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How Much Can I Make

By Bob Osgoodby
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2005

Last week, I received an email from someone telling me she would like to start her own Newsletter, and asked if she could hope to make a few hundred dollars a week by selling ads in it. She went on to say that she subscribed to one of mine, and has seen it grow over the years, and wondered if that was possible.

That's a tough question. In order to earn ad money from a Newsletter, there are a lot of variables that determine its ad generating capability. Let's examine a few.

First, and foremost, advertisers want their message to reach the largest number of potential clients possible. Notice I said "potential clients" and not just subscribers. The number of subscribers you have however, will determine whether or not it is worth their while. One with just a few hundred is not a strong contender, unless it goes to an extremely small market.

It takes quite some time to build a substantial number of subscribers, and in the beginning, you will probably earn little or nothing from your endeavor. Once you have a thousand or so subscribers, you can then begin to market your advertising space. In order to do this, you must publish on a regular basis. Newsletters that are published "when the spirit moves you" or on a monthly basis are also not good contenders.

So how do you build your subscriber base? Many people start by buying ad space from other publications. Some also send their articles to other publications hoping they will be published with their credits at the end. And others "swap ads" for their Newsletters with other publications - all of these are highly effective.

Some Newsletters claim to have several hundred thousand subscribers, and they haven't been around that long. How do they build their subscriber base? Spam - pure and simple. They either extracted your email addresses from the web, or purchased their list - yes some ISP's do sell their email addresses. They then send you their publication, and make it virtually impossible to unsubscribe. Larger companies are contacted to place ads with them, and they are in business. Is this a viable approach?

Well, it must be as there are so many doing it, you might think. Are they doing this with an account provided by an ISP (Internet Service Provider) such as AOL? Of course not, they would be dropped like a "hot potato". They own their own ISP and are relatively "bullet proof" if complaints are received.

Forget spamming addresses. Building a subscriber base is a slow process. If you can't dedicate at least a year to this process, you will most likely be better off trying something else.

The very first thing you must do is identify a "niche" market, in which you are knowledgeable. At first you will be the only author. Spend some time on your articles, and try to make them interesting. Watch your ratio of subscribes to unsubscribes . Yes, even the best Newsletter will not appeal to everyone. If a particular issue generates a large number of unsubscribes, try to determine why.

Don't be pretentious with your writing style - write as if you were talking with someone. Spell check - with the word processing tools available, there is no excuse for a word that is spelled incorrectly. Have someone proof read your Newsletter for content before sending it out. Is it interesting to them?

Format your Newsletter - the best width is 60 to 65 characters per line. This is readable by virtually all email clients (readers). If you don't format the line length, it may appear "choppy" when read by some. While it may look good on your system, it may appear disjointed on others.

Can you make a few hundred a week with a Newsletter? Yes! But, like anything else, it requires time and a commitment from you.

About the Author
Bob publishes the free weekly "Your Business" Newsletter Visit his Web Site at (http://adv-marketing.com/business) to subscribe and place a Free Ad for your business.