Do you want to know how to start a magazine company in Nigeria? What are the steps involved in setting up a newspaper business? And what do you need as an individual to be truly successful?
By the time you are done reading this piece of work, you’ll have learnt all the necessary steps required to start your own magazine production.
What could be your reason of wanting to start a business? Do you nurse a dream of running your own magazine business or you want to share the information about what you’re passionate about or you want to begin a medium through which you can share your activity (it could be hiking, politics, business, sports analysis, skating, cooking etc.) with the world. Whatever your reason, I will run you through the primary steps required to achieve your goals.
4 reasons why people start their own magazine/newspaper business in Nigeria
- The business owner wants to share the information they’re passionate about.
- They want to build credibility and authority in the chosen subject.
This is evident with many newspaper/magazine organizations that have been around for quite some time now.
Anything they publish, people love it and really discuss it.
- They want to share their activity. I recently stumbled upon a magazine that focuses on fish farming and like you would guess, the magazine is about sharing the information of their activities.
There are some too like the one they give to passengers when traveling in an airplane or a bus, telling them about the best hotels, restaurants, shopping deals and the best shopping centers in the city they’re traveling to.
- To make money: A magazine depends on subscription or advertising revenues–not just great ideas. Ability to build more loyal readers will determine the cost of subscription and charges for advert placement.
Now that you have learned the various reasons why people start there newspaper/magazine business, let’s dive into the steps required to start the business.
How to start a magazine company in Nigeria
Starting your own newspaper/magazine business in Nigeria
The following are the steps you’ll need to start your own newspaper/magazine publication business. Each step is very important and should be taken seriously.
- The planning stage
- First, do your homework
First of all, you’ll need to have the background knowledge of the product referred to as “magazine”, and then evaluate to discover if there is an audience that is eager to read and pay for such information. This step is really important as it gives you the idea of what a magazine will be.
Then get to know whether it’s the topic a lot of people are passionate about. In Nigeria for instance, the topic of politics, entertainment (celebrity gossip and news), sports (particularly football), are among the top topic Nigerians could die for.
a.) Narrow your topic
There is a high possibility that there exist an already established magazine that has built their credibility over time on a general niche and have acquired overtime, loyal readers that provide the necessary information that keeps them coming for more.
Competing with them can quickly become almost impossible and you might not win at the end of the day (having to bear the burden of waste of resources and time). The best solution, therefore, is to narrow your topic so that you’ll have a targeted audience who will be more than happy to read your paper’s content.
For example, if your selected market is about football, you can narrow it to target specific teams. Today there are newspapers targeting arsenal FC, Chelsea, Manchester City and so on.
The magazine business that targets a specific market builds credibility and loyal followers easily and faster.
b.) Decide on the number of pages
Most established magazines contain between 30-60 pages in their mags and this is because they always have the information they’ll share.
But it’s not a rule that you must become like them. I’ve seen a magazine with 3, 6, 8, 12 pages before with vendors. Just sit down and decide on the number of pages that will contain the information you want to share.
c.) Define your content
It’ll take time and serious effort (maybe something more serious) to make people love your content. What do you have to offer? Look for a way to keep people glued and thirsty for more once they’ve started reading your magazine.
But this can only happen when you offer unique and interesting articles. Take your time to define your content.
d.) Decide on the frequency of publishing
Decide on how many times you (2, 7,10,30,40 or more) intend to publish the magazine in a year, and then divide the number by the months. This gives you total number your intend to publish every month.
For instance, if you decide to publish twenty-four (24) magazines in a year, then you’ll need to publish two (2) every month.
d.) Develop a business plan
a.) Build your team
Now that the planning stage has been completed, it’s time to move into the action stage by building your team. It might cost more than when you decide to work alone but it’s going to be absolutely difficult to do everything all alone.
Get and employ people who have the passion like you do. You’ll need experts in the area of article writing and editing, research, graphic designer, printing, photography and photo editing, page layout, distribution, sales and customer support.
b.) Hire managers
These managers ensure that all operations will work as planned. The managers will head different departments while you oversee the managers. These managers will head different departments and will include:
c.) Production manager
This is a person who heads the printing and finishes off the magazine. This manager oversees the editing team, buys the paper, the magazine design (these include laying of the article and pictures) and to ensure that it is printed and formatted into the agreed designed pages.
d.) Sales manager
The sales manager is in charge of every sale and subscription of the magazine. All advertisers who wish to pay for advertisement and subscribe for further issues come through this department. The bulk part of revenue comes via ad and subscription.
e.) Marketing manager
This manager spreads the word to public places like grocery stores, the public, banks, bookstores, private organization, social media, print and electronic media and so on. No matter how good your magazine is, without any medium of publicity, no one will know or talk about it.
Who to hire
- Hire content writers
These sets of writers are the ones that will research and write the articles that will be of interest to your readers. Content writers are responsible for providing unique information that will build your magazine brand and reputation.
At the beginning of the magazine, you may hire freelance writers( with long term contracts) to do the job for you. Some of these freelance writers are experienced and really good and may charge you more. But I think it’s worth it as they’ll help build the magazine reputation fast.
- Graphic designer
Hire a graphic designer who will design both the cover and interior of the magazine. The designer must have a good design skill that can make the magazine stand out amidst the crowd.
- Marketing executive
Hire a marketing executive who will take care of all forms of advertisement and subscription of the magazine.
- Make your magazine interactive by including columns like sports, relationship zone etc; these columns target young adolescence and teenagers. Many often find themselves ignoring this but once you are able to capture the young hearts, they’ll grow up reading it.
- Do not promote or run too many ads on your magazine. In other words, make sure that the are not more than the content. It might make people stop reading your magazine.
Here is the financial implication.
Disclaimer: Not all prices are subject to be different depending on your location and time of the year, but the change might not be as huge as you think. Just to give you an idea.
For a newspaper, the paper they use is called “newsprint”. In Nigeria, virtually all newspaper comes in an A2 size. When folded, it gives you A3 on both sides. Or in A1 when folded it gives you A2.
For a magazine, the paper they mostly use is the “art paper” and it’s an A3 format.
The A2 printing plate is 600 naira. If you’re going for full color, then you’ll need four plates per page. If you’re going to print both back and front, you’ll need 8 plates. Exposing each plate is 300 naira.
The A3 printing plate is 400 naira. If you’re going for full color, then you’ll need four plates per page. If you’re going to print both back and front, you’ll need 8 plates. Exposing each plate is 200 naira
For separation and graphic design, prices depend on who will do it for you. Digital color separation for A2 ranges from 8000-10000 and that of A3 from 4000-5500
Note: Prices for materials do change over time. Most of the materials are imported and the exchange rate is what will affect the price.
Now your Turn
I have taken my time to outline the best ways on how to start a magazine company in Nigeria. Now, what do you think I missed? Feel free to add your contributions by making a comment below. If this information was helpful, please share it with your friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter and more. Thanks