A Newsletter Is Worth A Thousand WordsPart 2

by : Janice Byer, CCVA, MVA

In Part 1 of our article on newsletters, we discussed the benefits of a newsletter and there various formats they can be designed in. In Part 2, we will discuss what kind of content to include, where to find that content and how to promote your newsletter.

What should be included & where do I find it?:

One question that many people ask when they are considering starting a newsletter is what should be included. Again, your target audience will be the main factor that will determine what you want to include. But no matter who your audience is, be sure to make your content timely. If a world event may affect your industry, be sure to include articles that show the various possible points of view.

Another question that many readers (and prospective newsletter editors) ask is, “where do you find your content?" Actually, most of the content in Virtual TidBits finds me. I do write articles myself but also include information from other writers and sources.

Once you start publish a newsletter, you can submit it to Ezine directories. Most of these directories will ask you if you accept content. By answering yes, writers will submit their articles for your newsletter.

A few sites you can submit your newsletter/ezine to are , , & .

Another way of finding content for your newsletter is to read other newsletters and ezines that are similar to yours or that target similar markets to yours. These newsletters may include information that you may find helpful and your readers find helpful. If you spot a particular article or other content that you would like to use, it is recommended that you contact the newsletter editor or the author of the article and ask to use it before you go ahead and include it in your newsletter. Editors will appreciate that you are actually reading the content in their newsletters and authors usually like to have copies of publications that their articles appear in and may request a copy or subscribe to your newsletter.

Once you have approached an author, you will probably be added to their mailing list and they will send you future articles that are appropriate for your newsletter.

You can also pick up articles from various websites that collect articles strictly for the purpose of offering them as newsletter content. Some of those sites include , , , & .

Other ideas for possible content for your newsletter are:

  • Special dates for the month,
  • Jokes or limericks (be sure they are not offensive),
  • Helpful links and tips,
  • Crossword or Word Search puzzles,
  • Testimonials,
  • Profiles of your clients or contacts,
  • Book Reviews,
  • Upcoming events in your industry,
  • And of course, information about what your business offers.

Some of the above suggestions will come to you through emails, discussion lists, or just surfing the net. Be sure to set aside a folder in your email program and an area in your Favorites list in your browser for anything that may seem like good content for your newsletter.

Whether or not you choose to include advertising in your newsletter is your own choice but don’t overdo it. It is a way to make a few bucks to offset your time but ask yourself one question, “How much advertising do I like to see in a newsletter?"

Also, learn by example. What is it about other newsletter that you receive that you like and dislike? Just remember to think about your readers when deciding what to include in your newsletter. Ask them for feedback and what they would like to see included in upcoming issues. Producing a successful newsletter is not all that difficult but you must be sure to make time to do it on a regular basis.

How do I promote my newsletter?: The next step in the success of your newsletter or ezine is promotion. The following are just a few ways you can promote your newsletter:

  1. Include your article archives on your website and be sure to have a sign email address or form for your visitors to sign up.
  2. Put a link to your newsletter in the signature lines you use in your emails.
  3. If you write articles, be sure to add a short sentence in the contact information that you include at the end of your articles.
  4. Invite your newsletter readers to pass on each and every issue of your newsletter to their friends and associates.
  5. If allowed, announce the your current issue of your newsletter is available to those on any email discussion lists that you are on. Don’t include the newsletter, just include instructions on how people can get it and how they can sign up to receive it automatically.
  6. Exchange ads or information with other newsletter publishers.
  7. And, be sure to submit your newsletter to various submission sites, , , & .

No matter how you choose to format your newsletter or what you choose to include in it, newsletters are one of the best ways to showcase your business, build credibility as an expert in your field, and stay in touch with your contacts.