Have you ever wanted to start your own digital magazine? So have we, which is why Calameo Magazine has been around for a few years now. This experience has taught us a lot about how to start an online magazine from scratch, and allows us to help you, as experts, to create your own digital magazine.
The first and most important step in creating an online magazine is to choose a topic. Maybe you want to write about a topic you're passionate about. Or maybe you're part of a group or club that wants to explore new ways to communicate. Whatever the reason, take a few minutes to write the main topic of your digital magazine. It could be about a hobby, like knitting, or it could be about a city, an industry, an association or a business.
Once you have defined your topic, it's time to consider the goals you have for your online magazine. These can be business goals, such as selling ads or making new contacts. They can also include personal goals, such as challenging yourself creatively and developing a collaborative community. In other words, write down the reasons why you want to launch a digital magazine. This will help you focus on what's most important and evaluate your success a little later.
Finally, think about the scope of your project. Some magazines come out once a week and have hundreds of employees; others only publish one issue every six months. How many times would you like to publish this year to meet your goals? Pick a number before you move on to planning the actual content of your online magazine.
Build your team
The fun of launching a digital magazine starts now! This is the "team building" phase of the project. The size of your team may vary depending on the resources available for your online magazine. But even limited resources don't mean you have to lower the standard of quality. At a minimum, you should have three main roles: Editor-in-Chief, Senior Writer and Designer.
Finding collaborators to help you launch a digital magazine can mean getting creative. For example, you can put out a call for volunteers, either within your company or in your community. If you have the budget, you can reach out to freelance writers and designers on platforms like Behance and Fiverr. On the other hand, if you plan to be your own designer, the templates available on sites like Canva allow you to take care of the design and layout.
Create your first issue
Once you've assembled your team, it's time to work on the first issue of your digital magazine! The first thing you'll need to think about is how your content will be structured. In fact, you can use this same structure in each issue of your online magazine. This will save you the time and stress of making such fundamental decisions for each new issue.
Start with your ideas for the main sections, or categories, of content you'd like to see in your digital magazine. Be careful not to confuse content categories with specific articles you may already have in mind! Once you've determined your magazine's sections, the editor can begin assigning topics to contributors. Your editor should handle the most important topics, but you may want to consider asking other writers and creators to contribute content or even solicit contributions. In the meantime, discuss the next issue and its topics with your designer so that he or she can prepare the layout and other graphic elements.
All that's left to do is set deadlines! Your magazine's editor-in-chief should give his or her staff a deadline for the creation of all content. In addition, the editor and designer will need a timeline to complete the layout, make changes, finalize the publication and scheduled release date. Stick to your timeline as closely as possible and voila, the first issue of your magazine is complete!
Find your audience
There are still a few choices to make before you introduce your publication to readers. Perhaps the most crucial question when you decide to launch a magazine is whether you want to publish it in print, online or both. In the past, print was the only option for new projects and came with many costs, from paper to postage. However, it is now easy and common to offer magazines in digital form.
In addition to the reduced costs associated with online publishing, digital magazines can benefit from the integration of interactive content. You can add links to other websites to cite sources, promote products and events or support advertisers. Spice up your articles with YouTube videos, audio tracks or even GIFs. With digital publishing platforms like Calameo, it only takes a few minutes to make your online magazine fully interactive.
Plus, a digital magazine gives you key information about your readership that print distribution can't match. Instead of relying on the number of print copies you've ordered, you can access statistics showing how many times your magazine has been viewed online. (And if you need more detail on how readers are interacting with your content, Calameo's advanced statistics can give you insight.) ) This data will help you assess progress toward your goals when creating future issues of your new magazine!