Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Start Spreading Your News with an Ezine

The publishing world is being turned upside down by innovative and empowered authors whose messages are just too timely and important to wait for those old traditional avenues to give them the nod of approval. Are you ready to join the ranks of the "I'm in charge" authors? If so, then you can learn something from authors who are taking their futures into their own hands.

Here are just two success stories.Faced with burgeoning businesses and a desire to position themselves as experts, these two women took charge of connecting with their audiences.

Feng Shui expert and artist Pat Heydlauff has been writing a weekly article for a Palm Beach newspaper for years and sending it out to her email list via her personal email program as well. When we began working together, I suggested she use an Internet-based email delivery program to manage her list as well as put the information in a more attractive and easier-to-read format. Pat was driving traffic to her site in a number of ways: speaking engagements, her column, articles in national publications and art classes, but wasn't getting many new subscribers as a result. I also suggested she include a highly visible sign-up box on her home page and include a bonus report as incentive for subscribing. Her subscriptions skyrocketed. Just a week ago, Pat mailed out the premiere issue of Chaos Busters(TM), her biweekly ezine, in an attractive new html format with expanded content. In addition to an article, she now answers readers' questions and also has an opportunity to showcase her artwork and upcoming new book, Feng Shui, So Easy Even a Child Can Do It (The Lotus Circle). You can learn a lot about Feng Shui and see how to package yourself effectively by visiting her website, Energy By Design.

Life coach and cancer survivor Paula Holland De Long took a folder full of notes about article and book ideas and decided to put them to work for her. When we started working together, Paula was long on great ideas and short on organization. After separating, categorizing and prioritizing her list of ideas for writing projects, giving seminars and leading support groups, Paula went to work on her list. In just eight short months, Paula has generated some amazing results. She has started a very successful program to help cancer survivors adjust when treatment ends, given at two major medical venues in South Florida as well as a teleconference action group for women. She recently had an article published in a national magazine and her monthly ezine newsletter, Thrive! debuted two months ago. Paula also uses a prominent subscription box on her home page with a bonus incentive for joining her mailing list. You can find great information for cancer patients and their families and observe how to present professional services and products at her website, Coach for Living Online.

Neither Pat nor Paula are graphic designers or technology experts, and they prefer to apply their time and skills to the best use in their professional work. They both use Constant Contact to manage their lists and deliver their newsletters. I use Aweber to deliver this newsletter. Aweber offers additional features that I wanted such as autoresponders and a "hover" subscription box. There are many other services available as well. The ones mentioned here are the ones I have used, so I feel comfortable recommending them.

One more tip about starting an ezine. If you have not published a regular newsletter before, start with a monthly issue. You may love it and want to increase frequency later on. However, a weekly issue is a big commitment. It's always better to increase your frequency than to decrease from weekly to monthly distribution.

Most services offer a free trial period, so get started today!

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