eZine Formats: The Best, Most Popular or Both?

Today’s eZine publishers use any one or more of the three most commonly used eZine formats, and whie it’s a bit difficult to state which format is best for a particular topic, style or readership, the formats which will be described in this article each has advantages and disadvantages when compared to the other two, so the eZine publisher must decide which is most appropriate for his/her purposes and/or readership (audience?).

Let’s begin with the text eZine, most popular among the three. This format is considerably easier to use in the sense that, other than writing, the publisher does not really need any special skills; only knowledge of how to use a Microsoft Word or Notepad program. With the Notepad editor however, it might be difficult to include links to reference sources without some knowledge of HTML (HyperText Markup Language) whereas in the Word editor there is a built-in “hyperlink” resource in the form of a button.

Next and more difficult to work with is the HTML eZine format, which requires a certain degree of HTML skills on part of the publisher. Knowledge of HTML will make it possible to add more features and sophistication to eZine issues, which in turn will make them more appealing to subscribers, as well as readers whom the publisher is trying to attract, thereby increasing the readership value. This measure of sophistication and appeal are qualities that text eZines simply do not have.

Where you – as an eZine publisher – can decorate your eZine format, change your font style, include pictures with alt text for search engines, anchor text, hidden title text and more, you must also be aware of the challenges and drawbacks HTML presents. One such drawback often faced by HTML eZines is their propensity to get trapped into spam filters before the subscribers’ inboxes. Spam filters installed by email providers like Hotmail, Comcast and Yahoo have become increasingly difficult to navigate around by email marketers since enactment of the CAN SPAM Act.

The third and least used among these three formats is the PDF eZine, which can consume a lot of a publisher’s time, effort and space on his/her hard disk, but often make up in quality readership what it lacks in the other areas. Due to this commitment of time and energy, PDF eZines are usually published on a monthly basis. The great part of PDF eZine format however, is the feature that allow you to embed your affiliate links in your PDF eZine issue and allow your subscribers to pass the eZine around without concern about those links being tampered with.

Given the above mentioned it is very possible that some publishers will be able to utilize multiple formats in which to publish their newsletters since it goes without saying that with the required skills will not necessarily be restricted to just one eZine format. If this is the case it is entirely possible that you, possessing those skills, can have the best of both worlds where eZine publishing is concerned. Good luck!

Fresh Content for Your Self-Published eZine

Creating your fresh content can be a challenge if you publish and manage the operations of your own online newsletter or (self-published) eZine. The challenge becomes real simply because there is so much more to running an eZine than just writing feel-good articles and getting them up on the Internet. Consider for a moment that, in addition to written content, there must also be complimentary graphical content which may require as much editing time devoted to it as the written content.

So both types of content have to be created and edited, the material has to be formatted in a manner that is both pleasing to readers and acceptable to search engine algorithms; and the eZine must be marketed in as effective a manner as possible, so as to attract a diverse readership and expand the enterprise. In addition, the eZine publisher must ensure that article topics are continuously relevant and offer value to the readership.

That having been said, the question a prospective eZine publisher must ask him/herself is whether or not s/he has the skills required to adequately complete various eZine publishing tasks and/or the resources needed to pay skilled professionals to perform those tasks thereby freeing up the publisher’s time to do what s/he does best, organizing the eZine’s content and getting it published on time.

Regardless of the type of eZine being published however, subjects can be generally divided into multiple categories, which might include factual topics such as short tips, proven techniques, workable strategies, mini stories and case studies. Once the publisher decides on a particular format, s/he can save a copy to be used as the template for future publications and this will save a little time going forward.

 

To save even more time an eZine publisher could utilize other options made available by content providers, most of which would remove the task writing the content him/herself. Some of these optyions have been referred to as the quick and easy way to obtain unique content. This is done by organizing an interview with an expert or leader in the particular field s/he wishes to write about and publishing the interview transcript.

Very often, this can be done for free and since a given interviewee will be writing out most of the content, there is nothing else for the publisher to do other than giving such interviewee something valuable in exchange (maybe a meal, gift certificate, free advertising space in the eZine, etc.).

On the other hand, if you aspire to be an eZine publisher and have money to spare, you can hire a ghostwriter to write unique content for you without taking any credit. Such professional ghostwriters are readily available in the marketplace and can be located with a few searches; but the most popular among them might be www.elance.com, www.fiverr.com and http://www.rentacoder.com.

Another little known and underused method in getting your own content is via public domains. If you are not familiar with the term “public domain”, it simply means anything that is NOT protected under US copyright law. This includes ALL works published before 1923 and, under certain conditions, works published up to 1978. And in this case, we are referring “works” to written materials such as reports, articles and books.

Republishing and repackaging public domain information can help you save time and effort from creating new ideas and content as they are readily available. On top of that, you do not have to pay royalties or copyright fees on that work. If you fancy the idea of publishing content without doing any of your own writing, this method might work for you.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Affiliate Marketing

Among affiliate marketing industry professionals it is generally agreed and understood that affiliate marketing is an excellent way to earn money. On the other hand those same professionals would probably caution newcomers about the various pitfalls they need to be aware of during their eager pursuit of affiliate marketing success.

Part of the landscape that creates such pitfalls, which is not restricted to the affiliate marketing business by the way, is the fact that “for as long as businesses have been earning money, there were operators who have tried to figure out ways of earning more by doing a lot less.” All anyone needs to do is a quick Google search for keyphrases like, “work from home,” “get rich quick” or “make easy money” and s/he will instantly find millions of websites offering such schemes.

You will also find that if you simply click on a few links in these websites, you’ll notice that they all start off the same. A guy or gal in front of a big house and huge stacks of money saying that if you sign up, you could be that guy/gal in the picture. Be alerted, because this is far from the truth!

The only way you can earn a good, stable income in affiliate marketing – or any other business for that matter – is to put in the time, hard work, and – in some cases – the monetary investment required to make your business a success. So before you join any affiliate program(s), it is critically important that you do proper research by utilizing what has become one of the Internet’s best features – finding information necessary to make informed decisions.

Perhps the best way to conduct your search for affiliate programs is to enter the name of an affiliate program you are interested in, add the word scam to it and then see what pops up. You should also join a few “work from home” forums where like-minded individuals discuss the pros and cons of a particular program, business or industry. You might be pleasantly surprised to see the wealth of information available at these forums; and don’t be afraid to ask right questions.

There are a few ways individuals can determine which programs are most likely to be scams. One such method for example is, if a program does not reveal its compensation plan unless you sign up, be alerted for what could end up being a scammy program. A lot of programs won’t tell you what you’ll be doing unless you buy a kit for a set price; this could lead to “buying a pig in a poke” and then having a hard time in your attempt to get a refund.

With any program there should always be 100% free disclosure because you, like most other individuals in search of a product or service, need to know what you are going to be doing before you get started. So if a program doesn’t reveal to you what you are going to be doing, or if you have to pay money upfront without getting the required disclosure(s), you should definitely avoid it.