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A Crash Course in Ezine Publishing

By Shelley Lowery
Posted Sunday, August 15, 2004

An ezine, also know as an email magazine, online publication or electronic newsletter is simply a newsletter available via email and/or online. There are hundreds of thousands of ezines on various subjects available on the Internet free of charge.

Having your own publication will not only enable you to keep in touch with your visitors, but it will help you build a huge database of targeted customers. If you've been marketing on the Internet, then you know it may take several contacts with a prospective customer before closing a sale. What better way to make those contacts, without spamming... In addition, you can eventually make a nice income selling sponsor advertising and classified ads.

You can publish an ezine completely free. There are many list servers such as; Egroups (, Onelist ( & Listbot ( that will host your list (ezine) free of charge. In addition, they take care of all your subscription requests so you won't have to. To use one of these list servers, simply sign up and instantly create your list. They will provide you with a subscribe and unsubscribe email address and even a list owner email address, all completely free. The only disadvantage is that each posting will contain an ad for their service. This is really a small price to pay for such a great service. If you're just starting out, utilizing one of these free services can simplify the process.


A quality ezine should contain at least some original content. Don't let the fear of writing intimidate you. If your ezine's focus is on an area of your expertise you shouldn't have any problems coming up with something to write about. If you've been out of school for a while, you might want to freshen up on your writing and grammar skills. Visit any of the sites listed below for a crash course.

Garbl's Writing Resources Online -

11 Rules of Writing -

Exploring English -

Simpler Words And Phrases -

Here are some additional resources for obtaining free content for your publication. Before using any articles, make sure you review the author's copyrights and make certain the article may be published. If you're not sure, contact the author and request permission to publish their article. Most articles for publication can be used in your ezine free of charge as long as the authors credits or resource box is included.


Article Announce - Writer & Publisher Exchange
Subscribe: -

Marketing & Advertising Supersite -

BizWeb2000 -

Success Doctor -

IdeaMarketers -


Your ezine should focus on a subject in which you have a great deal of knowledge. If you have a web site, you should also take into consideration the focus of your web site; i.e., If your web site's focus is on Internet Marketing, you wouldn't want to have your ezines focus to be on "Animals & Pets," you would want it to be on "Internet Marketing."


The title of your ezine is one of the most important decisions you can make. Many e-zine listing sites list their ezines in alphabetical order. By selecting a title such as, "Advertising Secrets" instead of "Working Online," your publication will be listed towards the top instead of the bottom. This will give your publication an advantage over the publications listed below yours. Potential subscribers will see your ezine first and be more apt to subscribe.

Your title should sound intriguing and tell your potential subscriber exactly what your publication is all about.


You can publish your ezine as often as you like. When you first begin you may want to only publish once a month until your subscriber base has grown. You can always increase your publication to bi-weekly or weekly whenever you'd like.

- SIZE -

There has been a great deal of controversy over the size of an ezine. In my humble opinion, size really doesn't matter. If you publish a quality e-zine with a great deal of content, I don't feel that your subscribers will care what size it is within reason. You should; however, take into consideration that your subscribers may not want to download it. If it is too large, America Online will automatically turn it into a file attachment. Consider either condensing it or separating it into "Part One" and "Part Two."


It isn't imperative that your ezine have its own web site, however, it is HIGHLY recommended. Having your own site will enable you to give your visitors an in depths look at exactly what your publication is all about. You can include highlights of upcoming editions, polls, archives and a subscription box to allow your visitors to easily subscribe.


You should probably wait to begin selling advertising space until you have at least 1000 subscribers. You can sell ad space for $25 for every 1000 subscribers you have. There is a lot of advertising competition to take into consideration when selling ad space so, you may want to begin selling your ad space at a lower rate or offer special incentives; i.e., Buy two weeks of advertising for $20 get the third week free. Try to limit the number of ads per issue to ten and place them in the center of your publication. This will not only ensure adequate exposure for your advertisers, but your subscribers won't be overwhelmed with advertising as well.


The appearance of your ezine is one of the most important factors in determining your e-zine's success. Getting subscribers is the easy part. Keeping them will entail a little work. A professionally written, well designed, content rich publication will ensure your ezines success.

When formatting your ezine, keep in mind there are many different types of email programs and they are not all created equal. As a general rule, to accommodate all of your subscribers and their different email programs, it is probably best to write your ezine in plain text. As with email programs, word processing programs are not all created equal as well. Your regular word processing programs are great for writing business letters, sales letters, etc., but not a good choice for writing your newsletter due to formatting issues.

A good program to consider using is Notepad. This program should already be on your desktop.

Another consideration of great importance is your line length. If your text lines are too long, some email programs that aren't capable of viewing long text lines will force the last few words to the next line and your text will be viewed like this:

When formatting your publication your text length is one of the most important factors in determining how professional your publication will appear.

As a rule, a generally safe line-length is 65 characters (including spaces).

As you begin typing your text, when you reach 65 characters, use a hard carriage return. (Hit Enter)

If you'd rather not have to worry about hard carriage returns, you might want to use a program called "TextPad". ( This program can be set to automatically insert a hard carriage return when your text has reached 65 characters.

When you're ready to begin, make an outline for the contents of your e-zine to enable you to create a template.

After you've written your publication and you're ready to copy & paste it into your email program, make certain your email preferences are set to allow at least 65 characters of text per line. If your preferences are set for less, when you paste your text to be mailed it will appear to be improperly formatted.

It is highly recommended that you send a sample copy of your publication to yourself prior to sending it to your subscribers. By viewing your publication in this manner you will get an idea of what your subscribers will see and it will enable you to correct any formatting problems.

Publishing your own ezine is one of the best marketing decisions you'll ever make. Take your time, research your subject and design a publication of quality, useful content.

For further information on publishing your own ezine, you may download the free ebook entitled, "Ezines: A Complete Guide to Publishing." This free e-book received a 4-star Editors Pick from ZDNet.

About the Author
Shelley Lowery is the Webmistress of Web Source - Your Guide to Professional Website Design and Development. Join The Syndicator, our new, free article syndication program and display complete articles w/photographs on your website that are automatically updated each week. (


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