How to start a Newspaper Publication in Nigeria

A newspaper is a printed publication, that contains different sections with different contents, articles, opinions and features and is distributed weekly or daily.

In Nigeria, we have vanguard, punch and guardian as some of the most outstanding newspapers based on longevity and quality. Today, the world has gone internet savvy as most newspapers are online publications(signal, authority, breaking times) anyone willing to start a traditional newspaper or magazine publication still stands a chance of succeeding if dedication and hard work is put in.

There are many reasons why people may go into publication of newspapers. A person with good experience in media and passion for writing and advertising may decide to own his own newspaper publication for the dissemination of credible information, to promote activities of their own interest for instance a newspaper publisher whose interest is fashion will promote a lot of fashion through his publication; another reason people start publishing newspapers is to maximise profit as a business.

A newspaper provides better room for communicating to the public than fliers and helps in promoting causes, values and teachings in a profound way.

Owning a newspaper can make you famous and grow your reputation especially if you publish credible and verified news only; it will build and establish relationship with businesses and will increase your investors. Before you begin your own newspaper business, you need to:

1. RESEARCH AND PLAN:

You have to decide on the theme of your publication, it could be sports, politics, entertainment, reoccurring social issues, or a general theme which embraces every facet of life.

This is an important factor that will determine the success of your newspaper. Remember that there are existing competitors in whatever field you decide to explore, try to make your publication unique and different enough to attract patronage.

Another important issue is the definition of your contents, will your contents be good enough to capture and maintain the attention and patronage of the public? How many pages will you publish? The availability and access to content will determine the overall size of your newspaper.

Some newspapers contain about thirty pages but choose the number of pages you will prefer and remember that quality supersedes quantity. You should consider the following in choosing the niche of your publication: your demography, your strength which is the area you specialize in, your audience, aim and availability of contents.

Next, you must decide on how often you intend to publish your newspaper. Publishing a newspaper requires much planning and little work. There are newspaper outfit that carry out third party printing to make extra money; you can make use of them. The outlook of your publication is dependent on your printer, so while choosing a printer; find out what their requirements are and whether you will be able to meet them. How often will you distribute it?

Distribution depends on your location. you can pay for your newspaper to be distributed, mail them to offices, hire vendors or marketers to handle the distribution. Who will fund the publishing? You cannot start a newspaper publication without a reliable source of revenue; you can either raise your funds if you are capable or seek for loans and grants from available financial institutions.

To sustain the business, you will need to sell ads to raise money to cover up your expenses, raise the price of ads as your business grows to make significant profit. Newspapers can never run out of ads because the cost of advertising on newspaper is way lesser than advertising on traditional media.

2. HANDLE ALL LEGALITIES:

After registering the name of your publication with the relevant bodies, you will need to visit a national library in lagos or Abuja to submit your newspaper name for approval. You will be contacted if approved; you will then print a maiden edition which will be submitted to the library alongside an application for your ISSN.

You may need to hire the services of a lawyer for this process.

3. BUILD YOUR TEAM:

Because it is impossible to run your entire newspaper business on your own, you will need to find and hire experienced, dedicated and qualified hands to work with you to achieve your goals. You will need to hire experienced:

MARKETING MANAGER: to ensure that your publication gets to every hook and corner of your location and beyond, you will need a marketing manager to oversee its spread to public places because publicity requires expertise and without it, your publication will be dead on arrival.

SALES MANAGER: Will control all activities in relation to sales and subscription of the newspaper. Everyone who needs to advertise with the publication or desires bulk subscription will need to do so by the sales manager.

PRODUCTION MANAGER: This manager supervises the entire production process from writing, editing to printing and designs to ensure that everything comes out perfectly without hitches that may hinder production and credibility of the publication.

CONTENT AND FREELANCE WRITERS: Content writers are those who carry our research and write based on their findings for publications. They provide content that captivates the reader and keeps him excited and eager to read the next publication of your newspaper therefore building the reputation of your business. A content writer must be creative, driven by passion and an expert at developing qualitative contents at any time.

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS: You need a graphic designer to handle the cover and interior of the newspaper in a professional way that makes it stand out from others.

There is a need to search for advertisers if you want to succeed, don’t sit and wait for them to come to you. Approach business owners and ask them to buy ads, expand your reach by asking these business owners to refer you to others. Approach your referrals and ask them for more referrals. This is a marketing chain that will enlarge your business if it’s not broken.

Provide samples of your newspaper, price sheets, contact information and make sure you follow them up. Good marketing takes aggression, passion, dedication and consistency. You can decide to do free or discounted ads for business owners to get them on your side.

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Lami is from cross river state and holds a B.sc in accounting from a Nigerian university. Writing for her is a form of detoxification, she has written several articles for Essence magazine and runs political commentary on twitter.

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