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How to create a digital magazine in a traditional newsroom

Nicola Massa


Many of the traditional publishers who have been producing paper magazines for decades are now thinking about joining the modern age and creating something to keep up with the competition. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds and often the pressure is on to succeed the first time around with a rather unforgiving online world waiting. But have no fear! Below is all of the information that will help you to get started on your digital journey as well as the questions that you should ask yourself before you make any drastic steps into the unknown.

We can help you to create your brand new digital magazine!

Is my team tech-savvy enough?

So, before we get into the real nitty-gritty of digital magazine creation, you should first make sure that you are surrounded by a team that will be able to support you on this journey. If your team is full of digital novices who can’t tell a HPub from a PDF then you may want to think about expanding and welcoming a consultant or another member of staff to the team. This person should know their way around technology and be able to offer in-depth advice regarding all things digital magazine-related from file formats to content building techniques.

Even if you only have one person to consult, it can be a great starting point for your team as it will comfort them knowing that someone who knows what they are talking about is around to offer them help whenever necessary until they find their feet.

Will I have to change the way my office operates?

Now, this is often a concern for traditional magazine publishers who have been creating content the same way for quite some time. However, after the initial stage of getting acquainted with the new digital regime, it should be business as usual. After all, you will still compile content, images, and designs but now it will be seen in a digital variety and will be formatted as such.

One aspect that may differ from the old days of print publishing is that you may have to market your magazine a little differently. With print magazines, it was always the case that your magazine would just go onto the shelves and perhaps there may be a billboard or a flyer here and there, but for the most part, marketing took care of itself. If you don’t market yourself wisely in the digital stratosphere, you could be forgotten! So, let your current readers know that you are moving into the digital field and reach out via social media and other platforms to attract new readers.

Now, this leads us on to some logistics that you must take into consideration before you begin to pursue your digital dreams.

How to price it

Should your digital magazine cost less than your print magazine because it costs less to produce? Or should it cost more because it includes interactive features that far surpass the printed images on pieces of paper? Should I make a package deal with my print and digital magazines? These are all questions that you must think carefully about and do your research on before you even think of putting your magazine on the market. There is a lot of material online, so you aren’t in it alone but it’s important to consider.

How to create a digital magazine business plan

Now, if you have been in the publishing game for long enough, perhaps this is an obvious one, but it’s worth remembering. When you are planning to launch a digital magazine or a digital edition of your magazine, there are many factors to take into consideration. You should create a business plan (within a multiplatform publishing organisation) that can help you develop and communicate strategic planning frameworks. This will make things much easier for you in the long run and ensure that all members of the team are on the same page.

Well, there you have it. Some of the tips and tricks and things to consider if you are thinking of digital magazine creation. The only question left to answer is: are you and your team ready for this?

We can help you to create your brand new digital magazine!