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The New Stuff

Ten Easy Tips For Writing Your Business Ezine

If you're a solo professional you probably write an ezine. Sending out an electronic newsletter ezine (e-zine) is one of the least expensive and best ways to create value and top of mind awareness in your customer's mind.
One common issue I see in working with my own clients is sticking to a regular schedule, getting it done and out. Creating an expectation in your customer's mind that you will reach out to them regularly and then not fulfilling that expectation can be deadly for your business. Here's some tips and techniques for making sure you get your ezine out the door.
1. To create useful content, think about the questions your customers have asked you in the last week or so, and create an article around one of the questions, giving tips and help on that topic. Keep a list on your computer or in your planner of topics that pop up as you read industry news, too.
2. Create a publication calendar and insert these dates into your own calendar. Let your customers know when they can expect to see your ezine in their e-mail box. I publish on the first and third Thursdays of each month, and my readers know that. With a set publication schedule you'll know you have to create an issue and schedule it to go out, even if you are on vacation or a biz trip. If you can't meet your schedule, hire help. It's THAT important to your business!
3. Allocate a specific amount of time to create each issue so that it doesn't eat up too of your day. If you have an assistant who can create a draft for you to look at, all the better! Give her the topics and any other news you want in the ezine and let her create the draft and upload your pictures. You can go in and re-write as you wish, but the bones will already be there for you.
4. Always help your audience learn something. Those are the types of ezines that get passed along and help build your readers.
5. Use an interesting, compelling subject line. Don't say "April ezine." Your main topic should be reflected in your subject line and change with each issue.
6. Use a conversational tone, and keep paragraphs short. Use bullets or numbers to make your copy easy to follow, and use bold to make statements stand out.
7. Identify yourself as the sender in the "from" line and make sure to include an unsubscribe link in every issue. It's also great to ask for reader feedback with a link to your e-mail address.
8. Consider asking one or two questions of your readers, surveying them to find out what their interests and issues are.
9. Archive your ezines on your web site, which helps new people who hit your site get a sense of who you are and what you have to offer.
10. Use the "80/20" rule - offer your readers 80% useful content and 20% news about yourself, your company, and what you have to offer.
Follow these guidelines and you'll be on your way to creating great ezines that are read, passed along, and help your business gain customers. Consistent action is the key!