From the Online Magazine format representing an "online only" electronically published publication to a print Magazine’s Website,there are many ways to start your Zine online presence. Using the association to a "magazine" indicates that the online presentation will be related to or contain similarities to a print magazine style and content.
The term "Online Magazine" is becoming a popular descriptive term as it better describes the type of magazine content to be published online. Since many print magazine publishers are also labeling their print magazine’s web site "(Title Name) Magazine Online",the words "online" and "magazine" have also become more effective for general Internet searches. For example,many more online searches will occur for "Bass Fishing Magazine" than "Bass Fishing Ezine",even though the content published online may be the same.
Today,most new print magazine titles have fully developed their web presence prior to the launch of their premier issue. However,there is an increasing interest in creating online magazines that are either exclusive to the Internet medium or are building their business model online prior to launching in print format. The online format has a lower startup cost than budgeting for both online and print,but the online only presentation will also require a strategic marketing strategy to produce revenue. As many online formats are available for building your online magazine you’ll want to be aware of the advantages and limitations of each as it relates to your publication purpose. Your concept,content,and marketing must also be customized to the format you choose.
There are several online Zine variation titles today. The electronic only Zine formats often don’t have the inherent advantages (a marketing medium,existing audience,existing advertisers,and existing content) of their print magazine counterparts for establishing an online format. But there are ways to grow these electronic formats to fit startup or "online only" objectives and they can grow to present publishers new opportunities to take their presentation format to an online format with more functionality. Here is a brief overview of some selected popular formats:
Blogs (Title Name) Blog’ / (Title Name) Blogzine’ / (Title Name) Blog Magazine’
While not related in class to the other listed magazine Zine formats,Blogs represent a simple to utilize publishing tool for communicating periodic information. As the format relates to a Zine format, the term "Blogzine" is much less popular than simply using "Blog" as title component (as of Q1 2005,Google reports approximately 13,000 English language pages for blogzine and 88,000,000 pages for blog). "Blog" is derived from the term "weblog" and can be an individual or group administered presentation of posted content or information. Blog content can be focused on anything from a interest niche to an individual perspective that is published in a personal diary format. While Blogs can provide a good presentation of online information,the perception of this format would make it a challenge to market this format commercially as a magazine type online publication since the Blog has become it’s own unique web publishing entity. However,properly focused,designed,and formatted Blogs are showing signs that this publishing medium may have strong potential. While some Blogs have become so popular that they can support interaction and a business revenue model,most non-personal Blogs provide information that is auxilary to another commercial,organizational,or informational purpose. As a publisher,your branded blog can provide an excellent format to present content in different format or frankness not present within your formal print magazine editorial format.
Ezine (Title Name) Ezine’
The Ezine is generally based on a special focus or subject niche published online. While the term Ezine (E-zine,Ezine,WebZine) is commonly given to "online only" newsletter style published material,it commonly represnts a specific interest niche. A eNewsletter (email newsletter) is a common component (sometimes the key content delivery component) of an Ezine. The content of the Ezine traditionally maintains tight focus on the interest niche and maintains a periodic or ongoing update or email newsletter schedule. Ezines have been a very popular format over the past decade for publishing magazine style content online. While most computer savvy users recognize the term Ezine and related representation of web content,for more popular interest subjects using the term "online magazine" may be more generally marketable today. That said,there are many successful e-zines that serve their niche online readership very well and are able to produce revenue or promotion of an alternate purpose or organization.
The below formats represent the field of more recent discussion and focus related to the formal web site presentation of content,functionality,and revenue capabilities for magazine online formats.
Online Magazine (Title Name) Online Magazine’ / Online (Title Name) Magazine’/ (Title Name) Web Magazine’
The term "Online Magazine" is becoming a popular marketing related naming convention (vs. the term Ezine) to represent a more formal and commercial presentation of content that is similar to the editorial quality content and additional non-content components of a print magazine format. It is expected that Online Magazine web sites will contain quality editorial and feature content as well as other key electronic web functions to generate ongoing readership and interactions. Strong subject content organization and extended web site functionality provide for an enhanced online readership connection with the subject of the online magazine. An online magazine website could also be a starting point for a forthcoming print magazine. The key function of this class of web site would be use of content management,ecommerce,database,classified,message board,newsletter,advertising,and site administration capabilities. Based on the business model and marketing,the Online Magazine web site would likely be optimized to produce monthly profits to the publisher from link and banner advertising,merchandise offers,or other strategic applications.
Magazine Online (Title Name) Online’ / ‘(Title Name) magazine’
Nearly all print publications also have an online web site presence. Most short to medium-run print publishers have made some investment in their online presence as a marketing tool. Some have even recognized that their magazine’s web site provides an opportunity to extend their brand and provide other readership and advertiser utility. This online presence can vary from a simple web site for basic informational and business purposes to a full function interactive web site optimized for leverage and overall publication brand,readership,and subscriber growth. Since publishers already own the best possible medium to advertise their magazine online web site (their print magazine),they have a significant advantage to online only models that must find external methods to promote their online site.
Many print magazine titles are also now offered as digital magazine editions online. This is a completely electronic replica of the print magazine issues. This presentation and distribution can be utilized as another brand extion tool and added to the magazine web site presence. Some publishers are also trying other forms of a "magazine digital editions" with paid formats as online digital exclusive subscriptions or premiums to the print edition subscription. While these digital edition products foster brand extension they are an additional component (not replacement) for a properly planned and designed web site presence for the publication. Magazine digital editions can also be utilized for marketing, publication samples,and strong readership or circulation increase tools for people that are seeking specific information in it’s original print presented format.
With many online variations available,there’s bound to be a fit for a publisher to start some type of online presence. It can take many months for an "online only" magazine format to establish a presence that produces significant web site traffic. But with a solid online strategy the Internet provides for many new web publishing opportunities. For print magazine publishers,the online web site can produce results very quickly but must also meet a high expectation standard as the web site will also be a main indicator of what value the publisher’s print publication has to offer.
If you have questions,comments,or suggestions for this starting an online magazine presence article,you can contact David Blankenship at (951) 256-4106.
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