Freedom technology maximalism. Running: Orange Label, Beefcoin, Hood Mining, Words, Guns.Team.
Publisher at Bitcoin Magazine.

Visions of a magazine

In my recap and resolutions for this year I included a desire to build a magazine. As I mentioned, I did not launch in 2023, but I did identify what I would focus on if I was to ship a magazine. This post will serve as a place to keep thoughts and updates on this endeavor.

Working on Bitcoin Magazine and Citadel21 before that, I have seen what goes in to the sales and production of a magazine and it is no simple task.

Running a magazine involves two distinct funnels, a production funnel and sales funnel. A big question is what comes first, the chicken or the egg? If you are just launching a magazine (I am) then it will be shipping a product mockup first. I think this can be something as simple as a deck. You need something, some vision to share with authors or artists you want to showcase in the magazine. Then, once you have writer’s pitched on ideas and locked in, probable a good idea to start developing marketing content. You can get very micro on this subject, so we will keep it high level (for now).

Magazine Production Funnel

The magazine production funnel is pretty straight forward, but worth documenting. There are (6) notable steps in the funnel.

  1. Issue Northstar // This is one of the most important parts of the entire magazine creation process, probably the most fun. This is where you throw ideas at a wall and see what sticks. You want to think of a theme for the issue, and even create a preliminary letter from the editor. This doesn’t have to be the final version of the letter, but this northstar will act as a call to action and prompt for any writers you engage.
  2. Pitch Writers // Once your northstar is buttoned up, you now need to go find content that will help tell this story. If this northstar is about a current thing, you probably have your eye on some writers, slide in their dm and ask if they would have any interest in participating in something like this. If you have some insane twitter threads bookmarked (I know you do) then reach out to the author and ask permission to publish.
  3. Copy Edit // Maybe an afterthought, but editing is critical. This is where you help the author shine. You want to make them sound as good as possible without butchering their words. Some authors are like kindly fuck off, others are like please help! Editing matters. Read the words. Use an exacto-knife.
  4. Layout + Design // No one reads. For that reason, it is critical that the magazine look AND feel amazing. You need this thing to ooze cool. If you have a brand style guide lean into it. Find your style. Define it. Stick to it. And have fun!
  5. Production // Identify printers. Depending on the scale there are many options. You can use a home printer, a local printer, a web based printer, there are even some print on demand printers. So find a good printer. Many printers will also send samples of paper stock. This selection will help you in picking out the physical feel of the magazine. Big decisions!
  6. Distribution // Receive the zines from printer. Now you have to get them in peoples hands. I didn’t even get into the sales funnel, so let’s assume you have customers. You want to ship the magazine so it arrives in good condition. Probably a good idea to get familiar with Uline and ShipStation.

Sales Funnel

So you have a magazine, you are producing it, now go sell it.

  1. Awareness // aka top of funnel. Creating brand awareness or affiliation with your product or service.This can be as simple as a tweet mentioning your product, a paid ad, really anything where people see your brand or product.
  2. Interest // generating interest in the benefits of your product or service, and sufficient interest to encourage the buyer to start to research further.
  3. Desire // for your product or service through an ’emotional connection’, showing your brand personality. Move the consumer from ‘liking’ it to ‘wanting it’.
  4. Action // Move the buyer to interact with your company and taking the next step ie. downloading a brochure, making the phone call, joining your newsletter, or engaging in live chat, etc.
  5. Retention // Deliver the product. Make customer happy. Upsell customer. We all know that this is key to upsell, cross-sell, referrals, Advocacy and the list goes on.

Copy about the funnel above

Awareness

Impressions: This measures the number of times your brand or message was viewed. Reach: This measures the number of people who are exposed to your brand or message. Click-through Rate (CTR): This measures the percentage of people who clicked on your ad or link.

Interest

Engagement: This measures the level of interaction with your brand or content, such as likes, comments, shares, or click-throughs. Time on Site: This measures the amount of time a visitor spends on your website or landing page. Bounce Rate: This measures the percentage of visitors who leave your website or landing page without taking any action.

Desire

Conversion Rate: This measures the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. Cost per Acquisition (CPA): This measures the cost of acquiring a new customer or lead. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): This measures the revenue generated by your ad campaign compared to the cost of the campaign.

Action

Conversion Rate: This measures the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. Abandonment Rate: This measures the percentage of visitors who started the checkout process but did not complete it. Average Order Value (AOV): This measures the average amount spent per purchase.

Retention

Lifetime Value – Retention Rate – Bleed Rate – Upsell Rate

Example Content

  • Cover
  • Theme of issue
  • Letter from the editor
  • Table of Contents
  • Dissident piece on culture war
  • Dissident piece on philosophy/history •
  • Dissident piece on current event •
  • Guncad piece technical piece in assembling a design
  • Guncad piece on what’s in development pipeline
  • Guncad piece spread photos of printed designs
  • Bitcoin piece on technical development
  • Bitcoin piece on-chain analytics
  • Bitcoin piece on economics
  • Art

visions of a magazine