7 Types of Online Marketing Publications

While it’s true that there are countless ways in which you can reach an audience online, knowing what they are and how to use them to your advantage can boost your success rates. In today’s world, the lines between magazines, newspapers, and journals have blurred, which has led to the rise of a new genre: the digital magazine.

As a marketer, you’ll most likely have come across online marketing publications at one time or another. If you’re looking to expand your knowledge in this area, here’s a handy guide to the various types of online publications and the various platforms on which you can find them.

Traditional Magazines

Traditional magazines are still something new to many people, especially in this day and age. To those who are familiar with them, though, they are a goldmine!

Traditional magazines can be found in all types of newsagents and some supermarkets. They are usually around 500-600 words in length and make up the ‘fluff’ section of the daily newspaper. Because they are in print, they are more expensive to produce and generally have a much higher sale turnover. That said, the audience for traditional magazines is bigger and more varied than that of digital equivalents.

The trick to attracting readers to traditional magazines is all in the content. To continue with our travel theme, let’s look at the travel section of The New York Times. Over the years, this section has developed a reputation for offering engaging content on a range of travel-related topics. In 2018, the section was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

The best way to promote a traditional magazine is by getting in touch with potential readers through social media, email marketing, and paid search. Once you’ve established a relationship with a loyal audience, you can encourage them to pick up a copy of your publication. Incentives such as complimentary copies or discount subscriptions can also boost your cause. While it’s great to gain support from traditionalists, it’s crucial to remember that the audience for these publications is aging and on the decline.


Pro-fiction magazines, or ‘slush magazines’, are published by tabloid newspapers to fill a gap in their publications. Most of these magazines are intended to be sold in bulk to pubs, restaurants, and other businesses for use in their trade publications.

Often, these magazines will only publish content that can be directly integrated into a print publication. That means that the stories will have a short lifespan online, unless the publisher decides to archive them. It’s also worth noting that the majority of these magazines have very restricted digital distribution rights, so even if they are archived, they won’t be available to everyone.

The upside of pro-fiction magazines is that they are usually very affordable. That being said, the audience for these publications is already well-suited to your products. If you’re looking to gain mindshare in a less affluent demographic, you might want to consider creating a separate section for millennials on your site.

The trick to pro-fiction magazines is in the name. To attract a predominantly male audience, you’ll want to look to content heavy on adventure and travel. A common tactic is to partner with a brand that’s fairly prevalent among men (think fashion or lifestyle brands). Although the audience for these publications is expanding online, the upside is that they are mostly accessed through mobile phones, so you can rest assured that you’re reaching your target audience.


Entertainment magazines focus on news, gossip, and celebrity. Similar to pro-fiction magazines, these publications are usually sold in bulk with the intention of publishing content that can be integrated into printed publications.

The only difference is that the content tends to be far more ‘entertaining’. Magazines such as Entertainment Weekly and People have well-established readerships across America and in other parts of the world. That being said, the content can also appeal to a much wider audience, if you choose the right partner.

You’ll want to integrate this type of content into your marketing strategy. One way is to use social media to engage with fans and gain a larger audience. Another is to run social media contests and promotions where you give away free stuff to your followers. If your budget allows, you can also pay for sponsored posts on social media. Entertainment magazines are often used as a benchmark for digital marketing performance, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on your results. Remember: there’s no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy when it comes to marketing!

Family Magazines

If you’re looking to target the more traditional audiences of grandparents and parents, consider the children of your target audience. Thanks to modern technology, it’s possible to create a magazine just for them. The content can be specifically tailored to their interests while still keeping the feel of a ‘family magazine’. For instance, BabyCenter and Parenting both have sections on technology, which makes their target audience highly receptive to that type of content.

One of the best things about family magazines is their low production costs. That being said, you’ll need to make sure that the content is of a good quality, otherwise, your budget might not be worth it. While the content can be integrated into a traditional magazine, the best way to get the most out of this type of publication is through social media. Create platforms for your target audience and interact with them regularly. You can also boost your social media presence through paid ads. As a young marketer, you might want to consider spending money on paid ads if you’re looking to make a splash!

The downside of family magazines is that oftentimes, the content can be rather fluffy. As a general rule, the more ‘family’ a magazine is, the more fluffy its content tends to be. While there is undoubtedly some truth to that statement, there is certainly some fine content to be found in family magazines.


How-to magazines are more focused on solving problems than they are about disseminating knowledge. Often, they will have a number of ‘how to’ articles on various topics. From skincare to nutrition, gardening to fashion.

The name of the game for how-to magazines is solving problems. To attract the right audience, you’ll want to look for issues that are relevant to your niche. Once you’ve established your magazine, you can use it to solve problems for your customers. For example, if your niche is skincare, you could start by publishing an advice-filled article on the most effective ways to improve your skin.

While many people mistakenly believe that ‘how-to’ magazines only exist in print, many of them are available digitally. In fact, you can find a whole magazine devoted to solving problems exclusively online. To continue with our travel theme, let’s look at TripSavvy. This travel-related how-to magazine was launched in 2011 and expanded to a digital only format in 2018.

While you can certainly find helpful information online, nothing beats the smell of a freshly printed magazine. To that end, the best way to promote a how-to magazine is through social media and website visits. To find an audience, you’ll want to post frequently and create content that is as easy to understand as possible. As with other types of online publications, the ideal reader for a how-to magazine is someone who is already motivated to go beyond their initial needs and wants.


If you’re looking to expand your audience beyond that of a traditional magazine, consider a travel section! Travel sections are everywhere, and more and more people are discovering the joys of a foreign destination. Whether you’re planning on traveling internationally or just want to grow your audience in a specific region of the United States, establishing a travel section is a great idea.

A travel section doesn’t need to be filled with long-haul travel plans. You can also use it to highlight shorter jaunts to places such as museums, galleries, and cultural institutions. Short-haul travel is great for busy individuals who want to create a memorable experience with their family and friends. In fact, it’s the perfect way to bring more joy into your life!

Whether you call it ‘Lonely Planet USA’, the ‘New York Times’ City Guides, or the ‘Chicago Guide’, travel sections can help you find new places to explore within North America. In addition to that, they can help you see new sides of the cities and regions that you already know and love. Wherever your travels take you, Lonely Planet and its companions will keep you well-informed and entertained. And who knows – perhaps they’ll even get you thinking about planning your own trip!