How to Publish an Ezine
In the last article, we looked at the monetization opportunities offered by an ezine. These included selling your own product or service, promoting affiliate products, selling ads on the ezine real estate and charging for subscriptions.
In this article, we look at the specifics of publishing an ezine, and also how to enhance its money-making potential. We also include some links that will help you attend to the issues involved.
Build a Mailing List
You have to build a mailing list to send your ezine to. Typically, you do this by creating sign up form at your website. You also provide an incentive for people to sign up. Here is an article with sign up form tips.
The incentive can be some freebie of value to your site visitors. For example, if your site is about sailing, you can offer an e-book on sail boats free to subscribers.
The more durable kind of incentive is the prospect of getting valuable information and tips on a continuing basis. If your website has great content on sailing, for example, and you offer a newsletter that will provide sailing news and tips, many readers might subscribe to it.
There should be a database to which the subscribers are added. This database is your “list”. Typically, this will be targeted list, say a list of sailing enthusiasts. It is this targeting that makes it an attractive option for advertisers who have products that will interest the targeted group.
Manage the Mailings
Once you have a list, you can start sending out ezines to the members of the list. This is not as simple as it sounds. If the list is large, you will need to use bulk mailing facilities. You will also have to handle:
- New subscriber signups
- Unsubscribe requests from subscribers
- Emails that bounce, i.e. mails that cannot be delivered owing to one reason or other
If the unsubscribed members are not immediately removed, you could face spam complaints. If the bounces are not removed, your list will contain invalid email addresses, and become a lower quality list.
You will need list management software, or list management services from dedicated list managers, to handle the above tasks. Aweber is a reputed list management service that handles all the tasks, and also provides high-value statistics about each mailing.
Producing the Ezines
All of your subscribers might not use HTML-enabled email programs. So you have to publish a text version that can be sent to all. An option to select the version, text or HTML, can be provided to subscribers.
The text versions are best with a 65 character limit for each line. At the end of 65 characters, press Enter key to insert a hard carriage break. Such limited length lines will display correctly in practically all email clients. Otherwise, the newsletters can be incorrectly formatted in some email clients, creating an unpleasant impression.
Deliverability is another issue that you have to attend while creating the ezine. Certain words and phrases in the subject line or body of the newsletter can trigger spam filters and send your ezine to the junk box. Use a spam checker such as the one available at Programmers Heaven. Your list manager might also provide spam checkers.
Enhance the Success Potential of Your Ezine
- Provide content of real value to your readers in each issue of your ezine. Use your topic expertise, or tap expert contributors, to do this.
- Limit the number of advertisements and check their placement to ensure that the ads will not drown out the content, or prove too distracting to the readers
- Select a name for the ezine that clearly indicates what type of content it will contain
- Select a subject line for each mailing that will intrigue or interest the readers so that they will read the mail. Even high value content can be destroyed by a poor subject line
- Review the statistics that your list manager (or list management software) provides and understand what is happening.
- Stick to your publishing schedule