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alexcutts alexcutts is offline
Entrepreneur
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 40
Sorry to bring this back up but I live in a very studenty area. This seems the ideal kind of thing that I can do in between my current job (part time 20 hours a week) and university.

Is it something worth pursuing? How did most people get started? I'm sure that taxi companies, bars, nightclubs would all love to target students, and since theres no local website for the area I'm in, I could combine it with a decent internet site.

Or maybe I'm going over the top in thinking, just curious on people thoughts
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Widgey's Avatar Widgey Widgey is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,872
Quote:
Originally posted by alexcutts
Sorry to bring this back up but I live in a very studenty area. This seems the ideal kind of thing that I can do in between my current job (part time 20 hours a week) and university.
Apparently the people that I have spoken to about this on the boards who have successfully started a mag, say it is a lot more work than you expect.

It's not just finding the content, it's chasing advertisers, creating the mag, chasing up printers and getting quotes and a lot more as well.

I doubt it is something you can honestly do with uni and a part time job.

No doubt someone who has actually succeeded can bring their views in as well.
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alexcutts alexcutts is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 40
Quote:
Originally posted by Widgey
Apparently the people that I have spoken to about this on the boards who have successfully started a mag, say it is a lot more work than you expect.

It's not just finding the content, it's chasing advertisers, creating the mag, chasing up printers and getting quotes and a lot more as well.

I doubt it is something you can honestly do with uni and a part time job.

No doubt someone who has actually succeeded can bring their views in as well.
I'll be a bit more honest when I say I have uni, I mean I am a student. I actually have no lectures this semester or exams (not until August anyway), so my time at University is zero.

My job is 4x5 hour shifts (in the morning, 9-2) and not exactly intrusive. Its also a job in telesales, so I've got the experience both on the phone and in selling (inbound so far, but a lot of the skills and psycology can be transferred to outbound calls).

I'm also very proficient with computers and graphics so designing the magazine wouldn't be too difficult. The worst bits would be finding the editorial content, but in a magazine aimed at students, it'd be pretty easy to put in articles and events as most students have a few things in common.

I might struggle with it, but I doubt it would be down to the time issue . I would of course let someone else pursuade me otherwise if I'm reading into this wrong.

And of course, at the moment, this is purely speculation. I haven't got a clue if its something I could do, but I have quite a bit of cash on my hands at the moment and this seems like an ideal 'project' at a minimum, hopefully more - to learn the ropes as far as business is concerned
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Encantador Encantador is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 207
Quote:
Originally posted by alexcutts
I'll be a bit more honest when I say I have uni, I mean I am a student. I actually have no lectures this semester or exams (not until August anyway), so my time at University is zero.

My job is 4x5 hour shifts (in the morning, 9-2) and not exactly intrusive. Its also a job in telesales, so I've got the experience both on the phone and in selling (inbound so far, but a lot of the skills and psycology can be transferred to outbound calls).

I'm also very proficient with computers and graphics so designing the magazine wouldn't be too difficult. The worst bits would be finding the editorial content, but in a magazine aimed at students, it'd be pretty easy to put in articles and events as most students have a few things in common.

I might struggle with it, but I doubt it would be down to the time issue . I would of course let someone else pursuade me otherwise if I'm reading into this wrong.

And of course, at the moment, this is purely speculation. I haven't got a clue if its something I could do, but I have quite a bit of cash on my hands at the moment and this seems like an ideal 'project' at a minimum, hopefully more - to learn the ropes as far as business is concerned
Go for it, you should soon be able to ditch the P/T time job anyway.

If you are comfortable with the selling side, the rest will be a doddle.

