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Six Keys to Creating a Successful and Profitable Ezine

Fortunes are made on the Internet by people who have built solid mailing lists for the promotion of their online businesses. But the question many publishers face is how to turn their ezine (aka: online newsletter or electronic magazines) subscribers into buyers?

Let me be honest with you. Your mailing list is only as valuable as your subscriber's willingness to purchase your products and services, or the products and services of your advertisers.

Until your subscribers begin to buy what you offer, your mailing list is not worth a plug nickel!

This article has been derived in essence from another article written in 2004. It has been updated to represent current programs and resources for this marketplace.

Here are the six ingredients that you need for creating a successful and profitable ezine:

Advertising Your Newsletter

Successful ezines are the ones that continue to grow, from week-to-week and month-to-month. With every publication, there is an attrition factor where subscribers just fall by the wayside for whatever reason. The successful ezine publisher is the one whose growth will always out pace its attrition rate.

The publishers who are able to consistently grow their mailing list are those who frequently utilize one or many of the following advertising formats.

* While often expensive, paid brokers can actually get readers to subscribe to your ezine.

Yet in my own personal experience, buying subscribers did put a large number of email addresses on my list, but it provided little value to my list since most subscribers never opened my ezine.

To be honest, my venture into list building was flawed. My partner chose to use a list broker who specialized in getting subscribers from college campuses, yet our ezine was targeted to the online business person. Our new subscribers very literally did not care about what we were writing about. The lesson here is to always target the correct audience for your ezine.

A friend of mine uses list brokers almost exclusively, and he swears by the Co-Registration Lead Generation system offered by ArcaMax Publishing at: www.arcamax.com/mediakit/coreg

* Ezine advertising programs are available through a number of websites, but this one is among the most respectable of such programs: www.ezineadvertising.com
* I have generated some very solid advertising results using Publisher Ad Swaps.

By setting up private advertising arrangements with other ezine publishers, you can get your advertisement in another ezine in exchange for an advertisement in your ezine. To find other ezine publishers, review this directory: www.ezinehub.com/

To locate like-minded publishers seeking beneficial ad swaps, there is a website dedicated to this task called Ezine Ads Net: www.ezinead.net/adswap/

* Paid Search Engine placement can be another solid method for attracting new subscribers to your ezine:
- adwords.google.com
- searchmarketing.yahoo.com
- www.exactseek.com/featured_listings.html
- www.payperranking.com/ (a 7search company)

* For more help in promoting your ezine, check out the tutorial called "How to Publicize Your E-Zine", located at: www.zinebook.com/publicz.html

Develop A Standardized Template For Your Newsletter

Your readers want a specific structure for your ezine. They want to be able to learn your structure and to be able to quickly follow your structure to get to the meat and potatoes of every issue. Your readers are pressed for time in the same way that you are, so they want you to enable them to get what they want from you in a quick and orderly fashion.

Provide Exceptional And Targeted Content

When you develop your ezine, you know in principle what type of content that you want to bring to your readers.

But, unless you have the financial ability to work your ezine on a full-time basis, finding the time to create all of your own content is a challenge that every publisher faces.

Fortunately, there are writers who have the time to create the content you can use, and they make their content available for publication so long as their terms of reprint are honored.

These writers cover a wide range of subject materials that enable publishers in nearly every genre find a ready supply of content that they can include in their publications.

To learn how you can find articles that can be used for reprint in your publication, you should explore the following resources:

* Niche Content Finder: www.freewebs.com/niche-content/
* The Article Depot: articledepot.50megs.com/
* The Phantom Writers Articles Archive: www.thephantomwriters.com/recent/200/index.html
* Website Articles Net: www.website-articles.net/
* Article Stars: www.articlestars.com
* Ezine Articles: www.ezinearticles.com
* Go Articles: www.goarticles.com
* Invisible MBA: www.invisiblemba.com
* Articles 4 Reprint: www.articles4reprint.com
* Cyber Media 101: www.cybermedia101.com/
* Free-Reprint Article and Content Providers Webring: b.webring.com/hub?ring=contentproviders

Personalize And Brand Your Newsletter

In order to separate your ezine from the thousands of other online magazines, you must create a solid brand for your ezine.

What I mean by this is that you should always strive to make your ezine stand well above the crowd and to give your ezine its own personal identity. You want your ezine to be the one that your subscribers will read religiously and intently.

The way to establish a brand and identity for your ezine is to give it a personality, and then do not deviate from its defined personality or target audience.

Some ezine publishers define their brand as an extension of the publisher's personality. They are not afraid to talk to their readers as if they were talking with their friends or colleagues. One such ezine in this standard is the Daily Dose Of Happiness at: www.thehappyguy.com/daily-happiness-free-ezine.html Another great one is the Monday Morning Memo by Roy H. Williams, the Wizard Of Ads at: www.mondaymorningmemo.com/

Other ezines like the ones found at www.sitepronews.com/ or www.seo-news.com have a corporate philosophy that drives their publication style and guidelines.

The personality that you build into your ezine will help you to develop a solid ezine brand that your readers will read religiously and trust absolutely.

Create Reader Interaction

The greatest challenge in publishing an ezine is ALWAYS getting your subscribers to continue reading.

One method that many publishers employ is to provide methods to enable reader interaction.

The one ezine that I know that has done the best job of this is Your Membership Exchange: www.your-membership.com

In this ezine, readers submit questions, and other readers answer the questions. Their unique selling proposition is "Newsletters for Our Members, By Our Members."

In each issue, a new question is posted, and then the publisher takes the best answers to a previous question and publishes them in the ezine. I read this frequently.

In my ezine, I had accomplished a strong level of interaction with my readers by running a contest. In every issue, I posed a brain teaser question and published the names of the first three people who in the previous issue got the answer right.

Ask For The Sale

I mention this only because I know someone who is making this mistake right now. I am sure a lot of other publishers are making this mistake as well.

Many people begin the process of publishing an ezine for the explicit purpose of selling their own wares. They follow the advice of the guru's about developing a mailing list and publishing their ezine on a regular basis. A lot of work is put into the ezine to develop a loyal base of subscribers who read each and every issue delivered.

And when all is said and done, the publisher fails to ask their readers to consider or purchase the wares that their e-zine was designed to promote. How does one actually expect their readers to buy their wares if they do not ask their readers to buy what is being offered?

You are the expert in charge of your publication, so you should not be afraid to ask your readers the hard questions. You must explain to your readers what you are selling, and you must ask your readers to actually consider or even purchase what you are selling! Don't be afraid of your readers. Take care to do what is necessary to help your ezine to generate the profits it was designed to create.

Bill Platt published his newsletter for two years, and then set up www.thephantomwriters.com to supply reprint content specifically to ezine publishers and webmasters. He offers article ghost writing and article distribution services to his clients, many of whom have been with him for years. In 2007, Bill wrote an ebook to teach people how to be as successful with article marketing as he has been. Bill's Article Writing ebook has received many excellent reviews. Get your copy here: thephantomwriters.com/ebooks/article-marketing-traffic.html

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