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I get many e-zines in my inbox every week, and they all offer useful information. But there are some I enjoy more than others.
What do the ones I love have in common?
They feel like they come from a REAL person. These publishers put some heart-and-soul into their e-zines. They share information about themselves. And because I feel like I know them personally, I'm more likely to buy from them at some point.
I can also share with you that once I began sharing a bit about ME in my e-zine, my response rates increased dramatically. More readers wrote me back, more clicked on my links, and more bought my products and services.
So, how can YOU put more you in your e-zine? Very easily. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
What's Going on With YOU?
Quick: Think of three things going on in your life right now that you could share with your readers. Have you won an award? Were you mentioned in a national newspaper? Did you pull a hamstring doing Tae Bo? Are you teary-eyed because your daughter's wedding is right around the corner? These are all events your readers can relate to and will appreciate you sharing.
One e-zine I used to get a real chuckle out of was Dave Balch's "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe." (Unfortunately, his business has changed so he no longer publishes it.) In each issue, Dave not only shared useful information on running a profitable business, but also hysterical stories about "life on the ranch." Dave and his wife own many animals, including horses, dogs, and "the parrot that just won't die." Whenever I saw Dave's e-zine in my mailbox, I read it right away because I knew it would brighten my mood.
Reach Out for Help
Have a question you'd like answered? Why not ask your readers for help? Example: I recently began shopping around for a convertible, and I mentioned it in my e-zine a few weeks ago. To help me with my decision, I asked my readers who owned convertibles to share their experiences with me.
You wouldn't believe how many people wrote me back, telling me about their own cars, how much they love them, and what new convertibles they recommend! I was delighted with the response.
Readers also love quick polls that allow them to give you their opinion. For a fun survey mechanism, try www.SurveyMonkey.com.
Give Us the Picture
Photos help your visitors and your e-zine readers feel closer to you instantly -- it's as if they know you better than before.
In one issue I mentioned to my readers that I had a new headshot taken and would love their opinion of it. Hundreds of people clicked through to see the photo, and many of them wrote me to say they thought it was great!
Unless you're ugly as a toad, a decent photo will only help your business. If you publish an HTML e-zine, put your photo in your top banner if you have room.
Also don't be afraid of sharing photos of your family, pets, business associates, etc. You'll be surprised how often your readers will click-through to see them. Example: "Click here to see me in action at my first swing dancing competition!"
Don't Be Afraid to Have Opinions
Real people have real opinions. So voice yours, and people will perk up. I've found that my readers often respond best when they're provoked and encouraged to see things in a new light.
If some don't agree with you (and some won't), their response can lead to a brand new discussion or article topic. Remember, if someone takes the time to write you back to disagree with anything you've said, be happy. It means they're actually reading your e-zine!
Where, and How Much?
A great place to put this personal information is at the beginning of your e-zine in an "editor's note" or "welcome message." This welcomes the reader with a warm greeting from you and is the perfect spot to share these positive, personal tidbits.
Once you get the hang of giving more YOU to your readers, you'll come to enjoy the art of sharing and the increased reader-interaction it brings. Just make sure that it doesn't take over your e-zine. The bulk of your content should still be your main article, list of tips, etc. Think of your personal information as the introduction that leads up to the main event!
(c) 2003-2004 Alexandria K. Brown
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandria K. Brown, "The E-zine Queen," is author of the award-winning manual, "Boost Business
With Your Own E-zine." To learn more about her book and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit her site
Ezine-Tips for December 31, 2003
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