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Hey, Can Your Digital Magazine Be Any More Boring?

untitled-4Ever wondered why your digital magazine isn’t getting downloaded or shared as much as you predicted? There are tons of reasons why some magazines don’t connect with readers. Some of these are uncontrollable, but one thing is not: designing it to be so boring and uninviting, it doesn’t deserve a second look.

I’m sorry, I heard you say ouch.

I was doing my curation and a topic required me to download this magazine, which looks as if its content was just simply converted into a digital format, without consideration for the nuances of the digital space. It displays little better than a simple PDF, with some basic moving elements that seem forced and awkward. And to top off the experience it keeps freezing!

It happens. We can’t attract and please every single reader. And if we try, well, chances are we’ll end up with a digital magazine that connects with even fewer people. But the good news is, there are things we can do to increase our chances of engaging readers and one of the big things is not to bore them to tears or encourage them to click away.

Here are 4 main reasons why your digital magazine sucks may be discouraging hits:

Your images are weak

The cornerstone of a great publication is undoubtedly the use of well sourced, high quality images. If an image is interesting and tasteful enough, a reader is likely to linger and read the caption and, if his interest gets piqued, the title of the article gets read next.

You have to remember that only 5% of your audience would read your article but almost all your images, without question, would get noticed. So choose images that will pass the blink test and can convey what your magazine or article is all about in one glance.

Your cover image, most importantly, should strengthen your well-crafted title or headline, enticing readers to click through. You don’t want your content to be lost amongst the plethora of other titles out there for consumption.

Your headline is uninspired

One of the many problems afflicting digital magazines is boring headlines. Let’s face it, your chosen game is content, so don’t be surprised if your articles are judged by their headlines. So  create something that would make your target audience want to read your digital magazine no matter what your articles are about.

The great Ogilvy once said that on average, five times as many people read the headlines as they do the body copy. I’ll bet most of your audience who reads your headline won’t continue reading. Only the ones drawn in by an attention-grabbing headline will continue on to read the first sentence of your copy. So make your headlines big and provocative.

And if you’ve long been struggling to make your headlines effective, I would consider it as a symptom of a broader issue that makes much of the content in your magazine needlessly boring. Send your writers to some place that they can withdraw from the world, totally free of engagement! This might do the trick.

Your elements are static

Static digital magazines found on newsstands are dull. It’s a waste of time not only for their readers, but mostly for the creators. I seriously think publishers can do a better job of it. Just like the one I earlier opened, some are just replicas of print editions created from flat PDF files with a couple of links pitched in.

Take advantage of the opportunities provided by a digital platform. Interactive digital magazines engage readers more strongly and create stronger purchase incentive than static ones. So, make use of free form navigation, play around with features that allow readers to tap, swipe, pinch, zoom and drag. It’s best to familiarise yourself with all the options you can employ in your digital publication but otherwise, these 7 interactive features can help you get by.

Give them some activity to do on your pages. That’s the nature of digital publishing. But have a sense of balance, don’t make it a circus, avoid making it waaay too interactive. Keep in mind that some readers don’t know how to use finger commands. For anything, you can always add a dedicated help page, where you can explain how to use the interactive features you emplyed in your digital magazine. And if you’re concerned about the older generations, don’t fret. You’ll be surprised at how tech-savvy they’ve become, the proof is here.

You underestimate the power of videos (and audio too!)

In case you didn’t notice, publishers are now enhancing more articles with video clips. Utilising audio clips, whether archive radio or interviews, is now also defining the next generation of digital magazines. Why? Because these are foolproof ways to draw readers’ attention.

Video and audio forges emotional connections with your readers. They have the chance to deliver something that may otherwise be impossible through print or even static digital magazines. They’re so powerful in providing context efficiently, showing loads of information about people, places and products in just a minute or less.

According to Retail Touchpoints, 96% of consumers find videos helpful when making purchase decisions online. Yahoo just announced that it’s making video a huge focus in their digital magazines in the coming year. And if Yahoo sees the bigger picture and opportunity here, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t either.

You see, you don’t actually have any valid excuses for not adding video and audio into your digital magazine. It’s high time for you to take your share from the most influential tool in digital publishing. If you’re worried about slow load issues, you can always choose to stream them to improve on download sizes. Here are great tips on how to create videos apt for any platform.

Magazine and Digital are two words that fit naturally. Once readers take the plunge and commit to purchasing a tablet or other mobile device, they’d expect your digital magazine, to immerse them notches higher than how obsolete magazine formats used to.

Don’t sulk in that corner listening to crickets surrounding your boring digital magazine in hand. Because the good thing about epublishing is that entry barriers are low, giving us all a fair shot. How you excite your audience is really up to you!


Digital publishing is a competitive world and readers’ attention is its most-coveted trophy. Technology is rewriting the rules of competition, with incumbent publishers most at risk of being left behind. You don’t have to brawl through the race on your own, Realview can help!