Ezine Publishing Information
Your E-zine 13 - A Formatting Checklist
While sending out a text e-zine may seem like a piece of cake, there's more to it than you may think. *Good formatting* is the name of the game. Here's a handy checklist I use to make sure each of my issues is in great shape BEFORE I send it out. Please be my guest and use it for yourself!
Are all lines 65 characters or less?
More than that and your missive may come through looking messy to many subscribers. End each line with a hard return by pressing the "enter" key.
Have you made sure there's no auto-formatting, such as bolding, italics, or underlining?
These features don't translate well in e-mail and can come out looking mighty strange on the other end. Instead, emphasize words or phrases with *asterisks,* "quotation marks," or ALL CAPS ... sparingly.
Are all sections neatly separated?
Use underscores (_____), asterisks (******), another nifty symbol ($$$$$, %%%%, @@@@), or a combination thereof () to help define each area and help your readers skim your issue more easily.
Do all Web links include 'http://' before them?
Some e-mail programs won't automatically hyperlink a URL in your text without this prefix. So don't take a chance ? make it easy for your readers to click and link, especially to YOUR site!
Do all e-mail links include "mailto:" before them?
Same idea here: Some e-mail programs won't automatically hyperlink an e-mail address in your text without it. Be sure to leave no space between the colon and the first character of the address.
Is your masthead at the very top?
The masthead, or "nameplate," typically features your e-zine name, your name, your e-mail address, your Web address, and the correct date, volume number, and issue number. Make it the FIRST thing your readers see.
Have you reminded your readers right away that this is a *subscription* publication?
Don't let them forget that they *asked* to receive this! Something like this right under your masthead will do: "You've received this e-zine because you subscribed to it! If you wish to unsubscribe, please scroll to the end for more information."
If you have a table of contents (TOC), do its listings match this issue's articles and features?
For example, if your TOC says your second feature in this issue is an article on Web site marketing, make sure it's right!
Have you included a copyright notice?
At the end of your content, before your contact info, post '(c)' immediately followed by the year and your name or your company's name. You should know that a copyright notice does not protect your ideas ? instead, it protects the way you express them.
Are the correct advertisements in place?
Keep track of all your ad swaps and purchases in one main document to make this easy to look up each time. I use an Excel spreadsheet, which works great for me.
Do you give clear subscribe and unsubscribe instructions at the bottom?
Include subscribe instructions, because your e-zine will likely get passed on to others who'd like to sign up. The unsubscribe instructions are just BECAUSE ? it's plain courtesy, and the law of the land. : )
Does your subject line include both the name of your e-zine and the issue topic?
By seeing your e-zine title, your recipients will know the e-mail is not spam. And by seeing the issue topic, they will know what's in store for this issue. Example: "Sara's Cash Flow Tips: Increase Your Income Today!"
Have you sent a test of the issue to yourself or an associate?
Make sure it comes through reading well and looking great! (Check for any strange symbols that magically appear, odd breaks in the copy, inactive links, etc.) And this is a GREAT time to give it a final proofread.
Who Is Your E-zine Really FROM?
One morning this past fall, I was going through my e-mail inbox, relentlessly deleting junk mail. As you're likely well aware, many spam messages are made to look like they're from a real person.
Are You Getting The Most Out Of Your Ezine?
1.) Give people information about your site, your product, or your industry.
How To Write Powerful Newsletters, Offline And Online
The theory of writing for newsletters is very similar to that of writing for press releases and other media work, but with newsletters there is one crucial difference. Whereas with an external publication you're quality-controlled by someone outside your organization (the publication's editor) who is therefore independent and autonomous, the equivalent person connected with an internally produced newsletter is either you, or someone else who gets paid by your organization.
What Makes An Ezine Worth Reading?
What makes your ezine hot stuff? With literally thousands ofezines online today, how can yours stand out or is it doomed tostay in the junk mail folders??
Email Filters Catch Dolphins Along With Sharks
What?s the point in spending hours preparing a newsletter, message or report if it's automatically filtered into the junk folder before the recipient even sees it?
The Nitty-Gritty Of Ezine Publishing
I sat here this morning, and decided to work out exactly how much time I use on creating my weekly ezine, and I almost kinda shocked myself. I`m not the ONLY publisher who refuses to automate, so please, after reading my hours, spare a kind thought for all those other publishers out there that do everything manually, and who really take the time to get down to a personal level with their subscribers.
Write an Ezine? But I Dont Know HOW!
If you've been promoting your business on the internet you've probably heard how important it is to have a list. And that it's also important to publish an ezine.
