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Old 21st December 2010, 08:18 AM   #1
DeeBishop
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Question How To Get Started?

Having worked online for years, I've published a number of newsletters over time for myself and my clients. But the rules have changed since I started. (I think I'm getting old.)

At any rate, I've been thinking about starting a newsletter again to help small and home based business owners become better writers. The thing is... I don't know how to get started.

I don't mean the mechanics, I can handle that. I mean, how do you get the first subscribers. How do you grow the list? Things truly have changed so much, I feel lost with this now.

Any ideas?

Dee -

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Old 23rd December 2010, 10:08 AM   #2
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Working on the assumption you don't simply want to buy a list from a broker, there are a couple of things you can do.

Firstly, go direct. There are tons of forums dedicated to small business owners (owners of small businesses - not midgets!), home workers, entrepreneurs and the like. Get on the forums and tell people about what you're doing. Get people to message you with their email address, or set up a small sign-up website.

You could try an alliance with someone who already has a list of your ideal audience (or close to it), with whom you won't be competing. Try a graphic design firm, website developers or similar who focus their marketing on your types of business (you'll be able to tell by their websites), and see if they'll let you compose an email to go to their database (perhaps you could offer to write something for them in return).

You could also try posting some of your material as articles across the web with links back to your sign-up website.

That should get you going in the right direction...

Pete

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Old 23rd December 2010, 12:58 PM   #3
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Thanks, Pete! Going direct is a really good idea. So simple I hadn't thought of it. But I'll work on that. And I REALLY need to get busy with some articles. I write for everyone but myself.

Years ago, one of the early Internet 'gurus' really pushed the "grow your list and it will grow your business" saying that any time you write an article and submit it for publication, your resource box should promote subscribing to your list rather than simply visiting your website. Over time I've forgotten to use this strategy but you've reminded me of it so I'm going to get back on track. Thanks!

Dee

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Old 24th December 2010, 05:58 AM   #4
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I guess you can start blogging which is also useful at first. While blogging you get used to writing and soon will write excellent reviews

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Old 24th December 2010, 07:48 AM   #5
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Thanks, SanWay... actually, I'm a fulltime freelance writer so that isn't the issue. It's really the list building aspect that's giving me trouble. But I'm working on some things to change that.

Merry Christmas!

Dee

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Old 24th December 2010, 02:26 PM   #6
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Just start, and then solve problems ...

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Old 27th December 2010, 02:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeBishop View Post
Having worked online for years, I've published a number of newsletters over time for myself and my clients. But the rules have changed since I started. (I think I'm getting old.)

At any rate, I've been thinking about starting a newsletter again to help small and home based business owners become better writers. The thing is... I don't know how to get started.

I don't mean the mechanics, I can handle that. I mean, how do you get the first subscribers. How do you grow the list? Things truly have changed so much, I feel lost with this now.

Any ideas?

Dee -
maybe you can write some books or articles about how to write business emails and how to communicate with west.Later get your books or articles published in far east.Like China and other countries.

There are many Chinese guys do international trade business,but they dont have much skill about communication.If that,no doubt your manuscript will run out of stock.

Bruce

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Old 24th February 2011, 09:33 AM   #8
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Start by adding people you already have to the list. Anytime you acquire a business card ask them if they want to be on your newsletter, if so, add them. Have a sign up on the newsletter and a forward to a friend. These are just a few ways to start off the list.

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Old 25th February 2011, 01:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alashanghai View Post
maybe you can write some books or articles about how to write business emails and how to communicate with west.Later get your books or articles published in far east.Like China and other countries.

There are many Chinese guys do international trade business,but they dont have much skill about communication.If that,no doubt your manuscript will run out of stock.

Bruce
Thank you, Bruce! I would LOVE to be able to help others who are non-native English speakers, but I don't know how to connect with them. Any ideas on that?

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Old 25th February 2011, 06:00 PM   #10
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Dee, first you have to follow the rules.

You can't use someone else's list. You can only send your newsletters or sales solicitations to folks who have "opted in" to your list. To be totally safe, you really need to set up the "double opt-in" scenario, where someone says "I want to join", then you send an email to that address and they reply saying "I really want to join, that was me, not some joker who signed me up", them they click a link saying "Yes, I want in" and you are then clear to send.

There are companies who offer these services, as well as mailing the newsletters to the subscribers. Or you can do it yourself. Most hosting accounts offer free scripts, such as phpmailer, that will go through the routine, you just enter the initial link in your signup box.

What you can do to get subscribers is write all sorts of short articles that others may include in their newsletters, or pay to have them soft sell / recommend you to their readers. You can also set up one or more blogs, but it takes some skill to set up the SEO to actually attract people.

Review sites are also a good way to go. Review vacation spots, golf courses, sleep aids, cribs, garden hoses, whatever fits the demographics you are chasing. 4 or 5 "reviews" and several signup boxes, even (dare I say the words?) pop-ups or pop-unders asking them to become subscribers. You can even throw in some Google ads and maybe pick up a few commissions.

Which brings us to the bottom line. What is your motivation for this? To "get your name out?" You"re a kind person and want to share? Or, you are looking for some income as a result of your efforts? Probably the last. So, how are you going to (I hate this word) "monetize" your newsletter / website / whatever?

I could go on and on, but I'll stop there. Any more and I've have to start monetizing myself.

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