Self Publish Your Online Magazine

Before you do anything else, first determine what topic or topics you enjoy writing about. As most beginning publications are started and operated by one person, it’s important to stick with topics you like and in which you are most knowledgeable. Writing for subjects that you are not passionate about will create tedium and boredom for you. Writing on topics you have little knowledge of will cause you to exhaust your writing abilities prematurely, leaving your magazine short of useful content. Be sure to research everything. That means everything. This is not a joke or something to be taken lightly. Self publishing your online magazine can be mentally and financially draining. Research anything and everything you can about not only your subject matters but the business of online magazine publishing as well. Think about the following and research them until you are comfortably answering them all.

Ask yourself the following questions: What is your target audience seeking in an online magazine? Are there magazines out there already providing content similar to that you wish to publish? Perhaps your magazine will be unique for its target audience? What makes those magazines good? What makes those magazines bad? How can you make your online magazine better than the competition? Are there comparable magazines out there that can teach you the successes and failures for your particular topic space?

You must also take budgeting into consideration. With traditional printed magazines, printing/circulation costs were a huge consideration. The online world changes this concern drastically, as it costs significantly less money to deliver a million “copies” of your magazine online than it does to deliver printed ones in the real world. There still are production and distribution costs, nonetheless, both of which need to be realistically accounted for in a budget prior to making the plunge.

How do you plan to make money? As with printed magazines, advertising makes up a huge chunk of your income. Although it is possible to charge subscriptions or “pay per view” for online content, it doesn’t work the same as collecting a cover price for each issue at the newsstand. It is important you research every avenue possible for how your online magazine intends to make a profit for you.

You should determine your target audience prior to writing even a single word. It is critical to know exactly who your target audience is. Failure to do this will result in the inability to properly organize your magazine and secure substantial advertisement revenue. You will want to explore the different areas on the web where your current audience frequently visits. Newsgroups, chat rooms, email-based discussion lists, Yahoo! Groups, are among a few worth investigating.

Your online magazine’s technical setup is not something you want to leave out. When you’re finally ready to go, consider a Content Management System (CMS) like to get you started publishing without a high cost. A CMS like this lets you self publish your online magazine with little or no technical expertise. You’ve already done all the planning, budgeting, etc. Now it’s time to focus on writing and editing. Leave the technicalities to someone else!

Just because your online magazine is finally published doesn’t mean it will be read. You need to generate traffic in order to boost your online magazine’s readership. Try to get visibility on other websites with high-traffic. Be sure to post frequently in newsgroups and write a few submissions for high-traffic blogs. You can link/cross-reference your own online magazine from these submissions. Consider participating in blog commentaries or even “blog carnivals” to share traffic between your online magazine’s site and other websites.

As you can see, there are many steps involved with getting your online magazine venture off the ground. All of this may seem like an awful lot of work to do in the beginning. As with anything else in life, failing to plan is planning to fail. Don’t let this stop you though. If you can get through these initial critical steps it is all downhill from there. The actual writing for your online magazine will seem like a piece of cake by comparison!

Martin Alan enjoys writing on subjects such as literature, online publishing, digital magazine, publishing software, sharing sites and self publishing. He also enjoys keeping up-to-date with the latest developments and innovations in technology and online marketing.

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Author: Martin Alan
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