Renee Kennedy is the editor of The NutriCounter Update, a light-hearted ezine that provides one fresh article on a topic related to weight loss, diet, nutrition and weight management.
KH: How important has publishing an ezine been to your business?
RK: I think that it's important to attract and maintain customers in every way that you can. I always think of the "Rule of 7." It takes about 7 impressions before a customer will buy. I don't know where this rule came from, but it sure seems to be true.
The more ways that you can reach people, the more likely you are to sell to them. Having an ezine is just one way to advertise and let people know that your products or services exist. It is also one of the most inexpensive ways to reach customers and potential customers.
KH: How long have you been running an ezine and how many subscribers do you have?
RK: I ran a marketing ezine for my own business for 4 years. For the last six months, I've been the editor of a health ezine called "NutriCounter Update." The health ezine now has over 6,000 subscribers.
KH: Can you tell me more about the "NutriCounter?" What does it do? Who does it benefit?
RK: The NutriCounter is a nutritional calculator that helps people keep track of their nutritional intake. People can use it for any type of diet including diets for weight loss, weight gain, diabetes, hypoglycemia, and heart disease.
Good health is always contingent on a healthy diet and the NutriCounter can help people monitor their diet and let them know when they've exceeded or met their individual nutritional goals for the day.
KH: Do you write and use your own articles to promote your ezine? How valuable has writing articles been in promoting your ezine?
RK: Yes, we write one original article each month for our monthly publication. It's valuable to get and keep subscribers ... but it's also an excellent way to spread our URL around.
Once we've written an article and published it in the newsletter, we send the article out to several Free Content lists and sites. These articles always get picked up by several sites or ezines. We use an author's resource box to direct readers back to our site.
KH: What methods do you use to promote your products or services within your ezine?
RK: The "Editor's Remarks" section of the newsletter is the most powerful section. That is the section that everyone reads if they are going to read anything. So, if we have an important offering, we always endorse it in the Editor's Remarks section. We've used many different ways to get people to buy.
Some examples are:
-- buy one get one free or buy one get one at a reduced price
-- discounts (i.e., 10% discount only by clicking on this link).
KH: How do you go about preparing your ezine for publication?
RK: First, we research and write an article - trying to keep it between 800 to 1000 words. While that's going on, I write the Editor's Remarks section which will usually revolve around the article topic. Then I put the content into a premade template. I edit the whole ezine about 3-5 times. Then I send it off to our Associate Editor for editing. Finally, the Editor in Chief gets to edit it. It goes through at least three sets of eyes before it gets sent out.
KH: Any advice to future ezine publishers? Things to look out for or things to concentrate on when publishing an ezine?
RK: Provide original content specific to a niche group - don't try to be everything to everyone, concentrate on providing information that you're an expert on.
Be personable and reach out to your audience. If you can touch the audience you will have a high retention rate. People don't just want information, they want to know who's talking to them, they want the information to get a little personal.
Examine the ezines that you stay subscribed to. Ask yourself why you like those particular ezines or newsletters. In other words, read a lot - don't get wrapped up in your own stuff, get out there and see what other people are doing.
The beauty of an ezine is that you have the ability to try different things ... contests, ad swaps, discounts, coupons, HTML. Don't be afraid to try different things and see what works for your niche.