Ezine Basics

by 1st VA on July 29, 2009

“Why do I need an ezine?”

Everyone and their brother has an ezine. You probably receive several of them every day. You know you should have one for your own business, but you’re wondering WHY, and if it’s really worth the time and effort. The answer is YES, — it most definitely is!

Building a list of past and previous clients, colleagues and others who are interested in your services, and staying in touch with them on a regular basis, is crucial for the long term positioning as you roll out new offerings, host events, or make news.

So now you know you need an ezine. Now you ask, “Where do I start?”

First: choose a service to publish your ezine. Deciding on a newsletter service may be as simple as just factoring the cost. There are several good services; some offer monthly rates as low as $15/month. Aweber and Constant Contact are two such ezine services, and are widely used. A service such as 1 Shopping Cart can handle other functions as well, such as autoresponders, e-commerce, and more.

Next: decide how often you want to publish it. You need to take a realistic approach as you decide how often you wish to publish, and then stick to that schedule. If you set up an expectation to publish a weekly ezine, and then barely send it out every other week, you’ll lose credibility with your readers. If you know that you just won’t have the time for a weekly ezine, send it bi-weekly. Monthly ezines just aren’t cutting it anymore. They end up far too long and it’s proven that people are more apt to read short weekly ones than long monthly ones. On the flip side, sending e-mail blasts more than once, or perhaps twice a week, unless absolutely necessary (“breaking news”), may annoy your readers and shower you with spam reports.

Now, choose your content. There are three main pieces that are all you really need. 1. A personal opening, 2. A relevant article that provides value to your target market and list, and 3. A special offer, your newest product – whatever it is that you’re selling or want to promote that week.

Simple enough? Don’t get caught in the “where to start” overwhelm. Follow the steps above and within minutes you can be on the way to publishing your ezine.

Donna Toothaker is CEO and founder of 1st VA the highly sought-after online marketing and consulting company. 1st VA specializes in providing online marketing support and services to entrepreneurs and solopreneurs who wish to effectively build or improve their online presence. To discover how 1st VA can help your business – visit http://www.1stva.com.

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