Media Voices co-host Peter Houston sends out a weekly newsletter called The Magazine Diaries. Each edition shares the best magazine publishing ideas he comes across for you to steal, adapt or reuse. 

The Magazine Diaries inbox was struck by a smooth criminal… a real live magazine publisher confessing to stealing ideas and providing the evidence. Their most excellent pilfering leads this week’s newsletter.

It was actually a real rush to have people send me ideas that they thought were worth stealing. I’d love for this newsletter to bring people together to share ideas that make magazine publishing better, one idea at a time. So, send me your ideas, tell me what you think.

Let’s build this big, bad Alien Ant Farm together.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, start your collections”

Sophie Cross of Freelancer Magazine fame admitted to me in an email that she had filched an idea from indie-mag super-sharer Kai Brach. In his amazing Indie Magonomics blog, Kai raises the idea of bundling back issues at a discount.

Sophie introduced her Freelancer Magazine Starter Pack – the first four issues for £40 – about a month ago and she says they have been great seller. She doesn’t promote them heavily, but she thinks when people come to buy an issue they see the bundle and get ‘a bit of FOMO’.

Our mag content is fairly timeless so I think it works well for us. And because of the community vibes, people are keen to get the full set, which is fab.

This idea is perfect for publishers like Sophie that are just starting out, but building bundles that bring together consecutive issue or even themes would work for anyone.

Reboot your greatest hits

Bauer has worked with the UK’s Channel 4 to revive its Smash Hits magazine brand in service of the third and final season of the TV channel’s Derry Girls show. The 28-page special strikes a nostalgic theme, harking back to the 90s heyday of the defunct pop title. More than 150,000 copies will be distributed in the UK and my timeline has been filled with women of a certain age desperate to get their hands on one.

Not every publisher has an iconic pop brand to resurrect, but collaborating with a sponsor to create a themed issue that will push your audience’s nostalgia buttons? Well worth ransacking your archives.

Shout out to the youngsters

Digital audio is a big deal and it’s getting bigger. That’s why 80% of publishers in the Reuters Institute trends report said they were planning to focus resources on audio this year. But you don’t have to start a podcast (you should, but you don’t have to).

Audio articles are a great way to get started and people listening – just plug your text into an AI reader* and let the repurposed words ring out. And if you’re after younger readers, it’s worth knowing that listeners between the ages of 18 to 34 are one and a half times more likely to tune in than older readers.

*I’m not making any text-audio tech recommendations here.


Republished with kind permission. Subscribe to The Magazine Diaries to get three steal-able ideas in your inbox every Friday.

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