Here’s a platform-building element that’s manageable for any writer. Yet, most writers don’t bother to take it on. Why? Because it’s time consuming and requires follow through.
How do I know this? Because I’m at fault of starting newsletters and…well…not following through with them.
I’m so busy doing other things, like blogging, for instance, that the newsletter falls by the wayside. However, a newsletter offers writers and aspiring authors a phenomenal and fairly inexpensive—and really not too time intensive—way to build a mailing list.
What’s entailed? On a regular basis—weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly—you produce a newsletter chock full of great information related to your book’s topic. When I say “chock full,” I don’t mean that you have to create a 50-page newsletter. If you send out a newsletter weekly, you may only need to write one article. If you send it out once a month or quarterly, you’ll want to adjust the content accordingly. Yet, you still don’t have to produce something with content comparable to a national magazine. A few really great articles do the trick.
Assuming that you have a website, you will want to have sign up forms on your website. A great way to get people to sign up for your newsletter is to offer something free in return for their subscription. You can also do this from a blog.
You can send a newsletter simply by email. However, there are services that allow you to produce really nice newsletters, send them to a list, and that also track your new subscribers as well as those people who unsubscribe. They also provide analytics on your newsletters. A popular one is ConstantContact.com, which is what I use. Another popular one is Icontact.com. AWeber.com is more expensive but offers a host of services, such as auto responders for sending out free gifts to your subscribers. (I may soon need to bite the bullet and switch to this service!)
Tomorrow I’ll offer four tips to help you write your newsletter and build a subscriber list.