How to Start a Magazine in 6 Steps


Starting a  magazine  is not as hard as you would think. I have started several myself and successfully published them for years. Make no mistake, it is hard work, but if you can meet a few key requirements you can get your  magazine  off the ground.

What are those few key requirements?

1) You need some money to do this – Every business start up needs some capital and  magazines  are no different. How much do you need? As little as a few hundred dollars will work (not including your printing costs) to get your first issue on the streets and/or news stands. For a projected higher end book, you will need thousands of dollars dependent on what market you are entering and how big you are going right off the bat. The key will be to learn the skills you need to publish and do the tasks yourself rather than hire an office full of workers and payroll (I will hit on those skills in a minute and talk more about cash in a minute).

2) Equipment – At least one good computer capable of operating the various software you will need (Adobe InDesign and at least Adobe Photoshop), a good digital SLR camera like the Nikon D50 which runs about $750, a phone and a dependable vehicle.

3) The ability to sell –  Magazines  big and small run off of advertisements and yours will be no different. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a solid sales strategy in place before you take on this project. I will talk more about selling further along.

4) Creativity – You can’t survive without offering something new to your readers in an attractive package and for this being creative is a necessity.

Step #1 – Develop the Framework

You probably have an idea of what type of  magazine  you want to publish but from here you need to construct some basic framework. Pick a name for your  magazine  carefully, make sure you are not stepping on anyone’s trademark by searching the US trademark database.

Your website’s domain name is also something to consider when choosing your name. Search for open domains that match your  magazine’s  name as closely as possible. It is okay to use a few sudo-odd takes on domains for  magazines  like or  magazine-name .com. Register your domain and contact a web development company that you like to start work on your  magazine’s  new website. I personally like 22 Creative as they specialize in websites for  magazines . Your website does not need to be awesome right out of the gate, just something professional that is clear about who you are and what your book is about – expect to spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands here. A website is an essential part of this process though, do not skip out on this one.

Okay, you have a name and a website, what’s next? Figure out what you are going to include in your first issue by writing out an editorial outline. Fancy name but in reality, just write out what you want to feature, how many pages you want to devote to each item and how many pages for ads you want to stash away (this will be dependent on how many ads you sell for your first issue). How many pages should your  magazine  be? Two factors are in play here. One is the cost of printing the  magazine  as it costs more to print a bigger  magazine  obviously, the second is how much editorial can or do you want to produce? You do not need a 100 page book your first go around so, dependent on what your competitors are doing, aim for around 50 pages for a local or lifestyle  magazine  and 90+ for a  magazine  you want to distribute on national news stands.

Step #2 – It’s Time to Produce Content

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need an army of ‘journalists’ to publish your first issue. I have produced content for hundreds of  magazines  by myself or with the help of just a handful of people, it is not that hard.

Start with item number one on your editorial outline. Write your text first, making sure to follow basic guidelines for writing editorial (Google search it for tons of help). Have friends read the copy and get their honest opinion. Did you lose your readers attention at any point? Are your facts correct? Do you have any typos?

A picture is worth a thousand words literally. People like pictures, big, colorful pictures and lots of them. Decide on how many pictures you need for the piece and whether or not you can take the photos yourself or if you need to buy them/license them from a stock photo service. If you can take them yourself, head out and start snapping. Take clear, in-focus images and take lots of them. You do not want to have to go back and re-shoot anything because you did not get the shot. Also, set your camera to take 300dpi images, normal smaller resolution images will not work and will look pixilated in the final product – nothing comes off as more rookie than low-res photos in  magazines . Remember if you have any people in your photos, get them to sign a ‘model release’ allowing you to use their image in your publication. If you need to buy an image from a stock photo website, make sure you buy a 300dpi image that is suitable for printing. Expect to pay anywhere from $3 – $10 for each photo, if you encounter a website that charges more, you would be over paying.

