It’s been a year since I resumed writing this weekly newsletter and I thought you’d benefit from what I’ve learned.
If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Should I Write an Ezine?” or “Is it worth writing an ezine?” then read on.
I started writing my ezine last year when the economy was bad, business was getting harder and I realized I needed to do more outreach to prospects. I also needed to strengthen my ties with current clients so they wouldn’t leave and also have the opportunity to buy more services, like press releases and media databases.
I thought I had a good customer communication system going by offering teleseminars several times a month for free. But as business continued to slow, I realized that tactic wasn’t working very well.
So I thought it was time to start a newsletter. I had done one years ago, but since it was a lot of work and business was easy, it fell by the wayside. Sound familiar?
Here’s what I’ve learned in the past year.
1. Consistency. In the past year, I’ve written 98 articles. I never would have written that many articles if I hadn’t faced a deadline every Monday.
2. Flow. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, you have no doubt figured out that some weeks I wrote 2 or more articles. I think the act of starting to write one article leads you to write another article. In other words, the creative juices start to flow.
3. Reprints and Reach. Nearly every week, something happened because I sent out the newsletter. Ariel Ford took two of my articles and reworked them for printing in the Huffington Post. Other readers reprinted my articles on their websites with links back to my site. All that link juice adds up in better search engine rankings. And the reprints expose my name to more potential clients.
4. Sales. Some small percentage of readers paid me to coach them or they bought additional services, like my Guaranteed Press Release service.
5. Returning Clients. Some larger number of former PR LEADS subscribers signed up again. It just shows that you have to be in front of people so when they are ready to buy, they think of you. We’ve faced some competition in the last year or two, so it is important for former clients to realize we are still in business and stronger than ever. So when they get disillusioned with other services, they come back and are grateful we still maintained our high standards.
6. Relationships. Several readers began corresponding with me on a regular basis. It’s always nice to build relationships. You know who you are, Marcie, Roberta and Jeff!
7. Get More Leverage from Content. I posted the newsletter articles on my blog and on eZineArticles.com so I got more mileage out of each message. If I had it to do over again, I’m not too sure I’d post to eZineArticles since it seems that Google ranks their links to the articles higher than my links (or not at all if they consider it to be duplicate content.) I am asking myself if it is worth the tradeoff: Exposing my articles to a new audience through EZA, or getting more links on Google. I think the latter might work best for me. What do you think?
8. Speaking Opportunities. I’m still waiting for a speaking opportunity to come in through this method. Any ideas?
9. Publishing Opportunities. I’m still waiting for a publisher to call me. Actually, no, I’m not. I just wanted to show you that while good things happen with an ezine, you can’t always get what you want. You have to keep plugging away.
10. Branding. Each week, more than 10,000 people see my name on the email that contains the newsletter. Some people open it (about 12.5 percent) and the others don’t. But they see my name and branding each week. As master marker and speaker Patricia Fripp told me, “It is not your client’s responsibility to remember you are still in business.” This newsletter lets people know I’m here when they need me.
What’s ahead of the next year?
1. Consistency. Keeping up with writing an article a week.
2. Keywords. Focusing on using more keywords so more people find articles on Google.
3. Videos. Putting more content in video format since it helps with search engines and it helps people who have a visual and auditory learning style.
If you need coaching, publicity tools (media lists, press release writing, press release distribution) or publicity consulting, call me. For a free 15-minute evaluation to see if we’d be a good fit, send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Unlike other gurus, my rates are actually reasonable!