If you’ve always wanted to know how to start an online magazine, this is your lucky day. We created the following guide just for you!
Online magazines are a great way to express yourself and create something that reflects your unique style and interests. Whether you’re looking to create a magazine for a hobby or start a business, this step-by-step guide will help you get started.
From choosing a topic to setting up your website to monetizing your magazine, we’ll walk you through the basics of creating an online magazine from scratch. With a bit of planning, research, and effort, you can produce a compelling publication that can reach a broad audience.
🔎 Read on to discover:
- What (really) is an online magazine?
- What are the types of magazines you can create?
- How to start an online magazine (in seven easy-to-follow steps)
Ready to learn how to start an online magazine? Let’s dive in!
What (really) is an online magazine?
An online magazine is a digital publication available exclusively on the internet. It allows readers to access content from anywhere worldwide and includes interactive features such as polls and videos.
These publications can be delivered to readers in a variety of ways, which we’ll discuss shortly.
It’s important to note that an online magazine is not a blog.
Well, digital magazines often contain more detailed and in-depth articles than blogs and tend to have a more polished and professional look.
An average reader will visit a blog searching for tutorials or how-to guides. The same reader will go to a magazine and subscribe to it in order to read specialized content and high-quality journalistic reports and studies.
What are the types of magazines you can create?
There are different types of magazines and publications you can explore:
- Subscription-based. Offer readers the option to subscribe to your magazine by paying a monthly or yearly fee. By implementing this model, you can ensure a steady income stream, but it’s crucial to maintain a regular publishing schedule to satisfy your subscribers.
- Pay-per-issue. Allow readers to purchase individual issues without committing to a full subscription. While this approach doesn’t guarantee recurring revenue, it may attract customers who prefer a more selective approach to magazine content.
- Free periodicals. Release your magazine issues for free to expand your audience reach. To monetize your work, consider incorporating advertisements, sponsorships, and product placements within the magazine.
- Freemium publications. Implement a model where a part of each issue is free, while the remainder requires payment. This strategy can generate interest in lesser-known issues and incentivize readers to invest in the full magazine experience.
Once you decide on the type of publication you want to create, it’s time to start building your magazine from idea to reality!
How to start an online magazine
You’re seven steps away from embarking on one of the most exciting digital journeys: starting an online magazine.
Let us explore the process of how to start an online magazine together!
1. Do market research and find a niche 🙋♀️
The first step to launching a successful online magazine is immersing yourself in a specific industry and researching its top players.
Let’s say you plan to build a music magazine. You’re a massive Rolling Stone and Billboard fan and want to mimic their writing and visual style while adding a personal touch to your publication.
Start by going to their sites. Study their content and understand the topics they prioritize. Re-read your favorite issues and look for topics or perspectives they don’t fully cover.
Identifying these gaps can help you find a niche or an area of specialization to build your magazine around.
2. Come up with a catchy name 💡
Your magazine’s name is essential to drive traffic to your site. It’s one of the first things people will learn about you and what they’ll type on search engines or browser bars to find your content.
An excellent magazine name should be:
- Easy to read.
- Easy to type.
- Easy to remember.
This popular business magazine has a one-word name that describes what they offer: financial news and reports. Anyone interested in business information can easily remember the word “fortune” and associate it with the finance publication.
To come up with a proper name for your magazine, you need inspiration. Yet, we all have slow days where ideas don’t flow. Sound familiar?
If you’re struggling in the naming process, use a magazine name generator. This type of AI-powered tool can help you find an original and memorable name for your digital publication. All you need to do is write a keyword in the search bar to get dozens of ideas and suggestions of catchy names.
3. Register your domain name ⌛
Once you have a name for your online magazine, it’s time to register your domain name and start setting up your site.
A domain name is like a street address. When inviting others to your house, you give them your street address, right? If you want them to visit your magazine site, you need to do the same with your domain name.
All domain names contain a website’s name plus a top-level domain (.com, .org, .net…). For example, if your magazine is called Technologieus, your domain name could be technologieus.inc or thetechnologieus.net. This is the name people will type into their browsers to go to your site.
