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How To Create A Profitable Ezine From Scratch

Aug 17, 2007
One of oldest, most well-know marketing techniques is newsletters, or as they are referred to on the Web, e-zines.

What's an e-zine? It's an electronic newsletter or magazine that you publish on a set schedule to a group of subscribers. You can publish it on a Web site or via e-mail; you can charge for a subscription or offer it for free; you can sell advertising space or keep it ad-free.

Whichever way you decide to do it, an e-zine can make you a substantial amount of money through sales or other services.

Just like any other business, the first step to launching an e-zine is to create a basic plan for the product.

What are you planning to offer your subscribers? Are you trying to sell a physical product? Do you need to drive traffic to your Web site? Are you offering your advice and expertise to a mass audience?

By defining your goals at the outset of the project, you will be helping yourself clarify the possible outcomes and pitfalls involved in the process.

Who's Your Competition?

If you do a quick search on e-zines, you will find that there are thousands of them out on the Net. So it's best to use this planning process to scope out the competition.

Do a simple competitive analysis. Identify who your top competitors might be, and subscribe to their e-zines. Take note of what they do and how you might be able to differ from their approach.

Who Will Your Readers Be?

The next step is to identify your target market. The readers who will subscribe to your e-zine.

If you currently sell a physical product, you could survey customers. Ask what topics they would want to hear from you. Possible subjects could include new products, product updates, sales, and more.

If you are going to offer your expertise to your subscribers, frequent message boards and e-mail groups that discuss similar topics.

For instance, say you have had great success in selling CDs that teach consumers how to own their own business.

In order to see what potential subscribers might be interested in, you could frequent home business bulletin boards, chat rooms, or even attend a virtual seminar or trade show that focuses on that topic.

The more market research that you gather, the easier your implementation will be.

Publishing Frequency

While you are in the planning process, you should decide the frequency of your e-zine. Will you send it out weekly, or monthly?

Some e-zines, like dictionary.com's "Word of the Day," are sent out on a daily basis. However, research has shown that most consumers don't want to see an e-zine more than once or twice a month.

Be sure to heavily research this topic before launching, because retaining your subscribers is going to be very important to your bottom line. You don't want to irritate the buyers!

Creating a Sales Strategy

The next step is to decide how your e-zine is going to generate a profit for you. There are three general ways that e-zines make money for their owners:

Subscription Model: With this business model, you sell your content for a flat fee or a monthly fee. Readers sign up for your list and pay money prior to receiving your content.

Advertising Model: With this model, you will sell advertising on your e-zine. If you have a Web based e-zine, you can sell banner ads. If you have an e-mail based e-zine, you can sell various sizes of text ads that will be placed within the copy. With this model, you can also sell sponsorships which is a more expensive ad that would appear in every issue of the e-zine.

Affiliate Model: With this business model, you will be advertising products and services from business owners with whom you have cultivated a relationship with.
About the Author
Omar Johnson is author of the homestudy course "How to Make Money On the Internet While You are Asleep" for a free report click here
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