You know it would be a fabulous idea to have a magazine in order to promote your company’s message or even to attract advertisers but you are stumped when you pose the following questions: What the heck do I know about producing a magazine? Where do I start and what do I do? Well, believe it or not there are some easy answers thanks to today’s technology.
WHAT IS MY STARTING POINT?
The very first thing you need to do is to understand and be able to define the niche you are seeking to promote with your magazine. What is my message? What product or service will my magazine be able to promote for me? Who is my audience that I want to reach? Can I attract advertisers?
Once you have defined your audience and your message to be incorporated into your magazine start going through all of your emails, notes, writings, memos, blogs and all written materials where you have focused on your message and the benefits of your product and/or services to your specific audience. Magazines are successful when they have a defined audience, who especially have an affinity or need for your product or services. Make sure to digitize any of your writings and create an overall PDF. If you need to organize them in any fashion, Adobe Acrobat will allow you to manipulate pages by moving them around with your computer mouse.
I’VE GATHERED MY MATERIALS; WHAT NEXT?
In an era of self publishing, home businesses and the DIY (Do It Yourself) era, there are many free as well as inexpensive services that can gather your materials and automate them into a very serviceable magazine. They can take your writings and turn them into a nice looking PDF magazine that can even be suitable for magazine printing. One of them is Tabbloid, by HP, where you can add your URL or blog feed and it will email you a perfect PDF with nice design added. This is absolutely free and without any further commitment. Another one is Zinepal, which will create a print ready magazine as well as one that works for mobile devices, iPad and Kindle. With the Zinepal service you have a limited amount of pages you can produce, plus they drop their logo onto it. The paid version, will not add their logo and you can produce longer versions and have the ability to customize and edit your work.
Should you decide on hiring a professional graphic designer to layout your magazine, especially with the intention of magazine printing, you will want to make sure you have seen their work for other magazines and have a fair idea of your own regarding your layout expectations. The designer should be able to easily understand what your niche and message is as well as your audience, which would also include potential advertisers. Their work should compliment your message and be able to bring it to the next level. One important item, especially if you are intent on presenting your issue for magazine printing, would be sure the graphic designer has a clear understanding of the expectations of what is required by the commercial offset magazine printer and that their work will be “press ready”.
One of the things you will need to do is to also spend your time familiarizing yourself with the basics of commercial magazine printing. What is a signature, what are the ideal page counts, what is the best paper to use, should it be all color or just some of the pages? A quality magazine printing company, can not only make your issue look good, but can also provide you with some help regarding the answers to these questions? With today’s technology and equipment you can also produce short run magazines on the digital presses from Canon or Xerox and a very economical unit cost that you could previously only get from running larger quantities.
HOW CAN I PROMOTE MY MAGAZINE
- Social networking: LinkedIn, Face Book, Twitter
- Targeted advertising: Based on the habits of consumers in your niche
- Sponsor local events: Run an event in your area that can draw in potential local advertisers
- Offer your magazine for free
- Develop corporate partnerships: Align your magazine with a local team, charity or organization
- Ask for endorsements
ADVERTISING IN YOUR MAGAZINE
Narrow your area of distribution to keep your investment small. Stick with local companies when seeking advertising. If you have to give a couple of free ads away to start the ball rolling do so. Understand what your total per page cost is, so you know how many ads you will need to eventually break even as well as what to charge. Allow the local shop owners to include a discount coupon so that people not only have an additional reason to acquire a copy, but the advertiser will also be able to see and tabulate his return on investment in your magazine. If you are printing magazines, also be sure to have an online version so that the advertiser gets a double bang for his buck. Create a dummy issue so you can present a visual to potential advertisers. Write articles that relate to advertisers you are looking to attract.
Here are some links that you will find useful and as referred to above.
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