Dr Izdihar Jamil shares her experience in creating her own independent magazine to help women share their message with confidence and freedom.
As a media expert, I’ve come across thousands of women who have great ideas but are often stopped because their messages don’t fit the “mold” of mainstream publication. After hitting the roadblocks multiple times, those women often lose confidence in their message and themselves.
Rather than taking a step forward, they would put a pause to “reflect” or pull back all together. This stops their important message being heard by their intended audience who is craving for value from their trailblazers.
My own personal experience as a hijab wearing, Asian, immigrant, Muslim woman working in mainstream business and media, I’ve come aross many of society’s preconceived notions. I had an idea on how I can make it easy for women to have their message heard, raw and unfiltered without judgements? How can I showcase their message in front of hundreds of media that can reach thousands of people around the world?
In my reflection and meditation, the idea of creating my own independent magazine just pops! I knew that this was a sign and the answer that I was looking for. I wanted to give women, especially female entrepreneurs the freedom and confidence to share their message and that’s how Spotlight Female Entrepreneurs Magazine was born!
The first edition was launched in July 2021, featuring 18 inspiring women sharing their business tips, lifestyle, relationships and many exciting topics that are important to them and their readers. What’s more is that Spotlight Female Entrepreneurs Magazine (SFEM) has been featured on FOX, NBC, CBS plus hundreds of other media outlets and syndications.
“I wanted to create a magazine where women can voice their message with confidence and freedom” ~Dr Izdihar Jamil shares her vision for creating the SFEM magazine.
You can check out SFEM >>here<<.
In this article, I’m going to share the 5 steps that I took to create my own independent magazine.
#1- Figure out your theme & niche
When you want to catch everybody, you’ll catch nothing. So the first step is to figure out your theme and niche. Some of the questions that you can use in this exploration include:
- What is the theme that my readers want to read about?
- What is my vision?
- Who is my target audience?
- What kind of women do I see contributing to the magazine?
- What will make this magazine different from other magazines?
For SFEM, I wanted to focus on the lifestyles, business and personal tips from female entrepreneurs as that’s the women that I love working with the most. I also wanted it to create a fun magazine that covers various aspects of the life of a female entrepreneur.
#2- Look For Quality Contributors
Now that you’ve got your theme and vision, it’s time to look for quality contributors. Remember, you don’t want just anybody to contribute to your magazine. You want to maintain a “standard” in accepting particular contributors. Some of the contributors’ characteristics that you can use as a guide include:
- Do they have a good track record in their work?
- Do they have a positive image in the industry?
- Are their principles and values align with the magazine’s theme?
- Do they have experience in writing for publications before?
- Are they considered an expert in their field?
For SFEM, I’ve personally handpicked the women that I wanted to feature in the magazine. Some I have already worked with in the past before so I have a good relationship with them. Some are new- who I have personally interviewed.
#3- Create A Team
It really does take an entourage to create a high quality magazine. Yes you can choose to do everything yourself and save you some money but for me, I know what my strengths are. So I’ve decided to create a team around me to support me in making my vision possible- the easiest, simplest and fastest way to do it.
Here are some team members that you may want to include in your team:
- Editor- to edit the article
- Designer- to design the layout of the magazine
- Formatter- to format the magazine according to the publisher’s requirements. This is especially important if you’re going for printed format
- Tech expert- to take care of any tech issues- website, online payment, etc
#4- Guidelines For Submission
When you’re working on any project, it’s important to have a clear guideline so that everybody is in alignment with your vision. For example, with SFEM, I created a writing formula to help my contributors to write with ease. It also includes some common details that I want them to highlight. Also, mention clearly the submission deadline and the consequences of not submitting within the date.
#5- Publishing platform
Once your magazine is ready, you’ve got to figure out the best platform to publish it. Then think about whether you’re offering a digital or printed or both format for your audience. You don’t have to overthink it- you can simply use your own website as the publishing platform.
Here are some steps to help guide you in choosing the best platform for you:
- What format are you going to offer- digital printed, or both?
- Do a research on the available magazine platforms such as joomag, blurb, lulu and others
- You can also choose to host your magazine on your own website
- Before the choosing the final platform, test out a few- often those platforms offer free trials
- Figure out how to take online payment if you’re thinking of monetizing your magazine- stripe, paypal, payhip are some of the options available
I hope you’ve found my idea useful and hope it’ll inspire you to have the courage to go for your dreams.
I’m constantly looking for contributors for SFEM for the upcoming editions. If you’re interested, I’m sharing the juicy tips on how you can be chosen to write on a global magazine in my “Top Authority Activation Retreat”. Click >>here<< to access the details.