Online business 'newbies' have no doubt heard that offering a free newsletter is one of the best ways available to build their business and their profits. They're also a lot of work. Here are a few things to think about before you get started.
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Eight Essential Questions for Aspiring Ezine Editors

Online business 'newbies' have no doubt heard that offering a free newsletter is one of the best ways available to build their business and their profits. Some of the benefits include:

* Increased credibility
* Leverage for profitable Joint Ventures
* More exposure through article reprints, for example
* An additional source of income through advertising sales

While publishing a newsletter can be a very profitable venture, the fact of the matter is, they're also a lot of work. Here are a few things to think about before you get started.

1. What Type of Newsletter Do You Want to Write?

The type of material you include in your newsletter is as endless as your imagination. Some suggestions include:

* Featured Article
* Useful Website Pick
* Reader Q&A
* Letter to the Editor
* Surveys or Polls
* Product Reviews
* Suggestion/Help Column for Subscriber Websites or Products
* Tip of the Day
* Inspirational Quote

2. Where Will You Get Your Content?

Will you write all the content yourself, get others to write it for you (ghost-writers), or use 'recycled' articles from other writers?

Fresh, original content is best. It gets tiresome when you see the same article in seven different newsletters! If you don't think you can manage writing all of your content, perhaps you can compromise: mostly your own writing, with the occasional third-party article thrown in.

3. How Often Do You Plan to Publish?

One of the advantages of offering a free ezine is the opportunity to build a relationship with your readers. They come to know you and trust you, and you, in turn, learn what types of products or services they're interested in.

A newsletter that's published too infrequently runs the risk of being forgotten by its readers. On the other hand, one that's published too often may annoy its readers and cause them to unsubscribe or delete the message.

Many popular ezines are published once a week or once every two weeks. Use that as a guideline for determining your own publishing schedule.

4. Can You Afford a Professional List Manager?

A list manager automates the tedious task of subscription management. In other words, it automatically handles subscribe and unsubscribe requests from your readers.

There are many good list managers available. Some are 'free'; that is, you may use them for free if you accept third-party advertising in your message or, alternatively, delivered to your mailbox.

Professional list managers will require an investment. They will allow you to send out ad-free messages (and keep your mailbox free of more advertising!) and typically offer a number of features not available in the 'free' version.

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