Newsletters: Your Readers and You by “Wild Bill”
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One of the Hottest Commodities on or off the Internet is
“Information”. In this age of technology people, more than ever
want to know, and they want to learn. I imagine you yourself are
reading this in hopes of clicking away with more than you
started with. My job as a writer, publisher and editor is to see
that you do just that.
Newsletters provide you with an outlet to a specific group of
people, who subscribe and read your publication because they
want you to gain specific information. It could be Business,
Technical or even Travel information, but nevertheless they are
reading your words for a reason. Your job is to supply your
readers with the information they are looking for. This my
friend is sometimes a painstaking job with little or no pay, and
long hours to boot!
Newsletters are not a venture to be entered into lightly.
They’re not overnight successes. It sometimes takes years to
build a respectable subscriber base. Cash flow is almost
non-existent at the beginning and for much of the time after
that. Your newsletter is an investment in relationships, and of
hard work. You must earn, gain and keep a certain amount of
trust and loyalty from your readers.
If you think that you own your newsletter, I’m here to tell you
that you’re wrong. Although you really do own it, running a
newsletter is much like being in a political office. You would
not be there if you did not serve your constituents to their
satisfaction. They will directly or indirectly dictate to you
your requirements in serving them. If you fail to serve them
accordingly, so shall your newsletter fail as well.
Live up to the responsibility you have taken on. When your
readers bestow that trust in you, there is no better way to
condemn your newsletter than to violate that trust.
Your job is not necessarily to be liked, but to keep your
content up to the standards that your subscribers have come to
expect from you. Keep your information content high and your
advertising and “noise” levels low. The subject of your
newsletter will of course dictate the personality of your
As for the Personality in your Newsletter, every newsletter will
take on a life of its own. You must control the personality that
it portrays. Be careful what personality traits you give your
newsletter and how much personality you give it. Remember that
your primary goal is to supply information. Save the bulk of
your thoughts for welcome messages and editorials. Be careful
how you convey your personal thoughts in your newsletter. What
could be meant as an editorial thought could be a disastrous
mistake that costs you subscribers.
You will find that your readers will write to you with
questions, comments, and often complaints. Don’t forget these
are the same people that can control the fate of your
newsletter. Treat them as you would any life giving force. Your
subscribers are (99%) intelligent, well-mannered people seeking
the wisdom of your print. They will express their own ideas and
desires. They will ask you for your input and thoughts. Often
this may be impossible, but one of your top priorities should be
to respond to your readers with honest, informative information
with a touch of “you” thrown in.
Keep in mind that for every one malcontented feedback message
that you receive there are hundreds or thousands that are happy,
but never write. Think about it. How many times do you write
just to tell somebody they are doing a great job, as compared to
how many times you have written to complain about a product or
In closing I would like to say that it’s your job to get “their”
newsletter out on schedule each and every time. Your subscribers
will come to expect and yes, even sometimes demand their
newsletter on time and intact. Consider yourself a “Mailman”.
Neither rain nor shine, or sickness shall deter you from your
duty. If you are publishing a serious newsletter and are the
sole person doing this insurmountable job, do yourself a favor
and get a laptop if you haven’t already. I myself have published
from bed with a fever and all over the country while on
vacation, and you probably will too!
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