Writing an Ezine Newsletter

An ezine is defined as an electronic magazine. It also is known as an online newsletter. It has gained in popularity recently as more and more businesses go online. They want to present a more personalized appearance to the public. Ezines and/or newsletters do this.

Reasons for starting and maintaining an ezine are many. They include:

1) Communication – it is a way for business owners and entities to communicate with their customers, or potential customers. It is a form of communication that keeps its readers up-to-date about happenings within the company.
2) Develop trust. By communicating with your readers, they will slowly begin to trust you more. The more they receive your ezines, the more they will trust you.
You are no longer simply a faceless entity. Your readers can gain insight into what you believe. They can read how you think about things. They can read about how you handle things. This helps gain trust.
3) Demonstrating expertise in an area. Everyone loves an expert. By writing an ezine, you show your readers you know your subject area. You provide them with insight into why and how things work.
4) More personalized approach. In this day and age of huge congolomerates taking over, it is refreshing to read information written by a single person. Even if the person works for a huge conglomerate, an ezine will be welcomed.
5) Brings departments together. Many times when an ezine is distributed within the firm, it brings the company together. In other words, it is the electronic version of a company newsletter.
6) Demonstrates your reliability. By receiving a regularly schedule ezine from you, your readers will begin to rely on you. This, in turn, helps with the trust issue.

Can you see the benefits of having an ezine and/or newsletter? If so, you have decided to start an ezine. Now, what do you do? What do you write about? How do you format one?

You write about your expertise. You write about what you are knowledgeable in.
For instance, you operate an accounting firm. What do you want to share with your readers?
1) How about some insights into operating a business?
2) Give your readers insights into different fields of accounting.
3) Keep your readers abreast about the tax laws.
4) Show your readers how you are keeping up-to-date with the current happenings.
5) Keep your readers informed about your community work.
6) Show your readers why you are the best choice for their accounting needs.
7) The list goes on�.

Formatting an ezine can be a bit trickier. It can be time consuming, but needs to be done. We have all received those annoying ezines, or messages, that are not properly formatted. They are difficult to read and frustrating.

Ezines are delivered via email. In order for them to be transmitted properly, they must be formatted to fit within the standard email. Usually the standard email is 60 characters across.

Here are some suggestions for properly formatting your ezine, or newsletter:
1) Use a Word processing program.
2) Save your document.
3) Adjust your margins to about 2″ on each right and left side.
4) Save your document again. However, this time use “save as” and select the option “Text Only with line breaks.” This converts your document to the universal ASCII text format.

Prior to sending your ezine out to the public, it is recommended to send one to yourself. This is known as the “test copy.” That way, you can preview how it looks. Are there any formatting changes that need to be made? Make them prior to submitting to your readership. Keep repeating this process of sending yourself a copy until you receive a correctly formatted version.

A lengthy ezine must contain sections that are eye friendly. Your reader needs to enjoy reading your ezine, or they will unsubscribe. Here are some recommendations for a successfully appealing ezine:

Here is the format I used that proved very successful with my readers:

1) Picture of myself – gives increased personalization
2) Title of Ezine – yes, you need a title
3) Name of my business
4) Issue # -(this is important so you can keep track of your writing project)
5) Date
Outline of the ezine:
I. Welcome and thanks to your readers
II. About Your Ezine – state your mission and what your readers will learn.
III. Subscription Instructions.
a. Let your readers know you got their address by their subscribing. Let them also know how to unsubscribe. This will be important for both you and your readers. It protects you and lets your readers know they are not being spammed.
IV. First Section offering insight into a special area. I share some healthy substitutions in this section.
V. Second Section offering specialized knowledge. This is the section where I featured a different recipe(s) each issue.
VI. Issue’s Article on a particular subject. I wrote a new article each issue.
VII. Tidbits of Knowledge. Bites of useful information my readers could use.
1) A section where I shared my readers’ recommendations and suggestions.
VIII. Tidbits of Humor (to provide my readers with chuckles)
VIII. Disclaimer – an important section
1) A properly prepared disclaimer section will protect you. Your readers may take your advice, improperly, and harm themselves. A properly prepared disclaimer statement will cover yourself from liability.
IX. Copyright Information.
1) State the year of your copyright, if any. Also, state name of your entity obtaining the copyright. For instance, Copyright 2006 by XYX Company.
The outline is a section itself.

Each section mentioned in the ezine outline will be covered in detail throughout the ezine and/or newsletter. (Kind of like writing a paper.)

Each section of the ezine is separated via a line, stars, etc. Whatever you like to use as a separator of text is fine. This provides a more friendly and easy to read ezine.

Areas of Importance Regarding Ezines and/or Newsletters:

I. Consistency.
1. Develops reliability. As mentioned, readers like to know that they can count on you. If you cannot commit to a consistent schedule, do not start an ezine. Decide on daily, weekly, biweekly, etc. Whatever you choose, stick with it.
2. Consistency involving format is also important. Readers like to know what to expect each issue. You develop a particular style this way. With each issue, you will keep the same outline format and simply update the contents. Nice.
II. Proper writing composition skills.
1. Check for proper grammar, punctuation, word usage, etc. Also check for misspellings.
III. Expertise.
1. As mentioned above, talk about what you know. If you do not know, ask. Quote other experts. Do not state false facts.

Begin writing your own ezine newsletter. It is easier than you think. Soon you will have developed a reputable subscription base to be proud of. Keep with it.

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