Whether your association’s magazine is digital, printed, or both, the concepts that make your magazine valuable to your members are the same. And, if your magazine is valued by your members, it benefits the association in a number of ways that include non-dues revenue stream and a platform to offer in-depth information about services and to share best practices from other members. A magazine’s format also supports the coverage of issues that are important to members – positioning the association as a trusted advocate and source of information.
One of the challenges of creating magazine content is to capture readers’ attention immediately and retain their attention as they read multiple articles.
In “5 Tips for Making Your Magazine Content More Valuable,” the author suggests:
- Focus on a well-structured and well-styled contents page that is both attractive and functional.
- Focus on exciting and interesting ideas that give your readers new information or information from a different perspective or in a different format.
- Use visuals and language with caution, and make sure the images complement rather than compete or distract from concise, well-written text. Remember that photographs are what often attracts people to a magazine or to a specific article, so use high-quality photos, infographics, graphs, or other images.
- Define your structure and layout to make the content easy to digest. Readers view magazine articles as a two-page spread, so be sure that content on each page complements the other page.
- Edit your content before and after the magazine is designed to make sure that the content makes sense to your audience.
The author of “10 Tips for Designing High-Impact Magazines” offers additional guidance on two components of a magazine that she deems highly important:
- Spend time perfecting the contents page because it is the “first port of call.” It should allow readers to find sections and articles easily. If the magazine has a lot of content, don’t limit the contents page to one page – expand it to a two-page spread to allow room for space, creative graphics, stylish page numbers, and larger images that make it simpler to find articles of interest.
- Create a style theme and stick to it to produce a consistent look throughout. Color palette, typography, shapes and graphics, background color, and page numbering style and running headers should remain the same throughout each issue.