How do Digital Magazines Make Money? (8 Proven Ways)

Last Updated: 9 mins By: ThemeGrill Author

Wondering how do digital magazines make money? Or, are you thinking of stepping foot into the digital magazine world to generate revenue? Then, let us help you.  

It’s a known fact that the digital world is multiplying in today’s age and digital magazines are pioneers that have crafted great potential. So, it’s not too late to get into that world!  

Hence, if you want to know how digital magazines make money, then this post has got you covered. Our article includes some of the best ways to help you make money via digital magazines.  

So, let’s dive into it without further wait!  

How do Digital Magazines Make Money?  

Following methods have proven to be a great way to earn money from digital magazines. So, let’s go through each of them in detail now.  

1. Advertisements (Banner Ads, Google AdSense, etc.)  

The first method of making money with digital magazines is via advertisements. It’s not new that advertisements have acted as a revenue stream since the printing age. Similarly, digital advertisements have a more significant impact.

Displaying banner ads for products and beyond is a great initiative to generate revenue as a digital magazine. Further, third-party services like Google AdSense also pay for every click on digital magazine ads.

But, of course, they demand a specific commission for it. According to code fuel, Google AdSense publishers can get 51% – 68% as of 2021.  

Advertisement How do Digital Magazines Make Money

Digital magazines usually form a potential advertiser’s list for their site. Along with that, they typically work alongside companies that are somewhat related to the magazine’s content.

For instance, if it’s a fashion magazine, you can add companies related to clothes, accessories, footwear, hair products, and more that relate to fashion to expand their advertising list. Also, you can advertise in many forms, including creative banners, videos, pictures, etc.

Hence, as a digital magazine website owner, you can choose a particular structure, and there’s always a big room to get creative with advertisements.  

Further, if you’re using WordPress as your website building platform, you can use feature-rich magazine themes like ColorMag, ColorNews, etc. These are Google AdSense optimized themes having sections to place ads on your site thus helping you to monetize your website easily.

ColorMag Theme

2. Selling Membership (Subscription) Plans  

Online subscription and membership have shaped a great future for every digital magazine as it can be conducted on any kind of device like mobile phone, TV apps, etc. The best part is that you can generate a certain group of audience you want to target with membership plans.

It’s because your audience who are genuinely interested in your content will renew their subscription plans frequently which acts as a continuous revenue stream for a magazine. 

Not to forget, digital magazines get to set up premium membership plans with various price ranges. With premium plans, you can provide different content to a particular group of audiences.

Also, you can offer freemium content previews to achieve new subscribers and increase your conversion rates automatically.

3. Sponsored Content  

Another critical source of revenue for digital magazines is sponsored content. It’s more like a type of advertising, but a solo business or partner entirely purchases a section.   

With it, magazine websites tend to gain more significant revenue margins, that’s pretty profitable. Or, the most common way of conducting sponsored content is that advertisers collaborate with the other party for specific content.

Such content gets featured as sponsored content which is a guest post.  

Sponsored Collab How do Online Magazines Make Money

For example; Designer brands or product companies collaborate with fashion magazines to feature their new products for promotional purposes that come off as “Sponsored Content.”  

Digital Magazine can earn reasonable amounts with such content and at the same time helps promote the brand’s identity. In that manner, both magazines and particular brands can benefit.  

4. Affiliate Marketing  

Affiliate marketing has been proven to be an excellent technique in internet marketing for a long time. It’s a way to promote services to third parties by affiliates, and in return, the creators of business/brands provide affiliate marketers with sale profits.  

Hence, as a digital magazine website owner, one can also engage themselves in affiliate marketing with several businesses. You can create affiliate programs that help you make good revenue for shopper referrals.

For this, all you need to do is add links to product/brand’s sites in your content’s text so that readers stumble upon it.  

Affiliate Link How do Digital Magazines Make Money

However, it’s important that you use the right affiliate WordPress theme for your site if you want to easily manage all your affiliate links. To name a few, themes like Zakra and Cenote are great ones for your affiliate marketing website.

With its easy customization option and great-looking interface, you can create a professional affiliate website in no time.

Zakra Demo Page

5. Mailing Lists  

The next method of how digital magazines make money is with a mailing list as magazines tend to sell ads in email newsletters.

Magazines with an extensive mailing list sell advertising space and charge massive amounts even in their newsletter. It’s also more like running sponsored content but through email.

