We are down to the home stretch. You’ve got your Ezine laid out, you have gotten some good content for it and now you want to put the whole thing together in a nice neat little package with a pretty bow so that your readers will have an experience that they can honestly say was worth the zero cents they paid to subscribe. So just what does shaping up the content for your Ezine involve and how do you go about doing it?
Most of what you are going to have to do involves fitting pieces together and modifying things so that they look just right. You will be spending a lot of time doing this with the various articles that you get, either from the freelance writers you hired or the sites you downloaded the content from. Why?
Ever hear the phrase “Beggars can’t be choosers?” Well, when you’re downloading free content off of websites, you’re not going to have a lot of control over the format of this content. It may be in simple Ariel 10 pt. font
or heaven knows what. If you have an Ezine where you are going for a certain look, this can be a bit of a problem. For example, let’s say you’re putting together an Ezine on “Chinese Food” and you want to have an oriental look to the Ezine itself. It is doubtful the articles you download are going to be in fonts that support this look. You’re going to have to reformat them with your own fonts. You may even have to download fonts from the Internet if you’re going for a certain look that isn’t part of the default font set in your word processing program.
Another part of the formatting, aside from the font itself, is how the article is laid out. When you download it or have it sent to you, it may not be 90 characters per line, or whatever line spacing you are looking for. For that matter, it may not be formatted at all. You may need to get a hold of a text formatter, which you can get for free just about anywhere on the Internet. This will reformat your text to however many characters per line
you want. This is critical for sending out emails as some email programs will just display your paragraphs as one long string, making it very hard for your subscribers to read. If they can’t read your Ezine easily they will most likely unsubscribe. You certainly won’t make the sales you’re counting on.
Another thing you’re going to have to do, especially if you’re putting together an Ezine with photos or graphics, is format the graphics around the word content so that it flows. You don’t want your layout to be willy-nilly.
If you need ideas for how an Ezine with photos should look, go take a peak at a few. Again, there is nothing wrong with getting inspiration from others. If you have doubts in your own ability, get a graphic artist to do it for you or at least look at your work.
If you’re putting together a fancy Ezine with multiple sections, like a real magazine, make sure you have a table of contents inside the front cover. After a while, when you have developed a real following, you are going to have subscribers who will consistently look for certain features. By having a table of contents, you make it easy for them to find what they are looking for. They’ll love you for it.
Finally, you want to be consistent. Once you have got a format, stick to it. Develop a routine for putting your Ezine together. Make a checklist of all the things you have to do each time you send out your Ezine, whether it be weekly, monthly or whatever.
After a while, when you have done this enough times, it will become second nature to you and the time you spend each day will become less and less and you’ll have more time for actually running your business.
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