By Terri Seymour
When you begin publishing an ezine, you find out that there is a lot of work to producing a quality ezine. This includes finding content, organizing ad swaps, writing original material, attracting advertisers, finding subscribers, and more. If you can find some shortcuts to cut down on the workload it can help tremendously!
I would like to share a few of my shortcuts with you.
*Using a Template
With each issue of your ezine there are some things that will change and some things that will stay the same. For instance, your contact information, title, disclaimers, headers, table of contents and so on. One way to save a LOT of time is to use the basic template for each issue. When I start my issue for the next week, I open the current issue, change the date and issue number, take out the old content and start adding the new. You also have to remember to change the file name when you save it as your next issue. Using this method can save you a valuable amount of time each week.
*Organizing Ad Swaps
I have had several people ask me how to keep ad swaps organized. I tell them how I do it and how well it works for me. Some methods do not work for everyone. As I confirm each ad swap via email, I print out the email that contains the other publishers ad and I then write the dates that the ad will run. I write them big and in ink so they are very easy to see. I also take note of any other details I have to remember. These papers are all kept in their own file entitled "Ad Swaps". Each week when I am finalizing the next issue of Web Success, I take out the folder and all my swaps are right there.
I use the same method for paid ads as I do ad swaps. You just have to make sure all dates are written on the ad and any notes you have to make.
A lot of times when I am working I will have my current issue template open and minimized. This makes it easy if I come across and interesting site, product, ebook or whatever. I just copy and paste the url in my ezine template write a short review and/or description and then save my template in both my Web Success Ezine folder (kept on my desktop) and my Web Success Ezine floppy. Remember to save each change in both places. You definitely do not want to lose all your info if you have a crash. That happened to me once and let me tell you, Once is Enough!! ;-) I lost all my information and an article I had just finished! Needless to say, I had to go through all that work all over again. Live and learn!
* Writing Original Content
For my articles, I always keep the resource box and my article list autoresponder address in my template. This will save the time of opening up another folder and having to copy and paste the resource box. I type my article right out in my template so it is already in place when I am finished. After I send out my ezine, I copy the article to it's own file and add it to my article folder. Also included in my article folder are my list of article announcement lists, my mailing list of editors that accept articles, my list of websites where I submit my articles. This makes everything very handy when article submitting time rolls around.
Another tip, save your template to folder and floppy after each paragraph or two. This way if you crash you only lose a small amount of info.
Also, if you have a regular editorial and you have certain parts that remain the same, keep them in your template. All you have to do then is add whatever is new for each issue.
Helpful sites on ezine publishing:
Ezine publishing is a very detailed, time-consuming, and sometimes tedious job. It is also a very enjoyable and rewarding job. If you can find some shortcuts that work well for you, it will make ezine publishing all the more enjoyable.
Good luck with your ezine and all the best to you!