So, you would like to start a new magazine?

Dean Cook

by Dean Cook, June 9, 2016
Category: Blog,   Tags: cost to design a magazine, create online magazine, developing a magazine, feasibility study, first issue, how do you publishing a magazine, how much does it cost to publish a magazine, how much to publish a magazine, how to publish a magazine, magazine advertising rates, magazine costs, price to create a magazine, publish a new magazine, start a magazine, start a new magazine, what is magazine design,

Why are you here? Intrigued to find out the real costs to start a new magazine, or hoping to launch a magazine on a zero budget? There is a wealth on information on our website, so let’s start by investing your time.

For an independent magazine to be successful, and to attract advertising, it requires three key things to be in place. Firstly, it has to have its own identity, look good and offer quality content. Secondly, ‘The reader is King’, so has to be satisfied. Lastly, the magazine has to reach your advertisers’ potential clients.

The principal of all sales is, firstly understanding the customers’ needs and secondly, fulfilling them.

Advertising is the life blood of most magazines, so when starting a new publication, you have to understand what a company is looking for before it decides how to spend its advertising budget.

Nine out of 10 new magazines fail before their fourth issue (surprised?). Almost every failure is because of inadequate prior research. The excitement of rushing to get the first issue out, before having undertaken full and proper research, is the worst mistake any new publisher can make…and it’s always the most costly. You should prepare a feasibility study to ascertain the risks. Click here for more information.

Research doesn’t have to be arduous nor costly but it does need to be carried out with thought and consideration way before the first magazine goes to print. You should cover the following points:

  • Will I be able to reach sufficient readers?
  • How will it be distributed? (distribution area: geographic, demographics and method).
  • What would be the optimum number of pages?
  • How often should it be published (frequency)?
  • Will it be manageable with limited resources?
  • Can I draw up a business plan?
  • How is it to be funded, and would there be sufficient cash flow?
  • Will it be profitable? (Allowing for the bottom end of expectation)
  • Will advertisers support it?
  • Would the advertising rates be cost effective to attract the smaller businesses?

The first issue sets the standard. It has to be as near perfect as it reasonably can. It is the benchmark of future issues so the more research you do now, the greater your understanding of the risk will be. This will give you the benefit to tweak the plan way before you start to work on your first issue. Do the figures stack up?

A key is to produce enough copies to reach sufficient readers whilst keeping advertising rates at a cost effective level to attract the smallest of businesses compared to other mediums, such a designing, printing and distributing leaflets.


The value of advertising

We are often asked, ‘how much should I charge for advertising?’ The answer is of course different every time depending on the cost to publish and distribute it.  You do need to set the rates – however, it is important to be flexible because if a company like British Airways is prepared to advertise but offers to pay half the price then take it and jump for joy because recognised and respectable brands attract other advertisers.

To engage with potential advertisers here are five facts from The Association of Magazine Media why advertising in magazines work:

  • Engagement
    Magazines continue to score higher than TV or the internet.
  • Trust
    Consumers trust and believe magazines and embrace advertising as a part of the brand experience.
  • Action
    Magazines are motivating. More than 60% of print magazine readers took action as a result of an advert. Digital ads also drive response.
  • Valued content
    Readers have a positive attitude towards advertising in magazines and provides useful information.
  • Influence
    Magazine readers are more likely than users of other media to influence friends and family on product purchases in every shopping segment.

So, while you’re here, let’s look at magazine production for first time publishers. Click here.

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