The Quick Ways To Increase Your E-zines Subscriber Base
1. Give Incentives Give people an incentive to subscribe to your e-zine. Offer them a freebie if they subscribe. It could be a free e-book, free report, free advertising, etc. Make sure the freebie will attract your target audience. 2. Joint Venture Joint venture with a similar e-zine. Combine your subscriber bases together and publish one e-zine. Edit and publish each issue together. You both will be promoting the e-zine which means more subscribers. 3. Allow Archiving Allow your subscribers to archive back issues of your e-zine on their web site. They may need content for their web site. If people visit their web site and like your e-zine, they will subscribe.
Are We Dating or Married?
You?ve convinced me that I want to sign up for your newsletter. Now that I?m ready, what do I do? I go to thesignup box on the current web page and complete the form.But wait... what are you asking for? If you?re asking formore than my name and email address, I will hesitate.
Writing, Publishing, Self Publishing, Website Promotion, Blogging, Internet Marketing
Are You Ready For The Publishing Revolution?
5 Ways to Make More Money With Your E-zine
Have you been publishing an e-mail newsletter for at least six months but still aren't seeing real results (read: revenue) from it? Don't fret ? you may just need a tune up. Here are five ways to kick your e-zine income into gear this year:
TOOT YOUR OWN HORN MORE
The adage goes, "If you don't blow your own horn, someone else will use it as a spittoon." If your focus is providing your readers with useful information that enriches their lives and businesses, bravo! That SHOULD be your focus. But now I want you to look out for yourself as well: Take at least 25 percent of your e-zine space and make it all about YOU.
Give promos for your services, products, books, workshops, etc. List raving testimonials from clients and customers who LOVE you. Weave your business success stories into your articles and tips. Share something funny about your weekend that makes me feel closer to knowing you personally. (For more self-promotion tips, see my article at http://www.ezinequeen.com/7ways.htm)
MAKE ME AN OFFER I CAN'T REFUSE
Let's suppose I'm one of your subscribers. Even if I realize you offer wonderful products and services, I may need a kick in the pants to make a move. To entice me, offer me a special, l1mited-time deal. Examples: three months' of consultation for the price of two, a 20% discount on your latest book or newest service, or one of your usual offers with a few exciting bonuses thrown in. Make the offer obsolete within a few days or by next week. By putting a time limit on it, I'll be more apt to act now instead of later.
Don't overlook how powerful this tactic can be. Some of my most profitable weeks have resulted from running a limited time, special pr0motion of this type in my e-zine.
PACKAGE IT AT A LOWER PRICE POINT
This is a super strategy for service professionals such as consultants and coaches. As your subscriber, I know the way to get the BEST service from you would be to hire you one-on-one, but perhaps I can't afford that right now. BUT consider that I may likely be interested in lower-priced options such as group coaching, teleclasses, online seminars, or a manual/e-book.
This is exactly how I became an e-book author. When I started my first e-zine, my main business was writing for corporate communications. After I gained a few thousand subscribers, I realized that my readers were mostly small business owners and entrepreneurs. So I began creating products and services geared toward them. And now I profit more from those each month than from my corporate work.
PROMOTE A PRODUCT/SERVICE THAT COMPLEMENTS YOURS
Do your readers and clients often ask you about a certain topic that's related to ? but not exactly ? what you offer? Then resell a resource that you heartily recommend and would put your reputation behind.
For example, while my specialty is e-zines, I get many questions about creating and selling information products online. So I continually research credible resources on this topic to share with my readers. Many of the creators of these products offer a handsome commission on any sales I refer to them. (I do this myself by paying out up to 25% commission on any referred sale. http://www.ezinequeen.com/affiliate.htm)
NEVER recommend any service or product to your readers that you haven't personally tried and wouldn't back 100 percent. Otherwise you'll blow the trust that you've worked so hard to build up in your readership.
SELL AD SPACE AS IT SUITS YOU
E-zine ads won't make you wealthy, but they can make for some handy extra c^sh. (I call it my "margarita money.") Most e-zines offer one sponsor ad at the top and several "classified" ads at the bottom. Sponsor ads typically cost three to five times more than the classified ad, but you'll see the ranges vary greatly.
Start by offering ad specials to your own readers. Then also list your e-zine in the many e-zine advertising directories on the Web. These services help match advertisers with appropriate publishers just like you. (Need help? My manual gives step-by-step instructions on how to accept and profit from ads in your e-zine.)
