How to start Newspaper/Magazine Business in Nigeria

Magazine Business in Nigeria

Do you want to know to start a newspaper/magazine business in Nigeria? What are the steps that are involved in setting up the business? And what you need to do to be successful?

When you read this article to the end, you’ll learn all the steps required to start your own magazine production.

You’ve have a dream of starting up your own magazine or you want to share the information about what you’re passionate about or you want to start a magazine business just to share your activity
(it could be hiking, politics, business, sports analysis, skating, cooking etc), whatever the reason, I will run you through the basic steps you need to achieve your goals.

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4 reasons why people start their own newspaper/magazine business in Nigeria

1. They want to share the information they’re passionate about.

2. They want to build authority and credibility in the chosen subject.

This is evident with many newspaper/magazine that have been around for quite some time now.

Anything they publish, people love it and really discuss it.

3. They want to share their activity. I recently saw a magazine about the association of power bike owners and basically the magazine is about sharing the information about their activities.

There are others too like the one they give passengers when traveling in an airplane, telling them about hotels, restaurants, and the best shopping centers in the city they’re traveling to.

4. People start their own newspaper/magazine business to make money. A magazine depends on the subscription or advertising revenues–not just great ideas. Ability to build more loyal readers will determine the subscription and advert placement.

Now that you know the reasons why people start there newspaper/magazine business, let’s dive into the steps required to start the business.

Starting your own newspaper/magazine business in Nigeria

The following are the steps you’ll need to start your own newspaper/magazine publication business. Each step is important and should be taken seriously.

1. The planning stage

a. Do your groundwork first

First of all, you’ll need to have the knowledge of the topic of the magazine, then evaluate to know whether there is the audience that is eager for such information. This step is really important as it gives you the idea of what the magazine will be.

Then get to know whether it’s the topic a lot of people are passionate about. In Nigeria for instance, the topic of sports (particularly football), politics, entertainment (celebrity gossip and news) are among the top topic Nigerians subscribe to.

b. Narrow your topic

There is every tendency that there is already an existing magazine that has built their credibility over time. That is they have loyal readers and provide the necessary information that keeps them coming back.

Competing with them can be an uphill task and you might not win at the end of the day. The best solution, therefore, is to narrow your topic so that you’ll be specific.

For instance, if your topic is about football, you can narrow it to target specific teams. Today there are newspapers targeting arsenal FC, Manchester United, Liverpool FC and so on.

The magazine business that tries to be specific build credibility and loyal followers easily and faster.

c. Decide on the number of pages

Most establish magazines have between 30-60 pages and this is because they always have the information they’ll share.

But it’s not a rule that you most follow suit. I’ve seen a magazine with 2, 3, 4, 8 pages before with vendors. Just sit down and decide on the number of pages you’ll need.

d. Define your content

It’ll take time and serious effort to make people love your content. What do you have to offer? Look for a way to keep people once they’ve started reading your magazine.

This can only happen when you offer unique and interesting articles. Take your time to define your content.

e. Decide on the frequency of publishing

Decide on how many times you intend to publish the magazine in a year, then divide the number by the months. This gives the total number your intend to publish every month.

For instance, if you decide to publish 12 magazines in a year, then you’ll need to publish one every month.

f. Develop a business plan

This will contain all your goals for now and the future. This clearly states the revenue you need, investors, expansion and so on.

Action stage

a. Build your team

After completing the planning stage, it’s time to move into action stage and begin by building your team. It’s going to be absolutely difficult to do everything all alone.

Look for people who have the passion and to join you. You’ll need experts in the area of article writing and editing, photography and photo editing, research, graphic designer, printing, page layout, distribution, sales and customer support.

b. Hire managers

These managers ensure that all operations will work as plan. The managers will head different departments while you oversee the managers. These managers will head different departments and will include:

1. Production manager

Someone who heads the printing and finishing off the magazine. These manager oversees the editing team, buys the paper, the magazine design (these include laying of the article and pictures) and to ensure that it is printed and formatted into the designed pages.

2. Sales manager

This manager is in charge o all sales and subscription of the magazine. all advertisers who wish to pay for advertisement and subscribe for further issue comes through this department. The bulk of the revenue comes via ad and subscription.

