Publishing a magazine of your own can be personally fulfilling and financially lucrative, but it’s also easier said than done. Unfortunately, the process can seem daunting, and many first-time publishers are forced to give up their dreams before their magazines makes it to print. That’s why we’ve collected a list of five common mistakes to avoid that will help you keep your magazine on track:

1. Writing for Too Large an Audience

Publishing a magazine is only viable if you have identified the readership that you’d like to engage. If you’re trying to connect with everyone, you’ll end up with a publication attractive to nobody at all. It’s best to narrow down your targeted audience as specifically as possible, so you can provide them with content best suited for their particular interests.

2. Lacking a Business Plan

A magazine functions just like any other type of business. Without strict budgeting and sound management, your enterprise is doomed for failure. It’s imperative to come up with a comprehensive business plan detailing your expenses and goals, so that you’re always aware of how financially efficient the magazine is operating.

3. Ignoring the Competition

Without gaining insight into the alternatives currently available for your targeted audience, you’ll find yourself at a significant advantage. In order to draw in readers to your publication, it’s vital that you first perform research on your competitors so that you can recognize from where your portion of the market share can be carved out. Researching your competitors is also a crucial step in finding relevant advertisers for your magazine.

4. Not Developing Overarching Themes

Successful magazines don’t just occur spontaneously. Each issue is planned out meticulously, and a great deal of thought has gone into providing readers with content that cannot be found elsewhere. In a similar respect, a magazine needs to be more than just a haphazard collection of articles that don’t relate to one another. In order to truly draw in a reader, you’ll need to create guidelines for your writers so that the pieces flow from one to the next.

5. Forgetting Social Media

In today’s day and age, there is no excuse for a magazine—print or digital—to not have active accounts on social media. Social media outreach is a must for any budding magazine, and it needs to be a component of your online marketing strategy. The good news is that an effective social media campaign doesn’t have to cost you a penny, and the payoffs can be significant if your followers feel that they are receiving valuable content.