Starting Your Own Online Literary Magazine: A Guide To Launching A Lit Mag
6 mins read

Starting Your Own Online Literary Magazine: A Guide To Launching A Lit Mag

Have you always dreamed of running your own literature magazine? Maybe it’s something that you’ve never really intended to do, but you’ve spotted a gap in the market. And you’ve, at some point, wondered how to start a literary magazine.

If you’ve decided that it’s something that you want to do, you need to start thinking about how to execute it. An online magazine is easy to run in this age of the internet, especially compared to publishing a print magazine. 

You can easily create a digital version of your print literary magazine, or even publish content as posts on your site.

What Steps Should You First Take When Wondering How To Start A Literary Magazine?

Below are some important steps you should consider taking when planning to launch your online literary journal. Take note of the common mistakes you should avoid as well.

Plan Your Magazine To Ensure That It Becomes One Of The Best Literary Magazines In the World.

Before you can start doing anything, you need to have a plan. There are various ways to approach an online magazine, including what format you want to deliver it in. 

You could run it like a blog, making new posts for the writing that you want to showcase. You could also create a digital magazine that can be downloaded or viewed online. 

Are you going to give it away for free or will you be selling it? If you sell it, are you going to offer a subscription option or sell each issue as an individual product? 

You should also think about who you need to work with, including an editor and proofreader. If you aren’t sure about what you want, then take the time to study the best literary magazines online. Find out what they’re doing well and see what you can learn from them.

Starting Your Own Online Literary Magazine

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Create A Website For Your Online Literary Magazine.

If you’re serious about figuring out how to start a literary magazine, you need to give serious thoughts to your website.

A website is essential for your magazine, and there are a few ways you could set one up. It’s important to know how you want to set up your literary magazine before you create a website.

It’s important that you get not just the right look but the necessary functionality. To make things easier, you might consider a website builder like Squarespace

If you already know a little about building sites or you’re willing to learn, WordPress might work for you. You need to consider what you want your site to look like and how you want to be perceived.

Building the right website is an important step in the process of fulfilling your dream of starting your own online literary magazine.

Call for Submissions.

Once your site is ready to go, you need to put out a call for submissions. There are many ways you could find people to submit to your magazine. 

You could let some writing blogs and websites know, and they can tell their visitors. You could use Google Ads or another platform to promote your site. 

Social media can also be a great way to find people to submit to your magazine. Consider whether you want to set a theme or a prompt for people to respond to or if you just want to let people submit whatever they want. Also, ensure that your call is clear about what kind of author’s bio they should send alongside their stories.

Starting Your Own Online Literary Magazine

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Manage Submissions and Other Content

When people submit to your magazine, you need a way to manage their submissions. A document management system like the one found at could work out for you.

 It will help you to keep track of everything and allow anyone on your team to access all of your content when they need to. It’s important to have the right tools to stay organized.

Launch A Podcast.

Podcasts have become a great content marketing strategy for most of the best literary magazines. It will help you to reach a much larger audience than you would have reached if you stuck with only an online literary magazine.

So while exploring ideas on how to start a literary magazine, think about the prospects of launching a podcast for your lit mag. You could publish broadcasts of your authors reading the stories you’ve published on your online literary magazine. 

You can get ideas from some of the most inspiring podcasts that writers prefer to listen to. This will give you a good idea of the right format to use in your literary magazine’s podcast.

Wrap Up On How to Start a Literary Magazine.

Launching your own online literary magazine is a fun idea. It can allow you to get involved in what you love and maybe even discover some amazing writers.

So don’t be scared. Take your first step towards accomplishing this dream of yours. And let us know how it goes in the comments section below.

Have you started a literary magazine at some point in your life? What challenges did you encounter? And how did you overcome them? Please share your experiences in the comments section. Your ideas will go a long way to help those who are still learning how to start a literary magazine.

14 thoughts on “Starting Your Own Online Literary Magazine: A Guide To Launching A Lit Mag

    1. All you have to do is register your website online and start. Thanks to the internet, distance is no longer a barrier. You can receive submissions from writers who are all over the world.

  1. I am beginning an on-line literary journal. My big question is the legalities—How do journals handle copyright/first publication rights, that sort of thing.

      1. Hi Chioma,

        I’m at the final stages, but am facing a roadblock around legal registration. Are most literary journals registered as non-profits? LLCs? Sole Proprietorships?


  2. How do I make it a money returning venture because my pockets can’t sustain it forever once I start..

    1. There are many options. The few that come to mind are content marketing, PPC and affiliate marketing. But first, you have to make the blog viable. Your SEO metrics have to be reasonably good. If you attract a reasonable amount of traffic every month, businesses will advertise on your website.

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