5 Tips For Starting Your Own Magazine

Tenyse Williams, co-founder of Dapper Dads Magazine, shares her secrets


(Image: Dapper Dads Magazine)

Many niche writers have dreams of one day starting their own magazine or publication but aren’t sure where or how to get started. One quick and obvious way would be to skip the print and jump into a cool online space.With the help of WordPress, Blogger, and the tons of other website-building tools around the net, the initial setup is usually a breeze. However, the work it takes to grow, monetize, and maintain the mag poses a challenge for many.

Tenyse Williams, co-founder of Dapper Dads Magazine, which highlights and profiles dads of color, says these difficulties can be worked through but first you have to get started. She feels, “there is no such thing as the right time,” and once you begin, so does the growth.

[Related: Millennial Seeks To Boost Local Economy Through Blogging]

When Williams and her team started out, she admits, they didn’t have much financial resources, but they had plenty of passion and  drive. They pooled their money and outside resources together, such as photographers, graphic designers and whomever else they needed, to make their dad-driven dream come true.

“We could not afford a large staff, but we were able to get the right staff,” said Williams. “We pushed social media, our website, pitched our media kit, attended events, networked like crazy, and have since been able to put out editions of the magazine that we are beyond proud of.”

BlackEnterprise.com caught up with co-founder Tenyse Williams to talk her niche magazine. Here are five tips she has for entrepreneurs wanting to start their own publication.

1. There is no such thing as the “right” time. Although there are certain instances where things can be planned,  some things happen on their own. Some business flourish in a year, some in ten years. No one can really predict the success or failure of your business except for you. Your work ethic, your determination, and your openness to feedback and critique all make a difference. It also determines whether a vision or idea is a short-term stint or a longterm, sustainable business.

2. Making your dreams authentic. I use to be a “dreamer” but, essentially, dreams are not real unless you make them a reality. It’s about what your vision is and how you want to reach your goals.

3. Know your support system. This may not always be the people who are related to you, or even the ones who are immediately around you. Support channels are built, recognized, and tested over time by building the proper business relationships with people in your field.

4. Research and study trends. In any business you must do your research and study the trends before you invest your time and money. As many people know, the magazine  and print industry is suffering. However, the most important thing is to develop your niche market. Williams says she was lucky that no one created a publication for fashionable fathers, specifically dads of color, which sets her magazine apart from the average men’s fashion publication.

5. Become a social influencer. Your brand has to be viewed as a trustworthy person. For example, think of your favorite blogger or when you watch a YouTube tutorial. Generally, you trust the reviews of that particular person or their viewpoints on certain topics. Use social media to influence and gain the trust of your audience while marketing your brand.

4 Responses to 5 Tips For Starting Your Own Magazine

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  3. Jessica says:

    Thank you for this! I have many dreams and aspirations I want to pursue in the future, and I feel like these tips can apply to creating your own business. Hopefully I would be as courageous as you and start my own business one day.

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