How to Start an Ezine

Introduction
Online business is booming these days. It is estimated that over $5 billion was spent by consumers online in 2006. Projections for the upcoming years are looking even better with 2010 looking to bring in about $11 billion. With these zeros and commas in mind, online businesses are searching for new ways to make their products and services marketable to the ‘etailers.’ With professionals knowing better than to orchestrate anything remotely resembling spam emails, there is a way to get noticed by ongoing and potential customers without inheriting the spam induced kiss-of-death. Your website can design its own ezine, which is very comparable to an electronic newsletter or magazine.

The Steps to Take
The process of developing an online magazine is not very difficult. First you want to come up with a general subject for the ezine that directly relates to your site, product, and services. Secondly, you want to place the option of attaining the ezine in a very overt place to gain attention and a fan-base. If people are going to register at your site or make a purchase, you want to present the option of receiving an ezine somewhere apparent on the respective pages. After that, you want to continuously write articles for the ezine. If you have in-house writers, they just got some more work, if you do not have content writers they are available through third party representatives. It is recommended that the ezine not be too lengthy (about a few articles per ezine), but you want to include pertinent news about your business, products, and services because it can be a marketing tool as well as a source of germane information about your industry.

Gathering an Audience
Developing an ezine is a commitment. It would not look good on your part if you began the process and then you let it fall flat; this would give a negative reflection upon your business, products, and services. The audience on the Internet can be quite shrewd and vitriolic at times, if you gather some fans and then fail to deliver, they will most likely let you and their friends know about it. Be prepared to implement it into your normal retinue of job-related activities. Check out Folio Magazine for more information on <---****HYPERLINK****--->”http://www.foliomag.com/page.asp?prmID=129”>magazine publishing for the web.

Determine the scope of topics you would like to explore (they being relevant to your business and industry) and keep in mind your consumers and potential consumers. You want to be positive that your topics will be captivating and are pertinent to your targeted audience. You could get some ideas from other producers of ezines amongst your industry, but you don’t want to completely emulate what they do. You want to be original, but you can gain some insight from ezines in your industry. Read through them, get some ideas, and then make yours better than theirs. Once you start generating more ezines you will get a feel for coming up with general to specific topics. Finding outside information can by tricky and frustrating. Depending on how well you can complement your own knowledge with that on the outside, you may have to compromise your topics.

Publishing and Distribution
The time you are willing to contribute will depend on how regularly you publish your ezine. Some sites publish online magazines everyday, but they have several writers on staff. Some ezines go out once a week, but the norm seems to gravitate somewhere around once a month, which would give the smaller sites and staff more than enough time to whip something up. Distribution is made possible through visitors’ ‘opt-in’ privileges on your website. You do not want to send unsolicited ezines to customers or potential customers, unless you want the name of your online magazine to be ‘SPAM.’ Even when you do start getting subscribers you should offer an option to disengage a subscription with every issue.

Costs
Costs for comprising your ezine will be relative to your current staff, how often you plan to distribute, and the eventual success. Selling sponsorships for ezines is a common practice these days. You would most likely want to look for sponsors within your industry or have some sort of angle of cross-selling opportunity with your industry. For instance a wetsuit company may want to advertise in your company’s ezine that focuses on the world of surfing. It would be safe to assume that someone interested in subscribing to a surfing ezine surfs, so the wetsuit company has a chance of generating sales by being exploited in your ezine.