in-the-loop Ezine
Note from Editor...


Greetings

Welcome to our very first issue of in-the-loop Ezine... in it's brand new format!


The “new” in-the-loop...

We've chosen this image for our new logo - solid stone on shifting sand - because it represents stability, clarity & integrity in the face of constant change and dramas that come with the territory of "doing business" (especially on the www). Hope you find the allegory interesting, and can identify with it.

Freshly revamped & re-structured, in-the-loop now has its own site! — We've put up a list of business-related topics there that can be covered in our future issues, so do drop by for a browse.

I'm also very happy to announce that Raymond Siew will remain as in-the-loop Ezine's primary writer for the time being (some of our regulars may already be familiar with Ray's incisive, sometimes irreverent, writing style)... and I look forward to bringing you more of his articles in our future issues!

Please note: Although in-the-loop is currently an unscheduled publication, Ray will try to write for you each month or as often as he can.


Inside today's issue...

Is Your Ezine Heading for Bulk Delete? — Join Ray Siew as he explores this dilemma many publishers face... and shares some suggestions to address this problem.

Ray's article today is a distillation of the experience and lessons learnt during the time eMasters was running a series of campaigns to launch & promote our viral ebooks - when we had the opportunity to work with about 40 ezine publishers in our viral distribution network. He was also business development strategist for a US-based lifestyle ezine. He also draws from personal insights gleaned as publisher of eMasters' in-the-loop and It's My Life! ezines.

And... if you publish an ezine, you may also wish to check out Ray's invitation to ezine owners — It's in his article below!


I hope you'll enjoy our "new" in-the-loop as well as today's read... and will continue to join us again in future issues.

Signing off with warmest regards...


Shoi
Shoi - Editor
in-the-loop

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Food for Thought

To do great work a man
must be very idle as well
as very industrious.


~ Samuel Butler ~
Feature Article
Raymond Siew Is Your Ezine Heading for Bulk Delete?
© 2008 Raymond Siew



One unique feature of the WWW is the plethora of ezines.

Many new netpreneurs jump on the band wagon and start an ezine, not only as a way to keep in touch with their lists, but also because of the allure of additional revenues from advertising/promotions.


Note: I make a distinction between an Ezine and a Newsletter — To me, an ezine is a marketing tool that hopefully spreads far and wide, and is a lead to your website & products. A newsletter, on the other hand, keeps clients informed of changes in your business.


The first and PRIMARY consideration for any ezine is that it has to be opened AND read.

This is not as easy as it seems — Consider this: How many ezines are delivered daily to your email inbox? How many do you actually read? And for what reasons?

This first test may knock many ezines out of the running. And that means no advertising revenue (or at least no repeat customers, for their ads will never be seen).

Many ezine owners have also resorted to buying lists, reciprocal links, one-way links, etc. in an attempt to increase traffic — But does it work?

The underlying reason an ezine is opened and read is because it provides GOOD CONTENT. And not only that, it also needs to be done CONSISTENTLY. It can take only one bad issue to turn readers off. Has that happened to you? — You are following an ezine and suddenly, there is a change of format or writer. And you switch off. What are the chances of you returning to that ezine?...Or are you more likely to move on?

And what about ezines that only tell of the writers' great achievements to move you to buy their products? Or ones that re-hash articles already published in tons of other ezines? How many issues of those can you read? Are those headed for bulk delete? Would you read an ezine where article after article is a blatant sales pitch? — Think on why you would pay good money to buy an offline magazine...........

It is NOT easy to run an ezine (at least one that is read). It's a dilemma — The ezine's free so there's no subscription revenue to pay for good writers/content..... Solo publishers are usually conversant in limited topics, so it's hard to keep the materials fresh and varied..... There are so many technical do-dahs to learn..... And because it's not paid for, you need to focus on your core business (which means there's only so much attention you can pay to every issue).....

If you try to go for a paid ezine.....well some have tried...........


So is there a SOLUTION? I think so.

But it's NOT in buying a list — These readers are likely "bogus". In fact, no one reads. So you have terrible opening rates. And if anyone advertises with you, they will have no results, and you will have no repeat customers. You end up giving away ad space for a few bucks (or for free) but really... no one will ever see those ads.

It's NOT in reciprocal links, one-way links, etc. per se — All that will do is raise one's page ranking, giving the impression of a popular ezine. But then subscribers will know otherwise the moment they open that first issue. And then it's headed for bulk delete. The impression/illusion of being a popular ezine may get the advertisers in at first ...but will you get repeats? ...satisfied advertising clients?

Also, it's NOT in giving freebies out to improve your numbers... because they are only there to take the freebies. After that, they don't read your ezine. It's headed for bulk delete.

Your ezine is only worth publishing if you are able to generate advertising income. And not only that, the value of your ads/promotions should commensurate the work put in... for that will be your only income for publishing an ezine.

Note: By all means, start a newsletter to keep your clients informed. But, do think carefully before you start an ezine.


My suggestion is that we pool our resources...

One can employ various strategies to promote an ezine or build a list. But ultimately, in my opinion, the ONLY way to get genuine readers - who subscribe because they want to and who will actually READ your ezine - is by adding these readers ONE BY ONE. No matter how successful your marketing, it is still essentially one by one. Not an easy task (especially if you're attempting to do it alone).

But by having an interested and lively readership, you give your advertisers a fair shake for their hard-earned money. And, if you do a good job your readers may even buy your other products, thereby starting your multiple income streams flowing in the RIGHT direction. But only if they value your ezine and the effort you have put into it. However, it is not easy to find fresh topics. Some weeks you may be too frazzled to write well, if you're going it alone. Running a business AND writing seem to require you to be in two different conflicting spaces. Reality bites.

So I am making a call for like-minded ezine owners to come together and form a “cooperative” — Together we can make the numbers that are attractive to advertisers. We can cover each other for those weeks you are unable to write. We can draw from each others' strengths. And then some.

If you are interested, please email me for more details together with a copy of your ezine.


Thank you for your time.

Raymond Siew
Raymond Siew



About the Author: Raymond Siew is the CEO and business development strategist for eMasters as well as her two online publications: It's My Life! (lifestyle ezine) and in-the-loop (business ezine). eMasters' core business is Design, Advertising & Promotions — Visit www.eMasters.info to view eMasters' suite of products & services, or to read Raymond's bio.


Want to Publish this Article? You are welcome to publish this article as long as the author's resource box is included and no changes are made to the article. A courtesy copy of your publication or link would be appreciated.
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