Digitally marketing your magazine when you've become an online self-publisher takes just as much tenacity as skill. You can watch all the videos, read all the books, peruse all your known competitors. But, if you don't do the foot-work you've got zilch. That's because in a world where content is king, most online magazines fold after a few months. Why? They just can't think of anything more to say.

What's Left After The Buzz?

Starting up your online magazine is the easy part. You can google it, take a small business administration startup class, buy endless internet "accessories" like magazine layouts and special web sites that promise that your magazine will be a hit. But then what? If you don't connect to your audience, you won't have viable content — or readers — for long. So how do you connect and find out what content your readers want to read? Get out there and talk to people, in person and online: in other words, engage. Make people feel like you care about what's on their minds. Give them a reason to read. That reason usually revolves around what benefits their lives.

Sample Groups: Finding And Personalizing Those Benefits

Specialty magazines often have a built-in marketing base if you've been using social media to build up your brand. Magazines that hit the general market: DIY, foods, decorating, spirituality, celebrity, and books, have a tougher time finding content. It's the "been there, done that" concept. It's always been hard to find new twists to overused content. So how do you personalize what benefits your readers? How do you market to them?

Let's take a magazine start-up about food, for example. You're marketing to the millennial demographic, ages 18 to 34. You, yourself, are in this age group. One thing you know is that millennials eat out a lot on the spur of the moment. They love to post on social media, and review their experiences. What content will benefit that demographic? Find out through inbound marketing, who is local and take them to dinner. Talk with them, find out what's on their minds through listening to their conversations, and by asking questions. Invite the writers of the group to guest blog. Follow your readers on social media. Create interactive content that allows food reviews, social uploads, and feedback.

Online Marketing Is About Real People

Interactivity with your magazine allows your readers to find value in it. Be creative in your approach. Your local sample group will be a great source of future content if they are a cross-section of your entire readership. The key to remember is that digital marketing isn't all online. It's using what your readership uses online. Your millennial foodies aren't virtual people who live in an app. Targeting their online activity, their approach to socialization, and food, while tapping into what benefits them personally will help you find relevant content. You just have to have the mojo to do the foot work and to think outside the digital marketing box into the real world.