How to Start an Online Magazine

Starting your own online magazine can a be a lot easier than most people think. While the complexity of web designing and editorial production can seem daunting to a novice, it is actually much easier than it seems.

Step 1. Make sure that making your own online magazine is something you want to do. It is not a process that can be taken lightly. You must also make sure that you are writing about a topic that you both enjoy and are very knowledgeable about. In order to draw interest to your articles, people have to see that you have an interest in what you are talking about. Readers who are knowledgeable about your topic are going to be turned off by uninformed writing.

Step 2. Do not go at making your online magazine on your lonesome. The number one reason entrepreneurial activities fail is because their creators do not gain the assistance or counsel that they need. A online magazine publisher will often need help in categories such as web design, advertising, editorial a money managing. So make sure you consult trade associations and websites for people who can help you with these categories. Websites like www.mpa.org and www.indypress.org can be of assistance in gathering counsel.

Step 3. Consider whether or not you want to make money. If this is going to be a hobby that you save money through your day-time job then you are going to approach this entirely differently then if you are going to try and make your website a cash cow.

�§ If publishing your own internet website is just going to be a hobby, then you are going to want to minimize your spending. For cheap ways to advertise your website visit www.inc.com, they have a few articles specifically designed on marketing budgets of $1,000 or less. You will need to buy articles for your magazine, so consider going to online article distributors that sell articles for as low as $20 (you can try www.associatedcontent.com or www.appliedcontent.com). For other inexpensive resources, you can look on the web pages of several publishing trade associations.

�§ If you want to make money with your website, you still may wan to of course consider cheap alternatives to producing your product. However, you must also consider the kinds of things that you will make your website profitable. First of all, you are going to have consider spending a considerable amount of money on site design, server space and the maintenance of your site. Also, because web traffic will be essential to whether or not you make money, you have to determine how much web traffic will cover your expenses and how much money you will have to invest in order to get that amount of web trafficking. One other thing to consider is how you want to make your profits. Do you want to make money by selling advertising space on your website? Or do you want to generate money through by selling access to your site or parts of your site? Or do you want to do both?

Step 4. Building your web site does not have to be all that hard. There are several books (try the “For Dummies” series) that will assist you in building your own website. You also can purchase software or services that will specifically set up an online magazine site for you. They can do the site design, send out newsletters, set up payment options and help you with advertising (www.bondware.com).

Step 5. After you have mastered your topic, know how you are going to generate revenue and/or consumers, and know where to turn for help, you must decide how often you will publish. Online publishers do not have the pleasure that print publishers have of being able to update their sites on the quarterly basis. People go to the internet for up-to-date information, and the less frequently you up date, the fewer readers you will have. Considering up-dating your site at least once a week. If you can’t really afford the time to do that, at least update your home page that frequently, and update the rest of the site however frequently you can. For a more custom look, consider hiring a freelance web designer.

Step 6. Create a unique selling technique. Every online magazine that is successful has something special to offer its readers. Some websites offer especially detailed information that reaches out to a specific niche. Other publishers accept lots of submission to create varied perspective. Whatever your unique selling technique is, make sure it does not compromise your topic or the vision you have for your online magazine.

Step 7. Last but not least, always consider the legal ramifications that are apart of publishing. You are going to want to copyright all of the work that you publish on your site with the government (you can actually just copyright the magazine instead of each individual piece). You may also consider acquiring an ISSN for your site so that will make it easier to find and access in libraries and web searches. If you are turning profits, you are also going to need to consider taxes. You may want to consider paying a legal and/or accounting expert so you can know what rights you want to purchase from your contributors and what taxes you will have to pay.

Step 8. Begin accumulating your material and building your website. With all of the above planned out, you can get started on the creative aspects and enjoy publishing your own online magazine.

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