So, you want to know how to make a digital magazine? Creating a digital magazine is good for almost any business, as consumers spend more time on their cell phones and are something they can engage with more easily.
One of the advantages of creating a digital magazine is that you don’t have to worry about the logistics or expense of physical delivery, finding a good printer, or worrying about delivery errors. Digital magazines represent the evolution of print media.
However, to make any decision, it is essential that you have a clear idea about how to create a digital magazine. What is a digital magazine? how useful is it? what is the difference between a digital and print magazine? what types of digital magazines exist? what are the parts of a digital magazine?
In this new blog post, you will not only learn how to make a digital magazine, but we will also tell you which programs you can use to design them, and you will receive some recommendations about courses you can take if you want to get more involved in their design. ready? follow us!
1. Know the parts of a digital magazine
When we talk about the structure of a digital magazine, we are mainly referring to the sections you should include and the order in which you place them. The way you put all this together is what will result in your editorial formula.
Of course, the decision you make here will depend largely on the type of magazine you intend to make, the purpose of your magazine and your target audience. The good news is that, with a digital magazine, you have even more freedom and flexibility than with a print magazine.
On the other hand, you should take into account that not all digital magazines have all the elements. The form may vary according to what the editor and designer see fit. Below, we show you what are the parts of a digital magazine.
The cover is the face of the magazine. The function of the cover is to arouse interest in the content. The photograph on the front page is usually related to the magazine’s feature article. If you have a captivating cover, there will be more chances that people will be encouraged to buy your digital magazine.
what elements should a magazine cover have?
Magazine logo: if possible, it should always be located in the same place, which is usually at the top of the cover, and it must be sufficiently striking.
Permanent information: these are those technical elements that will appear in all editions of the digital magazine, such as the publisher, place of the edition and others.
Photograph or illustration: the central element, of course, will consist of an illustration or a photograph that stands out and attracts attention.
Headline: surely one of the first things you think about when researching how to make a digital magazine is the central theme. That is what the headline on the cover should be about.
The cover pages are the ones that are placed right after the cover. Usually, these are contracted advertising .
If we talk about money, the first three represent the most expensive pages of a digital magazine. If you decide to use this section for advertising, you will be able to charge more than for the advertising inside.
When thinking about how to make a digital magazine, you probably plan to place advertising. It is important that, wherever you place the ad, you look for advertisers that are in line with your values and the purpose of the magazine, this will help you gain trust and credibility with your audience. more on this later!
Letter from the editor
The editor welcomes us to the magazine through a written message. This works as an introduction, where the content of the digital magazine will be briefly explained. Also, many editors include a short reflection on the topics that will be covered in that issue.
These are the keys to writing an editorial:
Knowing the audience: this will allow you to know what topics they are interested in, what will be the voice and tone of the text, answer questions from the audience, among other aspects
Talk about current affairs: readers of magazines, both in print and digital, want to be informed. You can make a very nice artistic editorial, but it is important that it touches on a current issue.
Use creative writing techniques: include popular phrases, quotes from movies or books, anecdotes, dialogues, jokes or whatever you can think of. The goal, remember, is to grab the reader and invite him or her to keep reading.
Organize the information before writing: this will allow you to better structure your paragraphs and ideas.
Take care of spelling and grammar: it may seem obvious, but you don’t want to have spelling mistakes in the first few pages. this will scare off readers!
Include other viewpoints: from time to time, you can invite celebrities or well-known people from your city to write the editorial. When you start defining how to make a digital magazine, keep this in mind, so you can contact these people.
Make well-founded argumentative texts: we all love to read the opinions of others. But keep in mind that you will be in front of a journalistic medium, therefore, do not give your opinion just for the sake of giving it. Support your positions.
Letters from readers
This section is totally optional and, obviously, it depends on whether you receive this type of letters. Digital magazines that have a very large readership base may have the luxury of hundreds of letters from which you could select the most interesting ones.