Mailing List

Magazine companies promote products and service information with banner images and more to promote the brand while sending out emails. And in return, they charge a large amount to the businesses. With an extensive and engaging mailing list, digital magazines can make a good amount of money.

One of the best ideas to expand your mailing list is to add contact forms on your WordPress site. And, Everest Forms is the best WordPress form plugin to help you do so as it also comes with several email marketing add-ons (Mailchimp, ConvertKit, etc.) to help you connect with popular marketing platforms.

As people tend to buy services and products by stumbling upon emails, mailing lists are exemplary for various digital magazines.  

6. Creating Events  

Another revenue source for digital magazines is creating and selling live events to the audience. Tickets can be easily purchased through the internet with scanned QR codes etc.  

Online Events

For example, a digital magazine related to educational matters can conduct a premium event with a renowned speaker or guest. Such programs and webinars are charged a considerable amount.

People tend to participate actively in such events. Events can also be sponsored, which acts as a significant revenue stream for digital magazines.  

Along with ticket sales, magazines also include merchandise of brands for the event, which contributes to bigger earnings. Also, such events act as a greater promotional medium for brands, and they look forward to it with organizers like magazines.  

7. With Podcasts and Other Media  

Technology and media platforms are constantly evolving, whereas magazines are expanding outside the reading content. Among today’s various new media platforms, podcasts have also gained a lot of attention.  

Podcasts Media

Today’s digital magazines are also getting into the game of podcasts, where they analyze their target audience. They conduct podcasts accordingly to the needs of the audience, which acts as another form of money-making.  

For example, a magazine site could run a free and premium podcast where they pick out a topic related to their niche and invite people to talk about it and people pay to listen to it.  

Video Media

Further, other media to expand digital magazine’s revenue stream include video content, music platforms, and much more.

Thus, who could have thought media platforms could also act as digital magazine’s income source, but here we are with the evolving technology in today’s age!  

8. Live Streaming  

You might probably wonder what live streaming has to do with digital magazines’ revenue. But live streaming has been a playful way to keep the audience entertained and engaged.  

Live Streaming the Viewers

Similarly, magazines tend to do the same without any obligations. With various platforms, magazines run live streaming and get donations through live chat. Such features allow them to earn money that undoubtedly contributes to their revenue.  

How to Create a Digital Magazine Website Easily?  

Now that you know how do digital magazines make money let’s walk through how to create one quickly.  

Without any doubt, WordPress is the best platform to create any site, including a digital magazine website.

WordPress Logo

So, to create a WordPress site, your first step is to get your domain name and web hosting. Some of the popular hosting companies include Bluehost, SiteGround, etc. which offer both domain name and web hosting services at a good price.

Bluehost Hosting

Followed by that, choose the best responsive WordPress magazine theme. Our recommendation is none other than ColorMag as it’s a crowd favorite magazine theme used to build more than 100,000+ sites.  

After installing the theme, your next step is to build the digital magazine site. First, you can import the theme demo content, which you can get for free with ColorMag. Likewise, you can also opt-in for the premium ones depending on your need.  

Import Demo Content

After you import it, you can modify the site and even customize it as per your liking. Contrarily, you can also build it from scratch if you wish but it can be complicated.  

ColorMag enables you to customize your site in terms of layout, appearance, etc., along with a live customizer to look at the changes. This gives you complete control over how you want your site to look.  


Further, you can also use the best drag and drop page builder plugin, Elementor to design your site as ColorMag seamlessly integrates with it. Thus, you won’t require to have coding skills at all with it.  

Edit Using Elementor

Note: For more details, please go through the step-by-step guide on how to create an online magazine site with WordPress.


Thus, we’ve made it to the end of our article on how do digital magazines make money. We hope that it has now given you ideas to start an online magazine business.  

Not every method works out for every magazine, but we’ve listed some of the best and easy ways to do so. Even if you’re new to it, you need to try the specific ways mentioned in our article and decide what works the best for you.  

Also, if you want to read more articles on magazines then don’t forget to check our article on the best free responsive magazine themes and types of magazines to publish online.  

And, don’t forget to share our article on social media. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates and exciting news. Happy Reading! 

Disclaimer: Some of the links in the post may be affiliate links. So if you purchase anything using the link, we will earn affiliate commission.

ThemeGrill Author

We are a team of SEO copywriters and editors who work both individually and in the team. ThemeGrill author is where one of the editors here is working on one project personally. Write to us @themegrill_blog in Twitter.

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