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Publish my own newspaper or magazine

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Starting your own newspaper or magazine

This article is provided to assist your decisions and is a guide only. You are strongly advised to login to the EzyMedia Forum and research other sites and books about publishing, media, marketing and sales.

CHAPTER 1 – PREPARATION

Keys to success

A. Easily digested, informative and enjoyable content

B. Relevance to your community

C. Distribution

D. Account Management

E. Good systems

 

Week 1

Days 1 -3

Market Research

Go to your local libraries, cafes, newsagents, take-aways and pick up as many newspapers and magazines that serve your local community. These do not include national titles. Most towns will have 2-3 as a minimum. Some towns will have publications targeted specifically to certain groups of suburbs. Search online for websites that are serving your local community. Some of these might be run by government, councils, radio stations etc.

Create a list of all publications and websites in 16-point font on blank paper. Create the same list in 12 point font on lined paper, 3-times for 3-groups: 14 – 25yrs; 26 -50yrs; 51yrs+. With your clipboard and pen, go to different shopping centres and other high traffic areas of your town. Ask passersby to select from your 16-point font list in preferential order 1-3 what their publication or website they read regularly. Note the results in the relevant groups.

If you want to further sophisticate the survey, you can split your initial 3-groups into 2: male/female, but unless you specifically want to target one or the other with your publication, it is best to simply try to get a reasonably even number of both genders in your survey.

Day 4

Spend the morning in a couple of cafes that stock a good selection of these other publications. Sit in high-traffic areas with a few stands and note what publications are the most popular.

In the afternoon, visit the websites of your region’s 3 most popular publications. Contact them and request a media kit or rates card.

 

Day 5

Choose what your publication will be about. Generally niche publications are more appropriate for big towns and general community-news type publications are best for towns. You need to consider what type of publication you are going to run, your audience, the size/look, frequency, stock, relevant distribution models and how you are going to sell into your market.

Also draw up a list of your 10 favourite names for your publication. The name should immediately discern what your publication is about and what sort of audience you are targeting.

WEEK 2

Day 6

Bank Account

Why a business account? Because you are setting up a business that will pay you a wage. This is an important separation that must be made for invoicing, taxes, expense claims, insurances and banking (eg. merchant or credit card facilities with your bank).

You can learn more about these business principles by visiting a number of business – basics websites. This manual is based on the Australian experience and of course you will need to look more closely at your own country’s relevant business guides and legislation. Google "business registration nameofcountry"

In order to open a business bank account you first need to register your business. This does not necessarily need to be the name of your publication. I simply registered my name as a "Sole Proprietor", which gave me an ABN – Australian Business Number. So the tax office came to know my business as "John Hancock trading as The Word"

Take your ABN, your business registration certificate and three forms of personal identity to the bank when you open your business account.

This can all be done in a day and is a real buzz, a day you and your family will never forget!

Days 7 – 10

More market research

Create a list of contacts and email addresses of local businesses in your town. This is tedious work; you are building a prospect list. As you research you will start to get a better gut feeling of what businesses out there advertise, what they are looking for and what your competition will be. This information helps you determine your niche. You will continue to update this list over the years and every qualified contact adds that much more value to your business. The best sources for this research are, in order:

· Your competition – advertisers in other publications. You should collect these regularly now and spend at least half a day every week trawling through your competitor publications. On your EzyCalendar chart, note features that your competitors run. You will get those advertisers next year!

· Advertisers on local community hub-type websites in your town.

· Half-page and full-page advertisers in Yellowpages – you know they value print advertising, but be sure contact 1-2 months before Yellowpages commences its sales campaign in your town, otherwise all these prospects will be broke! Simply call Yellowpages and ask when they are sweeping the area.

· Radio/TV ads – you know these businesses value advertising, so you augment their campaign with print and web.

· Google searches for businesses that match your planned feature.

Why are the successful publications/websites successful?

Why are the struggling publications/websites struggling?

What are your unique selling point, your advantages over the competition?

