Ready…Set…Ezine!

Alright you have read the previous posts and you have decided that creating an Ezine is just the ticket for you. I would assume then that you have spent many hours planning out the look and feel of the Ezine. That would of course include the types and numbers of articles, ads (all the things we talked about last week) the size and of course your marketing plan.

You must have a marketing plan, not to, will guarantee your failure. Now failure in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. There is so much you can learn from failing. But would you go skydiving, jumping out of the plane before you understood what actions you were to take to land safely?

Make sure you have a marketing plan based in reality. Write out your plan, place it in a drawer and allow it to sit for 3 or 4 days.  Take it out re-read it and then do your best to punch holes in it. That’s right I want you to find fault in it. Revise your plan then implement it.

Some of the items to consider in this plan are the size of the Ezine. Should it be short and sweet or should it be long and savory? How often should it be posted, once a month or five days a week? How are folks signing up for it? Do you understand that double opt in is highly preferable? Where do you advertise trying to get folks to sign up? Will there be a subscription rate or will it be sent out free?

How will you deliver the Ezine/Newsletter? Most of you will immediately say auto responder. Ok which one? How much are you willing to pay for the service? Do your homework here because auto responders are not created equal. Your needs are not the same as mine or some other person who has an internet business so what they use might not work for you.

A tip I would pass on is, when your first starting out you might consider looking for a free auto responder service. Remember in the internet world “free” usually costs something. With some of these free services you will probably have to include one of their ads in your mailings. Also if you run into techie problems they aren’t always that quick to respond to you.

Let’s assume you have your marketing plan for your Ezine hammered out. You have all the above questions answered. Let’s discuss what you do next (by the way this is a vital part of your plan).

Promote your Ezine/Newsletter. There are many ways many sites where you can go to promote your business. Here are just a few;

1)      Ezine Directories, there are bucket loads of them

2)      Discussion Groups, by you being involved you can establish yourself as an authority

3)      Ad Swaps with other Ezines helps to broaden your exposure

4)      Your own website should always have a sign up area

5)      Write articles, submit them and be sure to offer your Ezine

6)      Any (quality) free directory that will have you

Creating and running your own Ezine/Newsletter is a great way to promote your internet business. Like all endeavors that are successful it takes commitment and work. You might stumble and fail at first but as long as you don’t quit as long as you keep trying…you will create a quality Ezine…but you already knew that.

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Ezines the Next Step

Ezines are a great way to keep in touch with your base but what should they include?

Articles… which are the mainstay of all good Ezines/Newsletters.

To start with an article must be informative and well written. You should make every attempt to create original content that brings forth new ideas or presents older ones in a fresh light. No one want s to read an encyclopedia, unless their “trying” to get to sleep.

Recourse Links…placing links in your articles to sites that provide information to your readers is always a plus.

I know many folks who are afraid to put a link to another website in front of their readers because they fear losing them. That should be a concern if you don’t know what you’re doing. Let’s take a quick detour here and talk about this.

You should have no fear if your website is rich in content and provides what the folks in your market are looking for. However I would not make it a practice to send folks from my site to my competitors.  I have in the past placed some of my competitor’s links on my site because it made good business sense at the time.

What is really a win…win is for you to provide links that help your readers without hurting you. A great example would be if my business were selling party balloons. My site would sell every kind of balloon you could imagine but even I would fall short of supplying enough hot air to fill all those balloons so I would provide a link to a site that sold Helium. The plus side to this is my readers are being provided good links that will help them in using my products.

Would I let the other site know what a wonderful person I was for helping them? You bet! In exchange that site could send folks my way. I know we’re talking about reciprocal linking here but it’s all related.

Also backing up your information with resource links helps show your readers what your saying is true.

Product Reviews…make perfect sense for your Ezine.

There is no down side to this practice. Your readers will appreciate you doing their work for them. Will they always agree with you? Let’s hope not. A little polite disagreement (hopefully you add some of the responses to past reviews) stirs the pot so to speak and creates interest in your Ezine.

Another reason to do product reviews is because you’re trying to make money. That is why you are going through all this time and effort creating an Ezine. The web site which you created as an internet business has products to sell. When you do (Honest) reviews on your products, it is like your standing there giving one on one, face to face sales presentations to your customer base. Remember I said Honest reviews, your readers will smell a pig in a poke a mile away if you try to bamboozle them.