Good Luck
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ewallbank ewallbank is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: North Yorkshire
Posts: 48
Hi
If youíve been following this thread youíll know I have started my own magazine, didnít buy in to a franchise and started with no sales experience, publishing experience etc, to cut a long story short (flick back a couple of pages if you want the long story).
The idea of the mag is great and it can only take 16-20 hrs per week depending on how much you want to put in to it the problems I have found with it is:
Getting people to advertise with you in the first place.
Once the mag is out great advertisers do start to ring you BUT getting them to pay is another matter.
I have just done issue 7 of my magazine and managed to print it by the skin of my teeth because I was owed so much money I could hardly afford the print bill.
I have since become very tough with payments and last week all my outstanding invoices were paid which was fantastic as I can carry on.
I love publishing my magazine and now spend a lot more time on it I also run another business along side so it gets hard sometimes.
I have just put my magazine on the web and would like some opinions on my site, again I have done this with no experience at all and Iím sure you web designers will hate it! Lol
Itís not completely finished yet I was eager to get it live But any feed back would be much appreciated. www.door2dooronline.co.uk
The main things with this type of publication are keep it interesting, donít just pull things off websites add local info, if readers support you advertisers defiantly will and be really tough with your invoices.
Good luck
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wbinst wbinst is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3
Hi Popcat

Thanks for your great post and the url is excellent. Just what i'm after.

Cheers

Wayne
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Encantador Encantador is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 207
Just received a copy of a local mag that it appears has been going for at least 3 months, but it`s the first one I have received.

Awful, absolutely awful. Spelling mistakes, bad grammar, words missing, very poor photos, retro type fonts in articles making them hard to read. can`t really say anything good about it.

Here is an example from their online media pack.....

"We also offer our blue ribbon service `intelligent ptofiling` which will give your audience a 360 degree view of what you`re about and where you can take them "

Anyone care to translate?

It says they deliver to 15000 homes, it`s glossy full colour A5.

There is about 6 full page adverts, 2 half page and about 6 quarter page. The whole mag is 44 pages. It was delivered by hand (not RM)

Does`nt seem like enough advertising to pay for the printing, let alone anything else.
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DTEdge DTEdge is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1
Tentative Steps...

Hi
New to the 'site and pretty late to this thread. Hope you guys can help.

I noticed a few of you, esp. ewallbank and Popcat, seem very successful with your independent mag ventures. We're just kicking off with one in the North East and I was wondering if you could help with advice, esp. ewallbank on the packs used to 'reel in' advertisers.

I'm hitting a lot of resistance to my Rate card, even though the full (colour) page is well below ewallbank's and is a fraction of the rates charged by the local free sheets. Spoken with a lot of CT publishers and they typically seem to have settled at around £100 pp, which I think is just giving it away...

Our town has c. 32k households and circulation is set at 3,500 for the fist run, covering the 2 key private estates. Is this too low? I work with a cost reduction consultancy and have used this to nail a very low price on the printing, but am mindful of the cost of, say, 5,000 for an initial (unproven) issue.

Appreciate any help you can give.
Thanks!
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wbinst wbinst is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3
Hi Encantador

Would you care to post the url of the mag/media pack

Thanks


Wayne

ps; There is a fantastic forum dedicated to local mag publishers.

Heres the url: http://www.thewritecontent.co.uk/forum/

Its brand new but looks like it will become a great resource for experienced and beginner publishers like myself to exchange ideas and help each other.


Quote:
Originally posted by Encantador
Just received a copy of a local mag that it appears has been going for at least 3 months, but it`s the first one I have received.

Awful, absolutely awful. Spelling mistakes, bad grammar, words missing, very poor photos, retro type fonts in articles making them hard to read. can`t really say anything good about it.

Here is an example from their online media pack.....

"We also offer our blue ribbon service `intelligent ptofiling` which will give your audience a 360 degree view of what you`re about and where you can take them "

Anyone care to translate?

It says they deliver to 15000 homes, it`s glossy full colour A5.

There is about 6 full page adverts, 2 half page and about 6 quarter page. The whole mag is 44 pages. It was delivered by hand (not RM)

Does`nt seem like enough advertising to pay for the printing, let alone anything else.
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robgillsp robgillsp is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2
A variation on the theme

Hi everyone,

I thought I'd let you know my publishing experience as my situation is quite a bit different than most of you.

I decided to leave my well paid but stressful ship broking job in Barcelona about a year ago, and was looking for something I could run from home. I read up about mymag and similar community mags, and also came across coffee news, a single page restaurant publication.

Nothing was suitable for the Barcelona market, so I invented my own publication, based on the coffee news format. It's a weekly single A3 page what's on guide for tourists that is delivered to over 200 hotels, hostels, bars etc each week, with a print run of 5000 copies.