To register your domain name, you must pick a domain registrar that meets your business needs. Several options on the market might satisfy your requirements, depending on the type of magazine you want to build and your budget.
👉 Consider using Bluehost to register your domain name straight away. Sign up and get a free domain for your first year!
4. Set up your site ⚙️
After you’ve come up with a catchy name for your magazine and registered your domain name, the next priority should be setting up your site.
We recommend using WordPress. It’s a free, easy-to-use content management system (CMS) you can utilize to build your online magazine. It also powers around 43.1% of all websites worldwide, from ecommerce stores to news publications and blogs.
The main reason why we recommend WordPress to build your online magazine is because of its user-friendly interface. You don’t need to be a tech expert to start designing and writing content. Indeed, WordPress is a no-code site builder, which means it doesn’t require coding knowledge to use it!
One of the fastest ways to install WordPress is by using the aforementioned company, Bluehost. The installation and setup process takes only a few steps. You just need to provide basic details about your site and Bluehost will walk you through the rest.
5. Choose a theme 🎨
As you continue the process of setting up your magazine, you’ll also need to choose a WordPress theme. The theme you end up selecting will set the tone and appearance of your site, so don’t take this decision lightly.
WordPress has an extensive library of thousands of themes ready to download in a matter of seconds – most of which are free. We recommend the Neve theme, which was built and is actively maintained by our developers over at Themeisle.
It’s a super-fast and highly customizable WordPress theme that’s perfect for blogs, ecommerce shops and online magazines like yours. Its lightweight design doesn’t compromise its extendability or SEO optimization, increasing your odds of ranking higher in search engine results.
6. Start planning and writing your first articles ✍️
The last step before launching your online magazine is planning and writing content.
You can map your magazine’s content for the upcoming weeks and months with a content calendar. It will help you plan and schedule everything, ensuring you have time to design, write, and edit each piece of content.
A plugin like PublishPress can help you build an editorial calendar and improve your content workflow.
Now, what type of articles may work best for your magazine? You have several options:
- One type of article is the standalone post. These articles are excellent for quickly giving readers an overview of a topic or advertising a product or service.
- Other article types include interviews, opinion pieces, reviews, and news stories. You can also make your published articles available in PDF format, which will allow your readers to download them and read them offline.
- Finally, you can create a series of articles on a particular topic, which can help build a loyal reader base.
No matter what type of online magazine article you choose to publish, it’s important to create professional and engaging content to keep your readers interested and hungry for more.
7. Monetize your magazine content 💵
Once you achieve steady content production, you’ll want to monetize it.
One way to profit from your digital publication is to offer a subscription option to your readers. This can give you a reliable income stream and also encourage user engagement.
In addition, you can offer advertising and sponsored content or host webinars and live events. Offering people something they wouldn’t get in a print publication is a great way to keep them coming back to your magazine.
As you can see, with a bit of planning and effort, you can learn how to start an online magazine and monetize your magazine content effectively.
What are the (actual) magazine costs I should be aware of?
One of the main concerns you may have once you know how to start an online magazine is how much it costs to start it.
The short answer is that it depends.
We’ve made an essential cost list to give you a general idea of how much you can spend to build your digital publication. All the prices shown below are approximate costs of starting an online magazine with WordPress:
- Domain name registration: ~$15 per year.
- Digital publishing platform: $0. Installing and using WordPress is entirely free.
- Website hosting: $5 to $20 per month or $60 to $240 per year.
- Themes, plugins, and extra features: $50 to $400 per year or one-time fees.
If we sum up these costs, the total amount of money you may need to spend to launch a digital magazine can run between $200 to $800 annually.
Wrapping up how to start an online magazine 🖱️
If you’ve read this far, you know how to start an online magazine from scratch. Initially, the process might seem intimidating, but it only requires consistency and a structured plan.
👉 In this article, we’ve guided you through seven steps on how to start an online magazine:
- Do market research and find a niche. 🙋♀️
- Come up with a catchy name. 💡
- Register your domain name. ⌛
- Set up your site. ⚙️
- Choose a theme. 🎨
- Start planning and writing your first articles. ✍️
- Monetize your magazine contents. 💵
Feel free to follow the recommendations compiled in this post, and good luck building your digital publication!
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