How to Start a Digital Magazine: Part 1

By October 13, 2017Business, Tips

The idea of starting your own magazine can be enticing, exciting and exhausting all at the same time. For some, it starts as a hobby, and for others, a business plan. In this two-part blog series, we’re outlining the basics of starting your own curated creation. For part one, we’re talking about the premise, the needs and the timeline. Find part two on how to start a digital magazine, we discuss design, dedication and marketing.

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The Premise
A self-made magazine is born out of passion. Whether the publication focuses on art, business, cooking or a myriad of other topics, the curator must have deep enthusiasm for that topic. If one creates a magazine that doesn’t focus on what they care about, what will make them care about the publication itself? Choosing a focus for the magazine is quite literally the foundation for it.

Mad Sounds Issue 27 – Meredith Foster

Mad Sounds Issue 27 – The Dreamer’s Issue – Spring 2018 // Featuring Meredith Foster, Andre Nguyen, Kayla Mendez, and many more!


The Needs
Whether looking to profit or simply looking to create, there are needs that must be addressed. Will this be a single-person operation, or a team effort? If building a team, who is needed? Think about the different branches of editors that may be needed, the design elements and potentially the business aspect of the publication.

Solo magazine creation is possible. For inspiration, take a look at some of Issuu’s favorite solo-run publications like FORGE. Art Magazine, Atlas Magazine, LUCY’s and Mad Sounds.

How will the magazine’s content be generated? Will it be a submissions based — where content comes to the magazine — or a fully produced periodical to create and to enlist creators? Will there be writers and photographers?

The Timeline
Magazines are typically released monthly, quarterly or annually. How much time will each issue need for content to come together? How frequently should this content be shared? In the strive for quality and quantity, it is important to ensure that one does not sacrifice the other.

If the magazine is submissions based, it is important to factor in the submission open and close dates, and the amount of time needed for design. With fully produced magazines, the deadlines are about when all of the written and visual content needs to be finalized and able to be put into layout.

The blessing of digital publishing is that there is no worry about printing deadlines; only the deadlines set for each magazine’s upload. This ability gives editors extra time to perfect, correct and adjust right down to the wire — if they find it necessary, that is.

Like learning about how to start your own digital magazine? Stay tuned for part two, where we cover design, dedication and marketing.

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