How to create your own magazine: tips and tricks

Association news, customer information or information for employees are often published in the form of multi-page magazines. In order for the publication to be successful, there are many steps to follow. With a few tricks, you can save money and the content of the magazine will be better received by the target group.


At the beginning of every magazine or every issue there is planning. In an editorial meeting, the topics are fixed, but also discussed how the magazine will be financed. Some costs, such as printing, cannot be avoided and are also incurred by non-profit organizations such as associations.

An important point that should be discussed in the financial planning is the price of the magazine. Due to the costs incurred, more and more publishers are moving to having the magazine paid for directly, at least for a certain group. In the case of clubs, for example, members can get the magazine for free or for a very small cost, while others must pay full price for the magazine. When setting the price, the costs incurred must be taken into account in the planning. This allows a magazine to be largely self-supporting financially.


An important issue with any magazine is financing. There are various options to choose from here. One option is to sell the magazine. However, this method is primarily used for magazines that are intended for a large target group.

In the case of small print runs, as is common for companies or associations, for example, other methods have to be found. Here, the sale of advertisements or sponsoring is often used. With sponsoring, several investors are sought to provide financing. The sponsors can remain anonymous or be mentioned by name. This is possible, for example, in the form of an advertisement.

In comparison to sponsoring, a fixed price is charged for each ad in the case of pure ad sales. The cost can vary depending on the space in the magazine. In exposed places or for large-format ads, the costs are usually higher than for small ads that consist mainly of text.


When creating a magazine, the layout plays a major role, especially when it goes on sale. The cover should be designed in such a way that it attracts the target audience at first sight and they reach for the magazine. Those who publish a magazine more frequently should develop a basic layout. This can be used again and again, and it is clear in advance what content is needed and where it will go.

When it comes to layout, the weaving in of ads is important. These should be in a ratio of 1:3 to the editorial content. This ensures that there is enough information for the reader.

Even when the basic layout is in place, the final design of a magazine requires several drafts. This starts with the suggestions for the cover of the magazine. This should be meaningful and encourage purchase. The cover image is considered even before the headlines, which should be short and exciting. It often makes more sense to use a concise cover image for the first page instead of filling the space with several smaller images that are not easily recognizable from a distance. This can cause a magazine to go unnoticed in sales among the plethora of other publications.


Every magazine needs content for the reader. The topics are discussed in the editorial meeting, and the implementation is then up to the respective authors. To ensure that the texts later fit the magazine, it is important to give the authors style guidelines. This can be a certain font size, for example, but also flushness or pagination are part of the specifications. Often magazines are designed in columns, which can be an additional challenge for the author to formulate his text so that it fits into the layout.

The content must be checked before printing. Text correction prevents logical, stylistic or grammatical errors from being included in the text. If such errors are published, it is not only embarrassing for the editor, errors in the content can have legal consequences. When correcting texts, it is advisable to get professionals on board. Professional editing can significantly improve the quality of the magazine.


Many people forgo professional magazine printing for small print runs. However, this can be expensive and good content quickly looks unimportant. Many non-profit organizations want to save the cost of this and magazines are reproduced using their own printer or copier. The quality of these privately produced print products is often poor. Good photos are hardly recognizable later and there are losses in the readability of the texts. This can even lead to complaints when paid advertisements are included and these are no longer easy to read.

There are now companies that print short runs in good quality at reasonable prices. The cost of professional magazine printing should therefore be taken into account at the planning stage. Another plus point is that costs decrease with the number of prints. In comparison, private printing would be much more expensive for higher numbers.

For printing, one should have already selected a print shop before creating a magazine. For printing, there are often also certain specifications that must be included in the layout. These include, for example, the size or resolution of photos so that they are later sharp and easily recognizable on the printed product.


Once a magazine is ready, it must also reach the target group. For subscribers, for example, a magazine can be delivered directly to the household by mail. For publishers who do not have direct sales channels, it is often more difficult to get a magazine to the man. Creative ways are often needed here. For example, associations can promote and sell the magazines at events. If you publish a magazine on a specific topic, you should be present where the target group is located. This can be special events such as trade fairs or lectures. However, the sale of magazines must be agreed with the event organizer. Additional fees, such as for a stand or permission, may be incurred here.

Digital channels should not be neglected, even if it is a print edition. Many people prefer a printed version compared to a digital-only magazine. Nevertheless, they seek information via the Internet. Online, for example, can provide an insight into the content, persuading the target group to buy or subscribe. However, it is always a balancing act as to what content is made available online so that prospects still sell the magazine. Under no circumstances should important lead stories already be published online in their entirety; this can significantly reduce interest.