Starting a publishing business is not an easy prospect. You must plan for the long-term and find ways to slowly grow a loyal online or offline base of readers and subscribers. Your finished product should reflect the utmost quality from start to finish so that you can build a long-term source of income from your magazine’s niche market.
Luckily, there are a variety of tried-and-true guidelines that can help you chart a more predictable path to success. We are here with five of them to start with your education business magazine.
1. Finding the Right Audience for Your Education Business Magazine
Before you start setting up the magazine, your first step must be to create a demographic profile of our potential readers. After all, if you are publishing top education magazines for profit, your circulation list is your lifeblood.
For example, if you have successfully created a magazine for schools and universities, then you know that a circulation list is crucial if you wish to reach the most readers possible so students will be able to find it in their campus mailbox and school lounges.
By creating a demographic profile of most of your readers, you will have an immediate picture of your typical reader. While the characteristics and tastes of a magazine’s readers vary across different publications, there are common characteristics that will allow you to make some assumptions about who is reading it.
For example, in a B2B circulation, you might be able to determine whether or not your publication has very many males or females as readers by analyzing age groups and income levels. Your magazine’s audience may be more mature and affluent if heavily targeted toward an older demographic with higher incomes. This will help you sell advertising.
2. Create an Editorial Calendar
To survive in the education magazine industry, you must create original articles and features that are compelling, informative, and well-written. To get your publication off the ground and attract the attention of significant advertisers and clients, you must put together an Editorial Calendar for your magazine to ensure you will have enough highly relevant, original content for each issue.
The best way to do this is by making a list of columns, departments, and features you want to include in your magazine and then check the page count to ensure there is enough room for each item.
To start this process, pull out some similar magazines in style, layout, and paper type (if print). Write down column titles, departments, and features, and then fill in page counts. You can even pitch them at specific points in your calendar as well.
3. Create a Circulation List for Your Publication
A controlled-circulation magazine works just like any other print magazine. It is printed on newsprint, creates community awareness about a topic, reaches a particular group of people, and can be bought by readers through subscriptions. They have a limited number of readers and are usually available only to a particular market, such as university alumni or newsstands in a particular area.
Typically, you need to include demographics, such as age and gender, when deciding what type of circulation to offer. The main difference between a controlled-circulation magazine and other magazines is how the publication gets distributed to readers.
However, note that setting up a controlled-circulation magazine is about more than just sending the publication to your friends and family. Although there are many benefits to a controlled circulation campaign, such as the ability to test new marketing strategies, create mailing lists for other purposes, and increase your readership, there are some basic steps you must take first.
4. Establish Your Online Presence
Establishing your online presence is perhaps more critical than any step in launching an education magazine. It’s now easier than ever to access featured articles, news, and niche content previously harder to find or only available offline.
But it’s also more accessible than ever to get lost in all this new content. There are just so many voices in the cyber forest that shouting alone to be heard isn’t enough; you have to do more. That requires taking steps beyond merely creating online content and trying to “go viral.”
You have to take your web presence beyond the stuff under your control [your website] into new and uncharted territory, like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and other social media sites – places where your niche consumers hang out share things they like with friends and family.
5. Set Up Advertisers
Advertising is what keeps your business afloat, and if you are serious about starting your education business magazine, you should set up meetings with potential advertisers. No one else can pitch their advertising to advertisers better than you, so you have to do it.
This is the step that many people skip and subsequently fail to start a new publication. Herein, you will present your magazine concept to an advertiser and discuss publication dates, circulation figures, advertising rates, and what type of readership the magazine will attract.
Advertisers will want to know about your proposed circulation rate, a breakdown of the market the magazine will be sold to, and editorial content that will attract specific advertisers. This is where you have to sell yourself and your business sense. If you have researched what publications other people are selling in this category, studying from them is a good idea.
6. Create a Budget
The first step in starting your education business magazine is creating a budget. Your overhead includes all the costs of running your business, including all salaries, office space, equipment, software, legal fees, and the cost of any upfront marketing and advertising costs.
This is true for those who are self-publishing and those who have hired an outside company to carry out some or all of the work associated with putting their publication together and getting it out there.
Publishers should bring in income from advertising, subscriptions, and newsstand sales. They can base their projected costs on these sources of income, along with expected production costs.
Another significant point is that a reasonable budget should always be based on factual data that is projected from the past. For example, if you have been self-publishing magazines for the past three years but your current year has reported a significant decline in the number of subscriptions, the chances are that this decline will continue over your new budget period.
Start by calculating your expected expenses and revenue. If your projected advertising revenues, newsstand sales, and subscriptions cover your costs, it is time to launch your magazine.
It’s easier than ever to start an education business magazine, yet more and more people haven’t done it. There are many steps you have to take to get your magazine off the ground, all of which can be time-consuming and confusing.
You have to find writers, graphic designers, and other freelancers. You have to sell ad space to companies or meet potential advertisers. You have to manage your editorial calendar, budget, and distribution. Either way, if you start a new print magazine or bring an old one back, the above steps will help you do it right.