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Magazine Publishing - How To Select The Right Niche and Concept

Aug 29, 2008
According to the latest publishing industry report, more than 10,000 new magazines are published each year. Of this number, 90% will fail, usually right after the first issue has been distributed. The remaining percentage acquires more success, allowing the owner to return a steady profit.

So, what makes the 10% of successful magazines different from the 90% of unsuccessful ones? Well, sometimes it's an issue of budget and celebrity status. However, do not think that you have to be another celebrity to publish a successful magazine.

In fact, despite the difficulties associated with magazine publishing, there are still a few average people that are able to get their foot through the door. Yet, since they don't have money or fame to promote themselves, they must use a different approach niche marketing.

What is niche marketing? Niche marketing occurs when you advertise to a more specialized audience individuals who are not getting their needs or wants met by existing companies. As a result, you develop a high demand for your product a demand that won't have too much competition in its supply, (since obviously you will be the main supplier).

To better understand the power of this concept, consider the example of Simone Gold, an emergency physician who launched the magazine MedicaLife. Instead of focusing on a general market, Gold decided she would go niche and advertise to people working in the healthcare industry. Her approach worked wonders as now MedicaLife is one of the top magazines in its market.

You can make niche marketing even more powerful if you find niches within niches. Sound confusing? Well, it isn't really. In fact, if you use Gold as an example, there are tons more niches within niches you could find. For instance, you could launch a magazine just for Emergency Technicians. You could make things even more niche by launching a magazine for Female Emergency Technicians. Ultimately, the list is endless.

Yet, keep in mind that this is just an example. Don't create a magazine for Emergency Technicians if you have no knowledge or interest in the subject. This is especially the case if you don't have the money to outsource your articles, (something you'll learn about later on). Remember, readers want pieces that are as informative as they are heartfelt. If your market feels you are not truly writing for them, they're not going to be interested in buying future subscriptions.

With that being said, how does a person decide what niche they should center their magazine around? And how can they be sure that their niche isn't already taken? Ironically, the answers to both questions can be found through a step commonly taken for online marketing: keyword research.

Now, if this seems strange to you, it might be because you're more inundated with doing things the hard way spending hour after hour researching magazines that are already in circulation. Well, you don't need to worry about doing this right now, because what's more important is identifying your market. Once you have identified your market.Once you have identified your market, you can then decide how you're going to work against your competition.

With that in mind, you need to begin thinking about how your magazine is going to fare against your competition. To do this, you will need to figure out what existing magazines surrounding your topic are already out there. If you're pressed for time, you can always enter your magazine's topic and the keyword magazine into a search engine.This query should show the most popular magazines already being produced around your topic.

If you want to perform a more detailed search, you can take search online under 'List of United States Magazines', and you get a general listing of all of the most popular magazines in circulation in the United States. Best of all, the list is categorized based on their subject matter, making the research process a little easier.

There's also the option of finding magazines through printed directories. Amazon sells many of them, though you can also find some at your local library. Through these resources, you'll be able to research a larger number of magazines not just those that are wildly successful.

Regardless, once you have identified some of your competitors, you will need to try and analyze them to see how you can come out ahead. Maybe you could charge a lower price.Or, maybe you could offer a generous incentive for new subscribers. Really, if you put your mind to it, you should be able to think of hundreds of ways you can get subscribers even if your competitors are renowned.

And, at the worst case, you can always give your magazine away as a free publication. You'll have to be more creative with how you get revenue, but you WILL get large numbers of subscribers. And with these numbers, you'll have a ton of marketing power, whether you want to market your own products or someone else's. But that's something you can read on our next article.
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