Do you want to create an online magazine that’s both professional and profitable? Then build these five essential strategies into your business plan today.
What tools do you have in your publishing arsenal? With the growing number of magazines making the switch from print to digital, publishers are having to work harder to stay ahead of the curve. That means taking advantage of the resources and tools available, and putting optimized sales and subscription strategies into place.
If your goal is to deliver high-quality content and build your magazine’s profile, then it’s time to evaluate your existing systems and software platforms. While automation tools and content management software are always important, an online magazine’s essentials kit should go beyond that. With the right essential strategies in place, online magazine publishers can actually help their editorial, sales, and marketing departments work more efficiently, and they can build the type of companies that people want to be a part of.
At Web Publisher PRO, we’ve spent years working directly with top online magazines and news websites, and now we’re ready to share some highlights from what we’ve learned along the way. Let’s get down to it.
The Essentials Kit for Online Magazine Publishers
1. The Right Team
You can’t build a thriving online magazine without having the right team in place. This applies to media startups, legacy publishers, and everyone in between. Putting the right people in the right positions makes a huge difference in outcomes.
Building the right team starts with the editorial staff. Most online magazine publishers have found that they need staff reporters, editors, copyeditors, and photo editors. Additionally, publishers should think about finding the right developers, social media managers, and ad marketers to either hire on a freelance basis or bring in-house as full-time employees. Putting together the right team is a big investment, both in time and in financial resources. However, this is an essential part of running an online magazine.
If finances are a concern, reconsider your employees’ responsibilities and dole out tasks in a way that makes more sense from an operational point of view. You might also consider hiring more freelancers and remote workers, rather than keeping a full-time staff on-site. The goal here is to bring the right team on board while also keeping efficiency and cost in mind.
2. The Best Content
With the right team in place, putting together high-quality content should be much easier. Publishing great content at regular intervals is an essential part of running a successful digital magazine. It doesn’t matter how flashy your website is or how great your salespeople are at bringing new clients on board, you won’t be able to attract website visitors without great content, and you can’t run a successful online magazine without those readers.
Seasoned magazine publishers will almost always create editorial plans with a content structure that reporters and editors can navigate.
Every magazine will have its own unique content structure, but it’s worth remembering that online magazines have much more flexibility in terms of the types of supported content. In addition to traditional written articles, online magazines can publish ebooks, how-to videos, and user photos. We would recommend that publishers invest in a mix of editorial content types.
3. A Solid Business Plan
The publisher’s primary role is to oversee the execution of the magazine’s business plan. When putting together a media business plan, there are dozens of issues to consider. How large is your magazine? How big do you hope to see it become? How will you fund your editorial endeavors?
While nobody can predict the future, a solid business plan that outlines which platforms you’ll publish on is an essential first step when launching (or relaunching) an online magazine. The best business plans also include realistic exit plans that project how much your business will be worth in the future and what the expectations for revenue could be for potential investors.
4. A Revenue Strategy
Hopefully a revenue strategy was covered in your business plan. If not, take a step back and finish the last step before moving onto this one. A magazine business plan should include a modeling of revenue, profit, and value for the publication. It should also outline each of the revenue channels you have in place, with specific goals for each of those channels.
In the multi-platform magazine business model, it’s essential that publishers plan for revenue by product, revenue by advertiser (or sponsor), and revenue by channel. Products would be things like ebooks and business directories. Advertisers or sponsors are businesses that are paying to be featured in your publication. Potential channels might include your website, newsletter, and social media pages. Each of these presents its own opportunity for revenue diversification, and that should all be outlined as part of your overall business plan.
5. An Optimized System
Having built your team and written up your business strategy and revenue plans, it’s time to put the finishing touches in place. Every online magazine needs the right team to handle both the expected and the unexpected. That means having a web development agency you can call when it’s time to update your website. It also means bringing on special consultants who agree to work behind the scenes to fix technology issues as they arise.
The right team can help you design and test your website—and all related channels—so any red flags or issues are discovered before your magazine goes live. At Web Publisher PRO, we understand the unique challenges that online magazines face. Our processes allow for quick development periods and streamlined workflows for publishers, regardless of the technology stack.
To learn more about Web Publisher PRO’s services for online magazine publishers, click here.