Smaller publications probably don’t receive enough letters from readers to create a dedication section, but it also depends on the frequency of your magazine.
However, if you have the material, including letters from readers is an interesting way to show other readers that they are not the only ones reading. It also helps create a sense of community around your magazine, which can be very valuable.
In the index we will have the list that will help us organize the content and locate it more easily within our digital magazine. The names of the most important articles or editorials and their respective page number are placed.
The design of the table of contents varies greatly depending on the subject of the digital magazine. For example, scientific magazines usually have an index in the form of a list, while fashion or lifestyle magazines organize it in a more creative and visual way.
Directory or imprint
The directory lists the people involved in the production of the magazine, including editorial staff, designers and other key people such as the managing editor and even the printing and marketing people .
It is usually a stand-alone page that may go in the table of contents, either at the front of the magazine or sometimes at the back. It also has a simple, unobtrusive design.
Depending on the type of digital magazine you are creating, this section may or may not be necessary. If you are creating a magazine that will serve as a product catalog, for example, you can omit it altogether.
Remember that today’s readers have a very short attention span, and you want them to get to what’s most important right away. With this in mind, you might consider putting it at the end.
Articles are the central part of a digital magazine. They tend to be complemented with visual elements such as photos and graphics.
Although they should follow a consistent layout, the number and length of articles will be based on the objective of the magazine, the number of pages and the decisions of the digital magazine editor.
Many magazines tend to intersperse their content between shorter and longer articles to make the reading more agile. Also, they usually change the layout slightly (following consistency) between each article to make the difference between the beginning of one and the end of the previous one.
If you are going to be in charge of writing content for your magazine, then it is important that you have a good command of writing, as well as excellent spelling and grammar.
It will also help you to put together a style manual, where you will define the voice and tone of your texts and provide examples of good practices to replicate in your articles. This manual will also help you delegate writing to others, ensuring that they maintain the magazine’s writing style.
how to make a profitable digital magazine? Advertising is the answer: Organizations wishing to promote their products or services will pay a fee to appear in the structure of your publication.
Also, keep in mind that the advertisements that appear in your digital magazine need to be consistent with the target audience and the content. For example, if the magazine is oriented towards women between 18 and 35 years old and the subject matter is beauty, the advertising inside can be related to makeup, fashion, female empowerment, etc.
The advertisements need to be impactful and have a lot of color to attract the reader’s eyes to your digital magazine. The format and size can vary according to the cost.
Interactive ads can also be included in a digital magazine. These can have a link to a website or to a download. They can also include activities or animations.
In this section of the digital magazine will be placed small articles, specific news or specific columns such as the horoscope or the latest movies in streaming services. Also, something very common is to use this page for guest authors.
2. Research the types of digital magazines and choose one
Online magazines, as the name suggests, are magazines that are read online. So, to access it, the reader must have a computer or digital device with Internet access.
Online e-magazines are not formatted for a tablet, can be read like any web page and cannot be purchased from an app store. High-quality, reliable content is the heart and soul of the online e-magazine.
Another feature they possess is that online e-magazines are available through a subscription website, which means that access to the content on your website is restricted and only people who pay can access it.
The user can view an issue of a magazine, which is linear and periodic, has pages, regular frequency and can be viewed in HTML on any desktop or mobile device at any time without having to download anything.
how do you make money with online magazines? Online magazine publishers typically generate their revenue through subscribers and through advertising.
Digital PDF magazines
PDF magazines are one of the most widely used formats for creating digital magazines. The beauty of PDF is that the file and all its elements cannot be modified or manipulated once saved or published.
It doesn’t matter if it is viewed in a browser, Adobe Acrobat Reader or on a mobile device. Everything will remain intact just as the designer intended.
With the evolution of online magazines, a new version of PDFs emerged called flippable (or browsable) PDFs. These PDF documents are often on websites and can simulate the turning of pages, just like a print edition.
