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How to Start a Magazine in Nigeria

This article is on how to start a magazine in Nigeria. A magazine is a publication which is usually published periodically either in print or electronically. In recent times, electronic magazines or online magazines have become very popular, even trying to supersede the traditional print ones.

In recent years, it is obvious that there has been an increase in magazine readers in Nigeria. This can be clearly seen in the sudden trend of national newspapers that now publish full colour magazine pull outs which mainly focus on fashion, trends and glamour.

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Some of the popular and successful magazines in Nigeria include Ovation, Genevieve, Allure, City People, Castles, etc. These magazines focus on a vast variety of subjects ranging from events to fashion, gossip, politics, real estate and others.

The success of these magazines shows that with proper planning, commitment and the right amount of creativity, a magazine can succeed in Nigeria.

Now if you are thinking you want to start a magazine in Nigeria, then this article is meant for you. However before attempting to take this bold step, there are a couple of in depth questions you need to ask yourself.

  1. Do You Have A Strong Passion To Share Information?

Every magazine out there is about sharing information. As a prospective magazine publisher, you need to be sure that you have the passion to dissipate information to people. It is this passion that will drive you to develop the creativity needed to give your magazine interesting content that will keep bringing people back to patronize your publication.

  1. Are You An Authority In A Given Subject Matter?

Most magazines focus mainly on a particular topic which could be sports, politics, cooking or events. You need to find that area where you have a good knowledge to aid you in properly structuring your magazine. Do not forget that as long as people can trust the information that is dished out in your magazine, they will continue to patronize you.

  1. Are you willing to make money?

I can guess your answer is a resounding YES!!! Setting up a magazine can be a very profitable and sustainable business because you have multiple income streams from sources such as sales, subscriptions and adverts. As well as a source of employment to you the publisher as well as making you an employer of labour.

Now I guess it is safe for me to believe that you have resolved to follow up with starting up your magazine. Have it in mind that starting up and running a successful magazine requires quite a bit of hard work, dedication, creativity, and of course capital.

Next, we look at the necessary steps and preparations that need to be taken before starting your magazine.

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  • Choose a Topic

Before you start a magazine, it important to pick a suitable topic that will be the center of all your discussions. This does not mean though that your magazine needs to be strictly concentrated on a single subject matter, having a topic only means that your magazine will have a sense of direction.

When picking your topic, you need to consider a few things;

  1. Your Area of Specialization: When picking your topic, it will be advisable that you select one from your area of specialization or an area that you have sound knowledge about.
  2. Trending Topics in Your Area of Focus: When starting your magazine it is also necessary for you to research on the trending topics among your intended area of focus. For example, when starting a magazine in Nigeria, it will be unwise to focus your topic on a subject like ice skating when there is no snow in Nigeria, instead focus on topics relating to fashion, football, gossip or politics.
  • Research on Your Potential Competition

Due to the number of magazines in Nigeria you will quickly realize after selecting your topic that there are quite a number of magazines that are dealing on the same topic as you. Do not be discouraged that it might be a difficult task to pit your new magazine against an established brand. You can research on them and think of how you can do things differently in order to stand out from the crowd.

You can also research on the marketing and advertising strategy that your competition applies. Always remember that you are new in this game so you have to learn the ropes from those who are already veterans in the business.

  • Develop Your Magazine Structure and Content

In developing the structure for your magazine, you first need to decide on the number of pages your magazine will have. Most established magazines have between 25 to 60 pages, but there is no hard and fast rule as to how many pages a magazine should have. For instance, national dailies with pull out magazines usually have about 15 to 20 pages.

Next thing to consider with respect to structure is the layout of your magazine. You need to have a clear idea of the nature of graphic designing you want to do, advert layout, paper size (A2 or A3) etc., and also if you intend to have electronic format, print format or both.

The content of your magazine goes a long way to determine if someone will want to read your magazine again, hence content development is quite important. You need to develop interesting content that will make your readers to come back.

Ensure that you insert engaging topics that would contain fresh and valuable information with every edition you publish. This will give the readers something new to look forward to in every new edition of your magazine.

  • Structure Your Marketing and Sales Plan

There is no point having a magazine with fantastic content without having a structure of how you intend to market and sell your magazine, after all, the magazine is ultimately a business hence it needs to make profit.

Do not hesitate to leverage on your social media to market and sell your magazine. You can set up a Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram account amongst others. This will help you to economically reach out to a large number of people irrespective of their physical location, within a short time.

This is where you also need to determine the regularity of your publications, either weekly, bi monthly or monthly, depending on what you really want to do.

  • Hire The Right Staff

This is one business that you definitely cannot execute on your own. You will need to engage the services of editors, content developers, sales and marketing personnel, graphic designers and other staff.

  • Get Registered

Do not forget that your magazine is a corporate entity. You will need to register it with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to avoid sanctions from the government.

  • Find Out Your Capital Needs

Starting a magazine in Nigeria could be a pretty capital intensive project. You will need to be sure that you have enough capital to cater for your start off. This capital will include publishing costs, initial staff salaries, rent and other miscellaneous expenses. Your cost will vary mainly according to your location.

In starting your magazine, it is advisable to start your production with small number to test the market, then progressively increase your output over time.


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Ikponmwosa Aikhionbare

Ikponmwosa Aikhionbare is a Content Developer at InfoGuideNigeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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