© 2010 Debra L. Butterfield
Have you considered launching an e-zine to expand your writing and networking opportunities? E-zines are small magazines and newsletters distributed by any electronic method such as e-mail. They offer multiple benefits. For example, e-zines serve as a marvelous marketing tool as you build a subscriber base to support your writing platform. They also enhance your profile as an expert in your chosen field. However, e-zines require effort and planning. Below are several questions to answer before moving to the launch pad.
What is your overall purpose?
- To build my platform
- To market my products
- To offer expert advice on a specific topic
Ideally, you will do all three. However, if your primary goal is marketing, you must offer more than an email filled with a sales pitch—that is pure advertising spam. Be sure you know, understand and adhere to spam laws. For more information, see http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/canspam.html.
What is the subject of your e-zine? An e-zine needs a specific topic such as home improvement, writing, or gardening. Provide readers with take-away value or eventually they will unsubscribe.
What will you name your e-zine? Employ your best writing skills to create a title that grabs the reader. Before you decide, do a trademark search with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office athttp://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/index.jsp. This provides a general list of trademarked names. Deeper searches require a fee. The search is especially important if you plan to use a corresponding website domain.
How will you send your emails and manage your subscriber list? A web search on the keywords “email marketing” provides several options. Shop around. Top Ten Reviews offers comparisons of list managers athttp://email-marketing-service-review.toptenreviews.com/ . Along with email templates, these services provide features such as viewing who opened your email, grouping subscribers into subgroups, and ensuring that your emails meet the requirements of spam law. Of course, there is always the option of doing it all yourself.
More questions to consider:
- What is your budget?
- Do you plan to sell advertising space?
- Do you want your e-zine to earn profits? If so, consider purchasing Angela Adair-Hoy’s e-book, Profitable Email Publishing (www.writersweekly.com).
Upfront planning will give you a better end product with fewer headaches after launching. Now you are ready to fire up your engines.
Debra L. Butterfield is editor and publisher of the webzine Glory and Strength and the author of Help! My Husband Has Sexually Abused our Daughter. Visit Debra at http://www.gloryandstrength.com orhttp://www.DebraLButterfield.com.
Below are more resources on e-zines: