· Madmagz: I loved that MadMagz has templates for all sorts of genres, making it easy to publish a magazine of any kind with just a few clicks. If you can’t decide on a magazine design, there’s plenty of inspiration to be found here.
· Magzter: When you’re done with the specifics of planning and laying out your magazine, you’re going to need an online place to promote it too. If, like me, you harbor a vision of being a creative genius, then this service captures the spirit of your entrepreneurial dreams. Magzter hosts magazines, books and newspapers from all over the industry, providing access to a constant stream of readers. Your publication could be rubbing shoulders with on trend magazines like Hello! or ELLE, making this the perfect place for growing your reading audience.
One thing we can all agree on is that the online world and technology in general advances at a blistering rate. The result is that businesses like ours need a presence online that focusses on developing our expertise in our chosen genre. Magazines in any format can help us do that.
Print media which is traditionally published in hard copy can make entering the world of magazines very expensive. But with the online contentcommunity just a few clicks away, creating a magazine that your audience will love has never been easier.
From designbuilding your layout to adding it to your website, there’s a tool online for every aspect of your magazine’s development. And you’d be surprised how much magazinesetting software out there is actually free to use too!
So now we’re done with the specifics, it’s time for you to go off and start planning your amazing magazine. I’d love it if you hop back online and show me what you create when you’re done. Happy publishing!