Magazine Structure: The Meat and Potatoes of Any Zine

Figuring out how to start a magazine in 2022 is simultaneously a bigger challenge than ever, but also easier than it’s ever been.

Print media was slow to adapt to the rise of the internet, putting it in a tenuous position that the industry is still recovering from. But at the same time, the internet and web-based tools make the day-to-day operations like organizing your magazine structure far more simple than in the old days.

Before you launch your new publication, check out these tips on how to structure your magazine content.

Choose a Good File Transfer Platform

Organizing a magazine in 2022 often means sourcing content from writers, photographers, and designers you may never meet in person. So you need a way to gather up all of that content in one place.

Dropbox is a standard in this arena. You might already be passingly familiar with it from having to submit assignments back in college.

Google Drive and Smartsheet are two other popular ones. Everyone has their preferred service. Using all three may give your contributors more flexibility in submitting their content.

Prioritize Magazine Structure Over Covers

It’s tempting to think of magazines in terms of covers. After all, they’re the face of the publication, and it’s their job to draw in potential readers. So they are indeed important.

But what goes in a magazine is the real heart and soul of the publication. What this content consists of depends on your field of interest, but there are a few structural guidelines that are standard across most magazines.

First, your table of contents is a good place to start. Besides giving your reader a glimpse of what they can expect, it’s also helpful to you as a sort of skeleton for your magazine.

You want your table of contents to be tidy, with clearly-defined section names, article titles, and the article subheadings if necessary. You should use varying font sizes, like making section names 24pt bold, article titles 16pt bold, and subheaders 14pt italics.

In addition to the table of content, there should be a publisher roadmap as well. A roadmap is like a flowchart that shows how the article should run from one page to the next. This will streamline the layout process and save a lot of headaches along the way.

Publishing the Product

With all of your content produced and your layout finalized, it’s time to publish.

For the publishing purist, that can often mean going into print. And there is still money to be made in print media. But for a fledgling product, it’s worth your time to consider digital alternatives.

Digital publishing can let you get your product out at a fraction of the cost and lead time it takes to print and distribute a magazine. And many providers will also lend their expertise in how to layout a magazine for web and mobile presentations. If you think online distribution might be the choice for you, you can get digital publishing solutions here.

Streamline Your Magazine Layout for Smooth Production

While technology has advanced, things like arranging a coherent magazine structure are as important now as they were 40 years ago. But using modern tools to streamline that process can empower you and your team to put out a top-quality product on time and under budget.

That said, magazine publishing remains a challenging industry. For all the tips you need for your new publication to thrive, be sure to follow our latest business news and guides.

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