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Magazine Publishing - How To Create the Content

Aug 29, 2008
At this point you are ready to embark into the next stage of magazine publishing content creation. To do this you will need to have knowledge of magazine writing and graphic design.If you do not possess these skills, you can consider taking shortcuts, whether it's hiring a ghostwriter or using a template. Or, you can try to find free help through aspiring writers or hobbyists. Ultimately, it doesn't matter which path you take, just as long as you're getting quality content.

With that being said, take a look at the section below to determine which route is best for your situation.

The Options for Content Creation

1. Doing Everything Yourself
Creating magazine content on your own gives you the most control over your publication. You won't have to worry about unfinished work, plagiarism or other issues that are common among ghostwriters. Most importantly, when you create everything yourself, labor is completely free.

However, you will have to pay with something else time. Even if you are highly skilled with writing and graphic design, it may take you several hours just to create 1 worthwhile article. This doesn't include the time it takes to come up with engaging ideas.

Yet, magazine writing is like anything else after you do it a few times, you'll get faster. In fact, expert writers can create an engaging magazine article in under an hour, assuming it is 400 words or less and off the top of their heads. If the subject matter requires extensive research or interviews, it may take a day to complete the article.

Of course, even if it took you a day to write 1 article, you still would come out ahead. Why? Well, if you're creating a magazine with the bare-bones minimum of 8 pages, you'll need at least 5 articles, (since the other 3 pages will be dedicated for your advertisers). And, at 1 article a day, in less than a week, you should be able to have your content 70% complete.

Why 70% instead of 100%? Well, remember you still have to take into account your magazine's graphical layout. You must also think about how you're going to incorporate your ads. You may even have to design them if your advertisers do not give you any graphics to work with.

You can make the process go by a little quicker if you buy magazine templates. Containing pre-designed graphical layouts, all you have to do is enter in your content. Nothing more is needed unless you decide you want to customize the layouts even further.

Now, in some cases, layout customization can be easy even if your graphic design skills are limited. Simple things like changing colors or fonts can be done without much of an issue. But if you want to make more complicated changes, you're going to need not only advanced design skills but also something to work with. In layman's terms this means photographs and clip art.

But what about all of the graphics available over the Internet? Well, in all honesty, using other people's graphics is a complex issue. Some people believe that if you provide a link to their site that everything is okay. And in some cases, such thinking is correct. However, unless a person explicitly says it's okay to use their graphics in commercial publications, chances are they're probably going to want to charge you for such privileges.

You could try to avoid this issue by purchasing royalty free photographs.The images cost as little as $1 and they tend to be very high-quality. However, if you decide to get hundreds of images at a time, you will have to end up paying more money. And this can be tough if you're working on a low budget.

Another option could be using public domain images. These are images which have no copyrights or copyrights that have expired. They are free for the public to use, even if they want them for commercial purposes. The only problem is sometimes an image could be public domain today but copy written tomorrow. That's why if you decide to use public domain images, you must extensively research whether or not they are truly free to use. Considering this, it still seems easier to purchase the photos.

So, what's the best way to get a healthy collection of images without having to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars? The answer can be found in CD collections. These are available from photographers directly or from established companies. Either way, as long as they are deemed to be royalty-free, you can do whatever you want with them. And the cost is usually less than $100.

2. Hiring a Graphic Designer
If you want to establish a unique image for your brand, you probably don't want to use templates, since there's a greater likelihood they are already in someone else's publication. But if you don't mind hiring a graphic designer, you can pretty much avoid this problem altogether. And thanks to freelancing sites,finding affordable graphic designers doesn't have to be a tedious chore.

3. Buying Private Label Content
Private label content usually won't provide you assistance with your graphical layouts, but it will help you with your content. However, you need to make sure you are buying the right type of content, otherwise your articles will appear amateurish to your audience.

4. Using a Ghostwriter
Finding the right private label content can be a quick and affordable way to fuel articles for your magazine, but what do you do if you want something more customized? Well, if you do not have the time to write the article yourself, you can hire a ghostwriter to do it for you. What is a ghostwriter? A ghostwriter is someone who writes articles anonymously for their clients. Work does not have to be credited in their name, though it can be if you desire.

5. Hiring a Professional Magazine Writer
Professional magazine writers cost more than Internet ghostwriters, but they tend to be well-versed in the art of magazine writing. And, since future gigs depend on their reputation, they are less likely to be tempted by plagiarism.

6. Hiring Volunteers
Believe or not, there's also the option of hiring writers free-of-charge. In these instances, they will usually require publication of their name, since that's really the only thing that they would be getting out of the deal. So, you can pretty much forget a ghostwriting arrangement, unless of course you can offer salaried work in the future.
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