With the advent of digital technology, online magazines are becoming increasingly popular. Digital publishing tools can make these magazines more interactive and attractive to readers. In this article, we will explore some ideas to enrich your online magazine with digital publishing platforms like Calameo.
Add internal links
Adding internal links is a great way to allow your readers to easily navigate through your online magazine. Internal links can be used to redirect readers to related articles, product pages or even specific sections of the magazine. This allows readers to spend more time exploring your online magazine while easily accessing everything that interests them.
Add external links
External links are another great way to enrich your online magazine. By adding links to relevant articles from other sources, you can help your readers better understand the topic you are covering. In addition, it can also help your online magazine gain credibility and build reader loyalty.
Adding media is a great way to increase the visual impact of your online magazine. By adding images, videos and other types of media, you can make your online magazine more appealing to readers. In addition, using media can help reinforce the ideas you present in your online magazine.
Add an audio track
Adding an audio track is another way to enrich your online magazine. This can be especially useful if you cover topics related to music or audio. By adding an audio track, you can give your readers a more immersive and interactive experience.
Insert shopping links
Shopping links are a great way to monetize your online magazine. By adding links to relevant products, you can help your readers find products they might want to buy. Plus, it can also help generate revenue for your online magazine.
Personalize the viewer
Personalizing the viewer allows you to put it in the image of your brand, to put forward your graphic charter and to ensure a visual continuity with your site and your other contents. A perfect feature to offer a recognizable content that only looks like you.
Create a table of contents
Adding a table of contents is a great way to help your readers easily navigate through your online magazine. By organizing your content into clearly defined sections and adding a table of contents, you can help your readers quickly find the information they are looking for.
By using digital publishing tools to enrich your online magazine, you can provide a more interactive and immersive reading experience for your readers. By adding internal and external links, media, audio tracks, shopping links, viewer customization, and a table of contents, you can help your readers explore your content more easily and better understand the topics you cover. Ultimately, this can help your online magazine gain credibility and build reader loyalty.
Not all publications on Calaméo are the same, and that’s a good thing! You surely already know, but in communication, and more generally in marketing, you must know how to differentiate yourself while still being recognizable right away.
To help you create excellent publications, the entire Calaméo team got together to list their best tips for unique digital publications, and here is the result:
Step 1: Before importing your document on Calaméo
For a unique and recognizable publication, it starts with the writing (on your word processor) and the design (on your layout software).
The way you speak is an integral part of your brand’s identity. The tone you use is unique and should reflect your values: it can be funny, serious, informative – or any other adjective – it all depends on you and the character you want to give your brand. Find and adopt a tone that is specific to your business and use it in all your communications.
Design is a very important element in making you stand out. Having a strong brand style guide or graphic charter that you will use in all your communications – including your digital publications – is essential.
Remember to follow your brand style guide when using:
images and illustrations
And while it’s necessary to stand out, keep the user experience in mind: your content must be understandable and readable. Don’t lose the meaning of your message because of a layout that is too complex.
💡TIP: Think of your document and its format according to the purpose it will have: will it be printed? Will it be downloaded? Or only viewed online? You should adjust your document accordingly (ex: no image for printing, etc.)
Step 2: When importing your document on Calaméo
When publishing your document on Calaméo, just before uploading it, you will have the opportunity to start working on the design of the viewer to offer a unique experience to your readers.
Choice of display mode
You can choose how the pages of your document will flow: scroll up, or a slideshow, or a flipbook with pages that turn like a magazine. Think carefully about how you want your publication to be displayed because each mode offers a different reading experience and comfort level.
So far we’ve only talked about visuals, but with digital publishing you can also import audio elements. With a Premium or Platinum Calaméo account, you can add background music to your publication, as well as a sound effect each time the page turns to create a unique reading environment!
Personalizing the viewer
Another advantage reserved for Premium and Platinum users: you can add your logo and a customized background to the viewer. Of course, you should respect your graphic charter so that all your publications reflect your brand. For example: you can choose to create a single background that you will use for all your publications or you can create color variations that correspond to your charter.
Step 3: Once your document is posted on Calaméo
Once your document is posted on Calaméo, it becomes a publication. To make your publication unique and recognizable, you can use several of our personalization tools that will operate directly on your publication or on the viewer.
Thanks to our Editor tool, you can add all sorts of interactive elements to embellish your publications. You can add:
external links: send your readers to your site, to your sources or any other URL.
internal links: redirect to a page inside your document. You can make an interactive table of contents for example.
shopping links: link directly to the product information. For example, you can insert a shopping link over a photo of a product in your publication.
videos: for example, you can create personalized videos and insert them in each one of your digital publications, like a vlog, to give your content more personality.
audio tracks: add music that will accompany your readers on a single page or throughout the publication. You could also add music at a convenient time to create a specific mood: joy, fear, relaxation, etc.
media: think of all formats. You can add photos, images, animated GIFs, etc. Feel free to experiment!
zoom zones: created to improve visual comfort. You could also insert elements that are only readable with the help of this zoom zone like a small hidden QR code for example.
Thanks to the elements you can add with the Editor tool, you will be able to create an atmosphere specific to your brand: bring movement and energy by adding animated GIFs, recall the environment of your stores by adding a recognizable audio track, imagine unique experiences for contests etc.
Thanks to our Elements tool (reserved for Platinum accounts), you can create custom themes and change the appearance of the viewer however you like. Change all the elements directly in the code: the social network buttons can change color, the navigation arrows can be a different size, etc.
