Posted Saturday, January 15, 2005
It's the time of the year when I take a break to reflect upon the year that's been - and wonder about the year ahead. In 2001, ezine publishing took a quantum leap, evolving from being predominantly an amateur's hobby into the most powerful marketing tool for business online.
For an ezine publisher it has been an exciting and eventful year. A growing number of budding e-publishers have hopped aboard the ezine bandwagon. Just last quarter, the sales figures for my ezine creating and publishing tutorial - EZINE LAUNCH - have shot up by over 380%
So what does the future hold in store for the ezine industry? I gaze into my crystal ball and I see....
1. ... EZINES BECOME MORE COLORFUL, GLITZY, INTERACTIVE .... and HUGE
HTML email newsletters have come of age. Increasingly more ezines are going this route. Subscribers too prefer them to drab, lack-lustre text-only ezines. In the coming year we'll see more ezines being published in HTML. But for a different reason.
HTML ezines allow advanced tracking of results from advertising and allow newer and more elaborate forms of marketing. That - more than user preference - will convince publishers to create their ezines in rich text format. Large file sizes will however continue to remain a concern.
2. ... DOUBLE OPT-IN AND PRIVACY ISSUES TAKING PRIORITY
The growing concern about privacy and the more aggressive activism against unsolicited bulk commercial emailers will guarantee that all responsible online marketers, especially ezine publishers, will take steps to avoid accusations of spamming. Double opt-in subscription processes will become the norm - read my article on it here Privacy
policies will become more stringent and will be implemented more seriously.
3. ... MORE EZINES MOVING TO PAYING-SUBSCRIBER MODELS
... but they're continuing to offer free versions too !
It's no longer easy to publish a quality ezine at low cost. Expect to see most content-rich ezines move to a paying-subscriber model. To retain existing subscribers and attract new ones, ezine editors will continue to offer free versions. But they will be 'lite' forms with a little content packaged with a lot of advertising.
4. ... EZINE PUBLISHING SERVICES BECOMING FEE-BASED
The larger free ezine services have merged into behemoths. Soon they'll start charging for their offerings. Topica has made the first foray into this arena. Soon others will follow. They will be worth the price for busy ezine publishers.
5. ... 'FULL-PACKAGE' EZINE CREATION SERVICES EMERGING
It is a ripple that could become a wave. These are services offering to undertake the entire ezine creation process including generating subscribers, creating content, distributing the newsletter - even finding advertisers and tracking results. A few will debut in 2002. I'm not certain if they'll survive.
6. ... EZINE ADVERTISING EXPLODING
Where all other forms of online advertising are losing impact, results from ezine marketing are exploding. If done correctly, an ezine marketing campaign can become the most effective - and least expensive - tool for any business. I'm so convinced of this fact that I've even launched a new course called EZINE MARKETING TIPS that delivers a daily tip on intelligent ezine marketing to subscribers by email. More info at
7. ... NEWER FORMS OF EZINE ADVERTISING EVOLVING
From being vehicles for classified ads and sponsorship messages, ezines will morph into more sophisticated marketing media. Advertorials, product placement ads (like those in Apple's ezine that get me drooling, and then ordering the cool new accessories for my Mac that I hadn't ever thought about buying), and with the move to Rich Text format, the web-style multimedia ads will all take ezine advertising to a new plane. Whether or not it will be more productive, we'll have to wait and see.
8. ... MANY EZINES USING THIRD-PARTY CONTENT
Some already do. More will in 2002. Creating an ezine from scratch is hard work. Content creation and aggregation services will find a niche to set up and grow. The move to a paid-subscription model will help finance this process.
9. ... HIGHER QUALITY ACROSS ALL EZINES
Overall ezines will be more professionally created, contain useful content and be more valuable to readers. Only serious epublishers will devote the time and money required to send out ezines - and they're willing to learn to do it right. Courses like my ebook, EZINE LAUNCH, and wonderful discussion lists on ezine publishing have done their bit to help.
And that's where my crystal ball mists up and gets too cloudy to peer further. But there are two more things that I would like to see happen in 2002. One is as an ezine publisher, the other as a subscriber.
-- EZINE AD NETWORKS GROW AND EXPAND
Selling ad space on ezines is a bugbear for many ezine publishers. Ad networks exist for websites; they represent web advertising space across multiple sites and sell them to large advertisers. It is time someone helps do this for ezines, especially the smaller ones that are not attractive to advertisers on their own. Ezine Ad Networks are needed badly - NOW !
-- CREATE YOUR OWN EZINE SERVICES
As a subscriber, I've often wished there was an ezine that would cover all my interest areas and include recent, relevant and essential content about each. Why don't large content portals allow readers to create their own ezine - choose the type of content, frequency, interest areas and more? The portal would then deliver the custom-made ezine on the user's preferred schedule. I'd be willing to pay a fee for this service.
Ok, ok, I'm dreaming.
About the Author
Dr.Mani Sivasubramanian is author of the bestselling ezine creating course, EZINE LAUNCH In just 14 days you can create a 'killer' ezine guaranteed to explode your profits. Get more surefire ezine creating secrets for FREE from Mani's EZINE LAUNCH MONTHLY newsletter at or
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