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Janet Roberts

Interview, Part Two: Joshua Feinberg, Small Biz Tech Talk
By Janet Roberts

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We continue our interview with Joshua Feinberg, who publishes the weekly email newsletter Small Biz Tech Talk with his wife, Jennifer.

Like most people who come into the business from another profession, the Feinbergs had to learn publishing from the ground up:

Joshua Feinberg: In the past, when I wrote for both technology trade publications and large corporate clients, subscriber marketing (building the list) was never really my concern. By the time I arrived on the scene as a well-paid professional columnist, circulation was already a "done deal."

We've invested a lot of time over past year in learning how to EFFECTIVELY build our Web site traffic and newsletter circulation.

In June, we finally added an e-commerce element to the site, with marketing my new book. So, although we seem to have mastered the mechanics, we're just learning about response rates, conversion rates and all that other good stuff that goes along with online marketing.

The whole experience has been right on target with what most book-publishing experts advise: writing the content/book is about 10 percent of the job. The other 90 percent is promotion, promotion and more promotion.

One of the more gratifying things is that a significant chunk of our subscriber base has been following me and my columns for years -- since '98, as I've moved from Selling Windows NT Solutions to Windows NT Magazine to Microsoft Direct Access to Small Biz Tech Talk.

JR: Any other advice for newsletter publishers?

JF: One of the smartest decisions we made early on was outsourcing the distribution. During the first few months of publication, we attempted to send out to our list using the BCC feature of Microsoft Outlook. BIG mistake.

Once we grew beyond 500 subscribers, it became a no brainer to outsource distribution of our weekly newsletter. Up until early June, we were still handling all subscriber management tasks manually (subs, unsubs, updates). Again, once we automated the process with Mindshare Design (yes, we're sticking with them)...this freed up several hours of work each week, to focus more on projects that will ultimately pay the bills.

Click here to see Part One of the interview.

Here's the Small Biz Tech Talk site.

Ezine-Tips for July 19, 2002

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