If you have your own website, or are planning to create
one soon, in the course of your research you will have
read about the importance of publishing an ezine
(electronic newsletter) as a way of generating traffic to
-- Note to purists: yes I DO understand there is, strictly
speaking, a difference between ezines and electronic
newsletters but for our purposes it doesn't matter so don't
write me. ;)
It's good advice. By capturing the email addresses of
your site visitors (via an ezine sign-up form at your site),
you can develop a mailing list to put yourself before time
and time again, unless and until they ask to be removed.
The idea is that by regularly sending your ezine to your list,
your site visitors get to know you and, over time, come to
trust you as an expert in your field. Assuming you do
competent work, that is.
But ezine publishing can be a lot more than just a
traffic generation tool - a means to an end. It can be
an end unto itself. Your ezine can actually be a
business in its own right.
How can an ezine be a paying proposition in itself? There
are two ways - by accepting paid advertising and charging
When I started my ezine way back when in July 2013, I was
just following conventional wisdom. I had created a web
site by the same name and wanted to publish an ezine as a
way of staying in touch with site visitors and reminding them
to visit my site.
What ended up happening, though, is that the ezine
became the central plank of my business and the website
became secondary. Why? Well, first of all, I found that I
actually enjoyed it. I enjoyed writing articles and I enjoyed
the fact that other people actually got some benefit from
my labors. But, beyond that, once I had amassed a subscriber
database of 1,000 or so, people started asking me what my
advertising rates were. I didn't have any. I had never really
thought of my ezine as being a revenue generator in and of
itself. The most I was hoping for was to remind readers to
visit my site in the hope that, while there, they would place
an order for one of the affiliate programs I promoted thereby
earning me a commission. Of course, I was also running ads
for my own affiliate programs in the ezine which translated
into income via commissions but, again, the ezine was a
means to an end, not an end unto itself.
When advertisers started approaching me, however, I soon
changed my thinking and my focus and before long, I had on
average ten to twelve advertisers wanting to run ads in my
ezine, every single week.
So, quite quickly, accepting paid advertising in my ezine
became a primary revenue source, certainly way ahead of
anything else that was generating revenue for me at the time
from my website.
Things have changed considerably for all ezine publishers
from those heady days where ezine advertising was all the
rage and demand for ezine advertising space outstripped supply.
No longer do I publish a dozen ads in each issue. Now it's only
five or so but paid advertising remains an important element of
my business plan and it is still a very viable revenue generation
model for you to use in your online business.
=> Paid Subscriptions
Just as ezine advertising has slowed down, paid subscription
ezines are emerging as the next hot trend. More and more,
the concept of free content on the Internet is giving way to
user pays and ezine publishing is no exception with ezine
publishers beginning to charge for subscription to their ezines
in lieu of (or in addition to) running paid ads.
For those who (for some reason) believe that everything
on the Internet should be free (as long as they're not the
ones who have to do the work for nothing, of course), this is,
on a superficial level, probably bad news. But on the other
hand, when someone is paying for content, it had better be
worth it. So the upside is that subscribers to paid ezines are
more likely to be getting (and will demand) better quality
content than they are used to from the typical "free" ezine.
In other words, you get what you pay for.
So what does all this mean for you, the would-be Internet
entrepreneur? Quite simply, if you're an expert in anything
(and we all are) you can turn that knowledge into the
foundation of an online business by publishing an ezine on
that subject, including your own original articles on a regular
basis (don't bother just regurgitating someone else's - if you're
publishing them, so are others and the object of the exericse
is to make an original contribution) and either accepting paid
advertising or charging subscribers a subscription fee.
All right then, how do I start an ezine?, I hear you say.
=> Come Up With a Great Idea
Don't waste your time (or everyone else's) publishing yet
another Internet marketing ezine. How many ways are there
to say the same thing? They're a dime a dozen and worth
even less. Do the hard work of coming up with something
that's original and fresh, something that every man and his
dog isn't already doing. It doesn't matter how specialized the
subject matter - the Internet audience is vast - you will
attract your share of it. In fact, the more targeted your
audience the better. Far, far better to have 500 devoted
readers than 5,000 who may or may not even open, let
alone read, your ezine.
(And don't believe the naysayers who will try and convince
you that because there are already so many ezines being
published there is no room for you. There is ALWAYS room
for quality original content and there always will be.)
=> Write a Few Articles
Before you publish your first issue, write a few articles about
your chosen subject and submit them, together with a
resource box that includes a way for people to subscribe to
your new ezine. This is just to drum up interest so that you
actually have a few subscribers to send your first issue to.
What do I mean by "submitting" your articles? There are many
ezine publishers and webmasters looking for fresh, quality
content for their ezines and web sites that they don't want
to have to create for themselves.
In response to this demand, a number of services and web
sites have sprung up to collect content contributions from
people like you and make it available to people like them.
Here's a list of article submission points to get you started:
=> Announcement Lists
Yahoo Groups (submit from the Yahoo Groups website
at http://groups.yahoo.com/ - you'll need to subscribe
to these groups first):
=> Web Sites
Then, when you have a few subscribers, you're ready to
publish your first issue. Be ready to roll it out pretty quickly
after you submit your articles so you are still fresh in the
mind of your readers.
For assistance with the nuts and bolts of actually creating
your ezine (including what should go where and why) and
sending it out, visit the excellent resource Ezine University
at http://emailuniverse.com/ .
=> Generating Subscribers
Once your ezine is a reality, you can "announce" it to the
world at large. Here's a list of ezine announcement lists and
directories to get you started:
Before being able to submit your newsletter to these lists
you'll need to subscribe first. Just go to Yahoo
(http://www.groups.yahoo.com) or Topica
(http://www.topica.com) to sign up for the lists you want
to be able to submit to. (Onelist and Egroups are now under
Here are the ezine sites and directories:
http://www.the1000.com (JimWorld's Top 1000 Submission
You'll find other sites and announcement lists to add to these
lists as you go on. This is just to give you a starting point.
Of course, just because you've created an ezine that's a
paying proposition (i.e., profitable) doesn't mean you have to
stop there. You can still create a website and use that to
generate revenue in addition to your ezine. In fact, a
combination of the two is the best way to go - multiple streams
of income are key to the financial stability and security of your
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