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How to Save the Magazine Industry

5 Ways to Keep Magazines Alive

By

Magazines used to fight the clutter on the newsstand to grab a reader's attention. Now the fight has expanded to the online world that can give readers content they don't have to wait a month to read. Five essentials can save the magazine industry and keep those glossy pages printing.

1. Focus on Building Your Magazine Brand

A picture of magazines on a rack
Photo © LoopZilla / Flickr
When you first started your magazine, you probably worked hard to build your brand. Even the top-selling magazines continue to work on brand building.

Focus on building your magazine brand and never stop. From your magazine covers to your target audience's changing needs, always consider your brand a work in progress to stay ahead of your competitors.

2. Reduce Operating Expenses Where Necessary

A picture of magazines
Photo © Getty Images
Taking out the red pen and slashing costs isn't the definitive answer to a magazine's problems. However, it is a much-needed gut check in today's world where people stand in checkout lines texting their friends instead of browsing magazine covers.

If subscribers are down and costs are up, it's clear you need to make some tough management decisions. Reduce operating expenses at your publication while making sure your newsroom isn't a ghost town. That's where the help of freelance writers and guest editors can bring fresh voices and even free publicity to your magazine.

3. Evaluate your Magazine's Ads

A picture of money changing hands
Photo © David Woolley / Getty Images
It's easy to think a buck is a buck when your magazine is hurting. Your magazine's ads could actually be costing you money, though.

Magazine ads that aren't right for your audience hurt your publication and your advertiser. Your audience doesn't feel like you "get" them and they'll turn to a publication that does. Your advertiser doesn't see any results from the money spent on the ad, so they go elsewhere too.

4. Tie Your Publication Into your Website

A picture of a computer mouse
Photo © William King / Getty Images
Use your website the right way and you'll draw online readers to your offline publication and vice versa. Your magazine will become a trusted resource that's picked up on the newsstand and bookmarked in browsers.

The first step is to make sure you create a website that will be successful. Design mistakes, poor content and blatant advertisements that distract from the visitors' reading experience will damage you both online and off.

5. Integrate Social Media Into Your Magazine and Its Website

A picture of Facebook
Photo © Getty Images
You probably have your social media accounts up and running. Are you using them to their full potential?

Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, MySpace and YouTube -- every social media outlet can help you boost your magazine's chances of survival and the right social media specialist knows how to make that happen. Through interactive content, social pages promotion and even featuring some of your readers' comments and questions in your magazine will drive traffic both ways.

Embrace the changes technology has brought and develop content that engages your readers, whether they're holding your magazine in their hands or watching your content pop up in their favorite social media site's timeline. The result is a constant circle that leads back to your magazine.
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