3. Marketing manager

This manager spread the word to public places like banks, bookstores, grocery stores, public and private organization, social media, print and electronic media and so on. No matter how good your magazine is, without any publicity, no one will know about it.

Who to hire

1. Hire content writers

These sets of writers are the ones that will research and write the articles that will interest your readers. Content writers are responsible for providing the necessary information that will build your magazine reputation.

At the beginning of the magazine, you may hire freelance writers to do the job for you. Some of these freelance writers are experienced and really good and may charge you more. But I think it’s worth it as they’ll help build the magazine reputation fast.

2. Graphic designer

Hire a graphic designer who designs both the cover and interior of the magazine. The designer must have a good design skill that can make the magazine stand out.

3. Marketing executive

Hire a marketing executive who will take care of all advertisement and subscription of the magazine.

Keys to success

1. Make your magazine interactive by including columns that target young people like sports, relationship zone etc. A lot do ignore this and once these young people love your mag, they’ll grow up reading it.

2. Do not overpopulate your magazine with ads. In other words, don’t put ads more than the content. It might make people stop reading your magazine.

Financial implication

Here is the financial implication. Note that all prices are subject to be different depending on your location, but the change might not be as huge as you think. Just to give you an idea.


For a newspaper, the paper they use is called “newsprint”. In Nigeria, virtually all newspaper comes in an A2 size. When folded, it gives you A3 on both sides. or in A1 when folded it gives you A2.


For a magazine, the paper they mostly use is the “art paper” and it’s an A3 format.

The A2 printing plate is 500 naira. If you’re going for full color, then you’ll need four plates per page. If you’re going to print both back and front, you’ll need 8 plates. Exposing each plate is 200 naira.

The A3 printing plate is 300 naira. If you’re going for full color, then you’ll need four plates per page. If you’re going to print both back and front, you’ll need 8 plates. Exposing each plate is 150 naira

For separation and graphic design, prices depend on who will do it for you. Digital color separation for A2 ranges from 5000-7000 and that of A3 from 3000-4500

Note: Prices for materials do change over time. Most of the materials are imported and the exchange rate is what will affect the price.

Now your Turn

I have taken my time to outline the steps to starting your own newspaper/magazine business in Nigeria. Now, what did I miss? feel free to add your contributions my making a comment below. if this information was helpful, please share it with your friends on facebook and twitter.

Bako Yila

Bako Yila is an entrepreneur and loves working with aspiring entrepreneurs the right way. His blog offers business idea and resources to build a successful business.

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23 Responses

  1. waoh, this is what i have been looking for. Thanks a million. But i think you ended quite inconclusively.

  2. nigfree says:

    Thanks Okafor and good to here that my article was helpful, am happy too for letting me know about it.

  3. Steve orji says:

    Very very useful information. Pls can i have your mobile contact for more discussion on magazine publication. Thank you

  4. nigfree says:

    @Steve thanks these information was helpful

  5. aghananti says:

    great! you ve made my day.ur article is so educating and distinct.may I have your number please?

  6. Abimbola Oladipo says:

    your information was really helpful. Am just about to start my magazine and i think with your ideas that you created i will follow it up and i would not mind to hear from you question for more knowledge


  7. thanks for the great business tips.

  8. ikoi abode ikenna says:

    highly informative. just like that on @

  9. Babatunde says:

    This information is very vital to me…thanks a lot men

  10. Thomas says:

    it’s good content. quite useful and relevant. i will love to have your phone contact.


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  12. Maureen valentina says:

    this is really 👍 great. tnx 4 dat. i hope u dnt mind giving me your number 4 more info

  13. Dr Saint says:

    Great tips, much appreciated.

  14. Kennedy Ahanotu says:

    Thank you for this information. Very inspiring and a good work material. thank you once again.

  15. Sam says:

    This is lovely but is it a must I do any form of registration before starting?

  16. Yemi Azeez says:

    I am planning a commercial magazine to published mainly in Lagos and Abuja. The concept is strictly to advertise companies. Please any additional you wanna give as I would appreciate this lots more.

  17. Emy says:

    How can you register the magazine to be a legal business

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