Do you get one of those really useful community magazines delivered through your door every month? They are a valuable source of information on local news, businesses, events, tradespeople and businesses. If you don’t get one delivered, consider publishing one yourself and if you already have a community magazine in your area, excellent – as it shows there’s a market for one!
In the digital world in which we live, many people have the opinion that information in print has had its day. The internet has a plethora of information at the touch of a button – after all! However community magazines are popular, both with readers and advertisers. There is a certain charm about a little magazine packed with local information, stories, events and photographs. Local businesses recognise the advertising potential in a popular, readable source and happily invest in placing adverts. Excellent news for the owner of a community magazine as this is your source of income.
How to publish a community magazine
You have three options, you could start one from scratch by launching a brand new community magazine, purchase a franchise or buy a magazine business already in existence.
There are pro’s and con’s with all options. Buying a franchise would be a safe option in terms of the setting up process and you would get your hand held to a certain extent, however costs would be high, which would affect your overall profit margins.
Buying a magazine business that is for sale, will have the benefit of being established with possible advertisers already on board, but you have the purchase cost as well as reputation to take into account.
Setting up your own magazine is hard work, but extremely rewarding, outlay is low and therefore there is more potential for profits to be higher.
Develop a business plan
This is essential as you will need to know exactly how much your outgoings are going to be in comparison to your income.
When starting out your challenge will be getting advertisers to get on board by selling them advertising space in a magazine that currently doesn’t exist! This will be done by sheer hard work and determination as well as being creative for example offering incentives.
Decide how many pages your magazine will have in the initial stages, as you will need to work out how much income you need from each page to cover printing from companies such as Xeretec.co.uk and distribution costs.
Create a balance
When writing the content for your magazine ensure that the tone is friendly and chatty. Consider including space designated to local charities and maybe get local restaurants to sponsor a page for recipes. You need to create a balance between news and chat as well as fill the pages with adverts. A readable magazine is more likely to be well accepted by the local community, rather than an advert heavy magazine, which can sometimes be deemed as junk mail.
Getting the correct balance will encourage more advertisers in time, which will allow you to add more pages.
Remember to keep it local and useful and it will be a success!