Should You Start Your Own Ezine?
The Good – the benefits of starting your own ezine:
- Gives you a way to stay in touch with customers and/or potential customers.
- If you publish on a regular schedule and you provide quality information, you will build credibility and trust for your business.
- Allows you to establish and maintain relationships with other business professionals within your field.
- Ezines are relatively inexpensive to maintain (not time-wise, but money-wise).
- When you’ve built a good subscriber base, you can sell advertising space and make some money (or at least have the ezine pay for itself).
The Bad – the work required to maintain your ezine:
- Finding content or writing content is probably the most difficult part of maintaining an ezine. If you choose to write your own content, that means that you must schedule time every week or every month (depends on your publication schedule) to research an article, then to write the article or articles. If you choose to have other people write articles for you, you still need to go out and find the articles, also, you run the risk of those articles being unoriginal – meaning that they’ve been published in other newsletters previous to your publication. We will discuss strategies for finding content in future issues of this tutorial.
- Putting it together. Again, you will need to have time to organize and edit each issue. Plan on spending about 1-2 hours (depending on the length of your ezine) per issue on this task alone.
- Managing the email list. You will need to have a way to add and delete subscribers from your email list. When your email list is small – under 500 subscribers – this task is not too overwhelming – you can probably manage this on your own with an email program like Eudora or Pegasus. However, as your list becomes larger, you will need to consider using a listserver. (On the next page we will cover listservers – where you can find the free ones and the more technically advanced listservers.)
- Increasing your subscriber base. This is a toughie. You have to think of ways to continually get more and more subscribers and maintain the subscribers that you already have. (We will discuss many strategies for increasing and maintaining subscribers in this tutorial.)
- Start and maintain an advertising program. This is not a necessity for an ezine, however, as you build a subscriber base, it should be a consideration. Advertising is a good way to help you pay for the listserver and sometimes it is a way for you to make a good income. Some people use their newsletters for the sole purpose of making money on advertisements. Just as some of you use your web sites to sell other peoples products, you may choose to use your ezine to do the same thing.
The Ugly – Face the Facts:
- Can you do the following?
- Maintain a regular publication schedule.
- Provide original content.
- Provide content that speaks to a niche market – content that addresses the needs of a particular interest group.
- Maintain a 100% opt-in email list.
- Suggestions before you start your own ezine:
- Go in with a plan – address the 5 issues under “Bad” in your plan.
- Subscribe to at least 3 good ezines for a couple months. Study what makes them good – why do you like them? If you find yourself unsubscribing – examine your motives for unsubscribing.
Also, Read The Wonders of a Newsletter.