Creating and distributing any kind of newspaper can be a considerable challenge for a business or entrepreneur with little to no experience in the print, magazine, or newspaper industries. Likewise, launching a publication that is geared towards a specific community, religion, or culture can come with its own obstacles and hurdles that need to be surmounted. However, if you’re reading this online, there’s a good chance you’re at least web-savvy already, so that’s a good starting point, and it might just be all you need to get past the initial steps:
1. Pick Your Niche and Approach
Coming up with a title and theme for your newspaper can be one of the most stressful tasks starting out. As a local Islamic paper, you’ll want to choose a title that resonates with the target audience. Thus, wise choices may include terms or phrases that are rooted in the Islamic religion and/or Middle Eastern culture. However, while a newspaper related to all things Islamic might do well if enough content is written to make the paper worthwhile, as a local paper your primary focus should be developing and releasing stories that are important to members of the Islamic community within your area.
2. Get Your Printing and Distribution Process in Order
Once you’ve gotten your content strategy together for your local Islamic paper, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to get the newspaper onto printed and into the hands of readers. First, you’ll want to decide on the basics, like how frequently the newspaper will be published, how many copies should be distributed, where the newspaper should be sold or given away, and, of course, how the paper will be printed. Try to take a step-by-step approach to getting started, taking one thing at a time. For example, if you have some spare HP Printers laying around but they need to be repaired, step one might be to visit an HP parts store.
3. Start with a Core Group of Great Writers
Once you’ve decided which industries and topics you’d like your Islamic newspaper to cover on a regular basis, you’ll need some intelligent, motivated, and easily trainable writers and journalists under your belt to help with the ongoing workload the newspaper will face. Initially, you might want to start with a small group of 5-10 writers, and place an emphasis on replacing current employees and writers to optimize your workforce before expanding to a larger team of 10-15 journalists/editors. If you live in a rural community or one that does not have a large Islamic population, you may be able to handle the news load by yourself or with the help of just a few assistants.
Finally, above all else, remember that spreading the word about the newspaper and advertising aggressively in the early stages is the best way to establish a repeat reader base. This may involve going to local mosques and reaching out to the local Islamic community via other venues to make your newspaper known and to show Muslims in the area that there is a newspaper being designed specifically for their interests.