Essentially, flipbooks are a digital replica of the print magazine. The same advantages that PDF magazines offer apply to flipbooks: it is very easy to take a print magazine and digitize it. Moreover, there is no need to download the publication before reading it.
However, flipbooks also have the same disadvantages as PDF magazines. If you try to open a flipbook on a cell phone, due to their fixed layout, they are very difficult to read without having to zoom in.
Native digital magazine apps
A native app is simply one that you can download from the Apple app store, or the Google Play store for your iOS or Android device.
The concept of digital magazine refers precisely to any magazine read digitally, that is, a magazine that specially has a digital edition. In other words, it is the magazine that is read on the iPad, Kindle or other tablet-like device, as it also refers to the type of content it offers.
For example, advertisements can link to web pages (a great advantage for advertisers) and articles can include photo galleries, videos and all kinds of multimedia content you can think of.
In the following video from the digital edition of TIME magazine you can see what we mean.
Digital magazine subscription applications
The digital magazine business model that does not include a print magazine version is what some publishers have started to explore lately. This is a radical innovation that seeks to offer a service according to the needs of a digital audience that is attracted to this format.
There are already platforms such as Zinio that have their own application so that users can subscribe and have access to well-known magazines, either by paying for an issue or for the full annual subscription of a title.
Another new modality is to pay monthly to read as many magazines as you want, as well as Netflix, called Texture, a service from Apple. There are also single-magazine and single-publisher apps as well as apps that offer different titles such as issuu, Magzter and joomag.
HTML5 digital magazines
Unlike fixed-layout PDFs or flipbooks, HTML5 magazines use responsive design principles to adapt their layout and typography to the size of the reader’s screen.
When read on a computer, they feel like a modern website, but with a linear flow. When used on a mobile device, they feel like interacting with a native app.
3. Choose the theme for your digital magazine
the first step is to choose the theme! Usually, we have an overall theme, main themes and secondary themes. We classify them in this way so that we can structure our digital magazine in a simpler way.
You can start creating a list of themes that go according to the general theme of your multimedia magazine. Let’s start by listing the contents that have the most information potential. For example, interviews, informative articles and research. Next, we can list the topics that complement the main ones.
4. Determine the objectives of your digital magazine
Digital magazines are modern tools to disseminate information. The evolution of technology has made us take new routes to reach more people faster.
The objectives of a digital magazine can vary. One of the main ones is to be a source of information for a specific niche. Also, you can target a community and interact directly with it.
On the other hand, digital magazines work to establish an authority. People who are looking for information about the topics developed in your publications will find more credibility in a magazine because it is a “formal” communication media.
Likewise, as we mentioned previously, multimedia magazines serve as a digital marketing tool. People usually go to magazines to look for recommendations. This format will be very useful to attract customers, especially if you sell products or services through the Internet.
They can also be a source of income. If you decide to monetize their distribution, you can earn money by selling them directly. Otherwise, you can generate income through advertising contracted by other companies related to the theme of the digital magazine.
Define a target audience
Once we have selected the main and complementary themes, we must know the niche we are targeting. You can conduct your own market research to study what type of content they are looking for, what formats they prefer, if they prefer more visual resources or if they enjoy longer texts.
5. Develop the structure of your digital magazine
Having a structure for your digital magazine will facilitate its management. You will always know how many articles and pages of content you need to fill each issue. You will also have some regular topics that you know you need to cover. Divide your table of contents or table of contents into sections that are relevant to your reader. For example:
Arts and Culture
And everything that makes sense for the niche market of your digital magazine. This way you can decide how many articles or pages fit in each section.
It is also a good idea to make a map of each issue, that is, it is not the same to think of a flipbook than a PDF magazine, it is different how the left and right pages are related.
Another important aspect to consider in the structure of a digital magazine is to set page limits or word counts to help you better manage articles that span multiple pages and how they will appear in the final layout.
You may have predetermined spaces for display images or ads that take up a full page in your digital magazine.
