Magazines may be going digital, but they’ve certainly been around longer than blogs — so taking a tip or two from what they have learned over the years may not be such a bad idea. We’ve conjured up nine things you can take away from your favorite glossy and apply to your blog here:
Plan an editorial calendar. Did you know you can look up most magazines’ editorial calendars? This is helpful for when advertisers are planning their approach, so that they may fit in with the other content being discussed within the publication. Editorial calendars are also very useful in keeping your blog on track and focused over time. While magazines plan month to month, you may want to plan week to week, or every two weeks.
Quality content. Magazines can’t easily retract or edit anything they publish — they need to be able to stand by every word the write. Therefore, editors and writers write as though you can’t update or retract the information presented, most importantly by fact-checking. While blogs are updatable in just a few clicks, you should try and get it right the first time around — did you spell the proper nouns correctly? Did you verify the information you are discussing? When you hit ‘publish’ on your dashboard, act as if you are printing an article in a magazine. (This will only prevent you from angering someone!)
Spreading out advertisements. Sure, magazines are often stuffed to the brim with paid content. However, two things magazines do right are: 1) make sure this content is highlighted as an obvious advertisement, and 2) use advertisers that fit the same “vibe” of the magazine. These tactics should also be apparent with blogging.
Design with your content in mind. When you are perusing a magazine, you’ll notice that the interviews have a different layout than the beauty articles, and editorial photo spreads look different than trend forecasts. As you become more advanced in your content and voice, you may want to explore designing the “look” of each type of post.
Making a masthead. Guess what, folks? People read your “about” section, so what you write in it matters. Like a magazines masthead, you want to be clear and concise about who you are and what you do.
Maintaining a voice. One thing most major magazines have mastered is maintaining a voice through different types of articles. It doesn’t matter what the topic is, it’s how you present it.
Use your space wisely. While magazines may have a printed page to work with, you have a digital blank slate. Magazines have learned how to creatively and effectively crunch all of their words, illustrations, photos, and text blocks onto a small page, take a cue and look to them for design inspiration.
Splitting up sections. Magazines split their content up by sections, much like a blog would split up their categories within their site. By taking note of how many sections, the types, and the content that falls within them, it can give you a basic idea of how to outline your own categories.
Creativity with photos and illustrations. Sick of seeing the same types of photos over and over again? Us, too. Get crafty with your photos by incorporating illustrations and other types of media into your posts.
Writing snappy headlines. What makes you want to buy a magazine when you only have a second to skim through it? It may be the photos, but it’s more likely the snappy headlines. Make your blog clickable with catchy phrases and active wording in your titles.
Is there anything from magazines that you have learned?
[Image credit: Shutterstock]