What are the most important requirements to start a magazine? There are quite a few, and you need to focus on all of them if you want to make a difference in the media industry.


Essentials and Requirements to Start a Magazine Confetti Media

I’ve written quite a few posts in this series on starting a magazine and running a media house successfully. And if you would like to read everything there is about launching a new magazine, I would recommend that you start this series with this post, The Beginners Guide to Starting a Magazine.

After you’ve read my earlier posts and understood all the details, you should now be ready to know the real requirements of a magazine, not a publishing house, but a real magazine. So what are the different teams that you would require to run a magazine successfully? There are a lot of people and teams that you would need in the long run, but for starters, you could split the requirements into six basic essentials. In this post, I will briefly explain about each requirement. If you need any information about any of these details, or would like to partner with my organisation on the same, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

Editorial Requirements

Content is King. It’s been said before and it’s still something that’s of utmost importance. Pay a lot of attention to good content because a magazine won’t have any faithful readers even after a series of well branded advertising campaigns if the content’s no good. Unless you are an excellent editor, it would be advisable to hire an editor. The problem with most writers is that they can’t judge their own writing skills without spell check, let alone edit other writers’ work. It’s always difficult to edit your own work, unless you’re really good at what you do. Every magazine needs a few writers, a copywriter, and a couple of editors to work on the editorial content. You could skip a few people here to start off, but then again, can the others cope with the burden of overworking while maintaining the quality at the same time?

You have to think as a businessperson here, and not take someone’s word in this case. Think about it, you must have come across several magazines with atrocious editorial content and grammatical errors. Does that mean the boss is a loser? Nope, it just means that he or she trusts their employees way too much, and allows their writers to cloud their judgement. Don’t fall in this trap. Always get second opinions and surveys to understand what people want and how good your writers and editors really are.

Photography Requirements

If Content is King, then I can safely say that Photography is Queen. Just as magazines need good content to connect with a reader, magazines also need great photography to complement the content and enhance the visual appeal. Some magazines also do focus a lot more on the visual appeal of photographic images to sell their magazines. There are so many magazines that actually sell only because of the titillating images that are splashed on the pages of the magazine. Half the men’s magazines belong in this category. But its importance and requirements depends on the content and type of magazine you wish to start. You would be a better judge of the kind of photographic requirements, so plan your steps to cater to your magazine’s needs. Hire at least a couple of photographers, or partner with a photography agency to obtain the images for your new magazine.

Design Requirements

Good content may be king, and great photography may be queen. But they really can’t look their best unless they’re dressed up for the occasion. And for that, you need an excellent design team. Just like a great editorial team, you also need to invest in a quality editorial team that involves designers, creative minds, and art directors. The editorial and the design team usually works closely together, so unfortunately for your money, the design team is a requirement that you just can’t afford to miss out on.

Marketing Requirements

A business is only as good as the money it brings in. That sucks, because it just shows that creative minds can’t really make money without being shrewd and street smart. But unfortunately for the creative people, this fact is true and truly harsh. The golden goose of every magazine publishing company is the division that brings in the money, i.e., the marketing department. You could run the magazine on your personal funds for the first couple of years, but if you can’t sustain the magazine with external funds even after a while, then there’s no use of launching a magazine, is there? You really aren’t performing a charity service for your readers. Hire a good marketing team to bring in the advertisements to fill your pages, or partner with a good marketing agency to help you during your start-up phase.

Distribution and Circulation Requirements

You could publish a great magazine, but you also need to distribute the magazine to newsstands across your state or country so people can get a chance to read it. Partner with a few distribution agencies to circulate your magazine to the newsstands, and also hire an internal team to ensure that the magazine is delivered from the printing press to the distributors. Additionally, your internal team should also keep track of the magazines and ensure that the magazines are distributed well to all the stands, and are prominently displayed in the magazine stalls. Getting the magazines to be displayed prominently is dirty business, and can also cost you a lot of money. You’ll understand this in first person when you start your publication. Every country has its own circulation strategies and involved expenses, so talk to a few newsstands and you’ll know how to go about it.

Printing Requirements

Quality of the paper plays an important part, depending on the type of magazine you intend to launch. If you’re looking at a weekly news magazine, a newsletter, or a tabloid, your readers may not really care about paper and colour quality as long as you provide your readers with great content. On the other hand, if you’re planning to launch a monthly lifestyle magazine, your readers will obviously expect you to bring out a glossy, colourful magazine that can be shown off! So based on your requirements, hire a printing press that can satisfy your requirements, and your delivery deadlines.

You do have to understand that all of these above essentials are equally important, even if I may have given unfair attention to a few essentials. After all, a spacecraft may have thousands of parts, but there’s no way it can complete an expedition with total efficiency even if a single part is missing.

So if you really do want your new magazine to go straight ahead on the road to success, don’t miss any of these steps. Do all this, and you just may have a good chance of making it big in the media business.

Next Recommended Read: How much does it cost to start a magazine?