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Brian Alt

Interview with William Bontrager, Part II
By Brian Alt

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Today concludes the interview with William Bontrager, publisher of WillMaster Possibilities, a weekly ezine covering the various aspects of Web programming and creating interactive Web sites. If you missed Part I, it's available here.

Brian Alt: What are some of your favorite ways to promote your email publication? Have you tried any techniques that met with particular success?

William Bontrager: When WillMaster Possibilities launched a year and a half ago, most new subscriptions came from ezine directories and, in a lesser extent, announcement lists.

Now, most subscriptions are from the ezine's site at and from subscription boxes at our various other sites.

With the new program of syndicating the weekly article and tips, we are seeing a slow but steady increase of visitors and resulting subscriptions from links provided in the syndicated content.

BA: What is the revenue model behind your ezine? Does revenue come primarily from advertising, affiliate programs, your own products or services, or some combination of these -- or does the value that your ezine creates for you come from something else entirely?

WB: WillMaster Possibilities was launched to demonstrate my programming skills with the hope that it would result in custom programming projects. In that, it has succeeded way beyond my highest anticipation. My programming schedule filled quickly -- and stayed filled.

Now, the ezine's primary focus is more on familiarizing subscribers with our off-the-shelf software and ebooks, while continuing to demonstrate my programming skills.

There is some incidental affiliate income, but no paid advertising.

BA: Your content is primarily of the "how-to" variety. Do you have any tips or suggestions for the Ezine-Tips readers on creating content or coming up with ideas for content?

WB: Write about your enthusiasm. Exact grammar constructs are less important than delivering understandable content.

Before starting an ezine, make a list of article titles or content ideas that would sustain your publication for at least six months. Coming up with new content, issue after issue, requires a creative well inside you from which you can draw at need.

For ideas, surf. Yes, surf the 'net. At the end of the day when the brain slows down is a great time to surf the net, spontaneously clicking on links, doing searches for unlikely words or phrases, and generally immersing your psyche into irrelevant and unimportant images and information. This has the dual effect of relaxing you and releasing your mind from fixations. Once released, you mind can come to new conclusions and form new ideas without conscious effort on your part. After a bit of surfing, go to sleep. You may wake up with a new idea or two.

It works.

BA: You have developed both the MasterSubscriber subscription form script and the ProLinkz script which is useful for tracking ezine ads. Do you have any other scripts available or in the works that are useful for ezine publishers?

WB: Master Syndicator is acclaimed by authors for its ease of use. If you publish your own articles, you may consider the benefits of having your articles syndicated on dozens of sites. Update all the remote syndication sites, instantly, by filling out and submitting one simple form.

Go here to be a syndication site of WillMaster Possibilities articles and/or tips.

Ezine-Tips for February 09, 2001

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