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NEWBIE 101
How To Start Your Own Ezine In 8 Steps

by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta
Are you a writer? A business owner? A webmaster? Or maybe someone with information you want to share? What better way to promote anything you have than through a newsletter?

If "Information is King" on the Internet, then email is king of all promotional media on the Internet. No matter how many promotional strategies get developed for the Internet, email is still going to rule. Why do you think email newsletters are sprouting like mushrooms? They wouldn't be leaping by the numbers everyday if there aren't any markets or audience for ezines.

So how do you go about starting your own ezine or newsletter? Here are the basic eight steps:

  1. Know what kind of ezine you want to produce and why.
    Ask yourself these questions:
    • Why would I want to start my own ezine?
    • What kind of information or content will I put there?
    • What kind of resource, knowledge or information do I have that's uniquely mine; that which other people need?
    • How do I create a need for the kind of information I have?
  2. Know your audience.
    Once you have determined what kind of ezine you want to produce, ask yourself these questions:
    • Will my ezine have a target age range?
    • If my ezine is for writers, what kind of writers will they be? Freelance? Beginners? Technical writers? Working writers?
    • If I'm going to promote my products and services in the ezine, what other outside information can I add to keep my readers interested?
    • Is my ezine going to be region-specific or global?
    Subscribe to ezines similar to the one you are planning to start. Observe what articles are published, how the ezine is presented, how advertisements are written and how all these are presented with the ezine's audience in mind.

  3.  
  4. Once you've identified your readers, know where to find them.
    Before you even start your ezine, have an ezine promotion plan ready. Know where you'll be promoting your ezine.

    If you're starting an ezine, go ahead and sign up for these announcement lists: Get More Subs, Sites and Zines, Smart Announce, Announce List, Ezines Today, Zine Directory

    For an even more comprehensive list of where you can announce, promote and find subscribers, send an email to FreeAdsReport@fastfacts.net, the List Announcement Report by Angela Giles Klocke. This report is updated, with new announcement lists added on a regular basis.

    You can gain subscribers by joining discussion lists too. Participate in discussions. Take advantage of your signature file. Put your ezine's info and subscription email on it. The more active you are, the more people will see your sig file. Even if you've not set the date of your ezine's first issue, it's never too early to promote your ezine and make people aware of it.

    Since you're observing all those other ezines you've subscribed to, you might as well contact the owners and find out if they put out free ads. Also, it won't hurt if you submit free articles for publication. Most ezines are non-paying but they pay writers another way: free advertisement in exchange for an article. This will help you attract more subscribers.


  5.  
  6. Decide how frequent you'll publish and send out your ezine.
    If you decide to publish it on a monthly basis, then be sure to send it on time. Be prompt. If you decide to send out your ezine every month, stick to this.

    Avoid sending out separate announcements. Your subscribers will be subscribing to your ezine with the knowledge that they'll get it *once* a month, so think twice before you send out short emails, no matter how urgent they are.

    However, there'll be times when you won't be able to meet your deadline. Don't leave your subscribers hanging. Inform them that you will be unable to come out with an issue.


  7.  
  8. Decide on your ezine's content.
    You can write original articles for your ezine and you can also consider using free articles.

    A number of places on the Internet offer free articles. Using articles freely provided by their authors is a good way to create an image that you have contributors. Some writers are willing to have their articles published for free in exchange for having their resource boxes published along with their article. It's a win-win situation between you and your guest writers. Here's a list of where you can look for free articles: Ezine Articles, Media Peak, Publish In Yours, Free Content, IdeaMarketers, Worldwide Information Outlet, The Internet News Bureau, Internet Wire. However, never depend on free content to run your ezine. Make sure you publish one or two original articles you've written.


  9.  
  10. Decide if you will completely be email-based or you will have a complementing web site.
    If you decide to have a web site, be sure to update it and work on it on the same frequency as you will work on your email newsletter. You will need to know some HTML in order to do this. There are several web sites that offer free tutorial on web page building.

  11.  
  12. Using a list manager can help you with your subscribers list.
    There are a list management softwares available for a fee. However, if you are on a shoe-string budget, you can use the free web-based list management services of eGroups/ONElist, Topica and Listbot. If you're new to the concept of how mailing lists lists work, the article Email Lists: Lurk, Speak Up, Jump Right In! explains how lists works, the types of lists and how you can sign up and start your own list. It's available by autoresponder.

  13.  
  14. Ok, so you now have your first issue ready to go out in public.
    You've followed the first seven steps and managed to get subscribers. The next thing to do is to list your ezine in ezine directories. This will help you gain even more exposure. Here are ezine directories you can list your ezine in: E-zineZ.com, Ezine Seek, E-Zines Today, Zine World, Directory of Electronic Journals and Newsletters, Directory Of Ezines, Liszt, eZINE Search, Inkpot's Zine Scene

Getting that first issue out isn't the end of your being an ezine publisher. If you want exposure, more subscriptions and success for you and your ezine, you will need to continue writing, promoting, writing, promoting, writing, promoting.....

_____________________________________________________________________________________________ Shery Ma Belle Arrieta is a freelance writer, ebook author, web designer and ezine publisher. She is the editor of W!P as well as editor and publisher of two other ezines -- the weekly Sites, Biz and Zines! and the daily Positive Quotes. She is also editor for Cotworld, an online literary magazine. Also visit her web site for writers, the e-Writer's Place.

ISSUE 16.0 APR 2000
I S S N   0119-7088

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