There at least 18 English language publications in Barcelona already, so it was a risky move, but I was convinced that the single page format would provide advertisers with more impact than any other publication, and I priced my ad space in line with the competition.

To cut a long story short, I'm now on issue 33 and we've been in profit every month (just about!) since issue 1, 7 months ago. I'm able to live off it now, but it took a long time, a lot of stress and a big chunk of my savings to get here. In the end I took on a freelance salesperson as I hated the selling so much - trust me, if you're not a born salesperson, selling ads is just the worst . This cuts into my profit obviously, but that's fine - just knowing that someone is out there selling on my behalf is worth it, and I still make enough for a reasonably good lifestyle out of it. It takes me about a day/day and half a week to write and page set, plus 2 days to deliver, which I will outsource soon.

We've had our ups and downs, and launching any new business is bound to be a challenge, but it's been a great experience to create a new product and see it grow, and it provides me with a sense of fulfillment and pride that was lacking from my previous employment. I earn less than before, but I am much happier now and that's what's most important for me at the end of the day.

Take a look at www.thisweekbcn.com - you can download a PDF of the latest issue there.
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Incepto Incepto is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 1,093
robgillsp, you're newsletter looks really good, from what i can see (my browser keeps crashing when i try to download it for some reason :/ )

Can I just how hard it is to manage to get enough info week in week out to fill the newsletter up?

The town where I live is booming now, especially re. tourism, and something like this would go down really well.
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robgillsp robgillsp is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2
Hi RSS,

There are 1700 words of content, but there's a lot going on in Barcelona and any less content wouldn't cover the main events.

I only rewrite 75% of it each week as the exhibitions get reused and rotated. In a smaller city/town with less going on the font size could be quite a bit bigger and other space using content could be used, such as cinema listings, maybe TV etc. All of the content is researched online and rewritten, and when you've done it few times it gets pretty quick to write, and can be enjoyable.

It is a microbusiness in the true sense of the word with limited opportunity for growth, but as a product it's been well accepted in a *very* crowded market thanks mainly to its unique format. If I'd enjoyed the sales part more and not had to shell out for a salesperson it would be providing me with a very nice living right now. As it is, I'm quite happy just to give that to someone else, and when I stop delivering myself it really will take less than 2 days a week to run, and will still pay me a decent salary, by Spanish standards at least. My goal of reversing the 5 day working week, 2 day weekend is not far off!

Have you tried right clicking on the link and downloading the PDF first? You need Acrobat reader 5 or above to open it.
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sparklehorse sparklehorse is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 5
time

I know this is an old post but I wondered if anyone who has started their own mag could tell me how long it took them to get the first issue out? i.e. from deciding they were going to do it, finding printer, contacting advertisers, putting mag together, printing through to delivering

Also, do you tend to publish monthly or quarterly?

Thanks
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Cann_Print Cann_Print is offline
Connector
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire
Posts: 174
Maggers Copy Exchange!

Hi Guys,

Just to let you know that I'll be relaunching my website in the next few weeks and I hope to have a 'Maggers' support section.

Ive around 30 different local mags I print every month now and people from this site are contstantly asking me for help and advice which is fantastic!. So hopefully the 'Maggers' section should help.

Im also looking to post copy on the section. This will allow maggers to exchange copy in order to fill pages etc.

If anyone would like to send me copy articals such as Health and Beauty, Food, Travel, Brainteasers, Motoring, Business . I will post them on my website and maggers can exchange them completely free of charge!

The more copy I receive the better.

Kind regards


Andi
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5,000 A4 Leaflets, two sides- folded - £215.00
www.cannprint.com - andi@cannprint.com
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ifonly ifonly is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: North East England
Posts: 130
Very interesting thread....we are about to launch a town portal venture based loosely around this with a website and magazine included.
Hopefully, we will be in a position to offer this to other people to run in there own town for free - we aim to make the income from a percentage of the advertising.
It is an interesting concept with many different means of marketing and we have tried to ensure our advertisers can benefit from the web and print markets.
It just shows how much we can save if we research a little and invest the funds the My Mag scheme was demanding.

Rgds
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