How to Create a Digital Online Magazine

Shannon Correia September 29, 2021

It’s easier than ever to create your very own online magazine. Magazines are a great way to share content collectively and comprehensively. Whether it's for corporate use to show investors what you’re up to internally, or designed to share helpful content with your audiences, creating a magazine could do wonders for your business. Here’s how in 5 steps...

Entering the World of Digital Magazines

Digital alternatives have transformed the traditional media space. This includes the magazine industry, once closed-off and reserved for news and entertainment purposes. Today, pretty much anyone can create a magazine. By sharing it online, you’re meeting people where they are at and following an eco-friendly approach too. 

The internet is filled with all sorts of helpful tools to help you create and publish a magazine. It needn’t be a costly endeavor, especially since you’re saving on printing costs (and, in some cases, design costs too). By using the right tools, you make the experience of ‘paging’ through a magazine enjoyable. There are many ways to make it pleasing to the reader, from a design that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, to including interactive elements and multi-media-like related videos that can be played. 

That said, what goes into the magazine is crucial. This is ultimately what will keep people interested and reading. When you achieve this, you gain the penultimate KPI of a loyal readership.

There is a lot of potential, especially with regard to niche topics. Many companies have magazines available as an added bonus to members, or to inspire people with up-to-date news relating to their brand (rather than using it as a catalog or advertising medium). 

create online magazine

How to Create an Online Magazine 

To create your very own magazine, follow these 5 steps:

Step 1: The Magazine Plan

Much like a business plan, research and planning mark the start of the process. This will help you determine the purpose of it, the details about how you’ll produce, publish and share it, and who you’ll be creating it for. Come up with your vision, your goals, and a structure. Go wild during this stage, as the world is your oyster! Look for inspiration in terms of design and content. The better you’re able to understand, appeal to, and satisfy your readers, the more successful your magazine will be. 

An important element is the branding of your magazine - for this, it's best to create a style guide so that your formatting, spelling, and grammar is consistently applied. Depending on the purpose of your magazine, you may need to include projections for a rate card for advertisers. You may also need to include a budget if you’re not using an in-house team, or are using online platforms that include subscription fees. 

Step 2: Editorial Planning

The planning doesn’t end there. Each month, you’ll need to create an editorial plan. You can create a template sheet that you edit each month so that you include your regular features. Here’s an example of what to include:

  • Editor’s letter
  • Guest feature
  • Regular features
  • Infographics 
  • Long-form article

Have a process in place where you create this, get it approved, and then move on to the next step. 

Step 3: Content Production

Gather and produce the content you’ll be including in the edition. This may require repurposing content or crafting it from scratch - probably a combination of the two. Be sure to have the content edited and proofread - mistakes and errors detract from the quality of the magazine and the perception of professionally of the brand. It is also great to include a number of contributors, as this adds different voices to the publication. Consider different types of articles as well, from listicles to interviews and features to keep it interesting. 

Step 4: Design Time

Now that you have the contents, it’s time to put it all together. Whether you hand it over to a graph designer or use a free tool online with ready-made templates that you can copy and paste the content into. Once this is ready with compelling images, headings, fonts, and color schemes, it’s time to check everything. This includes proofreading for more errors and perfecting the design elements. Great magazines have imagery, so consider using free or paid stock photos, or your own photography. With an array of great software available, there is no reason your magazine should simply read as a PDF. 

Step 5: Publish and Market the Magazine 

Once you have the PDF version of your magazine, you can upload it to create an online magazine. There are many options available online which make page flipping and sharing easy. Once you have this ready, you can share and promote the magazine with your database, via social media, in an email, and display it on your website. Most online magazines are free, though you can also sell them on certain platforms. The goal should be to reach your audience, pique their interest, and gain leads to grow your database. Remember, if your magazine is online-only, it needs to be opened and viewed online. By having a digital copy, people can download and view it on any digital device. 

Once the magazine is out there, it’s time to begin the process all over again by planning the editorial content for your next edition. Consistency is key, so aim to share the editions regularly.

Launch Your Digital Magazine Online

There you have it - a simple 5 step guide to creating a digital magazine! If you’d like an agency to create and market your magazine, speak with us at Nexa. We’ve got a team of writers, designers, and marketers with the experience to ensure your publication is a success. 

Have a look at our very own magazine.