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You’ll first need to find a theme – preferably one that is not overused. (I read that there are more than 10,000 different newsletters in this country today). To find a niche, draw up a list of questions and hand them out to customers. Ask them what products they would like you to carry, or services you should add. Put yourself in their shoes. Then use best responses in your ezine.
If writing is not your forte, Internet is filled with websites offering articles for free – as long as you print them as written, with attribution. Here are a few sites to get you started:
http://www.work911.com/articles.htm is geared to managers and focuses on business communication.
http://www.bizweb2000.com/articles.htm focuses on Internet marketing and web business promotion. If you’re a local business, scroll down to article entitled “Has Website Promotion Gone Local” for tips on getting your site noticed.
http://www.workz.com bills itself as “the premier small business portal” and is another good site for articles on promoting a web business.
http://www.bizoffice.com is Small & Home Based Business Library covering business subjects from A to Z. Click “Biz Office Library” on right.
http://www.marketingbestpractices.com/articles.htm is for small businesses. The article “Internet Marketing for Local Small Businesses” by David Frey contains some really great ideas on promotion.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with different methods of registering subscribers and e-mailing newsletter. It’s a good idea to use a third party mailing list service to do this for you. I use http://www.mailermailer.com, which is free until you reach 500 subscribers – then charges $29.95/month. There are several free mailing list hosts, but like anything free, there are restrictions. Christopher Cheng’s article, “Starting Your Own Newsletter or Ezine” at http://www.thesitewizard.com/archive/newsletter.shtml has links to his reviews of various free mailing list services.
As publisher of a newsletter, you will become a guru of your industry. Customers will endow you with expertise and seek out your advice. However, keeping a newsletter fresh takes time and effort. If your business is important to you, you have probably given it your all. A newsletter requires same kind of devotion.
Francine Silverman is editor/publisher of Book Promotion Newsletter, a free ezine for authors of all genres. http://www.bookpromotionnewsletter.com.Her two guidebooks are Catskills Alive (second edition) and Long Island Alive, both published in 2003 by Hunter Publishing. www.nystatetravel.com.