top of page

How To Start A Magazine

Updated: Mar 16

Starting a magazine may seem like a difficult task, but it can be profitable and easy to attain if you have a clear direction. If you find yourself asking how to start a magazine, you have come to the correct place. In previous years it may have been more difficult but with the use of the internet, it is now easier than ever.

We at Pelcro understand that starting a magazine without guidance may lead to trouble. Do not worry, however, as we are here to help.

One of the largest issues when starting a magazine is finance. If you have not decided a budget for your magazine, you will encounter problems fairly quickly.

When considering starting a magazine, design a concrete but flexible budget that focuses on its current status. It must also enable flexibility for future growth.

You must also acknowledge all the various components that will be a part of the magazine and incorporate them into your budget as well. A few of these components consist of:

  1. The paywall (Hard/ Soft/ Dynamic)

  2. Employing of staff.

  3. Deciding whether you will be branching into print and tablet.

  4. Advertising.

  5. Pricing structure.

  6. Platform availability.

  7. The frequency of issues.

During the planning stage of your magazine, you must acknowledge all these points and ensure that you have notes for each.

Do not worry, however, as we will help you learn how to start a magazine.

How to start a magazine:

The paywall:

We have spoken about paywalls previously on Pelcro, and the growing number of media publications that are adopting the system. Soft paywalls are more popular than hard paywalls and generally result in higher conversions and less rebound. Dynamic paywalls, which we posted about previously, enable great flexibility with the statistics you gather from your site/ magazine.

Starting a digital magazine will need a definitive way of collecting revenue. A subscription-based service, such as a paywall, will enable you to convert a higher number of readers. This will result in larger revenue.

We recommend using a soft paywall or a dynamic paywall for your magazine. A hard paywall can cause higher rebound and fewer subscriptions.

A dynamic paywall allows you to bypass the problems that other paywall types can have.

A dynamic paywall allows you to bypass the problems that other paywall types can have. Source.

Employing of staff:

To create the magazine, you will need to hire staff to perform selected duties. Creating a budget and plan on which positions to fill and their costs is important. Failure to do so can result in the magazine not launching or getting enough traffic to be successful.

You must also decide which contributors will be employees and which ones will be contractors. Both will have different pay with differing needs and requirements. Ensure that you are knowledgeable about all required components.

If you decide to have the magazine branch to physical copies later, you will also need to account the new workers pay inside the budget as well as any contractors.

When considering how to start a magazine, you must ensure that you stick to your budget, but allow room for flexibility.

Branching into print:

Branching the digital magazine into print can be a great investment if completed correctly. It is an important decision that must be decided early in the magazine’s lifespan so that you may incorporate it into your budget.

Branching the magazine to print can increase conversion as it will allow a larger audience to see your work. You may also hook readers on your content and transition them into reading the digital issues.

Digital and print magazines both have their positives and negatives.

Digital and print magazines both have their positives and negatives. Source.


An integral part of media publications is advertising, both native and sponsorships. In your budget, you will need to decide how much to spend on advertising your content. You will also need to decide what type of advertising will work best. Testing various ads and comparing results would be most appropriate.

You will also need to decide whether you will be advertising online or offline, or both.

If you do not decide on going the paywall route, you will also need to come up with a decision on brand sponsorships and how you shall reach out to said brands.

Pricing structure:

Regarding your subscription service for your paywall, ensure that you have a range of various subscription options. This will increase conversion as it allows a larger number of people to subscribe who are on differing budgets. Ensure that you have a one-year bulk package as well as monthly and weekly options. This will enable more readers to be able to subscribe.

If you are going print, you will also need to decide the pricing structure for each issue. If you are a smaller magazine or focused locally, you may also decide to make print copies free. Ensure that more content can be found online, however, to incentivize readers to subscribe.

Platform availability:

The digital platform is becoming more mainstream, and necessary to use. Regarding your magazine, a decision must be made whether readers will need to head to your website to access your magazine or if native apps will be available.

If you have decided that you will use apps, you need to be aware of the various platforms that you will enable your app to be available on. Two main platforms that will be necessary to use will be the “Google Play Store” and the “Apple App Store”. A price must be decided also. To remain competitive with other media publications using this feature, I recommend making the app free but using the paywall method with 3-5 free articles available for readers on a time-based schedule.

Will you decide to branch to print?

Will you decide to branch to print? Source.

The frequency of issues:

No, this is not about any complications that may arise, but rather how often you publish “issues”. Once a decision has been made on how many issues will come out per week, month and year, you will need to decide what day and time will it release on.

This upload date must be kept to as it will ensure that readers know exactly when the issue will drop and will anticipate its release. Perhaps having a text notification on your website will also be necessary.

No longer will you be worried about how to start a magazine with these points. Starting a magazine can be fun and rewarding, but a plan and budget are necessary.

Stop asking yourself how can I start a magazine but rather when can I?

Deciding how often to publish an issue is an important decision.

Deciding how often to publish an issue is an important decision. Source.

If you have any questions on how to start a magazine, do not hesitate to contact us!

Have you started a magazine? Let us know down below in the comments!


bottom of page