Why run a Community Magazine?


Over the past few years printed community magazines have become something of a cottage industry in Britain. This trend has now spread to the U.S. too. But why would you choose to set up and run a community magazine?
For most people it includes:
  • The desire to run their own business
  • The desire to work from home
  • The desire for flexible working hours to fit around their family
  • The need for a decent salary to provide for their family


These types of magazines provide a service to the community in that they act as a directory of local trades-people. They also need to provide an income so will be heavily reliant on the advertisements those trades-people take out. However, they also have to appeal to your reader or no-one will bother to look at them so there needs to be a balance between interesting editorial items such as articles and puzzles and the adverts.
There is also another type of person who wants to produce a community magazine
  • They might want to share their interest in local history
  • They may wish to provide a source of local information for the community, about the community e.g. a book of nature walks.


These magazines don’t have to make a huge profit, but equally it would be nice if the project didn’t go into debt. The magazine might be a Parish magazine, a school magazine, a booklet of local walks or a publication you’ve put together about the history of your local area.
My own situation fell squarely in the first category. I’d had a satisfying, well paid career but it had always involved being out of the house from 8am until 6.30pm, and I’d always worked Saturdays. When I gave birth to my first child I realised I didn’t want to go back to that way of working but neither did I relish being broke.

Setting up my magazine meant I could work from home, around my baby son, and schedule things to suit me and my family. I could also leave my weekends free so that I could spend more time with my husband. It was also far more satisfying and brought in much more money than other so-called ‘home income’ schemes I’d researched…I really couldn’t see myself making Christmas crackers!

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