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Janet Roberts

How the Pros Stay Inspired: Dana Blankenhorn
By Janet Roberts

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Here's Part Two of a three-part series on how to hang in there with your email-publishing career, even on days when you'd rather be doing just about anything else.

Last week we talked with Fred Langa of the LangaList newsletter and myriad other concerns. You can see that interview here.

This week, we profile Dana Blankenhorn, who turns out weekly editions of his a-clue newsletter (As in "Get a clue!") for digital and Internet content, commerce and usability folks, while moderating discussion groups, consulting, writing books, editing and speaking.

Dana lives in Atlanta, Ga., has been covering the Internet since 1983 and has published a-clue since 1997. He has 3,000 subscribers, about half of whom get it in email.

Janet Roberts: How do you manage the process of publishing your newsletter week in and week out?

Dana Blankenhorn: I have a wonderful wife who makes a good living, and I have nothing better to do. I had to ask myself 5 years ago, "What would I do for nothing?" and this was my answer. Of course, for some time I did make quite a bit of money, and I think I will again. But for now, this is my marketing.

JR: Do you have assistance, or do you handle it mostly by yourself?

DB: I've had the help of Webmaster Tommy Bass for 5 year, and recently hired (for $700) a Web designer named Bill Stocking of That's it. Which is reflected in some of my more innocent (and stupid) mistakes, like keeping the year at 2001 through March of 2002.

JR: What's the single greatest motivator (aside from having to meet advertising commitments) that helps you get your newsletter out every week?

DB: Feedback from people like yourself. Being heard. Reading it myself (when it's good). Getting it done. Staying on deadlines (even if self-imposed). Writers write.

See what Dana is up to at his Web site.

Next Tuesday: Adam C. Engst of TidBITS, a must-read for Macintosh/Apple owners.

Ezine-Tips for May 21, 2002

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