We recently launched Energy magazine (a quarterly publication for business owners and executives in the printing industry), for which I serve as Editor and Publisher. I’m proud of our latest issue and am enjoying the new role, as it allows me to venture back into my days as a journalist (I worked as a newspaper reporter and copy editor). It’s also giving me the opportunity to learn some things, both about the magazine publishing business and, more importantly, about reaching readers with information they need, want, and enjoy.
I had a recent conversation about the magazine with a fellow publisher and he shared an important lesson. Framed in such a simplistic way, it made tremendous sense and I’m sure is something that will continue to serve me.
Magazine publishing, it turns out, is a lot like dating.
To be “successful,” you’ve got to start with the basics. You’ve got to be where they are (in this scenario, readers and/or men). Okay…maybe that’s a bit too basic, but bear with me.
There also has to be attraction. I think you get what that means in the dating world, but in the magazine publishing world, we’re referring to design. The overall look and feel of the magazine is something readers should want to touch and open and peruse.
Next, there must be substance. A connection between the two and, ultimately, something that makes you want to know and learn more. Do we know the same people or run in the same circles? Does we have any hobbies in common? Do we like the same movies or music? For Energy, this means we need to include articles on topics readers are familiar with or enjoy or that contain information they need. Beyond commonalities, is there some element of fun? Does the article entertain me? Can he make me laugh?
It’s important to note that in both magazine publishing and in dating, a true connection generally isn’t established in an instant. It’s going to take awhile to fall in love. So, please have a look at our latest issue. I’d love to hear your feedback (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org) on the articles and, of course, to go out again sometime soon.
Thanks for reading,