WordPress has made it easier than ever for a web designer to setup their own blog. This system allows you to add content into your website and publish in a number of different ways. But with the ever-advancing Internet we are seeing posts transform into articles and webblogs are slowly turning into online magazines.
In the realm of design we can find tens of hundreds of different design magazines. It really is a great way to get your name out onto the internet and may even turn a small profit. But it’s not as simple as throwing up a blog and writing some unique content.
In this article I’ll share a few tips and ideas for managing your own WordPress-based design magazine. To manage as editor-in-chief requires a great deal of time and motivation. Keep yourself organized and you’ll surely find success in the web design field.
The most important topic to discuss is post content. You need to feel comfortable with the amount of posts you can publish each day. Additionally the content quality should be important and planned ahead of schedule.
Designers have a whole bunch of topics to write about. These can include web freebies, tutorials, or even breaking web design news. Trends on the Internet move quickly and you should be able to keep up with the media. CSS3 and HTML5 have been breaking stories which have unfolded into even more complicated tutorials. You must learn how to leverage a news story to work within your favor!
Plan in advance for a few different headlines which you think would attract attention. Tutorials and free downloads are always popular amongst the design community. Focus on what you already know and try to share any specific knowledge you feel is important.
Setting Up a Queue
As I mentioned earlier your magazine’s organization will be the key to its success or failure. WordPress has the ability to schedule posts for automatic publishing on a future date. Many writers do not consider using this technique, but it’s vital for keeping your magazine afloat.
It’s unrealistic to expect yourself to manually publish articles each day. This requires a lot of extra time and you’ll find yourself very anxious over just a few weeks. Definitely spend some time building up a queue of posts before even launching the magazine live.
This will buy a bit of time so you don’t need to be writing posts every single day. Writing too frequently can become mentally exhausting if you don’t plan it out properly. Make sure you stay on top of the publishing queue and try not to fall behind with updated posts.
Taking On Multiple Writers
There may come a point where you look to bring on a few other writers. This is the natural remedy to alleviate some of the writing work off your back. But it can be difficult finding designers or developers who are willing to publish content.
WordPress has quite an elegant system for managing new users and writers. I love the Gravatar functionality combined with user biographies and website links. All this information makes it super easy to create an “About the Author” section underneath each of your posts. This is a lovely method to share some extra information about your writers.
Always Be Marketing
Web professionals can sometimes feel uneasy to classify themselves as “Internet marketers”. These are usually SEO gurus or social media enthusiasts who know how to get your links shared into the big Internet brands.
But to launch your own website requires you to dabble in many different fields of management. Marketing is definitely one of the most important fields because nobody will find your magazine otherwise. If you can get some help in the marketing section then try to work with other similar-minded folks on a strategy guide. Social media is huge and you can drive a lot of traffic with popular networks such as StumbleUpon or Pinterest.
But even small feats of marketing will slowly accumulate over time. Do you have any personal profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+? These are platforms where you can start sharing articles to your friends and other colleagues. Don’t be afraid to really push the envelope and get your link out there. This is the strongest tried-and-true method to generate buzz and keep a fresh crop of traffic moving through your website on a weekly basis.
Publishing Community News
User submitted news has blown up ever since Digg first launched in late 2004. Newer websites such as Reddit and Fark have given a new approach to user submissions. Similarly web design blogs are behind the trend and giving credibility to user-powered content.
The WordPress Community News plugin offers some extensive functionality within the admin panel. You can approve or deny submissions just the same as comments on your website. It even ties into Akismet if you’ve got an API key! There are other simpler plugins for user submitted news you can look through as well.
The purpose is to bring together a solution for sharing backlinks with your favorite design magazines. Community news offers a powerful method with full moderation tools. And it even offers you a unique glimpse into the design market for other online blogs.
This functionality is sure to increase your pageviews and keep traffic moving through your website for weeks/months to come. It also builds a memorable brand where people will return to have their articles published.
It will take months to build a solid branding and appreciation for your website. You can cut down on this time by offering extremely unique content like freebie PSDs or HTML/CSS/JS code. 365psd immediately comes to mind, although I would not classify them as an online magazine.
In truth, much of the process requires you diving in and making some mistakes. Get messy and really learn about the inner workings of WordPress. Over time you’ll feel more confident with your writing and members of the design community will appreciate your most intriguing articles. If you have similar ideas for managing an online design magazine please share with us in the post discussion area below.