Online magazine websites are the go-to source for the latest news on a specific topic. Whether it’s food, entertainment, sport, business or even WordPress news, having a single source where you can browse articles and videos from multiple sources is a brilliant time-saver. It’s like having an RSS feed reader all over again (if you’re old enough to remember what that is).

Creating your own online magazine using WordPress is a relatively simple thing to do. As long as you make the right moves, you’ll be on course to becoming the number one source in your market. Plus, don’t forget the monetary benefits that can come from that, be it from ad spaces, sponsors, affiliate income and more.

The 6 steps to build an online magazine website

Here the tl;dr version of what you need to do to set up an online magazine:

  1. Set up a WordPress install on a recommended host that can handle the pressure as you grow.
  2. Find a magazine theme that works for you.
  3. Start writing your own original content (optional, but always good to have).
  4. Install and set up WP RSS Aggregator with Feed to Post.
  5. Add the sources you wish to import supplementary content from.
  6. Go live and start promoting your site across the web!

There isn’t much to the setup process if you think about it. Within a few hours you can have a website up and running with fresh and relevant content pouring in from all the best sources. Then it’s time to use social media, your own contacts and other methods to get the website’s name out there and start gathering traction.

For a more detailed look on how to set up WP RSS Aggregator, have a look at our in-depth tutorial. It runs through all the step-by-step procedures on how we had set up an online magazine website for WordPress news, WP News Desk. It gathers articles from over 100 of the best WordPress news sources around the world.

How to monetize your online magazine

Well, there are a few options you can look into.

Firstly, the majority of great magazine themes out there offer some sort of ad space where you can run ads of your own choice. Whether it’s using Google AdSense or selling your ad space yourself, it can be a great source of recurring revenue as you grow.

If your theme doesn’t provide ad space, it’s not a problem. As long as it provides space for widgets, such as in the header or the sidebar, you can embed images, GIFs, videos and more, all linking to the advertisers’ websites. Just remember to sell that ad space, not give it away for free.

Sponsors are another possible revenue stream you can look into. Contact companies, product owners and individuals who work in, or offer services focused around, the market that your content is focused on. Once you find someone that is interested in promoting their company, product or service to your followers, sell them ad space on your website for a prolonged period of time, or even include them within your content and/or email newsletter.

Let’s not forget about affiliate income too. WP RSS Aggregator can do the work of bringing in fresh content, but a tool like Thirsty Affiliates can take this further by automatically applying your own affiliate link to specific keywords in the imported content.

Once you’ve done this, for every site visitor that clicks on your affiliate link and buys the product or service being offered, you will earn a commission. Of course, you need to sign up to the affiliate program of the product or service you’re linking to first.

You can even try popups if that’s your thing. They have become more cumbersome over time, but who knows, they might work for your audience and result in even better conversions. You can either promote it as part of your ad space or use it to sell affiliated products and services.

Can you think of some other revenue stream for an online magazine? Or perhaps you know of a website that does all or some of this which is worth sharing? Share your thoughts in the comments.