A unique idea can lead to a successful magazine publication if you put enough effort into it. Starting a magazine takes a lot of work. It's not only writing and designing the magazine, but networking as well. The way a magazine makes money is through advertisers. Without advertisers or sponsors you pay for the entire publication out of your pocket. Though it's okay to look to other publications for inspiration, you need original ideas that are catchy and unique to sell magazines or ad space.
Brainstorm a concept and ideas to fill the pages. Look to other magazines in the same genre to make sure you do not have similar heading titles or articles. It's a business, so you must be competitive with those who are similar. Layout an entire editorial calendar so you have an idea of what you want want to write and the type of ads you can sell.
Build a team of editors, writers, graphic designers, marketing execs, ad sales and social network users to create your magazine. Until you make a name, it may be best to use interns or entry-level positions to save money.
Work as a team to complete the first issue. Each person should be assigned a task. For example writers should be sent on assignment, the editor should work on spell/fact checking and that everything is well written. The designer should complete the layout while your ad sellers are out selling the magazine to sponsors.
Find a printer who will print the magazine. Choose what size the magazine will be, how many pages and the type of paper and cover used.
Create a relationship with local businesses to distribute the magazine or with stores that will sell each issue. Make sure you stick to a distribution calendar so people know when to look for the next issue.
Hold a launch party at the hottest club, restaurant or bar that fits the audience your magazine targets. Try to get your advertisers to sponsor the event. At the event, hand out free issues of the magazine.
Sara Hickman owns a preschool science-based entertainment business in the Greater Cincinnati area. She has a bachelor's degree in communication and psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.