Have Fun…remember the old adage that all work and no play make for a dull boy/girl?

For the record you should work hard so you can play! Make that one of the reasons you’re doing this! We all have our dreams and by working hard we can earn our right to live it up. Ok I’m getting off my soapbox now.

My point which I detoured from is you should try to add some humor to your Ezine. Add a joke, a humorous story, a quote or two by doing so you broaden the scope of your Ezine. People like to chuckle, even the grumpy ones.

Free…is one of my favorite words.

Look around the internet and you will find buckets of free stuff that you can guide your reader too. Everyone likes free stuff and after all what did it cost you…yeah that’s right it was free.

Ads… advertising gives folks the opportunity for you to make money.

Round out your Ezine with advertising. One of the things you don’t want to do is load your Ezine with so many ads that everything else is lost. Remember your readers have subscribed for the articles.

Once you have a large subscription base you can actually charge for classified ads. You can swap ads with other Ezines and of course place your own.

Conclusion

Hopefully after reading last weeks and then this post you’re beginning to get a mental picture of what your Ezine would be like.  Next weeks post will be like a nice jambalaya (it’s close to lunch) and we will wrap up our discussion (for the time being) on Ezines.

As always I look forward to hearing from you.

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Ezine/Newsletter a Marketing Tool

I’m often asked by folks creating an internet business whether or not they should create an Ezine. One of the reasons they ask is because they have read or heard a large number of “ Gurus” say it’s quick it’s easy and a sure way to make money. So is robbing a Bank until you check out the pesky details.

So what is an Ezine? Just like the Ice Cream Giant Baskin Robbins the answer comes in many flavors. However the two flavors that stand out above the rest are;

1)      An Ezine is an electronic magazine, hence the E (electronic) and the zine (magazine).

2)      An electronic newsletter.

Because these two are so closely related due to their method of delivery and their purpose let’s discuss them as if they were one in the same. Here’s why;

1)      Both are delivered via email.

2)      Both can be delivered for free or there could be a monthly subscription fee.

3)      Both need to be signed up for, usually with an opt-in.

4)      You decide how often the Ezine /Newsletter are sent out.

5)      The subject matter is based on your internet business.

So you’re saying to yourself “I can do this, no problem” and the simple answer is you’re right. But then there are those pesky details. To cover the Ezine topic in one post is difficult because in fairness I would just be glossing over it. So I have decided to dedicate the next few posts to allow more details.

So for now just ask yourself “Why would I want to create an Ezine? What is its purpose?”

An Ezines major purpose (in my opinion) is the creation of a business vehicle that will allow you to develop positive relationships within your market.

1)      Allows you to keep in contact with your members (customers)

2)      Helps to build you and your site’s credibility as the experts in your market

3)      It helps drive sales which equals revenue for you. Your members are opting-in or paying for your Ezine/Newsletter. By doing so they are giving you permission to send them;

a)      Ad’s

b)      Promotions

c)       Recommendations

d)      Surveys

e)      Announcements

That’s correct! Your readers are saying yes send us all the above. They look forward to receiving your Ezine and it will not be discarded as spam…why… because you will not forget the most important ingredient…rich content!

4)      Trust on the internet is a problem which you will be able to overcome with your Ezine/Newsletter. How? Remember that rich content? Well if you can deliver great information on a regular basis. Your readers will grow to trust you, because you have proven that you know what you’re talking about.

5)      You will be able to strengthen your relationship with existing customers because you are communicating with them. Hey you win a customer over and it’s not uncommon for them to let you know (in a nice way) if there are any customer service problems. That’s good news for you because you now have a chance to fix the problems and avoid any future disappointments.

6)      In a word “Networking” it’s what business thrives on.

7)      Brings you online publicity. You offer an Ezine your competition may not.

8)      Helps you to build a targeted database for your market.

9)      If your Ezine/Newsletter is good enough (quality)it might bring you added revenue from folks wanting to advertise on it.

There should be a number 10 reason, after all everyone loves top 10 lists. So do me a favor and let me know what you think the tenth reason should be for creating an Ezine.

That’s it for now; we will continue talking about Ezines in my next post.

Drop me a line always like getting mail.

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