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  • Writer's pictureShawn "The Magazine Guy!"

How do I sell ad space in magazines?

Well, the most important aspect, without question, in magazine advertisement procurement is not the magazine per se, but rather the media kit! In regard to the latter, there is more to a media kit than just creating an ad rate card. There are certain ingredients that every magazine media kit should have in order to facilitate the process of obtaining ad revenue. Furthermore, just having the main ingredients in the media kit is not necessarily a predictor nor a guarantee for the successful procurement of ads. It must be stated, rather vociferously, that the media kit must be optimized for ‘magazine media buys’; advertising agency parlance for placing an ad in a magazine.

With this in mind, it would behoove us then to briefly examine one of the key ingredients in a magazine media kit that is either totally absent or poorly constructed in the vast majority of magazine media kits that I have analyzed. This, of course, is the magazine’s demographic data on its primary readership!


Airbnbmag, Greatest magazine, Porter magazine, Goop magazine
How to sell ad space in magazines?

It would be a rather lengthy endeavor to get into all the specifics of how to correctly present magazine demographics in a media kit. With that said, however, it is worth mentioning that the gist of including demographics on a magazine’s readership is simply this; to draw a conspicuous correlation between the magazine’s primary target readership and the advertiser’s consumer base. To the degree that a magazine’s media kit successfully illustrates the latter, the easier and greater the likelihood that the magazine will get the advertiser to place an ad and, of course, the converse is also true. Thus, an inescapable prerequisite to obtain an ad for a magazine is to know, in explicit detail, who the primary readership is.


Vanity Fair magazine, Marie Claire magazine
How do I sell Ad space in magazines?

The aforesaid is accomplished by providing salient metrics on the primary readership that allow any would be advertiser the ability to see a clear correlation between the advertiser’s consumers and the magazine’s core readers. The media kit should include metrics such as individual income, household income, racial affiliation, gender, educational attainment, consumer trends, home values (if applicable), religious affiliation (if applicable), pertinent zip code demographics, etc. All of the aforementioned assist the potential advertiser in having a clear picture of the core readership and to easily make parallels between it and the advertiser’s core consumer base. Please remember that advertisers, whether they be store owners, major big box retailers or corporations, are not in the business of throwing money away. The name of the game is increasing an advertiser’s ROI (Return on Investment) and if a magazine publisher can effectively demonstrate that placing an ad in the magazine will, in essence, do just that then the advertiser is more likely to jump on board.


I would highly recommend that you consider downloading an absolutely FREE (no strings attached) excerpt of The Magazine Media Kit Manual which goes into more detail about the main constituent ingredients that comprise a magazine media kit that has been optimized for ad revenue procurement.

Instyle magazine
How do I seel Ad space in magazines?

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