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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
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    Nov 2000
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    In my opinion, many newsletters 'out there' are published just by cutting-and-pasting free content into the newsletter.

    Here is something I wrote that will help newsletter publishers to publish a more professional, quality newsletter.

    Please feel free to comments about this ...

    Alwyn Botha

    The main task of a newsletter publisher is to select and
    package quality content of direct, practical relevance to
    its specific readership audience.

    This might sound quick and easy, but it is not.

    Publishing a quality newsletter is more than just cutting
    and pasting quality content into your newsletter. A quality
    newsletter is more than just the sum of its parts. The more
    the different sections in a newsletter support each other,
    the more benefits subscribers can get from it.

    A quality newsletter makes sense out of the Internet chaos.
    A good newsletter editor understands the Internet big
    picture and is able to pick out relevant information which
    is packaged into one newsletter issue in a way that makes
    sense for its readers.

    A poor quality newsletter is easily produced in less than
    15 minutes of cutting and pasting quality content text. One
    issue of a good quality newsletter takes one day to produce
    - it might also select from the same content pool as the
    poor quality newsletter - but it takes more time in
    selecting the right combination of available free content
    for each issue.

    Extremely high quality content, randomly aggregated into a
    newsletter makes a poor quality newsletter. Somewhat lower
    quality content, expertly packaged and organized make a
    high quality newsletter. Your editorial note (that
    introduces each newsletter issue), shows how much
    understanding and effort you put into this critically
    important step.

    Publishing a quality newsletter is a creative process. It
    does not involve following three easy steps. Good editors
    will find this article packed with value, others will
    consider this article useless.

    Quality newsletters gets edited by the most senior,
    experienced people in an organization, not on a rotational
    basis by anyone with some free time on their hands.

    The following are some concepts that help a good newsletter
    editor in his or her task:

    Integration: combine the value content of several experts
    in their fields into one newsletter issue. Each of these
    experts can only contribute expertise on their topics.
    However, when these standalone expert contributions are
    combined into one newsletter issue, all their contributions
    grow in value because it is part of a larger solution. Your
    newsletter subscribers can possibly get all your newsletter
    content easily elsewhere, but come to you because of the
    way you package and present it to them.

    Position: by publishing a newsletter, you position yourself
    as the central point where they go to get quality Internet
    content, nicely packaged to address their exact needs.

    Team: your newsletter will be more valuable if its content
    is produced by a team of people. This team of people
    consists of: guest article authors, contributors of tips,
    subscribers that provide questions and software products
    authors that ask you to review their software.

    Benefits: your newsletter is only about providing benefits
    to its subscribers. The more value content you have the
    more benefits your subscribers get from you. Value content
    like: feature articles, guest articles, questions and
    answers, link to value resources, product reviews, your
    editorial comments, tips.

    To summarize: you, as newsletter editor and publisher, use
    your newsletter to combine the content of your team of
    contributors into a logically-arranged, benefit-rich
    newsletter for your subscribers.

    Your newsletter is benefit-rich when it is packed with
    useful, practical content that is directly relevant to the
    needs of your readers.

    A newsletter is not benefit-rich only if it contains
    detailed, step-by-step articles.

    A newsletter that helps its readers understand the bigger-
    picture meanings and implications of the Internet on a more
    philosophical level also has benefits. Such a newsletter
    should focus on educating its readership on how to apply
    their insight practically and on a daily basis to their

    A newsletter that focus exclusively on step-by-step
    articles makes its readers work harder.

    A newsletter that focus exclusively on philosophical,
    Internet bigger-picture visions make its readers think

    In my opinion, a combination of these approaches is best.
    Such a combination will make your readers work hard -

    There are two main (opposite) approaches to packaging a
    quality content newsletter:

    Your write all the content yourself ... very time-consuming.

    You select and package content created by others ... the
    more practical and realistic approach.

    Most editors choose a middle road where they contribute
    some original content and get the remainder of their
    content from other contributors.

    Thank you.
    Posting by Alwyn Botha of
    Leveraged Internet Success website contains: Discussions,
    eBooks, articles, a weekly newsletter, and email courses.
    Leveraged = your maximum, exponential Internet success

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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    Read through some of your comments, here are my thoughts:

    - While most good things come to those who wait, I don't believe it's impossible to put together a helpful, useful newsletter in a short amount of time.

    - You nailed it with the newsletter and how the sections within are relative to each other - the idea in each section is to make the reader want to read the next one.

    - I'm not sure how many newsletters copy and paste like that. I think it's more along the lines of them publishing articles full of cliches and lots of obvious tips, or simply syndicated material.


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