So, you would like to start a new magazine?

Dean Cook

by Dean Cook, March 9, 2020
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 magazines, how much does it cost to publish a magazine, how much should I charge for advertising, how much to publish a magazine, how to publish a magazine, how to start 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: 1) Broadcast appeal and format; 2) Quality content – ‘The reader is King’, so has to be satisfied; 3) The route to market – the magazine has to reach your advertisers’ potential clients.

Comprehensive planning is sure help you steer around the pitfalls you are likely to encounter. Many magazines fail by the fourth issue purely because of inadequate groundwork or under investment. 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. Prepare a feasibility study then feel free to run it by us and see if we can shine a brighter light on your aims before you launch from the starting blocks.

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? (Mailing weight).
  • 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?
  • Can advertising rates be cost effective to attract the smallest of businesses?
  • Can I build a social media community?

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 still stack up?

Another 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 promotional activities, such as direct mail. Can you offer more added-value services, such as social media exposure to your community?

Consider a smaller, separate issue to only publish online and across social media as this will help to gain traction but also act as a signpost to your magazine. Read more about the benefits of publishing a magazine online here.

The value of advertising

The principal of all sales is 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.

We are often asked, ‘how much should I charge for advertising?’ The answer very much depends on the cost to publish and distribute it but balance it sufficiently so the price point doesn’t hinder cashflow. While setting rates is important, it is also important to be flexible; if a company like British Airways is prepared to advertise, but only offers to pay half the price, take it and jump for joy as recognised and respectable brands often attracts other advertisers and it helps to build your brand and reputation.

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 or, to view other available content, click here.

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