Starting and launching an online magazine is a great way to build authority in your niche and make money from your passion.

Creating a quality digital magazine takes time, effort, top-notch writing, and patience to reach the right audience.

These factors are just a fraction of what goes into growing a successful readership.

Keep reading to discover everything you’ll need to start a digital magazine and find your target audience.

What You Need to Start an Online Magazine

Running a magazine is more than just posting trending articles on a website.

You’ll need a web designer, a team of writers and editors, SEO, monetization channels, and a marketing strategy.

Read below to learn how to start an online magazine.

Domain Name and Hosting

Before starting an online magazine, you’ll need to buy hosting and domain name.

Make sure you purchase a hosting package months before you launch to make sure the name isn’t taken.

Also, if you plan to have more than one magazine or sub-publication in the future, buy the domain names now to have them available when you launch.

Website Design

When learning how to make an online magazine, you’ll go through different types of website layouts. The web design must be customized to serve the niche and purpose of your magazine, but also be easy to navigate for the readers.

For example, if you have a magazine on photography, graphic design or art, the layout should primarily showcase the photos and designs.

On the other hand, if you have a news outlet with more text than photos, the website layout should be simple, clean, and easy to read.

Avoid stuffing the pages with too much content, photos, and big fonts – this will deter the visitors and make your magazine look unprofessional.

A Topic or Niche for the Magazine

Before you start an online magazine, you need to narrow down a niche or a topic for the content.

To do this, you should analyze the current market trends and see if there’s something missing. For instance, there are so many lifestyle magazines out there, but not all of them have the same audience or quality of content. Make yours different.

Do you have knowledge or expertise in a particular topic? That might be a great niche for your magazine. As long as you provide something new to the table, you’ll attract a loyal audience.

Bear in mind that topics like world and national news, scientific research and discoveries, health and medical publications, and other sensitive topics need to be factually accurate without room for error.

Consider whether you have access to enough resources before publishing content in these niches.

Writers, Editors, and Other Team Members

Every magazine, be it print or digital, needs quality content to attract readers.

This is why when you think about how to start your magazine, you need a team of professional writers who know how to write for an online audience.

You’ll also need an editor who assigns topics and checks the quality of the articles but also helps with the marketing strategy and search engine optimization.

Next, you’ll need graphic designers to handle the visual content of the magazine, web designers to create the website, developers to manage the technical aspects, and digital marketers to develop a marketing strategy.

You should also hire publication managers, employees in HR, finances, and sales.

Remember that the people who work for you, whether in-house or freelance, are the ones who make your magazine thrive. Your job as the founder is to motivate them and help them thrive as well.

Marketing Plan

You can have the best online magazine in the world, but if you don’t have a solid marketing strategy, it won’t see the light of day.

One of your first and foremost hires should be a digital marketing specialist who will create a detailed marketing strategy for the magazine.

The marketing plan may include:

  • Social media strategy and campaigns
  • Paid advertisements on the website
  • Distribution channels (Amazon, Apple’s app store, Google store, online book/magazine retailers)
  • Publishing content
  • SEO
  • Boosting traffic
  • Building a community around the content
  • Lead generation

The marketing manager will craft a strategy based on your niche, the market research, and the target market.

Then, they’ll decide on the best tactics to break into the market. Once your readership grows, the marketing specialist will make a plan to grow the magazine’s online presence further.

Monetization Plan

Starting an online magazine is similar to starting a business – you need to make money from it to keep it moving.

This is why you can’t launch before you’ve outlined a detailed monetization plan. Make a list of all possible monetization tactics and see which would work best for your magazine.

Maybe you’ll sell ad space on your website, accept sponsored posts, use affiliate links, or put a paywall for your content.

You can also sell memberships, digital products or make your magazine subscription service.

Consider the earnings of your audience before you put a price on your products.

Higher-income readers can afford to pay a monthly fee to read your magazine, but if you want to reach broader audiences, consider lowering the price or making most of your content free.

Distribution Channels

As you start an online magazine, you’ll need to find ways and channels to reach your target audience.

The easiest way is through social media, but consider if your readers are actually there.

For example, if you’re targeting millennials, social media may be the only distribution channel you need.

But if your target market is businessmen who don’t have time to check social media, the best way to reach them is through more direct channels, i.e., email, SMS, push notifications on their phone, or mobile apps.

Ready to Start Your Digital Magazine?

If you’re looking to start an online magazine, these tips will help you learn the technical and editorial basics, but also the monetization tactics.

For more useful articles and tips, check out our blog.

If you have any questions or would like to try our online magazine plans, contact us today!