Determining your niche

You have now had a few days to consider the critical question – What will your publication be about? By this stage you should have a good idea of what sort of publication you are going to run, your audience, the size/look, frequency, stock, relevant distribution models and how you are going to sell into your market.

Discuss your decisions with friends and family. While you can amend your decision as you learn about the business, it is prudent to get this as close to the mark as possible from the beginning. Significant chopping and changing will confuse your audience and you can lose them quickly.

WEEK 3

Day 11

Website Setup

Run through the Ezyzine demo again.

Choose a name for your publication and create a logo and masthead. Contact EzyMedia if you would like to a logo for your publication – $150+gst for logo, $200+gst for logo and banner.

Register the name you have chosen with a domain company, eg www.cheapdomains.com.au for a .com.au name, or www.godaddy.com for a .com name. A .com.au name will take a couple of days for approval because it is a business domain name. You need to point your server address to the Ezyzine IP address which is 216._______________ Most domain registration sites will carry instructions for doing this. If this process is not explained on the site you register your domain, contact that site for instructions.

Fill in pricing for your rate card. See EzyMedia rates adviser chart.

Go to the Manage Site section of your new site and fill in all your details, including your menu headers, subsections, extras etc. Upload your logo and choose among the colour schemes.

Upload 6 articles with pictures.

Upload a Poll question.

Upload some events happening in your region

Email your new site to friends and family. Gather their feedback and amend. Encourage them to submit articles and pictures.

Days 12 – 14

Let them know!

Create an excel list of contacts and email addresses of community organizations, clubs and groups. The column headers should be ORGANISATION NAME, CONTACT NAME, PHONE, EMAIL, POSTAL ADDRESS Upload these to your EzySales module. Using this list, email the following:

Dear [first name],

My name is _____ ______ and today I launched the website for a new community publication "_______". Over the next 3-months I will be meeting with businesses, community organizations and agencies to discuss my plans for a local newspaper/magazine that is written entirely by the readers, meaning your story makes headlines. For more information, please visit www.______.com.au/profile. You are welcome to upload an article to www.______.com.au today.

We will be promoting this venture online and via other media and would appreciate your help to promote the community publication through your community and business networks. Please let me know if we can include your organization on our distribution run sheet.

Regards, ..

Other promotional ideas

Contact your local TV and radio stations (especially the community stations) – you might even be able to arrange some contra advertising, where you offer them advertising space on your site and in print in exchange for advertising in their media.

When you do start speaking to businesses in WEEK 4, offer discounted advertising in exchange for prizes from their business that you can offer your readers.

Swap editorial space (online and print) for wall space in businesses and organizations to place signs about your publication.

Day 15

Contact your suppliers. By this stage you should have a good idea of what sort of publication you are going to run, your audience, the size/look, frequency etc. Be sure you can fill in every section of the WHO AM I?

WEEK 4

Days 16 – 20

The sell

Get to know your EzyMedia sales kit. Do the exercises at the back of the kit. Check out some of the recommended sales websites, take notes and learn sales. You do not need become a sales guru overnight. The fundamental lesson in sales is:

a) Know why you are passionate about your product

b) Know the unique selling points of your product

c) Know what

Your script is:

"Hello. My name is _____ ______ and I am starting a new publication in ________, both print and online. I would like to email your business (or organization) some information about the publication. Can you please give me the name and email address of the person there who is most likely to make decisions about advertising?"

Upload this excel list to your EzySales module.

WEEKS 5 & 6

Days 21 -30

Drive around your town. Note the name and address of businesses or public possible drop-off sites for bundles of 10 – 100 copies of your printed publication. This is the beginning of your distribution run-sheet and you will update this regularly. See the Ezydistribute file in your kit.

When you have 20 articles on your website, contact every advertising agency in your local region. Tell them you have just launched a "______" at www.________.com.au and you would like the contact details for the relevant ?media buyer’: Name, Phone, Email Address, Postal Address.

