Starting a Niche Magazine

Starting a magazine can be a powerful tool, especially if you are operating within a niche market. Boasting strong following and high subscription counts, the success of these small publications is driven by content that is hyper-targeted to the audience, and very specific to the niche market.

Although creating a niche publication might have a higher success rate than a general interest publication, development and editorial can come with a hefty price tag. Following is a top 10 list of things to consider before designing and launching and officially starting your niche magazine publication:

  1. Evaluate the existing market place. Are there other magazines or publications out there catering to your market? Are they a general interest or are they tailored to a specific aspect of your industry?
  2. Find the niche and determine the audience. There may be general publications for your market, but are they narrowing down their content to qualify as a niche in your market? Let’s assume there is room for your publication in a specific area of your industry, is there an audience? Will people care about the particular issues you want to address in your publication? Are there enough readers out there to support your publication?
  3. Determine the caliber of your magazine. Are you positioning your publication as sharing expert content in the industry on a professional level? Is it more light-hearted and trendy? The caliber of your magazine is important as it determines the type of content you will share with your audience.
  4. How will you reach your readers? This is a critical question, especially in the digital age. Are going to print your publication? Is it digital? Is it both? You will need to determine where you audience is best engaged, and can you effectively reach your audience through their preferred mediums?
  5. Will you need advertisers? Are there big industry players who may take interest in catering to a niche in their market place? Are there opportunities for paid advertising in your publication to offset production costs?
  6. What will your team look like? Can you outsource or freelance parts of the magazine? Your team is the driving force of the creation of your publication. Choosing the right designers and copywriters will have a significant impact on how well your publication is executed. Do you plan on having an in-house team to develop the publication or do you have the opportunity to sub-contract parts of the development?
  7. How will distribute your magazine? Are you planning on selling subscriptions to your publication, is it free, or will it be sold in stores? All of these are important distribution questions and will determine how customers receive and share your magazine.
  8. Consult an expert. There’s no better way to get a feel for the process of developing and launching a publication than talking with a group that has already done so. Find an industry colleague or friend who can give you an inside perspective to starting out.
  9. Create a content database. You will always be hunting for new and exciting content for your publication. Start by creating a database of interesting articles, videos, and images to use in your magazine throughout the year. You’ll be glad you did!
  10. Market, market, market! Marketing is king in getting your niche magazine off the ground. Word of mouth is a powerful tool. Get your magazine in the hands of as many industry trendsetters as you can. Use online and direct mail tools to promote the launch and encourage subscriptions. Take out booth space at local tradeshows and events to market your publication. If you appeal to a local audience, make sure to attend as many local events as you can to promote the launch of your magazine.

After you get your magazine publication off the ground, don’t forget to perform these critical steps to keep it going strong:

  1. Ask for and take feedback seriously. Your magazine is in the business to provide your audience with the content they need and want. The launch of your first issue is a learning curve and you will find that constructive criticism can help you build a bigger, stronger magazine that appeals to all of your audiences. Do your readers like the content of the magazine? Is the layout appealing? Do the advertisers have any feedback on the placement and performance of their ads? How can you improve?
  2. Keep track of what’s being done right. If a promotion was a big hit, if an article style got rave reviews, if witty comments from experts increased feedback, make a mental note. All of these elements are parts of the magazine your audience enjoys. Capitalize on that and find a way to reproduce or feature it in issues going forward.
  3. Always fine-tune. There is always room for improvement. Keep track of things that work and things that don’t. As the market and times change, you’ll be ahead of the game and ready to make the changes to your magazine to evolve with your market.


Need a little inspiration on the layout of your new niche magazine?

We’ve got an InDesign template created by Stock InDesign that is a great foundation to getting your publication under way!

Click Here to download the template.