After you have knocked your editorial out, sleep on it and go over it yourself. Is it good? How many  magazines  have you seen that all regurgitate the same tired ‘electronics features’ of iPhones and some silly whatever that not many people care about? Lots. You have to have a new take on things if you want to see issue number 2, 3, 54, etc.

Step #3 – Start Selling Ads Yesterday

New publishers often fall into the trap of just focusing on the creative side of the  magazine  and not the sales. As an independent publisher, you have to wear both hats. Start by putting together a media kit for your new  magazine . A media kit is a couple pages, printed out that act as a resume for your  magazine  featuring all of the details of who your  magazine  is for, how many you print, your distribution tactics, what ads you offer and how much they cost, etc. In the beginning most of your sales will not be because of your media kit, this is just an essential thing to have to leave with prospective advertisers. I could go on and on about how to sell ads for new  magazines  but if you read it, you would have to send me a pretty big check as that is closely held information by all in the industry. What I can tell you is start with a plan; call on advertisers that make sense for your  magazine . It is a waste of time to try and sell an ad to Budweiser if you are a new  magazine  that is about quilting – it’s just not going to happen. Put yourself in that business owners shoes, would you consider it?

Now is not the time to get rich quick. You want to sell ads to pay the bills and hopefully recoup your investment and live. That means price your ad offerings in reality. For an idea of what reality is, try and find out what similar  magazines  in your market are charging. Do not go to low on your pricing however, believe in the value of your  magazine  – giving it away free almost guarantees future failure. I know of one  magazine  that just kept throwing money at itself, starting in new markets without first being profitable in one and to appear successful, they gave away their ad space. A couple years later and it is common knowledge in the media buying industry that no one pays for ads in that  magazine  ever. If a potential advertiser says they want it for less than you want to sell it for, pass on them politely and come back to them in a few months after you can prove a stronger value to justify your rate card.

Most importantly, offer value to your advertisers. There are a gazillion different ways to do this but it all starts with you delivering a strong, readable publication on time. The old under-promise and over-deliver adage works well here.

Step #4 – Layout Time

It’s crunch time. Layout is hardly ever pleasurable, my first issue I ever designed took me about 72 hours of work with about 6 hours of sleep in that period – not exactly what I call an awesome good time. Make sure you know how to use your software BEFORE you need to start laying out your pub. Pretty much the whole free world uses Adobe InDesign to layout their  magazines . It is a reliable and easy to use program that will run you about $650 unless you can find a deal. You should seriously consider purchasing one of Adobe’s Creative Suites that bundles InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. Those three programs will take you anywhere you want to go in publishing as I have been relying on them for years. Yes that is some expensive software but is essential and well worth the money if you are serious about doing this right.

If you flip through a random  magazine  here and there, you will notice that a lot of them have an inconsistent layout throughout the book, meaning that the fonts and styles change every few pages or every story. If this appeals to you knock yourself out, just know that it is not a good practice to follow. You need to aim for a balanced flow with your layouts. The first page of content should be very close to the last page and not stray too far in between. Use a text font at or above 8 points and never smaller. Don’t forget those pictures, lots and lots of pictures. Learn to use Photoshop to clean your photos up. I have spent at least 60 seconds with every photo I have ever placed in a  magazine  layout – it is a crime to run photos with zero post work done on them, just a straight up crime.

I won’t go into an InDesign tutorial, plenty of people have done that better than I can before.

What you need to ultimately do is end up with a PDF file for each page of your  magazine  that you will give to your printer. Name each file a standard p01_NAME.pdf. Covers will be labeled C1, C2, etc. You will have the option to view proofs of your files before your printer fires up the press to start your job (a big chunk of what you are paying them to do). Always look at every proof of every page; once it gets put on a plate and starts laying down ink, you are locked in.

Make sure you are happy with your printer. If you do not have a printer to print your job, start by talking to Las Vegas Printing to get a quote on your job. I recommend getting your finished  magazines  carton packed rather than skid packed and wrapped in plastic as this practice guarantees a percentage of waste due to not protecting the  magazines  on the outside of the skid.

