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How To Start a Newsletter For Your Web Site.
by Dan Case
You are a writer. You have a web site.
One of the things you will want to do is to
capture everyones email address that visits your site. That way, you can let
the thousands (okay, hundreds) of fans know about your latest novel, or short
story, or article. Does anyone remember when you had to pull out your address
book and fill in all those postcards and lick all those stamps? In the
electronic age, we are fortunate to have email
no more stamp licking for this
In case you didnt know, you CAN capture email
addresses if people are willing to give them to you. THAT is the trick. There
are many ways to entice people to "sign up" for things, but the best way I think
is to have your own email newsletter. In order to receive the newsletter, people
have to provide you with their email address.
What do I put in my newsletter?
Your newsletter is a marketing tool.
Hand-in-hand with your web site, a newsletter is one of the most inexpensive
ways to "get the word out."
Your newsletter should contain what your
subscribers expect. Sounds simple
right? People will subscribe to your
newsletter because they want to know about YOU or because you have promised to
provide some type of information to them on a regular or periodic
You should be consistent in providing what your
readers expect. If you include a tidbit of information about the Regency period
in England, then do so in each newsletter.
Heres a list of some things you can put in your
New book releases
Upcoming published articles
For many writers, this is enough. However, for
some of you not-so-well-know authors, something extra can help get the word out
AND attract new readers.
I help two writers with their web sites and
Peggy Fielding (
http://www.peggyfielding.com) sends a newsletter out each month with
information about her latest books and speaking engagements. She also includes
many personal experiences--her fans love to hear about her latest near-miss in
the romance department. Peggy also frequently runs contests in her newsletter.
Recently, she gave away copies of her books to people who guessed when she would
get an upcoming manuscript delivered to her editor. Peggy also serialized one of
her books to her subscribers. You can see archives of her newsletters at her web
Charles "Chuck" Sasser (http://www.charlessasser.com
) just recently started his newsletter. His
publishers are thrilled that he is finally doing this. Chucks fans know that he
is an avid conservative. Besides the new book announcements and book signings,
each month Chuck is including an example of why he thinks America is going
bonkers from political correctness. You can see archives of Chucks newsletter
when you sign up at his web site. Ive included Chucks latest newsletter after
the "markets" section below.
Okay, youve written your newsletter, now how do
you send it out to all those thousands?
I know one writer who just puts all those email
address in the "to" line of her email and presses send. The problem with this is
that everyone who receives an email will also receive all the email address of
everyone else. Most folks dont want you to give out their email address, they
get enough SPAM as it is.
To send out your newsletter you need to use a
newsletter service. This way you just need to send your newsletter to one
address (one the service provides you) and they will take care of mailing it out
to your subscriber list.
I wont go into detail about how this all works
here. But I will direct you to some newsletter service providers. Each of their
web sites have detailed instructions for using their service.
Peggy and Chuck use Topica. (www.topica.com)
Their service is free if you include some advertising otherwise there is a
If you have a small list (less than 999) you can
use Ezine Manager for free. (www.ezinemanager.com) When your subscriber list gets larger they start
charging according to the number of emails you send out each month.
Your Mailing List Provider (www.yourmailinglistprovider.com) is another provider that has both a free and a premium
Adding a newsletter to your site can make a big
difference to your bottom line. Just ask horror author Douglas Clegg (www.douglasclegg.com) who after a year of doing his newsletter saw his novel
sales climb from the 10s of thousands to 100s of thousands.
© Copyright 2003, Dan Case
Dan Case is the editor of Writing for DOLLARS! the free ezine for writers, featuring tips, tricks and ideas for selling what you write. You can receive a free ebook, 83 Ways To Make Money Writing when you subscribe. http://www.writingfordollars.com
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