Remember that you have every right to be selective about the type of ads you accept. While your readers know these ads don't represent YOUR business, their quality will indirectly influence their perception of you.
7 Ways to Self-Promote Within Your E-zine
We all know that an e-zine won?t attract and keep subscribers without offering insightful, practical content. If you only drone on and on about how wonderful you and your services/products are, your readers won?t stick around for long.
21 Questions to Ask Any List Service Before You Sign on With Them
If you publish an e-mail newsletter, or "e-zine," you'll need to sign on with a list service (or "listserve") to manage your subscriber list. There are many types of listserves out there, so here are some guidelines to help you choose one that's right for you.
Do they use MULTI-PART MIME technology?
You'll need this if you want to publish an HTML newsletter. Otherwise you?ll have to send out multiple versions for users who can read HTML, users who can't read HTML, and users on AOL.
Do they offer some type of ORIENTATION OR TUTORIAL?
If you're new to the game and/or technologically challenged then you'll appreciate any type of help they offer for new clients.
What's their CUSTOMER SERVICE like?
Are they prompt to get back to you via e-mail? Can you call them if you have a problem? Are they available more than standard business hours? What about weekends? Contact them and see how long they take to get back to you ?- if it's longer than 24 hours, definitely keep looking.
Do they NOTIFY list owners if there's a PROBLEM with their service?
If so, how, and how quickly?
Do they have CUSTOMER TESTIMONIALS to share with you?
Or even better, client references? Contact some of these folks to see how their experiences have been.
Do other BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS use their service?
If most of their clients are large corporations, small businesses like yours may not get the attention they deserve.
Is their interface EASY TO USE?
Meaning is it easy for you to setup and launch each issue of your e-zine. They should offer a demo or let you access the 'mission control' area that you'll be using to test it out.
Can you MANUALLY ADD AND REMOVE people to and from your list if you want to?
Sometimes you?ll need to do this, so you'll want the answer to be "yes" ?- especially if you're moving over a list you've already collected.
Can you access SUBSCRIBER REPORTS?
How and how often? You'll want to know on a regular basis how many subscribes and unsubscribes you've had since the last issue.
What appears in the "FROM" field when subscribers get your e-zine?
You want it to be YOUR name if possible. Some spam filters screen out e-mail that does not appear to come from an individual person.
What appears in the "TO" field when a subscriber gets your e-zine?
You want it to be the person?s name if possible. Along the same lines, some spam filters screen out e-mail that does not appear to be addressed to the individual person.
Who has ACCESS to their servers and your list?
Anytime you hand over your customer list, you're taking a risk. You don't want your service or anyone else using your list for spamming purposes.
What happens if some addresses are UNDELIVERABLE?
These are also called "bounces" or "bounce-backs." You don't want them to automatically remove names for "soft bounces," which are due to temporary conditions like full mailboxes.
How do users SUBSCRIBE AND UNSUBSCRIBE?
Do they have to visit a Web page or can they do it via e-mail (best if both options are available). Is the process single or double opt-in? (Double is better for more security ? the user has to respond to a confirmation e-mail before she?s added to your list.) Is the process kept simple?
Can you customize your LIST SERVER DOCUMENTS?
This means messages like your subscriber welcome and goodbye messages. (You'll definitely want to be able to do this, since the prewritten messages many list services use are horribly cold and confusing.)
Can your e-zine give PERSONALIZED GREETINGS AND MESSAGES?
Not necessary, but a very nice feature. For example, if your e-zine came to me, it would start off with something like, "Hello Alexandria!"
How often do they BACK UP their servers?
It should be at least once every day. Also ask if you can download your lists to back them up on your own, as a backup to their backup!
Can you send a TEST MESSAGE out to yourself or another person before you send out each issue for real?
You'll definitely want this because it?s the best way to see how your e-zine looks on the recipient?s end, do a proofread, and check all your hyperlinks.
Can you see stats on your CLICK-THROUGH rates?
If you publish in HTML, you should be able to see how many people ? and even exactly who ? opens your messages.
Can they AUTOMATICALLY ARCHIVE your issues if you'd like them to?
Some services will archive your e-zines at their site, others can configure it so they're archived at your own site (which is better).
Are they currently BLOCKED anywhere on the Web?
If so, it may mean they've been reported for allowing spammers to use their network. You don't want to work with any list service that's been blocked anywhere, because it means that your e-zine won't reach all of your readers.
Are Your E-Mails Bouncing? Hard Bounces, Soft Bounces, and Everything in Between
Are you doing "the bounce"?
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