The success of women’s lifestyle magazines seems to far outweigh that of men’s magazines. I must confess that it’s been a good 10 years since I purchased a magazine for myself, and I actually quite enjoy reading. In direct contrast, the first time I saw my current girlfriend’s apartment, I was in no way surprised when I noticed a stack of magazines as tall as I am sitting in the corner. A magazine for women typically deals with everything from sex, health and relationships to careers, travel and celebrity gossip. |
Publications such as Cleo, Cosmopolitan and New Idea all address these topics, and interestingly, have not lost their relevance in the wake of the movement of reading material online. Yet once popular men’s magazines have suffered significant losses, in fact FHM – which was a major player in the market throughout the 90’s and 2000’s – printed its last issue in Australia in May of 2012. Ralph also went out of print in 2010 and current market leader Zoo Weekly actually saw significant falls in sales throughout 2012. More than likely, it has been how specific magazines have embraced the online market and provided content to readers that are jumping online to get their fix. Many smaller, free magazines have cropped up online often in the form of blogs, and larger publications have had to deal with increased competition as a result. That said, it does seem that women’s magazines are generally more successful.
What has made online magazines so popular is their interactive nature. If you flick through any magazine you’ll notice pages filled with real people that have real stories. People write letters, ask advice and generally like the magazine to have an interactive side to it. And that’s part of what is so great about blogs and online articles. Not only can you actually contribute your own articles to an online magazine for women, but you can comment on the posts of others, start discussions, share similar experiences and meet people. This is something readers could never do with printed magazines. Magazines provide people with facts and opinions on interesting topics, and increased interaction only adds to the flow of information. While printed reading material does have its charm, there are countless benefits that come to readers who choose to subscribe to a magazine that has an online presence.
Of course, it’s important that an online magazine ensure that the content is of a high level, which is why an editorial team must be careful what it allows to be posted. Readers would not return if the articles were poorly written or uninteresting, so existing in the online space does not necessarily mean a magazine does not have to deal with the issues that an established printed publication faces. At the end of the day, good writing on topics that interests a target market is what makes a successful magazine, and the fact that it is online, interactive and widely available can never be a substitute for this.
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