6. Create a content plan
It’s time to figure out what will go inside my digital magazine. Let’s select which sections, articles, interviews and columns will be part of the publication .
We can get inspiration from digital magazines that talk about the same industry. But, remember, innovation will be the key to your success. start with brainstorming! Make a rough draft of your brainstorming. In this case, the more ideas the better.
Then, review what you have and select the ones that go best with your projection. Next, we can determine how we are going to develop each content. Also, you can decide which sections or columns will be permanent and which ones will be unique. A mix of generic and original content will be a very good formula.
7. Define the periodicity of your digital magazine
we have to plan the content of the digital magazine! To do this, we must determine the periodicity of the magazine. It can be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. It will depend on your objectives and the capacity of your team.
We will also define the number of pages it will have and how we will distribute the selected contents throughout the different issues.
8. Plan monetization strategies
We will decide how we will make our magazine profitable. There are 3 modalities.
Free subscription download
At the beginning, many digital magazines decide to be free so that the diffusion is greater and they can become known in the community to which they are addressed. However, in the long term, it is important to be clear about how we can make money to justify the time invested.
If we use the free download modality, in order to monetize it, it is necessary to introduce advertising in it. In the case of digital magazines, you can include links, videos, animations and traditional advertisements.
If the modality we choose is a paid subscription, we must establish a price according to the periodicity of the publication of the digital magazine. Also, packages are usually put together for a certain number of editions as a promotion.
Finally, in the single payment modality, people will pay an established amount for each copy of the digital magazine.
9. Make a sketch of your digital magazine
many questions arise! What technical aspects should I take into account? what do I need to know about graphic design? what colors should I use? which fonts for magazines are the most suitable?
calm down! It’s normal not to know where to start. We recommend you to make a sketch with pencil and paper, so you will have an idea of what you want before you start designing your digital magazine. Work on your sketch until it looks the way you imagine it. Take your time.
Once you have your draft ready, open your design program. Some factors you can take into account before you start is that your digital magazine must contain your brand identity; this way, you will differentiate yourself from the competition.
Also, keep a visual coherence. You can create a moodboard to visualize all your resources together, such as color palette and typography.
10. Create a digital marketing strategy
Once you have completed the necessary steps for the production of your digital magazine, it’s time to think about how it will be distributed.
how will you reach the public with your magazine? how to make the audience loyal? Every digital publication must define a solid marketing strategy. So, below, we suggest these five steps:
Prepare a launch
First, set a target for the number of traffic or downloads you want to receive in your first month. Think about the people who are most likely to read your digital magazine and advertise its launch in the places where they are likely to see it.
If you already have a following on your website and social media, announce your launch there. Look for media opportunities where you can build buzz for your new digital magazine.
Create a buzz campaign
As soon as your digital magazine goes live, keep the momentum going by collecting reviews. Email blogs and reviewers in your industry and ask them to review you. If you made an app, ask downloaders to leave reviews and ratings in the app store.
Promote your digital magazine in all channels
Add buttons to your email newsletters that take users directly to your new digital magazine publication. Post snippets of your articles on social networks and encourage your followers to read more.
Let your readers preview
While your current customers or followers may be your first subscribers, your digital magazine should also help you grow your audience. Find some way to allow new visitors to preview to increase the likelihood that they will subscribe.
Use metrics analytics
Improve with every issue you publish with the help of detailed data. See how much time your readers spend on your content and which articles are the most popular in your digital magazine.
With this data, you can continue to shape and consolidate a digital magazine that your readers enjoy not only reading but interacting with. If you meet the needs of your audience, you will increase loyalty and continue to find new readers.
Difference between a digital and a print magazine
Digital magazines take advantage of technology to make their publications digital. Unlike print magazines, the digital magazine allows you to have animations and links within the magazine to make it more informative or even aesthetically better.
Since the cost of printing is taken out of the equation, the price of the publication is reduced considerably, so most digital magazines do not require the same amount of advertising as print magazines.
