Are you considering switching your print publication to a digital magazine format? Or, are you wondering how to start an online magazine from scratch?
According to research by PwC, the newspaper and magazine publishing industry has seen a consistent decline in revenue over the past decades. As readers turn away from print publications in favor of online content, the drop in sales shows no sign of letting up in the future.
It’s not all doom and gloom. There is an opportunity to make digital magazines successful for your business. It’s not merely about surviving in the competition industry, it’s about thriving in the new digital market.
Either way, it’s important to check out our money making tips to make sure you’re on the right path towards generating revenue for your magazine. Let’s go!
1. Know Your Readers
The first way to answer how to start an online magazine is by knowing your readers. It’s essential to know your readers so that you can produce content that they actually want to read. Many magazines either don’t know their audience, or they have a confused and mistaken impression of who reads their magazine.
Discovering information about your readership in print publications is expensive and time-consuming. The advantage of online publications is that you can find out this information much easier with tools like Google Analytics.
Do you want to find out where your readers come from? Check out the geo-location.
Do you wonder how people find out about your magazine? Look at your traffic sources.
Has a specific article been successful or a failure? You can find out traffic information too.
This kind of data is priceless because it allows you to produce content that grabs the attention of your readers.
2. The Power of Social Media
How to start an online magazine can begin by realising the power of social media. Growing your readership in the age before the internet was a slow and gradual process over many years. Many of the most established newspapers and magazines have been around for hundreds of years.
Nowadays, it’s much easier to drive traffic to your magazine’s website and generate revenue in a few months from nothing. Social media is definitely one of the most important ways of reaching out to your audience.
There are so many social media platforms from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to Snapchat. If you know your readers, you should also know which kind of social media network they’re more likely to use.
You should concentrate your efforts on getting followers, ‘likes’ and directing traffic from your social media to your digital magazine. You can post your articles, news updates and other posts on your social media. This way your followers can ‘share’ your posts with other followers giving you an even wider reach.
The goal is to become an influencer on social media within your niche. This allows you to cultivate your brand image as an authoritative source on your subject of expertise and interest.
3. Multiple Platforms
A few years ago, cell phones overtook desktop computer as the most common source of internet traffic. The trend for people accessing the internet across multiple platforms is increasing with the emergence of smartwatches, tablets, and other devices.
This means that it’s important to have a smartphone user-friendly website. According to research, over half of users will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load on their smartphone.
But it’s not just about providing users with a user-friendly experience on your website. That’s why you need to allow access to your digital magazine through apps too. Just having a website isn’t enough in the digital age.
4. Experiment with Blogs
Switching from a print publication to a digital version is a radical change for many established magazines. It might seem like a terrifying business risk. But it’s important to take risks to ensure you stay ahead of the game and keep being successful.
You can also dip your toes into the digital arena by starting an online blog. This allows you to continue with your print publication while experimenting with different formats, topics, and tone for your blog. Plus, this way you can also build up an online audience for your content.
5. Promote a Package
The revenue streams with a print publication are always limited. You have the people who purchase the print magazine and the advertising revenue. However, there are many ways of making money from digital magazines.
It’s important to promote a package of benefits and products to your subscribers. If you already have a print publication, it’s often not necessary to completely ditch it to take up a digital version. You can promote them together or separately as a part of your package.
Many magazines offer the three subscription options of print-only, digital-only, or both. The ‘both option’ is always the most expensive.
It could be that your readership is mixed between people who want a print version and readers who only want to read your magazine on their smartphone.
You can also bring a specific focus to your digital magazine that doesn’t exist in your print magazine. Or, maybe you can produce other types of content, such as Youtube videos or podcasts. You could even arrange branded events or merchandise.
6. Online Ads
In addition to your revenue from subscriptions, you can also generate revenue through online ads. The advantage of a digital magazine is that there are many more types of ads. Unlike with print publications, you don’t have to charge according to space on the page.
Instead, the pricing system depends on the kind of advert and how interactive it is. This can range from embedded videos, hyperlinks to other websites or audio clips. This also allows you to reach out to smaller businesses that can’t afford to pay for images or videos, but they can pay for a small in-text ad.
How to Start an Online Magazine
With our list of money making tips, you know how to start an online magazine. There are many benefits of switching from a dying industry to a thriving new media.
If you want to find out more about digital magazines, we can help you to produce your magazine online. Check out our affordable prices here.