How To Create A Free Online Magazine

How To Create A Free Online Magazine

by Gary Oldwood on 23 August 2017 · 3249 views

Most magazines around the world have been experiencing a continuous drop in sales the past decade or so, which suggests that the future in this field (along with countless others) is digital. In this guide we will see how one can transform a digital document into an e-magazine using various online platforms for free.

Advantages of an online magazine

An online magazine can be any digital document that has informative, educational or promotional purposes and is updated regularly. The advantages provided by an electronic magazine are important and particularly useful.

  • Many views, fast and on a global scale

The time it takes to publishing and distribute the material is incomparably faster than traditional methods, and the range of potential readers is quite large.

  • Zero production costs

In addition to saving printing and distribution costs, you can rely on free and legitimate applications at all stages to create the online magazine. For instance, you can easily create a document with a free office suite such as LibreOffice, and then format it with the powerful and open-source application Scribus.

  • Reading becomes more interesting

In the electronic magazine you have the option to integrate digital media, such as a videos, and create an interactive environment for the reader.

  • It strengthens the online marketing efforts of a website

If you maintain a website or blog, an online magazine can become a useful online marketing tool. It has the ability to provide you web traffic for your website and create additional advertising channels.

  • You have a direct and in-depth analysis of your audience

Using appropriate statistical tools, you are given the choice to develop and adapt your content according to the readers' preferences.

Now that you know some of the benefits of having an online magazine, we will go through the most popular online digital publishing services.


Issuu, which was founded in Denmark in 2006, is the most popular digital publishing platform, as it hosts over 25 million free digital publications. Reading is performed in page-flipping style and you have the option to download the magazine to as a PDF file.

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To publish a document, Issuu has a free hosting plan that supports the most common document formats (such as PDF, DOC, PPT, RTF, WPD, and ODT), and has a limitation of 100MB per file less than 500 pages. There is no limitation on the available storage space, and in order to upload your file you just have to create an account and click on UPLOAD.

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In the Account Settings page you can find your account management options, which range from basic notification settings for your publications, to more specialized options such as creating API keys for letting Issuu communicate with other applications.

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If you wish to embed a video in your online magazine, there are two ways to do it. The first way is to add the URL of the video of interest from a video hosting service such as YouTube or Vimeo to your document before uploading it to Issue.

The second way to upload the document first, then navigate to Publisher Home -> Publication List and click on LINKS. This way, a frame will be displayed on the screen which you can position anywhere on a page to indicate the video. Once you’re done, click on Add link, paste the video’s URL in the window that appears and click DONE.

Finally, the most important tool for you can be found on Publisher -> Statistics page. It includes detailed information regarding the traffic of your publications and the preferences of your audience. From there you can see which one is your most popular digital document, how much time readers spend on it, and even what devices they use to read it.

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Yumpu was created in 2007 and belongs to the Swiss company i-Magazine AG, which is involved in the areas of innovative digital publishing and online marketing software.

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It calls its viewing format ePaper, and is optimized for search engines since it can be indexed by web crawlers.

The service allows you to upload PDF files and has a free hosting plan like Issuu, which includes several features. One of these is Yumpu WordPress Flushing, which, by installing it into your website, allows you to upload a PDF document only to convert it into a digital magazine with the ePaper format.

However, the feature that differentiates the two platforms is that Yumpu, through the online applicatino Zapier, collaborates with Formidable, JotForm, Gravity Forms and Formstack material. In essence, any kind of form that you create with the above applications can be converted to a digital document and embedded into an electronic magazine.

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Joomag is based in California, United States, and although its free plan has significant limitations compared to the previous two platforms, such as the 500 MB storage space limit, it has two interesting features.

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The first one is that you have the ability to create your online magazine in a very handy processor. You can choose the template of your choice from a wide range of options, and modify it according to your preferences. After selecting the template, open and it click on EDIT, to enter the Crater™ processor.

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From there you can change the position of the page’s elements, edit background and font, or even add links. All this is done in WYSIWYG mode without the need for some special knowledge.

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It is worth noting, however, that the free plan also offers a built-in CRM system. This means that you can create contact lists of your readers that have been subscribed to your e-magazine, let them know of new releases via bulk emails, and more.

In order to find this feature, navigate to "Dashboard -> Awesome CRM".

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In the Contacts tab will be your contacts (obviously) and in the second tab Bounced Mails there will be your incoming emails. If you want to send several news emails, navigate to the Mail Campaigns tab, and if you want to create an email, go to the Mail Templates tab, where you will find the available templates.

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SlideShare was created in 2006 and is a LinkedIn family member since 2012. Its strong point is the networking power it has due to this relationship.

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It supports PDF and PPT files, and the publication is displayed is in the form of slides (as its name suggests).

Connecting to the service requires a LinkedIn account. After uploading your file, you can see its preview on the next screen, from where you can add a title, description, category, and tags. Click on Publish when you’re done.

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Similar services

Publitas: Publitas is an online publications platform based on Netherlands. It has a free plan and you could say that it is a clone of the above services.

Calameo: The same goes for Calameo, with the difference that its free plan has several limitations. You have better choices if you want a free service.

Youblisher: Simple PDF to Flipbook converter with hosting options.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions on any of the above services, let us know in the comments section below!

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