Step #5 – Distribution Time

If you are starting a  magazine  that will have National or a large ranging distribution, head straight to one of the two major  magazine  distributors. I won’t name them because they, in my opinion, make it very difficult for start ups to get in the game. I will leave it at that.

If you are starting a locally distributed  magazine , read on. Yes there are services that offer to distribute your  magazine  for you, they will do a poor  job  and charge you and arm and a leg for the privilege. Distribution is paramount. If no one sees, picks up or reads your  magazine  then it is just a waste of time, money and trees. A major part of your focus should be dialing in the best distribution strategy possible. Do not just toss  magazines  in front of stores, bars, etc. and expect them to take the time to place them out in a neat fashion – they will end up in the dumpster out back. Do your own distribution. Personally ask permission from each distribution spot, not only is this the right thing to do but it is a great way to get your name out there and meet a few potential advertisers.

Step #6 – Do it again, and again and again

The process never stops in the  magazine  game, it is a fight at all times. There will always be strong competition, new people looking for their share of a market and times where you feel like you are the only person that reads your  magazine . But if you do not fight at all, it’s a guarantee that you will not win. Good luck!


How To Find A Fashion Magazine Internship


It’s the  job  a million girls would kill for – the fashion  magazine  internship. If you’re looking to get into fashion  magazines  as a career, an internship is one of the only ways to break into the business, especially if you want to work for a top level fashion  magazine  like Allure, Elle or the highly regarded Vogue. But the biggest question of all is how to find these highly sought after fashion  magazine  internships. Here are a few tips for getting your foot in the door.

Go Straight To The Source

One of the best ways to find a fashion  magazine  internship is to go straight to the  magazines  themselves. You can call the front desk and ask if there are any openings for interns. Or better yet send a resume and cover letter over on your own. They’ll be impressed about how driven and proactive you are.

Go Straight To The Source…Online

Many of the major fashion  magazines  are owned by the same company, such as Conde Nast or Time Warner. Their official websites have job searches. Give the search a try, a fashion  magazine  internship lead just might come up.

Start A Blog

How would you like to be handed a fashion  magazine  internship without even applying? It doesn’t happen in all cases, but running your own fashion blog can get you great opportunities and recognition. You can also use to show potential employers your writing skills and how dedicated you are to fashion.

Through Your School

If you go to a fashion school it shouldn’t be too hard to find an internship at a fashion  magazine  through your schools connections, depending on the area you’re in. If you’re not at a fashion school it’s still worth a try and hopefully one of your counselors can track down leads especially for you.

Finding a lead for a fashion internship is actually the hard part, it’s landing the job that’s hard! But you’ve got to take these first steps, and it’s important to search, search, search to find those leads. Good luck!


Success Magazine – Review


Title and Author: Success Magazine – Review

Synopsis of Content:

Darren Hardy brought Success Magazine back to life in 2008 and has done a fabulous job of it. Success is the oldest more or less continuously published success magazine in the United States. It was founded over a century ago by Orison Swett Marden.

The modern version of Success is a greater value than the older versions. In addition to a lot of great content each issue comes with a CD containing interviews with successful people, authors and experts. As just an example the April 2011 issue of the magazine contains articles by or about Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, Seth Godin, Derek Jeter, Jack LaLanne, John Wooden, John C. Maxwell, Mel Robbins, Tom Hopkins, Barbara Weltman, Drs. Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz, Robert Bloom, former President Jimmy Carter, Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Alexander Hamilton, and many others who are achieving success.

The magazine includes regular features on how to stay organized, how to help teenagers succeed, what books to read, and many other things that can help most anyone in their search for success, financial and otherwise.

Each issue is dedicated to a theme, the April issue is about Leading Change and how to Inspire and Focus a team.

If you want to stay on top of trends, learn how others succeed in life and in business and increase your general knowledge of how to become more effective there is nothing better you could do than read this magazine.

