The Best Ezine Business Plan?


There are many different ways to run an ezine business, and each method has advantages and disadvantages that make it right or wrong for you. For example, I have an email newsletter (another name for ezine) about brainpower, and I put quite a bit of my personality into it. That helps subscribers feel that they know me, and keeps them more interested than if the issues were very clinical or written by a variety of different people. On the other hand, it also means I have to write each issue.

The ezine business plan this page is about doesn't require any serious writing effort at all. It's a proven way to create a useful and interesting newsletter that makes money. If you want to you can avoid all writing and focus on the marketing and other aspects. The basic idea is to use other people content that you get for free, and have five or six articles in each newsletter. As long as you choose carefully you can have high-quality content at no cost and without having to write a word.

To start with you need a website or blog, where you will have a subscription form for the newsletter. You can pay someone to write the page if necessary. You essentially need a sales pitch to get people to sign up for a free newsletter--not such a hard sell normally. Then you need to sign up for an auto-responder service to do the mailings for you. I use Aweber, but there are others. This will costs you about $20 monthly to start (and only more when you succeed in getting many subscribers). Once it is set up you can load an introductory newsletter into it and put the subscription form on your site. When a visitor subscribes he will get a thank you message and after he clicks an email to confirm he wants to subscribe he'll get the introductory issue. This should tell him what to expect and when mailing normally go out (my Brainpower Newsletter is emailed every Sunday morning, for example).

Now, to create the newsletter each week without writing a word, you'll put six pages up on your site using free content (more on that in a moment), and then in the newsletter itself you'll have the first paragraph or two of each, with a link to that page. Subscribers can click through to the ones that interest them. You'll make money from selling ads on the site, from pay-per-click ads, and from affiliate links, and perhaps from your own products if you have something to sell. No writing required, just copy and paste free content for the site and the newsletter.

Where do you get the free content? There are a few good sources. The best are those articles which are specifically provided for you by and affiliate program you are promoting. These can be set up as pages, introduced in a newsletter, and then when the reader wants to learn more he or she will click through your affiliate link to the site.

You don't need six new pages every week though. By the time you have 100 pages on your site you can start recycling some of them, since new subscribers will not have seen them. As for your long-term subscribers, as long as you have at least one new article each week they'll usually stick with you.

As a secondary source of free content, go to article directories like EzineArticles or GoArticles. You are allowed to use any of their hundreds of thousands of articles for free as long as you leave the links in the authors resource area active. Writers are happy to have their articles used if they get a link to their site--that's why they put the articles in these places. On these pages you can rely on pay-per-click or any appropriate affiliate links for revenue.

How Much Can You Make?

I use a different model for my newsletter (mostly my own writing), but I have an idea of how well this can work from sales of my books through a newsletter that does use only free content written by others. It is a mind power newsletter, and the first time they used an article of mine in it they sold perhaps 24 books for me, making $336 for the owner. Keep in mind that this was one of about eight articles that are in the newsletter each week.

Now, since my articles have been in it many times, they only generate three to five sales each time. But even at making $50 to $60 each week on eight different articles is about $500 weekly from a simple newsletter that costs only about $10 weekly to maintain (for the site, the mailing service and domain name). Of course, as long as the publisher finds new articles and new products to promote, the newsletter could easily produce $1,000 weekly. I asked the owner and discovered that he had about 40,000 subscribers. At $1,000 weekly, that would mean revenue of $1.30 per subscriber per year.

By the way, some marketers claim to make as much as $60 annually per subscriber, but it seems that most make closer to $1. I get about 50 new subscribers daily for my best newsletter, and 10 "unsubscribes" daily, so it is growing at about 1,200 per month. No one can say what kind of results you'll get, and you need to learn how to get traffic to the site to get the subscribers, but these numbers might give you some idea of targets to aim for.

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To make this easier you can set all the newsletters up beforehand using an auto-responder. For example, you make 100 issues, them load them up, and when a subscriber signs up they get one each week automatically. After your first few weeks of hard work you could concentrate only on marketing the site. Once you're making a decent income you could even leave a site and newsletter like these alone for months and they'll keep pumping out the profits.

Qualifications / Requirements

It is more work that this short page indicates, so be ready to put in the hours up front. You'll have to learn a lot of things along the way, like how to build a website, how to monetize it, how to make a newsletter appealing, how to get traffic to your website or blog, and more.

First Steps

Start a site or perhaps free blog if you are not yet sure about your commitment to make this work. Provide good content and promote the site. The build a newsletter and sign up for a service that will handle the subscriptions and mailings. Track your results for future planning (If you are making $1 annually per subscriber, you know you can pay a service that finds subscribers for you for 25 cents each, for example).

Resources - Tons of free content to use for your ezine business. - More free content (generally lower quality than that from EzineArticles, but not always).

Aweber Autoresponders - A reliable emailer and auto-responder service. (Affiliate link.)

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