With all the advantages that digital publishing offers over print, it’s no wonder that e-zines are so popular. However, there are still many people who are unaware of what a digital magazine really is and the ways in which it can be made available to the public.
All these great opportunities that exist could slip away from those who don’t know how to approach their magazine concept. But, you could be a part of this moment when the landscape is rapidly evolving!
Fortunately, let’s shed some light on the types of digital magazines out there to help you further with the necessary steps that will make your magazine idea reach your readers in this digital age.
Advantages and disadvantages of digital magazine
Advantages of digital magazine
With digital magazines,you save all the expenses related to printing. Also, by not having a physical distribution, you no longer have to take into account transportation costs. This reduction in production costs can make the price of the magazine much cheaper and more people can buy it.
They are environmentally friendly. Digital magazines are eco-friendly! Nowadays, this is extremely important. By not using paper for printing magazines, we do not contribute to deforestation.
They are instantaneous. Digital magazines are downloaded automatically from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. The same happens when you have subscriptions, because now you receive your magazine the moment it is available to the public.
You can have hundreds of magazines in one place, saving a lot of space! There are applications that allow you to have your own digital library. Now you can have all your favorite eBooks and digital magazines in the comfort of your tablet, computer or cell phone. Also, once downloaded, you can read them without an internet connection.
Disadvantages of the digital magazine
Theycan be a little uncomfortable to read in small electronic devices. Digital magazines seek to maintain a notebook format; therefore, it can be complicated to read it from your cell phone. However, there are many companies that are updating the digital magazine format to adapt it to devices such as smartphones.
They are subject to the battery of your electronic devices. Don’t have your charger handy? Unfortunately, if you don’t have a battery, you won’t be able to enjoy your favorite digital magazine.
Programs to make digital magazines
There are a variety of graphic design programs that can be useful for editorial design. You can even start designing your digital magazine from websites, so let’s take a look at the web and magazine software options!
Canva is a website and application used for graphic design. it’s very useful for beginners and entrepreneurs!The platform will give you templates for different designs, as well as access to thousands of photos, icons, typography, vectors and graphics. It is mostly free; however, it contains some premium resources.
how to make a digital magazine on Canva? Canva has simple templates of up to 5 pages to create short magazines on different topics; however, you can redesign the pages to develop a longer digital magazine.
From this software you can make the design of a digital magazine. Microsoft Office provides templates to make magazines in PowerPoint. You can access them through any of the programs that come in the Office package (Word, Publisher, etc).
how to make a digital magazine in PowerPoint? You can edit the templates easily, however, it does not offer you much variety of tools to work this type of documents and does not allow you to have much creativity for the design of a multimedia magazine.
Adobe InDesign is the program par excellence for editorial design and is used by most professional designers in the industry. The software features a wide variety of downloadable tools and resources to explore your creativity in designing a digital magazine.
Other programs to make digital magazines online
Image: Vojtech Okenka (Pexels)
Infographics Design Online Course
Yes, you’re reading that right. You will probably be surprised that we are recommending an infographics course, when in fact what you want to learn is how to make a digital magazine.
You only have to go to any online magazine to see that infographics are present in it and in virtually all digital media, as they are an excellent way to summarize information and therefore are ideal for the average digital reader.
If you will be in charge of all the steps to create a digital magazine, then this course is a must. you will learn how to design creative and complex infographics with high impact!
Design with typography online course
The digital magazine has the particularity that it must attract with the design, unlike a book or a newspaper that have more text.
This typography course will help you to combine both: text and design, to create eye-catching and original covers and pages. During the classes you will learn the necessary tools to select the right typefaces that will give meaning to your design.
This course is aimed at people who use Indesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. you’ll learn all about typefaces and know when to use each one!
we hope this information has encouraged you to start your own digital magazine! Consider your options and find out which one is best. We wish you the best of luck with your project. see you next time!