Ten Top Tips for Producing a Community Magazine

Decide what your magazine will do. Will it be a directory of local traders, a Parish magazine, a local tourist guide etc…
Decide how you will approach the set-up. Do you want to set it up from scratch, buy a going concern or would you prefer to go through a tried and trusted franchise. All three methods have pros and cons.
Check out the competition. This is important. How will your magazine be better? On the other hand, if there is nothing similar, ask yourself why not. It may be that there is a genuine gap in the market or it could be that your idea isn’t really viable.
Decide who your advertisers will be. Is there a broad base of advertisers from which to draw or will you be struggling to find people?
Choose a catchy title. You want something people will remember: ‘Dagenham Directory’, 'The Ely Eye' and ‘Village Connect’ are all titles of advertising based magazines which work well. 'Historic Horsham' and 'Walks-a-Plenty' are two not-for-profit titles which also trip off the tongue nicely.
Decide on your layout. Will your publication be A5 size or A4? How many pages are you aiming to fill? What will your cover look like?
Find a good printer. Chat with several and see what sort of packages they can offer. Get them to take out an advertising slot with you. What better way to advertise their services than in the lovely little magazine they’re producing for you.
Create great editorial. Go to our editorial page for useful hints and tips and join The Content Club for monthly articles and puzzles. For just £10 per month you can make your magazine sparkle. A magazine is only as good as its content.
Promote your magazine. See if you can arrange a stand at a school fete, library or market. Issue a press release to the local newspaper so people in the area know you exist. Create a website for your magazine to widen awareness and make it more attractive to advertisers.
Think positively. You’ll have ups and downs but you’ll have the pleasure and excitement of starting your own business and watching it grow.
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