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The Blog
  • Diana Schneidman

Bring on the newsletters and ezines!

I admit it. I read a heck of a lot of emailed newsletters, ezines or whatever you want to call them.

My favorites are the ones that enlighten me on how to use my time better. Quit reading email, they warn. Unsubscribe! Right now!!

Yes, I should drop my newsletters, especially those from people telling me to unsubscribe.

While I do cancel some, I hang on to a rather sizable number. I don’t read them when I have pressing deadlines or when I’m deeply engrossed in a project. However, I do look at them almost every day, even several times a day, especially as I relax.

This reading serves three purposes:

Marketing research

I see what experts in areas similar or related to mine are writing. I figure that other people are doing “regular” marketing research so if they are writing about something, it must have tested well. I also test headlines and content on myself; if I am interested enough to read on, others are probably interested too. So that’s how I know a headline is effective.

One alternative for conducting marketing research is Survey Monkey surveys. You know, the ones where people ask which topics you would like them to publish info products on. How to lose weight, how to make money, how to exercise more, how to raise award-winning violets, how to raise perfect children.

I assume the people running these surveys know very little about any of these topics and would write about any subject at all if they see a buck to be made. I have unsubscribed in reaction to such surveys.

Another much recommended marketing research tool is Google Adwords and other SEO tools. See what is searched the most and voila, there’s your topic.

I don’t think much of this approach either because the numbers don’t distinguish between people in your market and the world at large. After all, porn generates a huge audience and I’d guess vast numbers use Google to find it, but that’s not my preferred subject no matter how popular it is.

Idea generation

In reading these newsletters, I come up with lots of ideas that I jot down briefly for my files.

Sometimes I agree with an article and want to expand on the topic, even with a link back to the original article.

Other times I come up with new ideas that expand on the original article or go off in an entirely new direction.

This type of ongoing effort eliminates writer’s block when I sit down to write a new article because I’m dreaming up new content concepts every day.

Sometimes these new ideas impel me to comment on other writers’ articles, which improves my . . .

Internet presence and (possible?) SEO (search engine optimization) rankings

Google and other search engines are said to value inbound links to our websites. One way to create these links is to comment on other blogs that are relevant to ours and include a link to our website or blog in the space provided.

In addition to this techy link, commenting on the blogs of others helps to develop real-life relationships with these authors. These relationships are strengthened further with my supportive clicks on Twitter and the other logos appearing with most blog posts.

By looking at newsletters / ezines on a daily basis, I space out the effort so that it is relaxing and not intimidating.

Originally posted 3-31-14

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