Readability/Writing Quality:

Success is well written and professionally laid out. The copy editing is good; I’ve yet to find a typo. Articles are mostly short and concise although each issue contains at least one or two in depth articles with good content.

Notes on Author:

There are many authors for this magazine but the Editor, Darren Hardy is notable for creating the standards and the vision for the reincarnation of this American tradition. Nothing may be more American than the idea that anyone can be successful. Hardy not only subscribes to that belief he lives it and publishes it monthly.

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

From just the April 2011 Issue:

1. To be an effective leader you need to understand and follow the late John Wooden’s advice that you must first lead yourself and achieve genuine self discipline. (John C. Maxwell)

2. Learn success from Howard Schultz of Starbucks: grow with discipline; balance intuition with rigor; innovate around your core; find new ways to see; don’t embrace the status quo; listen with empathy; and many more. (John H. Ostdick)

3. The key to reinvention and success is to have that rare skill of actually getting things done. You must create outcomes that people will want. (Seth Godin)

Publication Information:

Success Magazine is published monthly by Success Media of Lake Dallas, Texas. It is copyrighted by Success Media.

Rating: Success Magazine is the best of its kind in the world today. It sets the standard for publishing in its area. The author of this review is a subscriber but has no other financial relationship with the magazine.


Some Facts About Men’s Magazines


A men’s magazine can span a variety of different subjects and be really quite different from women’s magazines. Men’s magazines represent and talk about all things masculine. They are definitely very popular and widely read all over the world for their specialized subjects, varying information or subjects, interesting and captivating articles and pictures and ease of reading.

Magazines are a great way to get new reading material on a regular basis. The articles may be highly specialized and informative just like they may be entertaining and wacky. Articles that are just a few pages long are easy to read in one sitting and satisfying at the same time. This type of publication is usually also loaded with great imagery, unlike most books or novels and newspapers.

There are usually more images than in newspapers which make things much more interesting too look at. This provides the perfect place for articles that need to be illustrated or accompanied by photographs. Pictorials are right at home in these pages and the images look great.

With the advent of the internet, paper publications are hurting in their popularity numbers. The face of media today is in full state of transition and with information technology reaching us more and more, the relevance of dailies is getting questioned. On the other hand, monthly publications have a different type of offer and have to capitalize on that in order to survive. There is nothing quite like fine glossy paper, nice pictures and interesting reads.

The subjects when relating to men’s reading can be quite varied. Anything from sports, travel, health, exercise or hobbies can apply and are declined into varying degrees of specialization. Sports for example is a popular subject but could get more specific to which sport, which players or teams, where, what league. This type of publication is known to cater to very specific and precise interests and does a great job at it.

Magazines can target certain audiences according to interests but also according to geography. There exists a full scale of publications that address different sizes of communities and areas. These can be destined to schools, cities, territories or countries and finally, the entire world.

Another way for a magazine to identify its readership and its vocation is through trades and occupations. Often times, a magazine treats of specific subjects and brings news that isn’t necessarily urgent or pressing. For example, the medical professionals associations all have their own publications relevant to their industry and subjects regarding their work.

A magazine is usually financed by advertising on its pages. Depending on the issue or the publication, the proportion of advertising to text or relevant content can be quite high. The second source of financing is the price of the magazine itself; they are rarely free and there is a cover charge. In order to ensure its future, subscriptions are very important. Readers can subscribe to get issues delivered for a set period of time, hence guaranteeing a certain income for the future.


Learn How You Can Publish a Magazine


 Magazines  first made an appearance after the printing press was invented and copies could be easily made of a single publication and now have become one way to make information available to a large segment of the public, no matter if it is presented online or as printed material. From a simple printed page to the slick photo pages of today,  magazine  publishing has come a long way from its humble beginnings.

 Magazine  publishing encompasses development of material, the acquisition of rights, copy editing, graphic design, layout and production. Production may be printing hard copy  magazines  or uploading webpages. Marketing and distribution are also part of the job.  Magazine  publishing also involves a lot of detailed, tedious work before it reaches the public, it is not just developing a concept and printing.