Create an e-mailout list in Excel with first names and email addresses. Once you have 200 contacts of businesses or organizations that you are confident are likely to advertise in your publication, upload this list to your EzyMailout Module. Send the following email:

Dear [first name],

My name is _____ ______ and today I launched the website for a new community publication "_______". The concept is a printed and online magazine [newspaper] that is written entirely by its readers, drawing on popular content submitted and approved via the website. This model ensures local stories are prominent and allows our advertisers to determine their advertising strategies based on what articles will run in the print edition. Of course, our advertisers may also wish to submit their own articles.

Over the next 3-months I will be meeting with businesses, community organizations and agencies to test the waters, see if this is something they would be ready to support with advertising. I will also be promoting this venture online and via other media.

I am offering my first ten advertisers free online advertising for 9-months. The ads must be 200 x 200 pixels in RGB, as a jpg file. I will provide links from these ads to the customer’s website and report back at the end of each month on how many ad-views and click-throughs the ad received.

I also invite all businesses and organizations to freely list their details in the online directory, as well as upload any promotional articles or events.

With the support of local business and the community, I hope to offer an alternative online and print media for local content and advertising. Further information, including a list of some of our upcoming features can be found on www._________.com.au

You now need to ring all these prospects. Try to be friendly, but minimize the time you spend on each call. Do your very best to speak to the advertising decision-maker, mentioning your previous email and a compelling offer. You must keep pushing ahead with your ad sales until you have enough to cover your costs. Remember, the first few editions will be your toughest. Offer something amazing to bring your early advertisers on board for 3 – 6 editions, including excellent rates, free online ads and space for articles. If you offer editorial space, push the advertiser hard for editorial and not dull advertorial. A warning that advertorial will be marked as such tends to promote higher quality editorial.

REMEMBER:

1. Don’t do it if it sounds awful

2. Bring everything you know to your business

3. Push your contributors for compelling content

4. Figure out what people want and give them lots of it

5. Join online conversations and forums

6. Be part of the community, get out there

7. Find champion customers

8. Be patient.

 

 

Next Chapter – Doing it!

 

WHO AM I?

THE NAME OF MY PUBLICATION IS:________________________________ WEBSITE: _______________

THE CLOSEST EXAMPLE IN THE MARKET TO MY PUBLICATION IS: ________________________

WEBSITE: ______________________

READERS THAT WILL LOVE MY PUBLICATION ARE

 

___________________________________________________

 

AGE RANGE______ – ______ MOSTLY M / F /NEITHER

MY UNIQUE SELLING POINTS IN MY LOCAL MARKET INCLUDE:

1.________________________________________________

2.________________________________________________

3.________________________________________________

4.________________________________________________

5.________________________________________________

MOST OF MY ADVERTISERS WILL COME FROM THESE INDUSTRIES:

1.___________________________________

2.___________________________________

3.___________________________________

4.___________________________________

THE SIZE WILL BE: ________________ AND I AIM TO PRINT AROUND ________ PAGES EVERY EDITION

THE STOCK WILL BE: ______________

I WILL PUBLISH _______ TIMES EVERY YEAR ON THE _______________DAY OF EVERY _____________

MY GRAPHIC DESIGNER IS:______________________________________ PH____________________

EMAIL:____________________ COMPANY NAME: ________________________ ABN_______________

MY PRINTER IS: ______________________________________________ PH ____________________

EMAIL:____________________ COMPANY NAME: ________________________ ABN_______________

MY PRINTING ACCOUNT MANAGER IS: ____________________________ EMAIL: __________________

PREPRESS CONTACT IS:_______________________ PH____________________

DELIVERY CONTACT IS:_______________________ PH ____________________

THE PERSON IN CHARGE OF MY DISTRIBUTION IS:_________________________ PH_________________

THE SECOND IN CHARGE OF MY DISTRIBUTION IS: ________________________ PH_________________

THE SKILLS I BRING TO THIS BUSINESS INCLUDE: _____________________________________________________________________________________

I WILL NEED HELP WITH THE FOLLOWING

1. Bookkeeping             2. Accounting             3. Distribution

4. Sales                        5. Debt Recovery       6. Technology

7. Administration           8. Editing                   9. Legals

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