What are the expenses involved with the running of a magazine? How much does it cost to start a magazine and run it successfully? Find out here.
Over the last few posts, I’ve elaborated on all the requirements of launching a magazine, and now, you’re probably ready to read the part where we talk about the involved expenses. In either case, the last few posts of mine should help you understand everything there is about launching your own magazine even if you’re just a fresh entrepreneur who knows nothing about magazines, or how to go about starting them. Here is a list of posts I’ve written earlier that you definitely should read to understand everything there is about launching your own magazine.
With this information, you are probably ready to launch a magazine by yourself. And if anything does scare you even now, it’s probably just your nerves or your lack of experience. But we all have to start somewhere, don’t we? Do remember an important pointer that I’ve said before, running a magazine is expensive business. And to make matters worse, there’s a lot of competition. And money, at least in the beginning, comes in trickles. Unless you’re an exceptionally clever and shrewd entrepreneur who can make all the right associations, it is going to be a difficult journey ahead. And you need to put in a lot of effort, and need all the dedication and passion you can muster.
Now coming to the expenses involved with the running of a magazine, I’ve listed most of the generic expenses that you would definitely have to spend on. Any other expenses that may come across your way would probably be the added expenses involved with running a particular niche magazine like a travel magazine (which involves travel expenses) or a celebrity magazine (clicking celebs in compromising postures doesn’t come cheap, really!).
The different expenses that you would have to deal with, issue after issue, include:
Just like how a ship needs a captain and an airplane needs a pilot, you need a great editor to steer your magazine in the right direction. Pick an editor with a lot of experience, or if you can’t afford a great one, hire an editor on freelance basis as a Consulting Editor. But yeah, even a consultant will cost you an arm. After all, a great editor can be the difference between a successful magazine and a miserable one.
An editor may steer your magazine in the right direction, but you still need a great crew to assist the editor. A typical editorial team involves a lot of people, but for starters, you could do with a couple of feature writers, a copywriter and an executive editor. You could also take in a few interns on a stipend basis to help your short-staffed team, at least at the beginning.
Marketing is the life-blood of any publishing company. And the faster you understand this, and harness the power of a great marketing team, the bigger your advantage of sustaining and profiting from your magazine. Most shrewd start-up entrepreneurs spend more on a powerful marketing team than on any other division involved in the magazine business. It’s a clever move, but could also backfire if the focus is shifted away from the real reason behind the success of a magazine, its editorial. For starters, get in touch with the biggest marketing man you can afford to hire, and see if you can work out a deal. Beyond this, hire a few fresh or less experienced marketing professionals from the city you’re based out of. And about other cities across your country, partner with freelance marketing professionals until you can afford them on a full-time basis.
We’ve been through this part in my earlier posts in this series, so this should come off as a clear pointer. Every magazine needs good photography to stand out of the crowd. If you’re alright with sharing images, and don’t really care if you use images that are also used by other low budget magazines, then stock images may be a decent option to start off with. Even stock options can turn out pretty expensive based on the exclusivity of the images you intend to use. When the money does come in, spend some money on producing your own photoshoots so you can move away from the tag of a low-budget magazine. Another way by which you could get good images for less is by creating partnerships with local photographers. Strike a retainer fee agreement for a certain number of images every month, and as long as you get good images, you’re going to have a good thing going on for you.
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