Most  magazines  include content that is commercial, informational, entertaining and some editorial as well. To develop and provide all this content takes hard work and money to pay those who work so hard to write this content. In publishing, the better your talent, the more it costs. This is also reflected in your finished product. The better quality publication you create, the more money it costs to buy it.

Publishers of all kinds spend a lot of time and money buying the rights to publish copy. They also commission some writers to provide specific copy that they want. The quality of this copy helps build the reputation of the publisher. For a small publisher, you can rely on commissioned work until business increases. At that point, you may need to subscribe to syndicated news and other content, or outsource some of your jobs so you don’t overwork your writers.

You will need to solicit some of your material, so it fits the concept you have for your  magazine . You may also get unsolicited proposals and submissions from authors who may or may not be published. Unsolicited manuscripts often wait in what is known as a “slush pile.” This is a place where editors sift through material to find quality work or content that may fit the needs of the moment. Established writers may have a literary agent to represent them. These agents market the writer’s work to publishers and negotiate contracts for their clients.

When a piece is accepted for publication, commissioning editors negotiate the purchase of publishing rights and agree on any royalties that may be offered for books or copyright licensing for a  magazine  article. After the material is acquired, the editorial process begins. Authors may be asked to make changes or do rewriting. The editors then edit the content for the needs of the publication. This also happens to syndicated materials.

 Magazine  publishers often develop their own “house style” which is a layout that immediately lets the reader know this  magazine  is published by “XYZ Publishing”. The content is edited by the editorial staff so it matches the styles required by various markets the publisher works with. Editors may also request structural changes in the work and more information for some portions.

Finally, the last step in  magazine  publishing is marketing and distribution. This puts the final product before the public in stores and newsstands, and sent out to subscribers everywhere.


Freelance Writing – What Magazines Accept Freelance Submissions?


Nowadays, writing jobs are one of the most flexible and high earning jobs that freelancers could ever wish to undertake. If you already like to use pen and paper where you can express your thoughts, then why not derive revenue from it?

The value of freelance writing is elephantine, because there are so many avenues open for the contemporary freelance writer. You can work for newspapers, blogs,  magazines , and even freelance websites. The major advantage of writing jobs is that you can work in your own time, and it becomes completely your choice to work hourly, monthly or weekly.

To commence with your writing career you can submit your stories in competitions, work as a scriptwriter, columnist or journalist. Freelance writing is all about blending grammar and imagination.

There are many  magazines  which can give you writing  jobs  and you can get credits for freelance writing. Some of them which can act as a launching pad for new writers are listed as follows:

  • Creative Nonfiction: This  magazine  is the first of many which can provide you with more than enough writing  jobs . You can work for this  magazine  either on daily wages, or on exclusive terms. In addition, it has a very high rating as a literary  magazine .
  • American Journalism review: This is an American  magazine  which can provide you writing  jobs  related to all niches. Since it publishes 10 times in a year, the scope of getting freelance writing jobs there is substantially maximized.
  • Event  magazine : In Event you will see journals related to fiction, poetry, and critical reviews. It is the best place from where you can initiate your freelance career. You will get a minimum of $30 per publication.
  • Poetry  magazine : Poetry foundation is a leading poetry organization in the world. They discover talent and publish it through their  magazine  and pay $ 10 per line which is a very good deal. Their vigorous and aggressive presence in the poetry world, has given them both huge fame and appeal.
  • Writer’s digest: It is a well-known  magazine  which is known to especially promote the freelance writing career of new entrants or unpublished writers. You have a choice of submitting either fiction or non- fiction work here.

There are many other  magazines  which can act as the starting point for all the writers who want to learn and develop their freelance writing career. Women can even try writing  jobs  for  magazines  like Bitch  Magazine , Flare or Vogue. The important point is not to wait too long but to make a start.