💡TIP: Explore the Elements tool and make your publication stand out with customization
The possibilities for customization are infinite with the digital publishing tools that allow you to create personalized content that is unique to you and your brand!
Have you ever wanted to start your own magazine? We here at Calaméo did—way back at the beginning of last year, when we had the idea to create our CALAMEO Magazine. Since that first issue was released in February 2019 we’ve learned a lot about how to start a magazine from scratch. For example, what you’ll need to get organized, get creating and get out there.
Keep reading to find our complete guide to start your own magazine, plus three great reasons to opt for digital distribution.
The first and most important step when you start a magazine is to decide on your subject matter. Maybe there’s an idea you’re passionate about and want to share with others. Or maybe you’re part of a group interested in exploring new ways to communicate. No matter where you’re coming from, take a few minutes to write down the main topic for your magazine. Some possible topics are:
hobby or activity, like birding
place or institution, like a town or local museum
industry, like higher education
organization or association, like a sports club or charity
business or institution, like your company
For example, we decided right away that CALAMEO Magazine would be about the digital publishing sector as well as about our company. We wanted to give readers a deeper look at Calaméo’s history, people and news. But we also knew that we wanted to provide insight into the digital publishing world and analyze key trends.
Once you’ve defined your subject, it’s time to consider the goals you have for your magazine. These can be business goals, such as selling advertisements or making new contacts. They might also include personal goals like challenging yourself creatively and growing a collaborative community. In other words, write down the reasons why you want to start a magazine. This will help you focus on what’s most valuable and, a little farther down the road, help you evaluate your success.
Finally, think about the scope of your project. Some magazines come out once a week and have hundreds of employees; some magazines only put out one issue every six months. Here at Calaméo, we chose to make four issues of CALAMEO Magazine during our first year of publication. How many times would you ideally like to publish this year to work toward your goals? Pick a number before you move on to planning the actual content of your magazine.
Building Your Team
Now the fun part of how to start a magazine begins! That’s right—it’s the “getting the team together” stage of the project. The size of your team can vary depending on the resources that are available for your magazine. But even limited resources don’t mean you’ll have to sacrifice on quality. At a minimum, you should count on filling three primary roles: Editor, Lead writer and Designer.
Each of these three roles comes with a different responsibility that is essential to creating your magazine.
The Editor is in charge of decision-making. He or she has final say on the topics to cover, assigning stories and approving design.
The Lead writer is generally asked to produce the text content of the magazine, including features, interviews and opinion pieces.
And last but not least, the Designer creates the finished publication. This can involve making page templates, developing a graphic identity for your magazine and illustrating its content.
Finding collaborators to help you start a magazine can mean getting creative. For instance, you may want to put out a call for volunteers, either within your organization or your community. If you have a budget, you can get in touch with freelance writers and designers on platforms like Behance and Fiverr. On the other hand, if you plan to be your own designer, the templates available in sites like Canva allow you to handle basic graphics and layout.
Inside this Issue
assembled your core team, it’s time to work on the first issue of your magazine! Above all, you’ll want to think carefully about the way your content is structured. That’s because you can use this same structure in every issue of your magazine. As a result, you’ll save yourself time and the stress of making such fundamental decisions for each new release.
Begin with your ideas for the main rubrics, or categories, of content that you would like to feature in your magazine. Be careful not to confuse content categories with actual, specific stories that you might already have in mind! For example, our CALAMEO Magazine has nine rubrics: our Editors’ Note, a table of contents, Stats, News, Highlights, Interview, Tips and Editors’ Picks. While the subjects change from issue to issue, the structure stays the same.
With your magazine’s rubrics figured out, the Editor can begin to assign topics to your contributors. Your Lead writer should take on the most important stories, but you can consider asking additional writers and creators to contribute content or even ask for submissions. (Just make sure to explain the topic well enough to receive relevant responses!) Meanwhile, discuss the upcoming issue and its subjects with your Designer so that he or she can prepare layouts and other graphic elements.
Now all that’s left is to set some deadlines! The Editor of your magazine should let everyone else involved in its creation know when their content is due. Plus, the Lead writer and Designer will need a schedule for completing the layout, making edits, finalizing the publication and the planned release date. Stick to your schedule as closely as possible and voilà—the first issue of your magazine is done!
Getting to Readers
There are still a few more choices to make before you get your publication in front of readers. Perhaps the most crucial question when you decide to start a magazine is whether to publish in print, online or both. In the past, print was the only option for new projects and came with lots of built-in costs, from paper to postage. However, it’s now both easy and common for magazines to be available in a digital format.
Besides the lower costs associated with online publication, digital magazines can benefit from incorporating interactive content. You can add links to other websites to cite sources, promote products and events or support advertisers. Spice up your stories with videos from YouTube, audio tracks or even GIFs. Thanks to digital publishing platforms like Calaméo, it only takes a few minutes to make your magazine fully interactive online.
Plus, a digital magazine offers you key information about your readership that print distribution can’t match. Instead of relying on the number of printed copies you’ve ordered, you can effortlessly access analytics showing how many views your magazine is receiving online. (And if you need further details about how readers interact with your content, advanced statistics can provide insights.) This data will help you evaluate the progress you’re making toward your goals as you create the next issues of your new magazine!
We hope that this practical guide to how to start a magazine has given you the right tools for taking on such an exciting project. We loved creating CALAMEO Magazine and are happy to announce that a brand-new issue will be coming your way this spring. Ready to try out publishing your own digital magazine? Join Calaméo today and publish for free.