What is better – to have a blog or to go beyond, to start an online magazine? Ross Simmond wrote some ideas at his personal site, http://rosssimmonds.com. Ross Simmonds is a digital strategist, entrepreneur, consultant and public speaker. He’s worked with brands ranging from fortune 100 co’s to startups. Image courtesy Yury Zap via Bigstockphoto
The first niche magazine was published in 1731 and was called The Gentleman’s Magazine. Since then there have been thousands and thousands of niche magazines published with many of them finding great success.
For years, magazines have been successfully financed by advertising, purchase price, and by pre-paid magazine subscriptions. For centuries, the largest source of revenue for these magazines came from marketers dropping large sums of cash for print advertising. However, as of recently advertisers and marketers have begun to turn their backs on print advertisements.
Digital Magazines > Traditional Magazines
In fact, According to AdPulp – Forbes is reporting that the amount of money spent on digital advertising will out-number print,
Of the $368 billion marketers plan to spend this year, 32.5% will go toward digital; 30.3% to print. Digital spending includes e-mail, video advertising, display ads and search marketing. “It’s a watershed moment,” says the study’s lead author, Outsell vice president Chuck Richard.
If this tells us anything besides the fact that were in the middle of a new age – it tells us that theres an opportunity for all of us to hop on. Magazines made many people millionaires, they also put several journalism careers into overdrive. However, the game has changed.
Today, GQ and Esquire must compete with each other along with Askmen.com and The Art of Manliness. Magazines aren’t only competing with each other in an industry that is currently on life support – It is competing with online magazines that are just getting out of junior high. Online magazines are still young; there are still several opportunities and niche markets that have yet to be tapped.
- Horror Magazines
- Science Fiction Magazines
- Boating Magazines
- Railroad Magazines
- Teen Magazines
- Luxury Magazines
I could go on and on sharing some of the other magazine topics that were out there but that would make this to easy for you.
So where does this leave you?
It leaves you with an opportunity to come up with the next Huffington Post, the next Mashable or the next web based Cosmopolitan.
Blog vs. E-Magazine
E-Magazines Take Less Work
Typically when we think of blogs we think of content oriented websites that are managed and operated by a single person. When we talk about bloggers they typically work alone. Some solo-bloggers that might come to mind are; Brian Solis, Chris Brogan and Seth Godin. While they have established a large following and community on their blogs – They cannot compare with the Social Media Guide (Another word for Online Magazine) – Mashable.
An online magazine is less about the person who came up with the idea and more about finding journalists willing to put out content. When we look at online magazines such as Askmen.com we never see the person who created the site generating content. They have hired or brought on a team of journalists or bloggers to pump out content for their website. These writers may get paid based on the traffic to their articles or just a flat rate – Thats a decision for you once you get your magazine up and running.
Advertisers like E-Magazines more than Blogs
“Hi, I’m calling from Elegant Woman dot Com – Were an online Magazine company looking for advertisers”
Just sounds so much better than,
“Hi, I’m calling from Karen Hicks dot Com – I blog about being an independent woman and am selling Ad space”
Exit Like a Boss
If you have created a site like Huffington Post or Mashable – You aren’t responsible for the content. The readers aren’t coming to see what new idea Pete Cashmore came up with – Their coming to read what the journalists have to say about different topics. The same can be said for any online or traditional magazine – The readers come for the content, not the writers.
When Pete Cashmore decides that his time with Mashable is up and has a new endeavour to conquer he can easily just walk away with a nice fat pay check. However, if Seth Godin ever wants to walk away from his blog…Whose going to buy it? Why would someone want a blog that was built around one persons ideas? A blog that generates all of its traffic based on the person whose walking away?
It Just Sounds Cool
While blogs have been around for years the term still makes a lot of people cringe. There is still a nerdy/dorky stigma around having and maintaining a blog regularly by some people. However the terms “Online Magazine” or “E-Magazine” have some type of charm attached to them that makes the concept more understanding. Maybe it has to do with the fact that “Blogs” Have only been around for a few decades while magazines have been around for centuries.
Also, what looks better on a resume? – Blogger at _______ or Chief Editor of ________? Something tells me the latter…